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Robert Aurand received Silver Star for military service in Vietnam

Flickr / Creative Commons / Shehan Peruma

Robert Aurand received Silver Star for military service in Vietnam

Vietnam veteran Robert Aurand “didn’t talk much about his war experiences, but he sure was proud to have served his country,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Laura Berrios wrote in his obituary.

He was active in local veterans groups, especially those involving Vietnam vets, and he rarely missed marching in the annual Georgia Veterans Day Parade.

But his closest friends, his grown sons and even his wife, Jody Herpin, couldn’t tell you the details of his war heroism, though he had the medals and discharge papers as proof.

There was the Silver Star, the third highest medal awarded for valor when facing an enemy in combat; three Bronze Medals, including one with a Valor device given for combat heroism; and a Purple Heart with two clusters for the three times he was wounded.

There were others as well, said his wife, reading from her husband’s official military discharge papers.

“He proudly wore his hat that said he was a Vietnam vet. He just didn’t talk about it very much,” his wife said.

He served as a captain with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam from 1968 through 1969. After being wounded in combat, he served the remainder of his military commitment in the Army Reserves.

Aurand died of a heart attack April 16 at age 64.

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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She was the director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers before she passed away in 2015.