Local soldier awarded Purple Heart posthumously

Published On: Jun 01 2012 01:51:41 PM HST
Updated On: Jun 01 2012 02:56:41 PM HST
Purple Heart

HONOLULU -

Sergeant First Class Alepio Solmirin from Waipahu was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during combat actions in the Korean War.

Officiating the award ceremony at Fort Shafter and presenting the medal to the Solmirin family Friday was Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, Commander, U.S. Army Pacific.

In 1952, then Private First Class Solmirin was a rifleman with the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division fighting in the Soman-Myon Valley of South Korea.

On the night of July 11, 1952, Private Solmirin was wounded by enemy artillery fire during a ground attack.

Solmirin was evacuated with severe burns to his body.  After his convalescence, Solmirin remained in the Army serving in the Vietnam War where he was awarded his second Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Air Medal, and Bronze Star for gallantry.

Due to an oversight, Solmirin was never credited for his combat injuries sustained in Korea, until Friday.

Solmirin retired from the Army after 25 years of service and has since passed away.

Numerous attempts were undertaken by the family to correct the oversight.

It wasn’t until Solmirin’s son, Adam, a maintenance worker for the quarters on Palm Circle, approached Lt. Gen. Wiercinski who through the help of his staff, tracked down the missing records.

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