Offers apology for inappropriate medal display
To the Editor:
I need to correct a misrepresentation of my awards and decorations in a photo on the front page of the Oct. 10 Spectrum.
Of all the awards shown, I have five primary awards and they are at the top two rows in the picture.
The rest are commemorative ribbons and should not be worn with my government-issued awards. They are for personal use and should be displayed with your awards at home if you so choose to do so.
They are not to be recognized as truthful awards by the United States and, therefore, should not be worn with officially awarded medals or ribbons.
I stood corrected by two very reputable Vietnam veterans and, as a representative of the American Legion in New Milford and across this great nation, as well as all veterans, I do not want to present false indication I am a glory seeker or wear anything I did not earn.
My soul intent is to maintain the dignity and respect of the awards and the U.S. Army and the United States of America, for which I proudly served from November 1966 until November 1969.
My awards are Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with four campaign stars and Vietnam Tour Medal with year device.
I also received an expert badge for my marksmanship with an M-14 rifle, M-60 machine gun and M-79 grenade launcher in basic training and a sharpshooter badge for my qualification of shotguns and 45 sidearm.
My unit in Vietnam also received two awards while I was there, the Meritorious Unit Citation and from the United States, and from the country of South Vietnam, the Cross of Gallantry Service Unit Citation with Palm.
When I wear my American Legion blazer or Color Guard uniform, these are the only authorized awards I can wear.
I also wear the Commanders Medal for the American Legion, along with the New Milford medal and the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service medal when I am out in public. They are worn on the right side of my American Legion blazer.
I need to maintain my dignity and respect for all I did and all I earned but, more importantly than that, I need to maintain the dignity and respect of all my fellow comrades who served proudly for their country.
I will correct my misrepresentation shown in the picture forthwith and wear what I actually earned from the U.S. government.
To all my fellow comrades in New Milford, the state of Connecticut and the United States of America, if I looked as though I was misrepresenting myself and your dignity in any way, I apologize and I stand corrected by the best military representatives in the world, second to none.
Above all of this, what we do as veterans is a representation for the dignity and respect of all our fellow comrades who sacrificed their lives on the "Altar of Freedom."
What we do today to maintain their honor is of the highest order.