A clerical error delayed it for nearly a decade, but an Army veteran on Thursday was recognized for the bravery he showed when he provided key details on the whereabouts of the enemy in Iraq after being wounded.
Retired Army Sgt. Michael Griffin, 34, of Carpentersville, received the Army Commendation Medal of Valor during a ceremony at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Elgin.
It was an award that should have been given to him years ago, but officials say a mix-up in paperwork delayed it.
"It's hard to saw what the actual journey of this award was. Suffice it to say [it was] too long and something that we were honored to end today by putting it on him," said Erica Borggren with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.
Despite the long delay, Griffin said it doesn't take a medal on his chest to signify what soldiers do every day.
"We all know it's not about the recognition. We know what we did and we'll always know what we did," he said.
As the VFW post's past commander and the ceremony's organizer, Doc Sheehan called Griffin's work in Iraq heroic and said the married father of two is "a disabled veteran who's done an awful lot for this country and his community."