Medals and Citations available to Korean War Vets

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2001

Features Editor

Veterans of the Korean War who have not applied for and received the Korean War Service Medal may still do so.

According to Randy Ross, veterans service officer for Pike County, the Department of Defense 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee has received many letter from veterans asking if the Korean War Service Medal is still available.

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"The answer is ‘yes,’" Ross said. "And, the medal is free to all veterans who meet certain criteria. We would like to encourage veterans of the Korean War to apply for this medal. They served

their country and they are deserving of this recognition."

Ross said during the Korean War, the United States disallowed the wearing of the Korean War Service Medal, because regulations, at that time, prevented American service members from wearing any foreign award. However, as the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration approached, it was discovered that Congress changed this law in 1954.

So, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary, the Republic of Korea once again offered the medal.

During the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, which began in

June 2000 and will conclude in July 2003, the Department of Defense 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee made the Korean War Service Medal available to all Korean War veterans who qualified, regardless of the branch of service.

Veterans from all branches of the service applied, but many still have not, Ross said. Applications are still being accepted.

To determine eligibility for the Korean War Service Medal

applicants must have served during the period of hostilities June 25, 1950 – July 27, 1993, been on permanent duty assignment or temporary duty for 30 consecutive or 60-non consecutive days. performed duty within the territorial boundaries of Korea, waters immediately adjacent to or in aerial flight over Korea and must furnish a copy of their discharge papers.

A special recognition is also available to members of the Alabama National Guard.

Members of the Alabama National Guard, who were mobilized and deployed while serving in an Alabama National Guard unit during the Korean War, are now eligible for the Alabama Korean Unit Citation.

Gov. Don Siegelman has approved the Alabama Korean Unit Citation for eligible guardsmen.

To apply for this citation, Korean veterans should contact their local national guard armory.