U.S. Senator Dick Durbin presented an award that was long overdue to a Vietnam veteran yesterday in Greene County.
Carrollton native Bob Richey was given the Vietnam Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star outside the Greene County Courthouse in front of friends, family and supporters of veterans.
Richey earned three medals during his two years of service with the Army, but had only receive two of them. Durbin says when he learned about this he knew something had to be done.
“A friend of mine, local candidate Josh Evans, brought Bob Richey’s situation to our attention,” says Durbin.
“Bob served in Vietnam and didn’t receive his Vietnam Servcie Medal. We checked the records, found out it was a fact, got the medal for him and presented it today here in Carrollton.”
Durbin stated that being able to honor Richey with his medal was a special feeling.
“A lot of my friends served in Vietnam and came home and weren’t treated very well,” says Durbin.
“Whether we debate the war or don’t debate the war, we should never debate the honor of the men and women who served. Today, 42 years later, was a little reminder of Bob Richey, who did his duty for his country, risked his life and got his recognition today.”
Richey admitted he was a man of few words, but did say the presentation meant a great deal to him.
“It was a little more than I expected,” says Richey.
“I knew I had one coming, wanted to see what it looked like and what it was for. I didn’t expect all of this though.”
Richey was drafted into the Army and served from May 1966 to May 1968. Although he was trained to be a radio operator, when he arrived in Vietnam he was assigned to Fire Direction Control.
The Vietnam Service Medal is presented to any service member who directly supported ground operations in the Republic of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia or Laos between November 1961 and April 1975.