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Purple Heart recipient to recount Vietnam experiences

Roland Hayes, a Vietnam veteran honored in a special ceremony at Buffalo's Purple Heart Memorial two weeks ago, will talk about his combat experiences at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, in the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave.

Hayes, 71, earned three Purple Hearts after arriving in Vietnam in 1967. In one incident, a bullet ricocheted off his machine gun and ripped through his right leg; in another, he was shot in the left leg; and the third time, grenade shrapnel left a permanent scar on his face. He also earned a Bronze Star for distinguished heroic service.

Though he received his medals by mail years ago, Hayes was publicly honored by Rep. Brian Higgins at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park in advance of National Purple Heart Day on Aug. 7.

He will recount his experiences at a meeting of the Dorie Miller Rifle and Pistol Club, named for the African American messman who became a Navy hero during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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