Area Korean War veterans receive Peace medals
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
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One hundred fifty eight South Dakota Korean War veterans, including Marine veteran Jim Penney and Army veteran Donald Wendel, both of De Smet, Ed Strohm of Oldham and Lowell Dubro of Iroquois, traveled to Pierre Jan. 12 to receive the Korean Government Ambassador Peace Medal at a special ceremony at the Capitol building.
The medal is an award of appreciation from the Korean people for those who served in the area from 1950-54.
The ceremony was a collaboration between South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs and the Republic of Korea.
“It was a great ceremony. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Penney said. “It was a good trip.”
Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Minister Sungchoon Park of Korea, a representative of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, were two of the speakers.
Daugaard also received a medal for his role in finding Korean War veterans throughout the state. He said the ceremony was a way to show the veterans that they were not forgotten.
The Korean delegates said although many United States senators hold small events in their respective districts, the ceremony in Pierre to honor Korean War veterans was the first large state event in a setting of this magnitude to have the support of a governor.
“Jan. 12, 2016, will be remembered for our great heroes from what has been called the “Forgotten War’” said state Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs Larry Zimmerman. “It was an honor to be able to place a medal on one of these heroes, but also to know that so many gave so much during that war.”
Along with the veterans who attended the ceremony, more than 300 others who applied for the medal, but were not able to make the trip, were scheduled to receive their medals locally.
And, along with the more than 450 veterans who did apply, there are many more who qualify for it, but did not apply.
Zimmerman encourages Korean War veterans who served in Korea’s land, air and sea between June 25, 1950, and Oct. 25, 1954, to contact their local county or tribal veteran’s service officer.
In Kingsbury County, inquiries regarding the Korean Government Ambassador Peace Medal may be directed to veteran’s services officer Gary W. Schumacher at (605) 854-3378 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The De Smet News