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Vietnam War veteran receives Purple Heart 48 years later

A Santa Barbara County man was awarded a Purple Heart 48 years after he served in the Vietnam War.

Bruce Bennett survived grave shrapnel injuries in 1968, when a mortar hit a tree above his foxhole. He has since undergone five back surgeries and still lives through chronic back pain.

Bennett’s homecoming from the Vietnam war were similar to other soldiers. He was physically and mentally wounded. Bennett says he lived with PTSD and struggled with it. Coming to Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center as a volunteer in 2007 after he retired change his life. He found his healing.

On Friday, a ceremony was held at the equestrian center to honor Bruce Bennett with a Purple Heart Medal.

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