Marion Co. war veteran fights for recognition - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Marion Co. war veteran fights for recognition

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JASPER, TN. (WRCB) -- John Wallace Cartwright, 80, of Jasper, was eager to enlist in the Army six decades ago. "It was in December of 1950," he says. "I didn't have to come back home. They gave me a bus ticket and I got on the bus right there and went to Fort Knox, Kentucky."

Before he knew it the Korean War surrounded him. "I was in the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division," explains Cartwright.  

Enemy fire nearly killed him in 1951. "The shell exploded on the edge of my foxhole. The shell busted and got me in the shoulder," Cartwright says.  

He was discharged two years later. His papers show he was awarded a Korean Service Medal with five Bronze Stars, a Combat Infantry Badge, an Occupational Medal and a United Nations Service Medal.
"Have you received any of these awards," we asked Cartwright. "I haven't received nothing besides that paperwork," he answered us.

For years, Cartwright says he battled the Veterans Association. Now Channel 3 is reaching out to local lawmakers to get the recognition he deserves.

"It shows that they recognize my service. I was proud to go, to serve my country," Cartwright says. "I just feel like I was let down."

"I'd like to have them so I can look at them once, you know, so I can show people that I did do this service," says Cartwright.
Channel 3 contacted U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais' office. Once everything checks out, they have agreed to present Cartwright with the awards he's gone more than half a century without.

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