WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Ernie Boisvert of Woonsocket was the recipient of the Purple Heart medal on Saturday, nearly 53-years after his service during the Vietnam War. Boisvert was injured on May 22, 1967 during the battle of Pleiku, according to U.S. Congressman David Cicilline's office. He was a Specialist 5th Class as part of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. Congressman David Cicilline presents long overdue Purple Heart to Woonsocket Vietnam Veteran "Ernie represents the very best that our state has to offer,” Cicilline said. “His selfless sacrifices in defense of our nation during his service is a testament to the values that he carries with him to this day. I’m honored to call Ernie a friend, having developed a strong relationship through his work advocating for Rhode Island veterans in his role at the Rhode Island Chapter of Disabled Veterans. He deserved this medal years ago, and I’m proud that we could finally honor his service by awarding it to him today." Boisvert shared his story with Cicilline's office two years ago, during January of 2018. He did this after being denied a retroactive Purple Heart award based on "lack of medical records". Cicilline's office appealed the Department of the Army's denial twice before getting the approval. Boisvert was injured on May 22nd, 1967 while he and two fellow soldiers were holding out in a foxhole, according to the press release. While positioned there the three men came under heavy fire. It was then Boisvert was "struck in the face shrapnel from ordinance that took the life of his Lieutenant." At the time, his injuries were considered low priority due to the severe injuries sustained to other soldiers during the battle. He was never formally treated, and he never received recognition for his sacrifice during the battle, according to Cicilline's office. Congressman David Cicilline presents long overdue Purple Heart to Woonsocket Vietnam Veteran Cicilline's office remains a resource for veterans, those currently serving, and their families. His office is reachable at 401-729-5600