After over 50 years since fighting in the Korean War, Pvt. R.E. Pitts - known as R.L. since he was a kid - stood before the Blountstown High School student body last Wednesday and accepted an award that was long overdue.
Col. Logan Barbee and Lt. Col. Danny Hassig, both of Blountstown, presented R.L. with a Purple Heart award.
“This is an award that only soldiers in combat earn,” Col. Barbee told the students. “Veterans that have been to the mountain, climbed the mountain, and served their country under very hazardous conditions.”
Unimaginable to teens today, R.L. joined the military at the young age of 16. Near the end of his three year tour, the Korean Conflict began and his unit got the call and wound up on the front line in an operation called Task Force Smith.
“His unit of some 400 plus soldiers moved into positions at night along a ridge running north, with a South Korean unit on the left flank and a South Korean Unit on the right flank,” said Col. Barbee.