Army veteran Darrell Lockhart earned numerous commendations, including a Purple Heart, for his service during the Vietnam War.
He lost track of them over the years. On Wednesday, he was presented with them again.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said.
“I just didn’t realize there were so many of them,” he added.
Lockhart was one of eight area veterans honored in a medal ceremony at the MAPS Air Museum on Wednesday evening.
Seeing her father receive his commendations was “very, very nice,” said Beth Smith, Lockhart’s daughter. “He’s definitely earned them.”
Rep. Anthony Gonazalez, R-Ohio, presented the men with medals and ribbons they had earned but never received, had gone missing or were misplaced.
Since taking office last year, Gonzalez said his office has reunited more than 100 veterans or their families with service medals.
“This is my favorite thing we get to do,” he said.
“Our veterans are so humble as people. They don’t brag. They’re fairly reserved about their service,” he said. “And this is such a great opportunity to honor them in a public way.”
Gonzalez’s office connects with veterans through numerous channels, including events and social media posts.
The veterans honored Wednesday submitted paperwork last year at the Serving Area Military (SAM) Center’s annual Stark County Veteran’s Resource Fair.
Those honored received their medals, a copy of their service records, and a quilt and coin.
“We owe veterans our undying appreciation,” Gonzalez said, addressing the crowd. “This is a small but important token of that appreciation.”
The veterans honored Wednesday were:
• U.S. Army veteran Mark Bahr who received the Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Sharpshooter Badge and Marksmanship Badge.
• U.S. Army veteran Tony Burdette Jr. who received the Army Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver “W” Bar, Expert Badge with grenade bar, Sharpshooter Badge with rifle bar and Parachutist Badge-basic.
• U.S. Army veteran James Hull who received the Army Expert Badge with rifle bar.
• U.S. Army veteran Darrell Lockhart who received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart; Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with letter “V” device, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge First Award, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device (1960) and a Sharpshooter Badge with rifle bar.
• U.S. Army veteran Robin Lee Stotzer who received the Army Expert Badge with auto rifle bar.
• U.S. Army veteran Robert Thompson who received the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Emblem, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with three bronze service stars, Humanitarian Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal- Kuwait, Driver and Mechanic Badge, Marksman Badge with rifle bar, Army Lapel Button and the Air Assault Badge.
• U.S. Army and Air Force Veteran James Vinson who received the Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Expert Badge with grenade bar and Sharpshooter Badge with rifle bar.
• U.S. Army Veteran Ivan Webster who received a Sharpshooter Badge with grenade bar and rifle bar.
For information on how to receive earned service medals, see Gonzalez’s website at anthonygonzalez.house.gov/services or call his Stark County office at 330-599-7037.
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