San Antonio native battling stage IV cancer awarded with Purple Heart medal

Sgt. Robert James Briggs, 77, served in Japan, Vietnam

SAN ANTONIO – A 77-year-old San Antonio native who served our country in Japan and Vietnam was awarded with the Purple Heart medal during a ceremony Monday morning at the VFW Hall on Austin Highway.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart honored Sgt. Robert James Briggs with the distinguished Purple Heart medal.

Briggs enlisted in the US Marine Corp in 1962. He received an honorable discharge after his placement as Field Radio Operator in 1st Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion, C Co., where he was ambushed in Vietnam by opposing forces, resulting in shrapnel injuries to his face and upper body. According to a news release, he is currently battling stage IV cancer.

“It’s been 55 years, but I will say this, it’s 55 years that I will never forget this, ever. This has been too much for me. It’s such an honor. It’s such a great honor,” Briggs said about receiving the medal.

The Purple Heart medal is presented to service members who have been wounded or killed because of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military. Established in 1782, nearly 2 million Purple Heart medals have been presented to service members since World War I.

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