North Reading Veteran Receives Purple Heart
Vincent Ahearn got a purple heart after being injured in Korea.
Vincent Ahearn received a Purple Heart after being injured in Korea. The veteran and resident at Meadow View Care and Rehabilitation Center is proud to share his story.
Ahearn grew up in Brooklyn, New York and, according to his son John, started working for a braiding machine operator making parachute lines for war as a teen.
He went to Fort Dix New Jersey in May of 1943 for basic training. He was a medic, his son said. Ahearn spent three months in basic training and then 11 months as a hospital orderly.
He was first deployed to Italy and then Germany were he spent 14 months as a medical technician. After that, according to his son, he was in the European Theatre of Operations for 25 months administering first aid.
When he returned to the states, he met a woman that would eventually become his wife at a USO dance in Ayer.
Shortly after the dance, Ahearn was deployed again to Korea in 1950. He served in the third combat infantry division.
On Dec. 5 of 1950, Ahearn got frost bite on his right foot. His foot healed, but he lost so much muscle tissue in his foot that he had a hard time walking after that.
"That really bothered him for a lot of years,” his son told Patch.
He received a Purple Heart for his injury and a Bronze Service Star for his service in Korea.
Ahearn returned home in 1951, got married in 1952 and a year later his first child was born. Ahearn and his late wife had four children and he now has four grandchildren as well.
"He's just a great guy, easy going, even with the disease he has now, you wouldn’t know it," his son said. "He’s quite the flirt with the ladies."
His son said he "would do anything for you," and was proud that he dedicated his life to serving his country in two different wars.
Ahearn, now 87, is currently struggling with Alzheimer's, Spinal Stenosis and Arthritis throughout his whole body. He lives at Meadow View full time.