Veteran of WWII, Korean War to be honored in medal ceremony - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Veteran of WWII, Korean War to be honored in medal ceremony

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On Wednesday, May 9th, the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center will host a medal ceremony to honor Retired Army Master Sgt. Harlen L. 'Hank' Sheeks.

The 92-year-old Sheeks is a resident of Colorado Springs. He is also a veteran of service in WWII, the Korean War, and the Atomic energy Commission's nuclear testing.

Late in his career, Sheets went missing between a U.S. and European assignment before he retired from Fort Carson in 1969. In partnership with the El Paso County Veterans office, all service awards, decorations, and badges will be re-issued to Sheets by the VA. The medals and an American flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in his honor will be presented to Sheets at Mt. Carmel in celebration of his service to the nation.

Sheets was recruited from Indiana in 1945. Following basic training, he shipped out for the Philippines and eventually Japan. In 1950, he shipped out for South Korea with the 29th Infantry. After eight hours in combat, his regimen was cut down significantly. He then joined the 25th Division, 27th Regiment. He survived further combat and left Korea in 1951.

After his time in Korea, Sheeks shipped off to participate in Operation Tumbler-Snapper, the nuclear weapons tests at Camp Desert Rock, Nevada. Here, Sheets participated in operations as nuclear bombs were being detonated all around him. Sheets and his fellow soldier were nuked eight times by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

Sheeks went on from Camp Desert Rock to serve two tours in Germany, before retiring from Fort Carson in 1969. Today he lies in Colorado Springs.

Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center is a leader in delivering career assistance, behavioral wellness, emergency support services, connection to community resources, and safe event space for veterans, transitioning military and their spouses in the Pikes Peak region. The non-profit has proudly supported over 15,000 clients since 2016. 


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