Episode 2655 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about Vietnam Veteran Harry Van Riper and his prestigious award. The featured story appeared in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and was titled: Army veteran, 75, honored for his service in Vietnam and at home. It was submitted by Karen Kadilak.
Harry Van Riper is a tremendous representative of the Vietnam Veteran Generation – one as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from our country. Recently he was awarded the 2023 Dr. Charles J. Martoni Veterans Service Award. https://www.alleghenycounty.us/veterans/veterans-service-award.aspx
Kadilak said this about Van Riper in her story; Just months into combat, Harry Van Riper was gravely wounded when a truck he was driving was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade as the U.S. approached peak involvement in the Vietnam War in August 1968.
Doctors told Van Riper, serving with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division; he had a slim chance to survive. He did, but he lost his left arm.
Earlier this month, the 75-year-old veteran from Hampton received the 2023 Dr. Charles J. Martoni Veterans Service Award. Now in its third year, the award is bestowed annually by Allegheny County upon veterans who continue to serve veterans and civilians alike following their discharge from the military. It was established in 2021 in memory of Martoni, an Army veteran, an original Allegheny County Council member and a longtime Community College of Allegheny County leader, who died in 2019.
Van Riper has also been recognized as part of the U.S. Steel Salute Our Heroes event, an annual program that honors a veteran during each Steelers home game.
Adding to an already full plate, Van Riper has volunteered for a VA feasibility study of a “smart” limb. If he receives it, the limb will allow him to use his hand by sending signals from his brain, potentially giving hope to other amputees.
Listen to episode 2655 and discover more about Vietnam Veteran Harry Van Riper and his prestigious award.