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Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors 24 Korean War Veterans

Korean War Veterans today received their long overdue Korean War Medal at the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Veterans Home in Manteno, Illinois. During the ceremony, a total of 34 Veterans were honored with 24 Veterans receiving the Korean War Medal. Illinois Army National Guard Captain Thomas M. Gilligan was the guest speaker and awarded the Veterans their medals. Many of the Veterans waited almost 63 years to receive this honor. Captain Gilligan is the Commander of the 933rd Military Police Company – Fort Sheridan, Illinois.cw7-mrjwiaazd5y

“This is another wonderful example of the care and concern we have for our Illinois Heroes,” said IDVA Director Erica Jeffries. “These veterans put their lives on the line for us. They deserve our recognition and respect for the sacrifices they undertook for our nation. It is a great honor to see them get these overdue medals.”

The qualifications for the Republic of Korean Service Medal specifies the eligibility period and criteria. Only the ROK-provided medal is approved by the U.S. government to meet the U.S. criteria for wear on the military uniform.

In order to wear the medal and ribbon personnel must have:

  •  served between the outbreak of hostilities, June 25, 1950, and the date the armistice was signed, July 27, 1953:
  •  been on permanent assignment or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days, and
  •  performed their duty within the territorial limits of Korea, in the waters immediately adjacent thereto or in aerial flight over Korea participating in actual combat operations or in support of combat operations.

The discovery of the error in the medals was found by Kurt Schierholz, an IDVA Veterans’ Service Officer whose office is located at the Veterans’ Home in Manteno, Illinois. A DD-214 is required during the application process at the Veterans’ Home. During the admission process, VSO Schierholz realized that some of the Korean War Veterans had not received their medal.

Furthermore, most were never awarded the National Defense Service medal. After VSO Schierholz’s research and a few telephone calls, he submitted the appropriate paperwork to their respected branch of service. These Veterans now have this medal, along with the DD-215 (correction form to the DD-214) that shows it was awarded to them by their branch of service, and a letter and certificate from Korea thanking them for their service to the Korean Nation during the Cold War.