Rep. Barletta presents medals to four veterans

Feb 21, 2012
Press Release

HAZLETON – U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, presented long-overdue medals to four veterans in the Memorabilia Area of the VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday morning.

Receiving medals were James Kellum of Huntington Mills, Luzerne County; Edward Bush of Palmerton, Carbon County; Michael Gatcha of Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County; and Jerry Lee Smith of Berwick, Columbia County.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, right, presented medals to veterans, from right, Michael Gatcha, Edward Bush, Jerry Lee Smith, and James Kellum. Looking on is Margaret B. Caplan, director of the VA Medical Center.

“I’m proud to present these medals to these men as a sign of gratitude for their service to this country,” Rep. Barletta said. “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.”

James Kellum (U.S. Army, World War II, 1944-1946) received:

The Army Good Conduct Medal, which is awarded on a selective basis to enlisted members of the Army who distinguish themselves by exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity during a specified period of continuous enlisted active service (normally three years in peacetime);

The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal is a service decoration which was awarded to any member of the United States military who served in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945;

The World War II Victory Medal is awarded to members of the United States military, including members of the armed forces of the Government of the Philippine Islands, who served on active duty or as a reservist between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946;

The Army of Occupation Medal with Japanese Clasp, which is awarded for military service of 30 or more consecutive days of duty in one of the occupied territories after World War II;

The Philippine Liberation Medal, which was awarded for service in the liberation of the Philippines from October 17, 1944, to September 2, 1945;

The Honorable Service Lapel Pin, which is given to military service members who were discharged under honorable conditions during World War II;

The Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Bar, which is earned by soldiers who qualify with a rifle during training;

The Parachutist Badge, which is more commonly known as “Jump Wings.”

 

Edward Bush (U.S. Navy, Gulf War, 1990-1996) received:

The Navy Good Conduct Medal, which 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, which 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 August 2, 1990, to November 30, 1995 (during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm);

The Armed Forces Service Medal;

The Kuwait Liberation Medal;

The NATO Medal, which is awarded for service in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

 

Michael Gatcha (U.S. Navy, Cold War, 1961-1966) received:

The National Defense Service Medal, which 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 Navy Good Conduct Medal, which 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.

 

Jerry Lee Smith (U.S. Navy, Vietnam, 1965-1969) received:

The National Defense Service Medal, which 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 Navy Good Conduct Medal, which 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 Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Stars, which is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served at any time between July 4, 1965, and March 28, 1973, in Vietnam or its contiguous waters or airspace; or, for any period of service during the same time period in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia or the air spaces thereover and in direct support of operations in Vietnam. Bronze stars are authorized for participation in the 29 campaigns specified for the Vietnam War;

The Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, which is to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that distinguishes itself under combat or noncombat conditions by either valorous or meritorious achievement which renders that unit outstanding compared to other units performing similar service;

The Combat Action Ribbon, which is awarded to those who, in any grade including and below that of a captain in the Navy and Coast Guard (or colonel in the Marine Corps), have actively participated in ground or surface combat;

The Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device, which is for service during the Vietnam War.

 

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