Korean War veteran Nyles Reed was wounded on June 22, 1952, while serving in the Marine Corps. Last week, he received an envelope with news that his Purple Heart had been approved.
But there was no medal. Just a certificate and a form stating that the medal was "out of stock."
"I can imagine, of course, with what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, there's a big shortage," Reed said. "At least, I would imagine so."
The form letter from the Navy Personnel Command told Reed he could wait 90 days and resubmit an application, or buy his own medal. [Link]