William DeRose (right), of Palos Heights, wears a Bronze Star on his lapel after being presented with it by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-3rd, last week at a veterans fair in Oak Lawn. | Supplied photo
Updated: January 17, 2014 6:15AM
A routine request for a copy of his military personnel record has resulted in a retired Palos Heights physician receiving the Bronze Star for his service as an Army doctor during the Vietnam War.
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski’s office discovered that William DeRose was eligible for the prestigious medal after it requested on his behalf a copy of his service record.
Last Tuesday, Lipinski, D-3rd, presented DeRose with the Bronze Star, the fourth-highest individual military award, which is given for acts of heroism, merit or meritorious service in a combat zone. The ceremony took place at a veterans fair the congressman hosted at Johnson-Phelps Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5220 in Oak Lawn.
Lipinski said he was honored to take part in the special day for DeRose and “proud that my office was able to get him the Bronze Star that he earned but never officially received after all of these years.”
DeRose served as the commanding officer of the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment’s 37th Medical Company for one year in Vietnam during 1967 and 1968 and left the Army with the rank of captain.
A superior officer awarded him a Bronze Star, but an error led to that never being officially recognized by the Army. Lipinski’s office caught and corrected the paperwork error when DeRose sought its help in obtaining his Army personnel file.
DeRose retired from his Oak Lawn medical practice in 1996 but continues to teach medical students at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. He lives in Palos Heights with his wife of 53 years, Henrietta, and they have four children and three grandchildren.