U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) at a ceremony this week presented retired Oak Lawn doctor William DeRose with the Bronze Star he earned for his work as an Army doctor during the Vietnam War. Rep. Lipinski’s office discovered DeRose was eligible to receive the medal after making a routine request on his behalf for a copy of his military personnel records.
“I am honored to take part in this special day for Dr. DeRose and proud that my office was able to get him the Bronze Star that he earned, but never officially received after all of these years,” Rep. Lipinski said. “Our veterans courageously served this country. As the congressman for the Third District, it is extremely important to me that they get the recognition they deserve for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf.”
The Bronze Star is the fourth-highest individual military award. It is awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit, or meritorious service in a combat zone.
Dr. DeRose served as the commanding officer of the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment’s 37th Medical Company for a total of one year in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. He left the service with the rank of captain and was given by a superior officer a Bronze Star that was never officially recognized by the military. Rep. Lipinski’s office caught and corrected the paperwork error when Dr. DeRose asked for help obtaining his Army personnel file.
Army personnel were on hand with Rep. Lipinski to present Dr. DeRose with the Bronze Star at a Veterans Fair the congressman hosted Dec. 10 at the Johnson-Phelps VFW Post 5220 in Oak Lawn.
Dr. DeRose retired from his Oak Lawn practice in 1996, but he continues to teach medical students at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. He lives in Palos Heights with his wife of 53 years, Henrietta. Together they have four children and three grandchildren.