Former Harlan resident Jonathan Tilk has been awarded the Purple Heart.  (Photo contributed)

Former Harlan resident Jonathan Tilk receives Purple Heart

Lost paperwork; waited nine years

    SIOUX FALLS, SD – A former Harlan resident and 2003 graduate of Harlan Community High School has been honored with one of the highest honors bestowed upon a military serviceman, the Purple Heart, awarded to service members wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States, or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces.
    But it took nearly nine years before he could receive that recognition due to lost paperwork.
    Jonathan Tilk, the son of former Harlanites Randy and Vi Tilk, was born and raised in Harlan, and enlisted into the United States Army Reserve March 12, 2007.  He was assigned Active Guard Reserve (AGR) with the 561st Regional Support Group (RSG) out of Omaha, NE.
    He was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq on July 27, 2009 as Operations Noncommissioned Officer for the Garrison Command on Victory Base Camp (VBC)
    It was a few months later, specifically December 31, 2009, when the VBC came under attack.  Staff Sergeant Tilk was badly wounded.
 

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