Making Sure Vets Get Their Hard Earned Medals

By: Erin Pulsanti Email
By: Erin Pulsanti Email
On a weekend dedicated to the men and women who have served our country, one local museum is making sure each veteran is receiving the medals they earned during their time in the armed forces but were never rewarded.

Photo: Andrew McMurtrie The Purple Heart among other medals and military accommodations were awarded to Col. John Joseph Dunn during his service as the highest ranking officer in a Korean P.O.W. camp of over 700 prisoners. He helped to broker deals with his captors before release. His wife, Mary Frances Dunn, 85, is seeking a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for military service, for her late husband, Col. Dunn died in 2009 at 97.

All across the nation, over the Memorial Day weekend, Americans will take time to remember the men and women who have served in the armed forces.

Right here in the Mid Ohio Valley, one local museum is making sure those who've served receive the medals they weren't awarded after war.

"Every body was authorized to receive them but they did not receive them. For WWII there was a shortage of brass and that's what they use to construct the medals with. But for Korea, I have no idea why they didn't get theirs. For Vietnam, unless they got something like a Purple Heart or above, they were told to go buy their own medals."

In an afternoon ceremony three veterans and the daughter of a veteran were awarded the medals they never saw after serving. Melva Farris, daughter of Corporal Kenneth Shutts, says she's honored to see her father and his service remembered.

"It's very heart warming. I am very proud of my father and I know that my sisters will be proud," Melva Farris says. "And I know anyone who knows him will be proud that this is happening."

The process to apply for the medals is not difficult but, Farris says, it is time consuming.

"We go to the site and take their discharge papers and type in all the information that the government requests. We email that to St. Louis and copy it have the veterans sign it and wait six months to a year."

A lengthy wait that commemorates the service and dedication of our service men and women.


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