A Leavenworth resident was honored Tuesday for his heroism during the Vietnam War.
Robert Frank was one of four recipients of the Silver Star during a ceremony in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Frank and three others received the honor from Arkansas Congressman French Hill.
Others honored were Robert Monette, John DesLauries and Bruce Shearer.
“I am humbled yet honored beyond belief,” Frank said.
The Silver Star is the third highest military honor behind the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.
Frank and the other veterans were honored for their efforts during a rescue operation on April 18, 1972.
Patrolling in a “Huey” helicopter, Frank and his three crew members rescued seven people from a C-130 transport aircraft that had crashed in Vietnam.
According to news accounts, the helicopter crew saw survivors of the crash moving around at the crash site.
Despite being low on fuel, the crew began a rescue operation and helped five of the survivors aboard their aircraft. Another helicopter arrived to rescue two other survivors.
“During that time in 1972, there were people doing incredibly brave things every day,” Frank said. Very few, he said, were recognized for their efforts.
Leavenworth resident Rich Kiper was a classmate of Frank at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, in the class of 1967.
Kiper, a columnist for the Leavenworth Times, attended the Silver Star ceremony.
“It is not every day that a soldier is honored for his heroism 45 years later,” Kiper wrote in an email.
Frank was an active duty officer for 23 years before retiring in 1990 as a lieutenant colonel.
He then served as a manager at Hallmark in Leavenworth until his retirement in 2011.