BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. - A local vet left with his golf clubs Saturday morning and came home with two new medals. Decades after his service in Vietnam, friends and family spent months planning a surprise to honor the Purple Heart recipient.
Larry Angelotti thought he was out Saturday for a round of golf and some lunch, but the Army veteran was in for quite the surprise.
Army Col. Eric Robinson drove in from Leavenworth as part of the ordeal. Angelotti may spend his time on the golf course now, but he spent part of his boyhood on the battlefield.
"I got out of there. I made it out, but there's a lot of guys that deserve more than this," Angelotti said, pointing to his shiny new medals. The veteran was injured in Vietnam twice, and he has the paperwork from back then, but he never got the actual medals.
"The Army, much less the Department of Defense, did not have a really good process at how to award soldiers, notify family members," Col. Robinson said. Angelotti's family decided their beloved Larry deserved to receive what he earned.
Saturday, at the Blue Springs Country Club, an old soldier was moved to tears. In a shaky voice, eyes wet, Angelotti said, "It's more, I didn't know... I never thought I'd see these. It's hard to take in."