TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) - In 1971, Army Sgt. Ralph Morgan drew enemy fire at a remote outpost in Vietnam, allowing his platoon to retreat to safety.
42 years later, the 62-year-old Manatee County man has received the Army's Silver Star Medal.
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson presented the award to Morgan at the USO Center at Tampa International Airport.
Nelson said a paperwork glitch decades ago delayed this recognition. He said it's long overdue.
"He is finally getting the recognition that he deserved over four decades ago because of him saving the better part of a Special Forces platoon deep inside enemy territory as they were being attacked."
Morgan, accompanied by his family, said his medal should be shared by his platoon and all those who never made it back from Vietnam. He believes this week's ceremony helps him come to grips with what happened so long ago.
"Going through this now is a way to kinda clear my conscience and maybe get some ghosts out of the closet that have been haunting me for a long time."