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Former RSCS Superintendent Bob Barracco

Awarded Purple Heart 45 Years After Injury

Congressman Gibson, left, advised Bob Barracco he has received a Purple Heart during a Wednesday visit to Richfield Springs.
Congressman Gibson, left, advised Bob Barracco he has received a Purple Heart during a Wednesday visit to Richfield Springs.

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Congressman Chris Gibson, R-19, this week presented Bob Barracco, a Vietnam veteran and retired Richfield Springs superintendent of schools, with a Purple Heart.

“Having served in combat myself, I am deeply honored to assist veterans who made extraordinary sacrifices in defense of our freedoms,” said Gibson while visiting Barracco at his home here.

Barracco joined the Army in 1968 and was deployed to Vietnam in January 1969. During his first tour of duty, he was injured as a result of enemy action. At the hospital, Barracco was recommended for the Purple Heart, but his military records were never updated appropriately.

Forty-five years after he sustained injuries, Barracco, who retired as RSCS superintendent at the end of the 2012-13 year, sought to correct his records and contacted Congressman Gibson’s office for assistance.

Congressman Gibson reached out to the Army Review Boards Agency. The agency found that Barracco was included on the Vietnam Casualty Roster for March 18, 1969, confirming that he was wounded in action.

“I encourage veterans and their families facing similar situations to call one of my district offices,” said Gibson, whose Otsego County office is in Cooperstown. “My staff and I are committed to helping servicemen and women receive the benefits and recognition they deserve.

Barraco also recieved the National Defense Service Medal, Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar (M-16), Marksman Marksmanship Qualification badge with Rifle Bar (M-16), the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze service stars, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, the RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, and the RVN Campaign medal with Device.




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