Local Korean War veterans are set to receive recognition for their participation in the decades-old conflict.
Respect for these service people is long overdue, said Rich Mulholland, Venango County’s director of Veterans Affairs.
“The Korean War is always known as the forgotten war,” Mulholland said. Veterans of the 1950s conflict are now in their late 80s or early 90s and few are left in Venango County, he said.
Those veterans are eligible to receive an “Ambassador for Peace Medal” from the Republic of Korea in cooperation with legislators Pat Toomey and Glenn Thompson and Venango County.
The medals will be presented in an upcoming ceremony that is being planned for late January or February.
All Korean War veterans are encouraged to apply. To be eligible, veterans must have served in Korea at some time during the eligible wartime period of June 25, 1950, until July 27, 1953.
Members of the U.S. Navy are eligible if they served aboard a naval vessel that was assigned to Korean waters during that time period.
Veterans who apply to receive an award must provide a certificate of release or discharge (DD214) copy from active duty along with the completed application to the Venango County Veterans Affairs office in the Human Services Complex at 1 Dale Ave. in Franklin.
Applications are also available at the county Veterans Affairs office.
The applications may also be mailed to the office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, Attn: Rebecca Conley, U.S. Federal Building, 17 South Park Row, Suite B120, Erie, 16501.
The Korean War lasted for slightly over three years and resulted in the loss of 2.5 million lives. The United States joined the conflict on the side of South Korea and one report puts the American casualty toll at 54,246 lives lost.
There are more than 7,800 U.S. soldiers still unaccounted for.