Wake Forest, N.C. — A dinner on Saturday evening honored military veterans who received the Purple Heart Medal, earned by members of the U.S. military who are killed or wounded in combat.
The second annual Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation dinner was held at Tuxedo Junction in downtown Wake Forest.
Among those honored was Benny Jackson, who was killed while leading an infantry patrol in Vietnam in 1969. The then 20-year-old Wake Forest High School graduate had been in Vietnam for just 20 days.
“It hurt us so bad,” Benny’s mother, Tessie Jackson, said of her son's death.
Tessie Jackson said she and her husband have kept their son’s Purple Heart Medal hanging on their wall for more than 40 years.
“When we see that Purple Heart, we know he won that by dying for his friends and it shows that he gave his life for his country,” she said.
The Jacksons said they appreciate the recognition given to their son by the Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation.
“It means a lot,” Benny’s father, Robert Jackson, said.
The foundation honored more than 40 Purple Heart Award recipients at the dinner.
“It's really nice to see that the public really does appreciate everything and shows their support for the military services," Purple Heart Award recipient Kevin Alston said.