VFW proves that it's never too late for veterans to get the recognition they deserve

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As the chaplain and historian to VFW Post 446 in Muskegon, Mich., Ginny McGowan interacts with many veterans and their families. A common question she receives is, “How do I get the medals I earned?”
Her reply: contact U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland.
Rep. Hoekstra has been working with veterans and their families since his selection in 1993 to attain the medals of valor they earned on the field of battle. Last year alone his office helped more than 200 veterans obtain their medals.
“This is our third year hosting medals workshops with Rep. Hoekstra,” said McGowan. “It’s a true honor to remember what these men and women did. It’s important to be acknowledged.”
As many as 100 veterans or family members usually attend the workshops. While there, they apply for their medals but also learn about the VFW.
“We help them display their medals, but we talk to them about joining the VFW as well. With every workshop we hold, usually six or seven new members join.”
Paula Van Dyke works with Rep. Hoekstra in his medals outreach program and has worked with Post 446 on several occasions.
“All congressional offices can assist veterans [in receiving their medals],” explained Van Dyke. “We have taken an additional step to reach out to veterans and veteran groups to make sure they have an opportunity to have their medals verified, issued or replaced.”
Veterans can apply for their medals for various reasons. Some never had them issued, some never received them and others lost them through the course of time.
To ensure veterans receive the proper appreciation for their service on the battlefield, Rep. Hoekstra will often attend honorary ceremonies for these heroes. The ceremony is held aboard the LST 393, one of two remaining landing ships from World War II.
“Freedom is not free, and the highest price is paid by those who have served in the United States in the military,” said Rep. Hoekstra. “I consider it a great honor to assist them in obtaining medals that they have earned for their services.”

*To request assistance receiving your medals, contact your local Congressman, write your specific branch of military or click here to apply.



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