Vet receives new Purple Heart, other medals lost during Katrina - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Vet receives new Purple Heart, other medals lost during Katrina

Vietnam veteran Michael Risley receives a new Purple Heart and other service medals from Rep. Steven Palazzo Thursday morning. Vietnam veteran Michael Risley receives a new Purple Heart and other service medals from Rep. Steven Palazzo Thursday morning.
CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) -

A Hattiesburg Vietnam veteran who lost his Purple Heart and other cherished service medals in Hurricane Katrina has had them replaced, thanks to Congressman Steven Palazzo. Navy veteran Michael Risley was presented with a new Military Order of the Purple Heart at Camp Shelby Thursday morning.

He originally received the medal for wounds he suffered in Vietnam in 1968. 

Risley lost his Purple Heart and all his other service medals when his Pass Christian home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In a ceremony at Shelby, Congressman Palazzo pinned a new Purple Heart on Risley and presented him with a new set of replacement medals.  He also helped Risley get the proper military paperwork he never received when he got his Purple Heart 44 years ago.

"I lost a lot of things and of course, it was very important to me that I lost these things...it's great to have them back now," said Risley.

"Days like this are so rewarding," said Palazzo. "It pulls at your heart too, that we're able to honor truly, an American hero," he said. 

After living in a FEMA trailer for more than one year, Risley joined other family members in Hattiesburg in 2007.

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