Raleigh County resident, Vietnam veteran receives Purple Heart, other distinguished military honors

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) -- While the rain continued to fall outside, not a dry eye was in the Vet Center in Beckley on February 17, 2018 as one of its residents received one of America's most prestigious military awards, a tradition congressman Evan Jenkins never gets tired of.

"One of the best parts of the job is to be able to look to our heroes, a man or woman who has served our country, who was wounded in combat... to say 'on behalf of a grateful nation, thank you,'" Jenkins said.

LCpl. Robert L. Blair served in the 3rd Battalion of the 26th Marine regiment in Vietnam, where he was injured by a hand grenade not once, but twice.  Now, the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to many is receiving the care his country owes him with a Purple Heart, among other distinguished honors.

"We're just so lucky for him to be alive, doing great, and being able to accept on behalf of a grateful nation a well-deserved Purple Heart," Jenkins said.

Although American warfare has changed since then, Jenkins says what hasn't is the courage of those that put on the uniform.

"While the ways war is waged, and the threats and challenges may be different today, one thing is absolutely clear," Jenkins said.  "These are brave men and women who are putting their life on the line to serve their country.  Because they put country first, not themselves."

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