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Cheney, DVA Fete Korean War Veterans' Service

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2002 – Vice President Richard Cheney and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi presented medals to 25 Korean War veterans today as part of the 50th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.

The veterans received the Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal and were relatives or friends of VA central office employees.

"In Korea were written some of the most notable moments in military history," said Cheney, a former secretary of defense. "The medals presented recognize the virtues of duty, honor and service in the cause of freedom."

The service medal was originally offered by the Republic of Korea in 1951 to U.N. forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters. At the time, U.S. law prohibited the U.S. military from wearing medals issued by foreign governments. Congress changed the law in 1954, but by then most eligible U.S. service members had returned home.

"I am pleased to recognize American soldiers who stepped forward to defend democracy no matter the personal cost," Principi said. "The Korean government reissued the service medal to bestow gratitude and recognition on American service men and women who so richly deserve it."

Other officials present included retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Nels Running, director of the Department of Defense 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, and Maj. Gen. Young Han Moon, defense attach of the Republic of Korea.

To wear the medal on U.S. military uniforms, U.S. military personnel must have served between the outbreak of hostilities, June 25, 1950, and the date the armistice was signed, July 27, 1953; been on permanent assignment or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days; and performed their duty within the territorial limits of Korea, or in the waters immediately adjacent to, or in aerial flight over, Korea participating in actual combat operations or in support of combat operations.

To apply for the service medal, veterans must provide a copy of their separation form -- the DD Form 214 -- or a corrected version of it, the DD Form 215. National Guard members must provide their statement of service equivalent, NGB Form 22.

Korean War Service Medal honorees included Alonzo Angevine, Clinton, Md.; Lester J. August, Woodbridge, Va.; Washington Bailey Sr., Willingboro, N.J.; Willie Bailey, Orlando, Fla.; Russell Bender, Mechanicsville, Md.; John J. Brady, Charlotte Hall, Md.; John C. Clarkson, Fayetteville, N.C.; Thomas L. Cobb, Springfield, Va.; Ismael Colon, Carolina, Puerto Rico

Also honored were Willie Dozier, Hampton, Va.; Arthur Freed, Sun Lakes, Ariz.; Richard H. Golterman, Savannah, Ga.; Sedric W. Melidosian, Philadelphia; Vernon Mullenger, Woodbridge, Va.; Jesse A. Pardue, Selma, Ala.; Jerry H. Ramsey, Largo, Md.; Charles Shank, Lebanon, Pa.; and Donald Taylor, Chesapeake, Va.

Relatives or friends accepted posthumous awards on behalf of Joseph Downey, Rockaway, N.Y.; Edward Dryburgh, Tonawanda, N.Y.; Marion Howie, Waldorf, Md.; Arnold Luoma, Ironwood, Mich.; William Moxley, Huntington, Md.; James Novack, Altoona, Pa.; and Lyle Raun, Webster City, Iowa.

For more information on the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War, go to korea50.mil.

(From the Department of Veterans Affairs.)

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageKorean War veterans are authorized to receive the Republic of Korea's Korean War Service medal. Photo by Jim Garamone.   
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