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Palmerton vet gets his medals

  • Special to the TIMES NEWS Veteran Edward Bush, third from right, receives his overdue medals from Congressman Lou Barletta, third from left, recently in the Memorabilia Area of the VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre. Bush received six medals in all…
    Special to the TIMES NEWS Veteran Edward Bush, third from right, receives his overdue medals from Congressman Lou Barletta, third from left, recently in the Memorabilia Area of the VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre. Bush received six medals in all. Also pictured are Palmerton American Legion Post 269 members Louis Moyer, left; Joseph Uhnak, second from left; Ed Moyer, second from right, commander; and George Duell, Jr., right.
Published March 29. 2012 05:01PM

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."

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