DENVER (CBS4) – A local veteran finally received a long-overdue medal. He was supposed to receive the award more than 40 years ago but finally got it on Tuesday.

Rep. Diana DeGette presented the Soldier’s Medal to Army Spc. Joseph Gilmore at VFW Post 1 in Denver. He was set to receive it in 1973 but he never got the medal because of a missing letter of recommendation.

Gilmore said he did not even think about the medal for years.

“Before the medal was awarded or due to be awarded I was shipped to Germany,” Gilmore said. “So I kind of almost forgot about it.”

“Once Rep. DeGette’s office was notified of the omission, staff set to work with the Army to correct the situation,” DeGette’s Communications Director Matt Inzeo said in a statement.

Rep. Diana DeGette presents the Soldier's Medal to Army Spc. Joseph Gilmore (credit: CBS)

Rep. Diana DeGette presents the Soldier’s Medal to Army Spc. Joseph Gilmore (credit: CBS)

The Soldier’s Medal is the highest honor a soldier can receive for an act of valor in a non-combat situation. Gilmore earned his for saving more than $1 million in Army equipment from a burning building.

“He drove several pieces of sensitive and valuable equipment out of the building, including one that was on fire at the time,” Inzeo said.

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