REMEMBERED: Pike County Korean War veterans awarded medals

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Words are to inadequate to express appreciation for those who have gone onto foreign soil in defense of freedom.

Troy Mayor Jason A. Reeves said his words of thanks would, indeed, “be inadequate” to express his deep appreciation for the service of the veterans of the Korean War and their continued commitment to the preservation of freedom.

“I’m honored by all you do,” Reeves said, speaking directly to the Korean War veterans who were in attendance at the Ambassador for Peace Medal Presentation at The Studio in Troy Tuesday.

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Twenty-two Ambassador for Peace Medals were presented to attending veterans and to members of their families at the ceremony hosted by the Pike County Veterans Affairs Office, American Legion Post 70, Troy, and the City of Troy.

Reeves said these veterans have led by example and he holds great admiration for each of them and deep appreciation for their service.

Pike County Veterans Affairs Officer Randy Ross said the Embassy of the Republic of South Korea is honoring Korean War veterans with the Ambassador of Peace medals as an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to the United States service men and women who served in the Korean War from June 25,1950 to July 27, 1953.

“The Korean American Peace Medal could be awarded posthumously to the next of kin on behalf of the deceased veterans,” Ross said. “The Embassy of the Republic of South Korea made every effort to inform those who served in the Korean conflict of the availability of the awards. We are very pleased with the response from our local veterans. They deserve this honor and we, in turn, are honored to be able to present the awards to them and their families.”

Pike County Probate Judge Michael Bunn, guest speaker for the medal presentation, expressed his appreciation to the veterans for their willingness to serve.

“The Korean War is often called the ‘Forgotten War,’ but you are not forgotten,” he said in addressing the veterans. “Your willingness to serve gave hope to the people of Korea when communism threated to take away their freedom. Your service brought freedom. Because of your service both countries can enjoy peace and freedom.”

Honored Korean War veterans in attendance were Charlie “Sarge” Dunn, Fred R. Hudley, William L. “Billy” Jackson, John O. Long, Kenneth F. Long, John McQuire and Merton C. Rhodes.

Veterans Charles Meeks, Jack Wayne Ross, Danny Huey Morrison and Leo Harold Williams were unable to attend.

American Peace Medals were presented posthumously to Julian F. Botts, Daniel Terry Goolsby, Bennie L. Green, Jesse M. Howell, Max Lee, James K. McGlaun, James R. Messick, William B. Radford and Robert Wesley Williford. 

Sergeant at Arms Steve Green, American Legion Post 70, Troy, closed the presentation ceremony and thanked the veterans for their service and the families for their sacrifices.

Almost 40,000 Americans died in action in Korea and more than 100,000 were wounded. The Korean War was a relatively short war but the price paid for freedom was high. Green said those who fought for and won that freedom will not be forgotten.