- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

My husband Vincent was in the Korean War in the 1950s. He is having his Army medals sent to him. The Korean Defense Service Medal (KDSM) is not included with the medals he is receiving. Can the Korean Defense Service Medal be sent to him, or does he have to pay for it. If he has to pay for it, where can he order it on the computer? Thank you for your help.

Vincent’s wife Mary

Dear Mary:

It is conceivable that your husband may be eligible based on the dates that he was assigned in Korea, but that the medals were out of stock when his request was received. If that is the case, you should write back and request the missing KDSM. It is estimated that more than 40,000 service members a year since 1954 have become eligible for this medal, hence both the production and mail problem associated with his receipt of the award.

The Department of Defense announced the eligibility for the KDSM as a service medal to give special recognition for the sacrifices and contributions made by members of the U.S. armed forces who have served or are serving in the Republic of Korea. Public Law 107-314 legislated the creation of a new medal to recognize military service in the Republic of Korea and the surrounding waters. Members of the armed forces authorized for the KDSM must have served in support of the defense of the Republic of Korea. The area of eligibility encompasses all land area of the Republic of Korea, and the contiguous water out to 12 nautical miles, and all air spaces above the land and water areas. The KDSM period of eligibility is July 28, 1954, to a future date to be determined by the secretary of defense.

The KDSM may be awarded posthumously, and only one award of the KDSM is authorized for any individual.

Shaft notes

• A warm welcome to the two new members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs — Mark Amodei, Nevada Republican, and Bob Turner, New York Republican — both veterans of the U.S. Army.

“I am pleased that Rep. Amodei and Rep. Turner have joined the committee to represent America’s veterans,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “As veterans themselves, I know they will be advocates for the best care and programs and will provide the committee with valuable insight based on their experiences in uniform.”

Mr. Amodei was a prosecutor for the Judge Advocate General Corps in the Army, handling criminal matters from 1984 to 1987.

“As the father of a Gulf War veteran and someone who spent four years on active duty in the United States Army, I am thrilled to be given a chance to serve Nevada’s veterans on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs,” Mr. Amodei said.

Mr. Turner was a specialist in the Army from 1962 to 1965. He was stationed at Fort Polk, La.

“As a veteran myself, I will respect our government’s sacred duty to treat all veterans of the United States Armed Forces with dignity and respect in light of their shared sacrifices in the name of our liberty and freedom,” Mr. Turner said. “I am honored to have been asked to serve on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and I look forward to working with Chairman Jeff Miller and my fellow committee members to ensure that these honorable individuals are protected.”

“With the addition of Reps. Amodei and Turner, the committee is full,” Mr. Miller said. “We are working on many important issues right now that will directly impact the lives of our veterans for the better, such as helping unemployed veterans find work and turning the corner on the disability claims backlog. Having Mark and Bob on our team adds to our chorus of voices to protect those who have served our great nation.”

• Hire Heroes USA announced its new corporate partnership with Ryder, a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, to facilitate the creation of employment opportunities for veterans and transitioning members of the armed services. Hire Heroes USA uses a personal approach to prepare veterans for the civilian job market through strategic job search, self-marketing and resume revision. As part of this process, Hire Heroes USA hosts an online job forum, allowing veterans to apply for jobs posted by Hire Heroes USA’s corporate partners. As a corporate partner of Hire Heroes USA, Ryder will be able to electronically search the resumes of veteran-candidates who have been assessed and coached by Hire Heroes USA staff members.

Hire Heroes USA offers multiple partnership levels, each one allowing for increased access to veteran job postings. Ryder’s corporate partnership at the highest level, providing for unlimited access to job postings in Hire Heroes USA’s online job forum, illustrates the company’s commitment to hiring our nation’s heroes. Understanding distinct experience and leadership inherent to military personnel, Ryder will be able to leverage the valuable skills learned through military service to help fill a variety of roles in the company including diesel mechanics, professional truck drivers, logistics managers and other professional support positions.

“Ryder has made a strong statement to combat the threat of widespread veteran unemployment,” said Brian Stann, Hire Heroes USA president and spokesman. “Providing employment opportunities that draw upon the logistical, mechanical, management and professional driving experience of many veterans and military personnel is an essential piece of getting service men and women back to work. Ryder is a perfect corporate partner for Hire Heroes USA because of their dedication and accessibility to providing jobs to veterans.”

In 2011 to date, Ryder has hired over 3,100 new employees in the U.S., including more than 1,100 drivers, close to 1,000 mechanics, and over 1,000 other professionals. For more information, visit www.ryder.com.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email [email protected].

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