MALTA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local Vietnam War combat veteran was honored for his service on Sunday with a New York State Liberty Medal.

Former Marine Corps Cpt. David Wallingford, who lives in Malta, received the medal, which is the highest honor for service and valor that the New York State Senate can give. Sen. Jim Tedisco presented him with the medal at a dedication ceremony hosted by the Malta Veterans Appreciation Program.

“Captain Wallingford is a real American hero who served our country with honor and courage and then came home and dedicated his life to helping fellow veterans receive the help and support they need, and, frankly, are owed by our state and nation. The Vietnam War was not a popular conflict at the time and those that served did not get the parades, thanks and appreciation they deserved. The heartfelt recognition for the service of all those who fought in Vietnam, like David Wallingford, has been long overdue and I am proud to present him with the state Senate’s highest honor, the Liberty Medal, which must be passed via resolution, for his courageous service to the State of New York and the United States of America,” Tedisco said.

Wallingford served from 1967 to 1970 and earned multiple recognitions, including a Purple Heart.