2002-08-17 / Community

Rockaway Veteran Receives

Korean War Service Medal
Rockaway Veteran Receives Korean War Service Medal

Korean War Service Medal

Vice President Richard Cheney and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi presented the Republic of Korea's Korean War Service Medal to Joseph Downey of Rockaway, NY, accepted posthumously by his wife Bridgett Downey on the July 25 ceremony marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean War. Thirty-one of Mr. Downey's children and grandchildren were present at the presentation.

"I am pleased to recognize American soldiers who stepped forward to defend democracy no matter the personal cost," said Principi.

Downey joined other Korean War veterans from across the nation who received the medal, a plaque of recognition from VA, and a commemorative coin from the Korean War 50th Anniversary Committee.

The Republic of Korea originally offered the service medal in 1951 to United Nation 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 that in 1954. The Korean government reissued the service medal to pay tribute to the Korean War veterans for their historic endeavors. An estimated 1.8 million men and women served in the Korean conflict from June 25, 1950 until the day the armistice was signed, July 27, 1953. They are eligible to receive the medal.

Veterans of that conflict, or their surviving next of kin, can obtain a Korean War Service Medal by providing the lead agency, the U.S. Air Force Personnel Center, a copy (do not send original documents) of their discharge paper, commonly known as a DD-214, or a corrected version of that document, a DD0215. National Guard members must provide their statement of service equivalent, NGB Form 22. Documents should be sent to HQ AFPC/DPPPRA, 550 C Street West, Suite 12, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas 78150-4714. The medal is provided to veterans at no cost. Applications for the medal can be found at the Center's web address: http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/awards/.

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