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Two war heroes awarded long overdue medals

Two Army veterans, who tended to comrades injured in battle in wars that were more than two decades apart, received long overdue military honors Friday before an audience of family, friends and some 200 members of the Armed Forces at Fort Meade.

Dr. Charles E. Rath Jr., an Army captain and surgeon 67 years ago during World War II, and Charles Shyab, a medic during the Vietnam War 45 years ago, both received the Bronze Star from Col. Jeremy Martin, commandant of the Defense Information School at the Army post in Anne Arundel County.

They had each earned the award, one of the highest awarded for valor and meritorious service, for their efforts in combat but had never received them.

The veterans, both of whom reside in Silver Spring, contacted Sen. Barbara Mikulski, whose staff tracked down the documentation that made the awards possible.

"I take these requests seriously," Mikulski said at the ceremony. "These men showed courage under fire. They put themselves in harm's way to serve others."

Rath, 93, and Shyab, 68, were surrounded by family and friends as they left the ceremony. Each wore the star and its red, white and blue ribbon on their jackets, near their hearts.

Mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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