Subj:    Military Medals and Ribbons finally awarded!
Date:    Fri, 6 Jul 2001 10:23:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Dear Brother Swifties:

Today, after a 16 month letter writing campaign with the National Personnel Records Center, Navy Personnel Command, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100 and with the assistance of my Congressman, Cliff Stearns, I finally received my military medals and ribbons I earned 32 years ago in Vietnam.

Yes, collectively, I probably couldn't get someone to give me a cup of coffee for them, but to me they're more valuable than gold!

I want to thank Larry Wasikowski for posting his Swiftboats.Net website , which includes a link to a category titled AWARDS .  It is because of Larry's AWARDS website that I became interested in trying to obtain the awards I knew I had earned while in Vietnam, but were never awarded me or listed on my DD 214.

It was only after visiting Larry's above mentioned website, I found out that I was even entitled to additional awards that I wasn't even aware of!  

I was also able to download the government forms (Standard Form 180) that I needed to make my request for those awards from the following website:

I'll admit it was a very long wait getting these awards and having my DD214 amended to indicate the same, with a DD215.  But in the end the wait was well worth it!  Because now I have a few more valuable keepsake items to pass on to my children and grandchildren when I leave this world.

Also, be advised that a few of the awards that were entered on my DD215, were awards presented by the former South Vietnamese government.  In the accompanying letter with my awards, the Naval Command in St. Louis stated, foreign awards are not stocked by this office, but may be obtained from a commercial vendor....

In any event, I would encourage any of you who think you got short changed regarding your military awards, from your service to this country while in Vietnam, to immediately view the information posted on Larry's website and start the process to collect what is due you!  

Thanks again Larry!  Best wishes to all!

Warm regards,
Joe Ponder

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This page was last updated on:   March 18, 2008 at 20:08