WASHINGTON — Marine Cpl. Michael Kilpatrick kneeled before a marble panel at the Vietnam Memorial on Tuesday and carefully laid at its base the Silver Star he won in Kuwait.
"This is for you, Dad," he said and saluted.
His mother, Bonnie Lucido, dabbed at her eyes.
"I wasn't looking forward to this day," she said afterward. "It's the first time I saw my son and his father share anything."
Michael is 22. At the same age in 1969, his father was killed in Vietnam. Capt. Donald Kilpatrick was a helicopter pilot. Michael drove a Badger reconnaissance vehicle in Operation Desert Storm.
Michael thought his father deserved the medal more.
"Somebody saw me doing my job and thought it was special for some reason," he said. "He's the one who should be getting an award for what he did. He paid the ultimate price."