TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Vietnam veteran will receive a Silver Star Medal for his lifesaving acts during the war during a ceremony at the new USO Tampa Bay at Tampa International Airport.

The ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

According to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s office, 62-year-old Ralph A. Morgan of Parrish, Fla., 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.

Nelson’s office says it’s unclear why Morgan’s Silver Star Medal paperwork wasn’t processed decades ago.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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