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Wake County man awarded posthumous Purple Heart

Posted July 1, 2012

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— As North Carolina joins the nation in celebrating Independence Day this week, a Wake County family is honoring their own American patriot.

Ray Dixon, his daughter says, dedicated his life to his country, community and family.

"He loved my mom. They were married 55 years and four days before he passed away," Cynthia Dixon said.

When he died in February, family friend Ray Dunlap discovered that Dixon was injured during the Korean Conflict, but never received a Purple Heart – a commendation for troops injured in combat.

"It was put in for, but the paperwork was lost – maybe in a fire that they had in St. Louis, could have been when it got destroyed at the records department," Dunlap said. "About 80 percent of the military's Army records were destroyed in that fire."

Wake County man awarded posthumous Purple Heart Wake County man awarded posthumous Purple Heart

Dunlap, a retired soldier himself, set out to right that wrong. He got the letter the Red Cross sent to Dixon's wife, Janet, informing her that he was in the hospital. That documentation helped Dunlap petition the U.S. Army to award Dixon posthumously.

On Sunday, more than 60 years after Dixon was injured in Korea, his family accepted a Purple Heart in his behalf during a worship service at First Baptist Church in Garner. 

"It's just wonderful that he's finally getting recognized for what he did to serve his country," Janet Dixon said.

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  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 2, 2012

    Realthoughts - "...it is a shame now that the Suspreme Court has made it so every Pan-Handler on the street corner say they were awarded the Purple Heart without a concern in the world."

    Agreed!

    Soon they'll be available at Walmart for any liar to purchase.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 2, 2012

    Disgusting that this wasn't done immediately after the war. That he not only had to wait all of his life, but beyond his life to be recognized.

  • Realthoughts Jul 2, 2012

    This is great! However it is a shame now that the Suspreme Court has made it so every Pan-Handler on the street corner say they were awarded the Purple Heart without a concern in the world.

  • Hippy_mom Jul 2, 2012

    deadhead_1971,
    I was having no success finding information on my uncle, who died in WWII for the same reason you mentioned. While researching another family member at the State Library in their Archives division, a nice lady working behind the desk suggested I check the hometown paper. Going through the microfiche files, I was came across his photo on the front page of a 1945 issue. It was just the photo and a caption, saying he had been killed in battle, but it was way more than I had before. That approach may work for you as well.

  • 3forme Jul 2, 2012

    A beautiful ceremony yesterday..Richly deserved for such a faithful person..

  • DookSuckz Jul 2, 2012

    My dad was shot in Korea in 1951 and never received the Purple heart. He passed away 15 years ago.

  • The Deadhead Jul 2, 2012

    Most US Army personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire. This is for the period of 1912-1959. Some Air Force records were destroyed as well. I contacted the National Personnel Records Center last month to research my grandfather's WW2 service in North Africa and Italy and requested his Official Military Personnel File. It was not there, and they wrote back saying it was destroyed. The only thing available is the Final Pay Voucher which has vey limited info. I am not aware of any other sources to check.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Jul 2, 2012

    Well deserved for one of our heroes. Well done troop.