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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A metro Vietnam veteran has been waiting nearly 50 years for his Purple Heart.

Milton Shelley served in Vietnam in the 60s and was injured while serving. The veteran gave up hope, but Saturday night he got the surprise of a lifetime while at a T-Bones game.

Milton Shelley waited in a line of military veterans. Then he stepped up to the mound and threw the first pitch of the game.

Shelley  thought his job was done and started to walk back to his seat, when he was told to stand on home plate.

The announcer began to tell him he wasn’t just there to throw the first pitch.

Milton served in Vietnam in the 60s, he was shot and injured. For nearly 50 years, Milton wondered why he didn’t get a Purple Heart.

“I never thought I’d get it,” Shelley said. “I tried several times. Mailing stuff in.”

Little did he know, for the past couple of years, his neighbor Bryan Moroney was hard at work.

“We saw something that we wanted to change,” Moroney said.

Brian and another neighbor are with the Foundation For Exceptional Warriors. They teamed up with the T-Bones to give Milton a surprise decades in the making.

“I was hoping I would get one day,” Milton said. “The Lord came through.”

Milton got his Purple Heart. A dream this veteran never thought would come true.

His family and neighbors say he deserves to be honored not only today but every day for the rest of his life.

“You hear the words giving and caring a lot, thrown around, he represents both of those,” Moroney said.