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Tampa, Florida -- A veteran received the Silver Star Medal for his lifesaving acts during the Vietnam War in a ceremony Tuesday at the new USO Tampa Bay at Tampa International Airport.

According to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson's office, 62-year-old Ralph A. Morgan of Parrish, Florida, drew fire away from his platoon on June 4, 1971. He was able to hold off enemy fire with his M-16 rifle long enough for his platoon to retreat safely.

Even after all these years, Morgan says his fellow soldiers never leave his mind.

"There's not a day or a night that goes by that I don't remember the guys I served with," Morgan tells 10 News, "The battles, the fun we had, and the sacrifice that many of them made."

Nelson's office says that somehow, the paperwork for Morgan's medal was lost 40 years ago and never processed until now.

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