The verdict is in, and it’s a big, fat no: The Army’s second most highly decorated World War II era soldier, Lt. Garlin Murl Conner, will not receive the Medal of Honor, a judge ruled.
He earned four Silver Stars, four Bronze stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his acts of bravery and valor during 28 straight months of service during World War II.
But the now-deceased soldier will not get the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor — the nation’s highest military honor, The Associated Press reported.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell ruled that the soldier’s widow, Pauline Conner of Kentucky, waited too long to bring forth new evidence that could sway the U.S. Army Board of Correction of Military Records and prove that her husband, who died in 1998, deserves the recognition, AP said.
She’s been trying for 17 years to get her husband the distinction; the judge, while issuing the rejection, praised her efforts.
“Dismissing this claim as required by technical limitations in no way diminishes Lt. Conner’s exemplary service and sacrifice,” Mr. Russell wrote.
But others aren’t so willing to accept the ruling.
Richard Chilton, a former Green Beret who’s spent considerable time researching Lt. Conner’s service, said he’s fully worthy of the Medal of Honor — and that he’s going to continue to campaign for the award, by contacting veterans’ groups throughout the nation as well as congressional members.
“I want to make sure that they can’t walk away from this,” Mr. Chilton said, in the AP report. “He’s a man worthy of this.”
And the attorney who’s representing the Conner family, Donald Todd, said in the AP report: “He was a real hero.”