Vietnam war veteran from Ireton receives Bronze Star medal
Nearly 50 years ago, an Iowa man served in the army and fought in the Vietnam War, but he never received the medals in honor of his courage and patriotism...until today.
I stopped by the Sioux County Courthouse, where he was honored in a ceremony.
One by one, Orange City community members, veterans, and others gave special thanks to former army Sergeant Calvin Bootsma, who served in the Vietnam war. But it wasn't until today, in front of more than a hundred people at the Sioux County Courthouse, the army veteran finally received an honorable recognition for his risking his life to protect our country.
"He drove the enemy out into the open so they could be engaged," said Congressman Steve King.
And for his actions, Bootsma was presented with a Bronze Star with a V for Valor for providing necessary suppressive fire.
"Calvin Bootsma, God Bless you for serving America," said King.
Bootsma gave thanks to his loved ones who couldn't be there today. His wife who passed away last year, and his son who was killed in an accident.
"I told everybody that I didn't have anything to say, but I have two people missing here, that are part of the family, my wife Patsy and my son Jared, they're in Hawarden, and just want to thank you all for coming. I couldn't do without you," said Bootsma.
"You know, far too often, veterans don't get the recognition they deserve and so it was a great honor for me personally, and it was a great honor for the Sioux County Veterans Commission to be able to be instrument and making this happen," said Peter Debeer, American Legion Post of Orange City.
Bootsma also received the Vietnam Service medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Bronze Star attachment, Republican of Vietnam Ribbon, and a Sharp Shooter Badge.