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Carpino receives rare Purple Heart in Wilmington

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Military veterans honored a former Fort Bragg solider for his service in Iraq, but the award he received today was long overdue.

Army Specialist Zachary Carpino decided to show his allegiance by joining the military more than five years ago.

Carpino was stationed at Fort Bragg before serving in Iraq for more than a year. “It was an incredible experience,” Carpino said. “I would never take it back and I’m glad that we have people like everybody here that will do it so that some people in the united states don’t have to do it.”

While there, he carried out both military and humanitarian missions. During one campaign, his patrol was staying in a school when they were attacked. “Myself and another guy ran out into a street while they were still shooting machine gun fire at us. We unburied a guy and drug him back to safety,” Carpino explained.

A total of nine men died and twenty-two others were injured during the attack. Carpino suffered a dislocated shoulder, burns, and shrapnel wounds.

He later received a bronze star for his actions during the attack, but never received his purple heart.

Veterans Service Officer Robert Angeli investigated the situation. He was surprised by what he was told, as apparently there was a lack of evidence Carpino was wounded.

Angeli sent Carpino’s medical history showing his injuries to the proper officials.

Saturday, the American Legion Post 10 and members of the Order of the Purple Heart were on hand as Carpino received the award.

It is only the second time the Purple Heart has been awarded in Wilmington.

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videoMilitary veterans honored a former Fort Bragg solider for his service in Iraq, but the award he received today was long overdue.

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