Spotlight On: The Purple Heart
August 12, 2021 7PM – Virtual Event
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The Purple Heart is one of the most well-known military decorations. Established shorty after World War I, the medal is awarded to those who are wounded or killed in action against an enemy while serving in the United States military. Learn the history of the Purple Heart and hear stories from Curator Michael Kraus about individual recipients included in our collection. Also joining the program will be First Lieutenant (Ret.) Dan Telep who served in United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and received of two Purple Hearts. August 7th is Purple Heart day, so please join us a couple days after in the evening of August 12th to honor those who sacrificed for our country.
First Lieutenant (Ret.) Dan Telep
Dan was born and raised in Detroit and graduated from Wayne State Univ. in December 1966. Having previously spent two summers in Quantico, VA with the USMC in their Officers’ Candidate School, upon graduation, Dan was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and returned to Quantico for Leadership Training until June 1967.
Deployed as an Infantry Officer to Vietnam, he arrived in country in late June 1967. There he was assigned a Rifle Platoon in the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division in Northern ‘l Corps” at the D.M.Z. Immediately upon arrival, his unit was engaged in a fierce 10-day battle with the 324th Division of the North Vietnam Army. This first engagement of his newly deployed unit, called “Operation Buffalo”, included the grizzly first assignment of evacuating 85 recently killed brave Marines. Their sacrifices, their deaths, this memory first hand, cemented his dedication to the celebration we now call “Memorial Day”.
Having extended his tour, Dan spent a total of 19 months in Vietnam and received two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star Award with Combat V, and two crosses of Gallantry. He finished his tour of duty at Camp LeJeune in NC, returning to Detroit to obtain his M.B.A. with a plan to pursue a career in Marketing Discipline. Dan now lives in Sewickley has been married to Kitty Fay Telep for 48 years, has four children and enjoys 7 grandchildren.
A well-known Civil War historian, Kraus currently works as Curator/Historian for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. His accomplishments include several historical consultant credits for major films, writing and narrating the documentary series Civil War Minutes and Civil War Life as well as authoring articles and books regarding the conflict. Michael also is an accomplished sculptor with an impressive resume of historically themed works in bronze.