DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) -- It happened 50 years late, but two Iowa Vietnam veterans have received the military recognition they deserved.

Senator Joni Ernst presented service medals to veterans Harry Joe Wray of Des Moines and Larry Spaur of Knoxville. Spaur received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. The machine gunner spent nearly eight months in a hospital after a North Vietnamese rocket hit him.

"Of course, my life expectancy in a firefight 20 seconds. They took the bunker right out from under me. My three best friends didn't make it," said Spaur.

Wray received a number of medals including including a Vietnam Campaign Medal and a Vietnam Service Medal.

"Means a lot to me. I can't say enough. It's like a closure to everything," said Wray.