Purple Heart recipient Doug Spells

November 13, 2019

By Tina Suarez

On Friday, November 1 at the City Hall in Mt. Vernon, Doug Spells was reissued the Purple Heart that he was given for his service in the Vietnam War. The council room was filled with dignitaries, family and friends showing their appreciation as well as respect to Spells for his service to protect his country.

What is a Purple Heart medal given for? The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President to those wounded in any action against an enemy of the United States.

Spells was drafted into the Army in October of 1968 to go fight for his country, in Vietnam, at the age of 19 years old.

He took his basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His OJT (on-the-job training) was in El Paso, Texas.

Spells was a part of the Air Defense Artillery Unit, where he rose to the rank of an E-5 Sergeant.

While on a search and destroy mission, one night, the tank they were in hit a land mine; several were killed, many injured, including Spells.
He spent a month in the hospital, in Long Bend, Vietnam, recovering from his injuries.

After he was released from the hospital, he returned to his unit at Fort Blitz, in El Paso, Texas to finish up his last six months of duty.

Before being discharged from the Army, he was presented with a Purple Heart, as well as some other medals.

Mr. Spells, thank you for helping keep our country safe.