SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – It took 46 years, but a local veteran received his and his late brother’s service medals.
On Army Staff Sergeant Charles Gore’s 17th birthday, his brother Gregory died overseas in the line of duty.
“And he was only 18 years old,” Gore said. “He was in the country of Mekong Delta for 18 days. As a vet myself, they call it a suicide mission.”
That’s when Gore made it his mission to join the Army in his brother’s honor. Gore fought in the Vietnam War. His experience is still difficult for him to talk about.
“Still have nightmares,” he said.
But Gore began another battle when he returned to the United States. He attempted to secure his brother’s Purple Heart and Bronze Star as well as medals of his own.
It seemed like an endless battle after 46 years of constant phone calls and letters.
“I hit a brick wall,” he said.
However, Gore reached out to Congressman Paul Tonko a few months ago. Tonko had the issue resolved in a matter of weeks.
“Dealing with agencies and making certain that we knew what the glitch was that it was the record keeping that occurs when someone lost their life in action,” Tonko said. “It’s just the trouble that he had and with his brother’s death, especially.”
A ceremony was held Friday at Schenectady City Hall as Gore held his and his brother’s awards.
“It’s not a closure, but it’s an end of a battle trying to get these medals not strictly for me but for my brother,” he said.
Gore received four medals Friday, including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, and Marksman Badge.
Gregory Gore received the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon.