Rep. Barletta Presents Overdue Medals to Veterans

Dec 16, 2016
Press Release

Rep. Barletta presents medals to veterans in a ceremony at his Hazleton office.  From left to right: Jan Branger, Curtis A. Ashner, (son of Curtis Ashner), R. June Kissinger, (sister of Edwin Kishbaugh and Gold Star recipient),  James Rosengrant, Charles Zunski, (brother of Edward Zunski).

HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today presented long overdue medals to five veterans of the United States military – and one Gold Star recipient – during a ceremony at his Hazleton district office.  Recipients of the medals were Army veteran Curtis A. Ashner (deceased) of Lake Harmony, Army veteran Jan Branger of Drums, Army veteran Edwin R. Kishbaugh (deceased) of Stillwater, Navy veteran James Rosengrant of Tunkhannock, and Army veteran Edward Zunski (missing in action) of Hazle Township.  In addition, R. June Kissinger, sister of Mr. Kishbaugh, received the Gold Star Lapel Button, signifying the loss of her brother’s life during armed conflict.

In all cases, the medals were awarded for the first time, despite their having been earned during service.  In Mr. Kishbaugh’s case, the medals were issued for the first time under Permanent Orders 286-11, 286-12, 286-13, and 286-14, dated October 12, 2016. 

“We ask the brave men and women of our armed forces to travel to foreign lands to fight for our freedoms,” Barletta said.  “It is the very least that we can do to honor their service, and to present them with the medals they have earned. The presentation of these medals represents the gratitude of a nation, in recognition of the selfless service these veterans performed.”

Receiving medals were:

Curtis A. Ashner (deceased), U.S. Army, World War II: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and Army of Occupation Medal and Japan Clasp.  The medals were presented to his son, Curtis A. Ashner.

Jan Branger, U.S. Army, April 1964 to April 1967: Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Expert Badge and Pistol Bar; and Marksman Badge and Rifle Bar.

Edwin R. Kishbaugh (deceased), U.S. Army, World War II: Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars; World War II Victory Medal; and Combat Infantryman Badge.  Mr. Kishbach was killed on February 29, 1944 and was buried as an unknown in the American Military Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy.  Identified in November of 1944, his remains were disinterred and returned to the United States in July of 1948.  He was reburied at the Elan Memorial Park Cemetery in Bloomsburg.  The medals were presented to his sister, R. June Kissinger.

James Rosengrant, U.S. Navy, November 1961 to November 1963: National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba); Navy Expeditionary Medal (Cuba); and Navy “E’ Ribbon (denotes permanent duty on U.S. Navy ships that have won a battle efficiency competition).  Mr. Rosengrant served aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, America’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, on its maiden voyage beginning in January of 1962.  In February 1962, the Enterprise was a tracking and measuring station for John Glenn’s first orbital flight aboard Friendship 7.  As part of the crew, Mr. Rosengrant served aboard the Enterprise as it was dispatched to address the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Edward Zunski (Missing in Action), U.S. Army, World War II: Bronze Star Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award; and Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII.  Mr. Zunski was declared missing in action in Germany on April 8, 1945.  His medals were presented to his brother, Charles Zunski.

R. June Kissinger: Gold Star Lapel Button. Ms. Kissinger received the Gold Star Lapel Button in honor of her brother, Edwin R. Kishbaugh, who was killed in action in World War II.  The Gold Star Lapel Button was authorized by an Act of Congress in 1966 as an official decoration for the public identification of family of fallen service members.  The Gold Stars are issued to the direct next of kin of United States service members who lost their lives in armed hostilities

Rep. Barletta frequently presents medals which were lost or never awarded for a variety of reasons, including fire, lost records, or discovery of old records.  Veterans and their families wishing to secure medals for themselves or loved ones can contact the Congressman’s offices in Washington, DC (202-225-6511), Hazleton (570-751-0050), Harrisburg (717-525-7002), Carlisle (717-249-0190), or Sunbury (570-988-7801).