At long last, a Palmerton veteran has received his just due for his service to our country.
Veteran Edward Bush was among four veterans whom Congressman Lou Barletta recently presented long-overdue medals. The presentation took place in the Memorabilia Area of the VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre.
Other veterans receiving medals were James Kellum of Huntington Mills, Luzerne County; Michael Gatcha of Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County; and Jerry Lee Smith of Berwick, Columbia County.
"I'm proud to present these medals to these men as a sign of gratitude for their service to this country," Barletta said in a news release. "In many cases, these medals are long overdue. I'm surprised to learn how many of our veterans did not receive the medals they earned even decades later so I encourage all veterans who believe they did not receive the medals they earned to contact my office."
Bush, who served in the U.S. Navy, Gulf War, from 1990-96, received a total of six medals: The Navy Good Conduct Medal; The National Defense Service Medal; The Southwest Asia Service Medal; The Armed Forces Service Medal; The Kuwait Liberation Medal; and the NATO Medal.
The Navy Good Conduct Medal is awarded on a selective basis to recognize four years of continuous active duty, above average conduct and proficiency by enlisted service members in the regular Navy or U.S. Naval Reserve; the National Defense Service Medal is awarded for honorable active service as a member of the Armed Forces during the Korean War, Vietnam War, the war against Iraq in the Persian Gulf, and for service during the current War on Terrorism; the Southwest Asia Service Medal, which is awarded for qualifying service from Aug. 2, 1990, to Nov. 30, 1995 (during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm); and the NATO Medal is awarded for service in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.
"It was a great honor to receive the medals from Congressman Barletta," Bush said. "He was very kind to travel to Wilkes-Barre to personally recognize four veterans from his district.
"When he handed the medals to me during the ceremony, I felt a great sense of relief that my military records finally show an accurate history of my military service," Bush said. "Congressman Barletta and his staff did a fantastic job in tracking down the medals, updating my military service record, and putting together the awards ceremony, and I appreciate their hard work."
Bush noted the medals he received are service medals.
"I appreciate the recognition, but I received them for simply doing my job as a Navy Hospital Corpsman in a specific time and place," he said.
"The real heroes are my military brothers and sisters who have suffered injuries and who have given their lives in service to our country."