He said the accolades are overwhelming. “It means much more now even though 40 years have passed, simply because everything happens for a reason,” he said. “Things worked out for the best. This way I was able to share it with my family and friends. Before it would have been just a cold thing like `here it is.”‘ Getherall was recommended for the Silver Star by his former platoon commander, Gary Loveridge. Loveridge said it took decades for Getherall to be recognized because the necessary paperwork was either lost or never completed by the Marine Corps. In the early morning hours of Dec. 22, 1966, Getherall moved across dangerous open terrain to drag a wounded Marine to safety and threw an enemy grenade back toward the attackers. HACIENDA HEIGHTS – More than 40 years after serving in the Vietnam War, a former Marine sergeant from Hacienda Heights has been awarded the Silver Star. Joseph T. Getherall, 60, visited Camp Pendleton on Thursday with family and friends to receive the long-awaited Silver Star and a Purple Heart. “I felt a lot of emotions,” Getherall said Tuesday from his Hacienda Heights home. “I accepted it not for myself but on behalf of my squad, I’ll wear it for them.” Getherall, discharged from the Marine Corps in 1967, received the Silver Star for dragging a wounded Marine to safety and throwing an enemy grenade back toward the attackers. That night Getherall was the squad leader with Company M, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines, 3rd Division during Operation Chinook. According to accounts from Getherall and squad members, the squad was in a night defensive position near the Co Bi-Than Tan Corridor of the Thua Thien Province when intense enemy fire erupted from the 802nd Viet Cong Battalion. Getherall was seriously injured in both legs and suffered a fractured arm, but he refused medical evacuation and continued leading his unit. “When the bullets start flying and kicking up around you, you don’t have time to think about anything. You have to act right then and that’s when your training kicks in,” Getherall said. Getherall spent 28 years in law enforcement and retired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996. Getherall has three adult children, five grandchildren and has been married to his wife, Chieko, for nearly 40 years. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!