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November 09, 2017 06:04 PM

Better Late Than Never

Sioux Falls, SD

Friday marks a federal holiday; a time to honor our nation's veterans, but a local Korean War veteran's family says he's not getting the thank you he deserves. 

KELOLAND News Investigates has been digging into the reasons why.

The stories make headlines all across the country--veterans receiving medals of honor decades after they earned them. 

Our investigation has been looking into the reasons why this is so common and one family's fight to get their father and grandfather a Purple Heart. 

In 2016, 81 year old Otto Logan received four medals for his brother, Robert, who died in combat during World War II. 

"It makes me feel great, I've been working for about 10 years now and nobody could tell me anything," Logan said on July 27, 2016.

Then in March of this year, Otto Logan was able to accept medals on behalf of another brother, Edward who was killed in action during the Korean War in 1950. 

In the case of the two Logan brothers, Sen. John Thune's office was able to help Otto finally get the medals posthumously after years of failed attempts. 

"We went to work to try and secure those medals. We went through the personnel records and were able to come up with all the necessary documentation to make this event today possible," Thune said in on July 27, 2016. 

Another KELOLAND family also turned to Thune's office to try to obtain medals for 91-year-old Korean War veteran, Eugene Coyle.

Coyle served on the front lines in Korea and was wounded by enemy fire at least three times. 

"Someone needs to do something and I was hoping that someone was Senator Thune, Kenny Coyle said.

But despite efforts by Thune's office, cutting through the Army's bureaucratic red tape has proved to be nearly impossible.

"And that they denied it, to maintain the integrity of the Purple Heart, which to me was very irritating to hear that response," Coyle said. 

Part of the problem is that Coyle's army records were destroyed in a fire in 1973, along with millions of other veterans' personnel files. 

But that doesn't mean there are no records of Coyle's injuries, just not the specific ones the Army requires.

Eugene: I made up my mind I was going to die there and that was final.
Kennecke: Do you remember getting blown out of that trench?
Eugene: Oh yeah, from a mortar round.

KELOLAND News takes a deep look into the case of the Forgotten Soldier of the Forgotten War Thursday on KELOLAND News at 10. 

Forgotten Soldier of the Forgotten War

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