Vietnam_Military_Merit_Medal


#1

As I stated in another thread, my mother passed away last Friday. She was a pack rat and her house is so filled with items that it is difficult to maneuver. The woman never threw anything away, so I am finding things shoved everywhere.

My dad died in Vietnam when I was five weeks old. He was the love of my mother’s life but she always seemed very possessive over her memories. When ever I left home, she visited his grave but she avoided taking me. She rarely showed me the items of his that she kept. I never met his family either.

I was digging through the numerous piles of junk that my mom had accumulated. Out of a black, plastic binder dropped a medal with Vietnamese writing. I was surprised and knew that it must have been my dad’s but I couldn’t imagine what it was. A friend helped me track down this entry in the online encyclopedia. It has a picture of the exact medal that I found.

Do any of you know anything about this medal? I have only vague knowledge of how my dad died. I would like more information on what the medal is and how it was decided to give it to the recipients

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_Military_Merit_Medal


#2

You may want to contact the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I’m sure they will be happy to help you out. They can could also help you find out about your dad’s military unit, what the did/where they were, or at least point you in the right direction.

Good luck with your search. Blessed are the peacemakers.


#3

Hi,

First of all let me express my appreciation for your Dad’s sacrifice.

Second, you should be able to obtain your father’s service record, which would include a citation giving the details of why he was awarded this decoration.

Generally, speaking the medal was awarded in two circumstances. First, when an enlisted soldier was killed or died of wounds as a result of combat. Second, in cases of extreme heroism such as would qualify an enlisted man for a decoration such as the US Medal of Honor.

Given what little I know about your Dad’s circumstances it is likely that he had other decorations from the South Vietnamese Government including the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (unit citation), and the Vietnam Service Medal. From the US Army (assuming he was a soldier) he would probably have received the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Service Medal, a National Defense Service and perhaps a Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

You should contact the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis here: archives.gov/st-louis/index.html. The form you need is SF-180. Just fill it out, mail it in and you’ll get the service record by return mail.

Once you get to service record you will know the unit(s) he served with in Vietnam. My father served with 101st Airborne and the 1st Cavalry. There are numerous veterens organizations that hold periodic reunions and meetings. If you are interested in pursuing it, you could possibly find other veterns who serfved with your Dad.

I strongly encourage you to find out as much as possible about your Dad’s service, it profoundly shaped and influenced your life, the life of your Mom and it would be a great legacy for your kids.


#4

Thank you all. After I get my mother’s affairs in order then I will absolutely look into obtaining my dad’s service record.

I know from some paperwork that my mom had that my dad received both a bronze star and a purple heart. Both were recieved posthumously.

He also had an ampitheater dedicated to him in Vietnam but I have no idea why it was dedicated to him. Bob Hope performed there and occasionally when the performer was alive, he would show footage from his tours in Vietnamn. I have seen, on tv, quick glimpses of my dad’s ampitheater. It was called the Robert E. Push Memorial(In case you ever see old footage from Bob Hope)


#5

[quote=deb1]Thank you all. After I get my mother’s affairs in order then I will absolutely look into obtaining my dad’s service record.

I know from some paperwork that my mom had that my dad received both a bronze star and a purple heart. Both were recieved posthumously.
[/quote]

I was there too Deb, and was proud to serve with men like your dad. You have every reason to vaule both his service and contribution to freedom. From your posts, he too has every reason to be proud of his daughter.

If you feel you can… please share more information with us.


#6

Deb 1, thanks for honoring your Dad and accept my thanks for his service too! If you get the chance, visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. with your family - it will never be forgotten!


#7

It is very common for facilities on US Army bases to be named after fallen soldiers, espeically those who had provided an example to others in their conduct. The amphitheater was probably in one the the divison base camps such as An Khe for the 1st Cavalry or Cu Chi for the 25th Inf. Knowing the division your Dad served with will probably help locate the amphitheater, although the structure may be long gone given the change in government after the war.


#8

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