BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge veteran who suffered injuries during the Korean War received the Purple Heart on Friday.
The veteran's wife, Barbara Barriner, said the honor bestowed on Friday was a blessing.
"So many of them lost their lives, so many of them are still missing," she said. "Don was blessed, he got to come home and have a family and have a life."
The U.S. Army reported Donald Barriner, a heavy machine gunner with the 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, was wounded by missile fire while fighting enemy forces in Kumsong Valley, Korea on May 18, 1951.
"We are pleased that he is receiving his award, even if it is 64 years overdue," said Capt. Victor Alexander, U.S. Army Baton Rouge Company Commander. "My Soldiers and I are honored to take part in such a prestigious award ceremony. Without sacrifice of men like him, I would not be able to serve in the world's greatest Army and have our freedoms."
Kimothy Barriner, Don's son, says that he is happy that he go to witness this moment with the family.
"That was the good part about it, because if he would've gotten the Purple Heart back in the day none of us would've been around to and got to see it," says Kimothy Barriner. "So, it's a blessing in disguise."
Officials added Barriner also received the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
"He has suffered many years over the depression, wounded, coming back as Korean War veteran a lot of people didn't like them. But we've gotten through that," Barbara Barriner said.
"He's been a great father for everything that we've been through in our lives," adds Kimothy Barriner. "He's steadfast. He's the rock."
The ceremony was held at 11:30 a.m. on the USS Kidd.