DECATUR, Ill. — A U.S. Army veteran from Coffeen has been awarded a Bronze Star for combat service in the Vietnam War.

Retired Staff Sgt. Kenneth D. Carlock was presented the award for meritorious service Thursday at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Decatur.

Carlock was an artillery forward observer from August 1971 to March 1972. He advised his commander on effective artillery and mortar fire.

Military records show he had nearly daily contact with the Viet Cong while operating in heavily mined and booby-trapped enemy base camps. His troop was responsible for destroying numerous enemy bunkers and field facilities and captured large amounts of enemy supplies.

Carlock was never formally recommended for the Bronze Star. Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis worked with the Army for two years to secure the commendation.

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