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Korean War vets eligible for ambassador medal

Korean War veterans who served in Korea from June 25, 1950 until October 25, 1954 are eligible to receive the Ambassador Peace Medal.

Randy Ross, Pike County Veterans Affairs Officer, said the Korean government would like to show its gratitude for the devotion and sacrifice of the United States troops during the Korean War by presenting the medals to the veterans

“The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs is attempting to locate veterans that fall into that category,” Ross said. “These veterans or their family members may complete an application for the medal. The medals will be ordered and, hopefully, presented to each veteran.”

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 21,991 Korean War veterans.

“However, the state does not have a list of their names and addresses,” Ross said. “So

the VA is reaching out to these veterans and the family members of those that are deceased. They deserved to be recognized for their service.”

Ross said applications for the medal are available at the Pike County Veterans Affairs Office at the Pike County Courthouse.

“I will be glad to assist veterans or their family members in filling out the application if needed,” he said. “Some families, even the veterans themselves, may not have all of the necessary information readily available.”

Those wishing to receive an application for the medal are asked to call 334-242-5084.

Those needing more information may call the Veterans Affairs Office in Troy at 334-566-1780.

South Korea’s government began offering the medals in 1975 to veterans who visited the country through its “Revisit Program.” The medals were meant to show gratitude for the veterans’ service as well as to see how the country has prospered since the armistice

was signed.

The Korean War is sometimes overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War and is sometimes called “The Forgotten War.’

The Korean War began after around 75,000 North Korean soldiers poured into South Korea in June 1950. When the war ended three years later, an estimated five million soldiers and civilians had died. That number included more than 700 from Alabama.