A Veteran’s Medals Arrive By Mail: “It Felt Like A Spit In The Face”

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ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. – Jason Wright said he gave 12 years of his life to the military.

He started service first as a Marine, then enlisted in the Army.

Wright was wounded in battle twice, but he wasn’t awarded the Purple Heart until four years after coming home from Iraq.

His wife Amy says she found two envelopes stuffed in the bottom of the front door.  Inside were ten military medals, including two Purple Hearts.

“I was in shock,” Wright said about the way he finally got his medals.  “I was disrespected.  It felt like a spit in the face.”

“Just receiving them in the mail, like it was a newspaper?” said Amy. “And we had to pick them up off the floor! I felt really bad for him.”

During a tour of service in Iraq, Wright was wounded in the explosion of a roadside bomb. It was the first of two attacks: the second came by way of a suicide driver and a fuel truck.

Wright was left with arthritis in his back, traumatic brain injuries, and he needed reconstructive ankle surgery.

His unit would later have a ceremony to honor the sacrifices during that tour.  Purple Hearts were awarded to those who were wounded. “My name was one that didn’t get called,” said Wright.

An honor his wife said Wright earned.

“They mean sacrifice,” Amy said of the Purple Heart medals.  “They mean my husband gave his well-being to his country.”

In addition to dealing with injuries from the war, Wright was fighting for his honor. One of those fighting along side him was Jeremy Binder, a war veteran himself and an advocate for veterans in Allegan County.

“When he was a Marine, they dropped the ball,” said Binder.  “He should have had an award ceremony.”

Binder said Wright’s problem is a common one.

Amy said they had to work hard just to get them delivered by mail, “They should be awarding those medals as soon as they can get them to them.  Four years is way too long.”

The awards honor sacrifices made in service but they also serve as proof that veterans are eligible for certain combat benefits.

“Unfortunately he’s not the only one, it happens to a lot them (vets),” said Binder.  “They’ve already fought a war. They shouldn’t have to fight another war when they come home.”

The Wright family reached out to Congressman Fred Upton’s office for help.  We’ve been told the congressman is working to get Wright a proper ceremony.

We also reached out Wednesday to the Human Resource Department at the U.S. Army. We were told they will look into Wright’s situation as well.

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  • Anon

    This guy went from the Marine Corps to the Army; why is he being reported as a MARINE getting his awards in the mail??? I can tell you the Marine Corps doesn’t send medals through the mail unless they’re replacement medals requested by the Marine or his family. And definitely not the PURPLE HEART! If the Awards Branch was unable to contact the Marine directly, they would have contacted the nearest Marine unit, most likely an I&I, and had them contact him so they could do a proper ceremony. I recommend Mr. Spencer go back to Mr. Wright and find out what branch of service he was with when he was wounded. This is just bad reporting!

    • Linda M

      You sure are a brave soul using anonymous to hide your identity. IF you read the story slowly you would see he WAS a marine at the time he was wounded; thus he is entitled to be called a marine who didn't receive his purple heart till 4 years later. While I do agree that Vietnam vets did not get the recognition they deserved (I know first hand because my uncle DIED in Vietnam) you should not disparage this guy because he was also disrespected by the current administration. I am a Navy Vet my husband is an Army special forces vet. We both feel this current administration is not treating our military and veterans as they should. Just because you are jaded does not mean you need to be disrespectful to other vets. It doesn't matter to me whether they call him a marine or an army soldier, the fact remains he was wounded in combat he deserves recognition.

      • CarlThompson

        his wounds would not have let him join the Army so pretty sure that he was wounded in the Army and not the Marines. In answer to him being called a Marine, Once a Marine Always a Marine.

        • Missie

          His wounds would allow him to join the army provided that those wounds are from combat serving in the military. If those wounds were just regular civilian wounds, then no he would not be allowed to join the army, unless there were waivers attached for each of the injuries. Therefore he could switch branches with registered wounds from the Marine Corps!

    • Patrick Bradford

      Obviously you hide under the curtain of anonymity and also behind a computer speaking of something you know nothing about. I am Patrick Bradford, SGT – United States Marine Corps, I don't feel like making a login just to unfuck your bullshit. FIRST, Once a Marine, Always a Marine always stands. But either your an idiot, or you didn't read the story. SECOND He was injured while serving in the Marine Corps. Then enlisted in the army. As a former Marine I experienced the same situation, some of my metals, awards and ribbons still haven't officially been awarded at all. While my personal feelings about my own awards is on the side of indifference. A Marine which earns an award or metal should be presented such award or metal as customary by the United States Marine Corps, and United States Naval service. Honor and service may be the butt of a joke for people like you or something you just count on because your an "American" and your entitled to such things. But to some that give of themselves these things are important. If your wounded in combat and your not overlooked. Getting a wad of metals in the mail would certainly be a slap in the face after you give x liters of blood in the defense of this nation and the freedom we provide while giving of ourselves on the global battlefield of today and years passed.

      • radcliffe

        here here I was a YN3 in the Navy and a Ammo Specialist in the army, and he was derespected by the either branch by the medal being sent in the mail, bad form by the Admin staff,

    • radcliffe

      no there is no replace ]ment medals the first one is given to the service medal atfter that you buy them, and the reason maybe these are a marine medal not army. I am prior
      navy Yeoman petty officer the Marines use the Navy award rules. I did enough of both.

      • BCD

        you are entitled to 1 set of replacement medals. Its a long trail of paperwork but I found it out when I was trying to get my dads medals replaced and had to send a bunch of certificates and forms but they sent them all to me.

    • Guest

      I was windering hte same thing myself seeing how there is 2 PURPLE HEARTS, 1 ARMY COMMENDATION; 1 ARMY GOOD CONDUCT; 1 ARMY ACHIEVEMENT; a JOINT SERVICE COMENDATION, a MERTERIOUS UNIT, medals amoung those displayed. The story says tem medals so I asme the other two are the SOUTHWEST ASIA CAMPAIGN and hopefully the MERTIOUS SERVICE medals.

      I fell for this soldier / marine but am happy he is around to recieve them; as much as he was ishonored his service is still appreaciated.

    • Jimmy Lee

      I suppose that since I was an Active Marine for 10 years and was wounded on 2 separate occasions, not to mention the 5 combat deployments that I did, I am no longer a Marine because I know where multi-cam and a funny green hat?
      What happened to "Once a Marine, Always a Marine"?
      You Jackass.

    • sidecar01

      “When he was a Marine, they dropped the ball,” said Binder. “He should have had an award ceremony.”

      This may be the reason to your question

    • BCD

      He is being called a Marine because he was injured as a Marine. So yes it was the USMC that mailed the medals. There is a few people that have written about this store. Google and research Every branch drops the ball once in a while my Corp is no different.

  • the truth

    WOW this guy this that was disrespectful, WOW he got alot to learn. Thousand of vets came home from vietnam and got spit on, beat up, thrown into the streets, things thrown at them, they got disrespected by there own fellow man and what did the government do nothing but let it happen, You want to talk about disrecpect lets face the real disrespect, Kids now days got it easy in these so called wars the should have been in vietnam, then you would have some real problems

    • 10mtnvet

      You have a lot to learn, calling out a fellow vet like that. You are probably some remf or pog. Go stick your head back in the stand and stop your crying.

    • Patrick Bradford

      The truth? Your no better than the people that were spitting on vets after Vietnam. Hiding under an alias to talk shit? Grow some balls. Each generation of veterans seems to have their own little war or conflict to deal with. I seriously doubt you served because you would have some sort of empathy for this Marines situation. While we didn't all have the same fight. All gave some, some gave all. Just because someone didn't die in combat. "MY war was worse" Bullshit doesn't get anyone anything. It only lends to the fact that whoever undermines another fellow combatant or veteran is about the lowest form of shit. My mentor is a Vietnam vet, as such I have the highest respect for the man. Not only for what he had to endure, but what he continues to endure. BUT being as wise as he is he recognizes that each generation of veterans has their own struggle. Their own nightmares, their own missing limbs, their own friends that died in combat. Combat is not a fun place to visit and then come home and drink tea and crumpets and everything goes back to normal. It changes you in ways that words can no explain. No matter if it's as simple as a cop shooting a suspect that is shooting at him or full on combat as a service member. It is not a nice place to be, and this one upmanship your expressing is that of a keyboard cowboy that know nothing of pain, nothing of suffering and certainly nothing about combat. If you disagree that is fine, but hiding under an alias. Vet or not is just chickenshit. If you have a quarrel with a vet you know, talk to them about it personally. Don't just run your mouth on the internet because you can. THAT is IF you were a service member, Cause funny enough. You would be THE ONLY vet I know that didn't support other veterans unconditionally. Certainly no combat vets I know would say some shit like that. Saying shit like that I bet if you were in, you were airforce 1000 miles from the nearest fire fight or stateside kicking your heals up spanking it with a thumb in your ass.

      • Judy Ann

        My husband is an Air Force vet and I take offense at your comment. All branches have personnel who never see combat. That does not mean they should be slammed like you just did . They deserve respect, too. They may be the ones who make sure your pay gets processed so your family can live while you're gone or possibly any other worthwhile career field. My husband was a 461, he built bombs. After 911, he would have proudly enlisted but his years of service and age disqualified him.

    • Major Discomfort

      Lets ALSO remember that those boys coming back from Vietnam got the SAME Purple Heart as this guy: ordered in a GSA Order in 1945 in anticipation of the Invasion of Mainland Japan!

      Every Purple Heart awarded in ALL THE WARS SINCE has been from that order. Expectation of 2 MILLION wounded.

      It's easy to Cray how you were "disrespected" when you show lack of respect to guys who didn't CHOOSE to go and fight or chase glory. They were selected, and did their job. And they went home.

      So the government mucked it up? WOW, that's NEVER happened before: S.N.A.F.U.!

      At least he GOT his medals. And can pin them on and wear them.
      Perhaps he should consider there are a lot of guys who get medals… That never receive them because they're planted in the ground. Maybe they had a ceremony. Maybe they were frozen solid and run over with armor and covered with rocks so the wild dogs couldn't get them. Maybe they took a hit saving a buddy and all they found was a finger and a piece of his war.

      Yeah, he's got LOADS to complain about. Maybe he shouldn't think so much about himself…
      Maybe he should remember those who went before, and who will come after that don't get to go home and cry he didn't get his ceremony.

      Sorry if this sounds harsh, but he's got his effin' LIFE, WIFE, AND FUTURE.

      a lot of guys in wars past DIDNT get that.

      He should count his blessings, not wail about his day in the sunshine on parade.

      • Missile

        Major Asshole…
        First and foremost, There is a saying that is all gave some and some gave all. I know that those who served and died fighting for what they believed in would want for their brothers and sisters who survived to receive those medals and awards that they are entitled to. And those fallen comrads would want for the survivors to receive recognition for fighting for your stupid ass to say the stupid shit that you have. Furthermore, you need to check your facts before posting the idiotic nonsense that you have, ALL MILITARY THAT HAS PASSED RECEIVED THEIR MEDALS WHETHER IT BE THROUGH THEIR FAMILY OR THROUGH THEIR UNIT. I personally would never want to meet you in the real world, because I unlike you would have the balls to do something about it and probably spit in your face as well as punch you in it for disrespecting the people who give you your rights!! You should count your blessings that you can not be found because I know plenty of HEROES that would beat the shit out of you for saying the stupid things that you have said!!

    • radcliffe

      the truth look at the times then to the times now totally diffent times then there was no respect for the military no pride then , now there is at least pride.

    • Missie

      The Truth is that you are living in the past. From your wording, you have never nor will you ever go to war or serve your country. Times have changed, and therefore so have the types of wars that the military fights have too. My uncle served in the Navy for WWII, another uncle served Korea, and another in the army for Vietnam. My husband and one of our best friends have served for 7 years, and I will say the things that they see in the line of duty are the same types of things that My uncles saw in the field for previous wars. For those who have put something on the line for you to be able to speak your nonsense, I applaud you. One thing that you may or may not understand about the military medal/award system is that you are not allowed to purchase nor display an award until you are properly serve with a warrant for that award at a ceremony. Not before. Therefore it is a huge slap in the face to those who serve and it shows that they rate the award in their service record, however they are not awarded their warrant for that said award, because you can not display what you have earned throughout your service. And before it can be said that I know nothing because I am just a wife, I did my service and separated from the Army as a Spc.
      Your truth is nothing but hearsay. and you my dear are nothing but a coward that does not know his ass from a hole in the ground because you are more than likely a left winged ass in support of a person who wants to destroy the people of the country, the military, the economy, the government, and turn Our free country into a socialist republic that has no control over what they can and cant do. Please feel free to be the coward that you are behind the screen of your computer, because we all know that you would not be able to back up your words in the real world!!

    • Missie

      The Truth is that you are living in the past. From your wording, you have never nor will you ever go to war or serve your country. Times have changed, and therefore so have the types of wars that the military fights have too. My uncle served in the Navy for WWII, another uncle served Korea, and another in the army for Vietnam. My husband and one of our best friends have served for 7 years, and I will say the things that they see in the line of duty are the same types of things that My uncles saw in the field for previous wars. For those who have put something on the line for you to be able to speak your nonsense, I applaud you. One thing that you may or may not understand about the military medal/award system is that you are not allowed to purchase nor display an award until you are properly serve with a warrant for that award at a ceremony. Not before. Therefore it is a huge slap in the face to those who serve and it shows that they rate the award in their service record, however they are not awarded their warrant for that said award, because you can not display what you have earned throughout your service. And before it can be said that I know nothing because I am just a wife, I did my service and separated from the Army as a Spc.

      • REDD

        Guest–You Got that Right!! And for those of you that Say he Got his Medals, he should Be satisfied!! HE SHOULD NEVER BE SATISFIED!! When you Go and Fight For this Country, you Deserve the Utmost Respect, For the Rest of Your Days here on Earth!!

    • Cindy

      Obviously you haven't read anything about the problems are troops are facing now a days. They have just as many problems as men and women did in Viet Nam, if not more. Like William Tecumseh Sherman said "War is Hell". We need to start taking better care of our Military, in every aspect. Show some respect.

      Air Force Vet.

    • dee

      Just because people did something wrong in the past does not mean we should condone doing things wrong in the present. What was done to the vietnam vets WAS disrespectful. This was disrespectful too. Obviously we haven't learned and he is right to stand up for the respect that is due him.

    • Jennifer Salins

      Yes, the vietnam vets were disrespected. It doesn't mean that today's military are treated any better or have it "easy". Talk to my boyfriend (former army, served in Iraq), and see how "easy" he had it. Years later, he's still not right.

    • Arlene Beebe

      I don't think ANY war is easy! However I would like to comment about the guys who served and now homeless and on the street. Now that is disgraceful !!!! . Everyone should have at least the basics in life,especially in America!!! And especially veterens.

  • Michele Jeffrey

    I am so ashamed of my country right now. Please know there are people like me & my ENTIRE family that appreciate EVERYTHING you have done for us. I am truly sorry this has happened to you. You are a TRUE HERO!!

  • Proud NG Mom

    the truth – how dare you?!! My son is being shot at while he is busy looking for, and disposing of IEDs. Shall I tell him how lucky he is to not be in a REAL war? Any man or woman who VOLUNTEERS to put their life on the line for my country is a Hero in my book. Stop throwing the way Vietnam Vets were treated. Yes, it was crappy but our kids weren't alive then. Respect all Veterans!

  • Lorna

    Our son Nick's purple heart came in the mail, this lil momma was super pissed, to say the least!! Beyond disrespectful to those who have sacrificed so much!

    • Joe217

      This is whats wrong with this country, bickering over a story, and blaming the president? Some of you who say you've served and were in combat don't act very respectful. This type of thing happens. What is the soldiers part in it? Was he compliant. Did he move? You have to speak up for yourself or you will be forgotten in the military. Quit arguing over something that is minor compared to our problems in life. Blame his chain of command.

      • radcliffe

        it is because this person voted into off this is happening so it is a sham, And Joe 217 if you haved severed you would understand and this prsesident is in ihis chain of command. I proudly served this Country as a YN3 Cain in the Navy and a Ammo Specialist Radcliffe in the Army can you say the same

      • AlphaMale

        You're the problem with this country. Insensitive little faggots and lesbians who suck the dicks of the man to get free phones and welfare checks. If your medals arrive in the mail, somebody deserves an ass whipping… just like your candy ass. Prob a faggot 20 year old who doesn't have a clue about life. Go ask mommy to make you a snack and stay out of mens conversation. Punk.

        • chrisbee80

          Shows how ignorant you are. Free phones have been going on LONG BEFORE obama came along. I hate the man but I hate him because of facts unlike a useless piece of garbage like you who spread lies .

    • GENE

      The so called CINC in the WH is a traitor and imposter. He could care less what the veterans have gone through and are still going through hell today.

    • chrisbee80

      FYI- obama had NOTHING to do with these medals. You seriously think he sat there and said awww screw it let's mail them to him? So how did obama end up having my award mailed to me in 2002 when I left Fort Campbell? He wasn't even in the public eye then.

      Come on wise one…tell me. Hate on obama for FACTS, not just to make yourself look like an idiot.



  • Scott M Sykes

    Army never gives the dues to those who have earned their awards. They will give MSM's to 1st Sergeants and Captians who sat on a FOB doing absolutely nothing. Army is about the lamest branch in the service when it comes to taking care of wounded soldiers. Seen soldiers who were injured on jumps and couldn't jump anymore at Bragg labeled as dirt bags. Had one soldier so depressed about it that he committed suicide. If it hadn't been for a friend knocking on the door and getting the CQ to open the room that soldier would have been dead instead of being discharged (without any medical help!). Go figure!

  • mom

    I can't help but shed tears of of pain reading this. My son served in Iraq as well as many others. Our soldiers deserve so much more respect and appreciation. For what it's worth to all of those who have had the same or similiar experience, thank you so, so, much for your committment of service and bravery. I truely mean it from the bottom of my heart.

  • Carl

    This has been going on for many years to our Vets returning home from war. Just look at Viet Nam Vets. We got spit on, called ugly names, went unnoticed after the war for our service. This is just the tip of the iceberg for our Vets. It took 40 years for someone to finally come up to me and say Thank you for your service . Sometimes we feel that it's too little, too late.

  • Charley

    How insulting, my heart goes out to this Vet and his family and all like him. My husband has fought to get some of his medals, this last time they "lost the paperwork".

  • ptl4

    Ask a retired serviceman (US Army) I am apalled at the way this young man was treated for his service. I think that we all need to stand up for all the service men who were awarded medals and have not had the proper ceremony to receive them.

  • Elizabeth

    I am shocked and appalled that the veteran mentioned in this article was treated with such disrespect. If Barack Obama can spend the day golfing with Tiger Woods, he could make time to visit or send a representative of the government to present the veteran with his medals. Oh, many of you will say Obama's too busy, but the government could have sent someone to deliver the medals. They mean so much to the veterans. Quite frankly, I am ashamed that our veterans are treated this way, and also ashamed of Barack Obama. A dignitary, perhaps a governor or a representative of the military should definitely have been involved in presenting the medals to such a deserving veteran. I honor all veterans.

    • Arlene Beebe

      Well !!! All the other presidents took needed breaks from their demanding job but Obama seems to be the only one that shouldn't !!!!! How ingnorant is that kind of an attitude? Is it because he is black? Or do you forget that he is also white? Is the cup half full or half empty ???? !!!!! I don't care for people who are disrespectful of veterans OR_the President of the United States.

  • Rod nicholson

    I would of felt honored that he didn't show up and even touched my medals, just don't consider him much of a comander in chief , I just don't feel he's very sincere

  • sidecar01

    For anyone to receive any first time award for combat action in the mail is a disgrace to that service veteran and never should have happened. How this happened is immaterial now for this veteran and I will speak for myself only that even if a ceremony of honor where to be done I may still have bitterness in memory of how I got my important awards initially.

  • chrisbee80

    This is EXTREMELY normal. When I got off active duty I was told I could take a lower medal and get it before I ETS or I could wait and get the medal I deserve for my service in the mail because it won't be processed in time. The reason? My first line leader waited too late to start the ball rolling on the paperwork.. The military knows how long it takes and they know the cut offs.

    This is a failure of his LEADER, not the military but that is sure as heck how it will be reported. I guess I should have whined and cried to the media over every single little time I didn't get what I wanted. Like the time I was was attacked and permanently scarred by an enemy combatant and didn't get a purple heart because of location. Personally, I can care less.

    Also to note the paperwork will probably get lost at least once.

    The more I think of this story the more I just want to slap them and the reporter.

    They're crying because the package was on the floor???? Like the postman knew they were medals. What the heck do these people smoke??? Grow a brain and quit your whining people.

    The tag line when this story gets posted on facebook says he is a Marine… Yet he was Army and if you read the last line they've reached out to the DA (Army) so they were obviously ARMY medals. So call the guy a soldier, not a Marine. Get the facts straight.

    Whaaa whaaaa whaaa he didn't get his pretty little medals. BIG DEAL!! I am sure he had the paperwork and he can go buy them if he really wants them. 99% of the time I was given a medal in an award ceremony that I had to return and then go buy it myself.

    I hate people who cry about their "hard luck" this guys obviously served for the WRONG reasons…and YES I have received an award in the mail before (PCS). Never cried over it to the media.

    I have proudly served since 1998 and I will proudly serve until I retire. I serve because I love the Army and as long as I have the piece of paper that says I earned the medal I am good because in the end that is what tells they story of what happened and what gives me the right to display that medal on my uniform if I so choose to.

    • Missile

      Technically if he was out he was a former Soldier, and a marine. he can be both, and he can also have medals transfer from one branch to another. A HERO is a HERO, no matter how you look at it. And furthermore you are a disgrace to the entity of being a soldier. I have a brain and you technically should have been awarded a purple heart, however as those of us with a military backround know, you can get or do anything unless you speak up.
      Personally. you seem quite bitter toward this, your fellow service member. He had to wait 4 years to get what was due to him. I think I would be quite pissed if I had to wait 4 years for something that I was entitled to. And I am sure that you never had to wait 4 years.
      The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy.
      So please Get your facts straight before you start something from the safety of your computer!!

  • Johnny

    When I was a Master Sergeant on Active Duty in the Army, I received a Bronze Star in the mail from a previous combat tour. It was in an envelope without any protective sleeve, so the certificate was all crumpled up. When I called the J1 to inform him about how poorly his section had handled it, he gave me some song and dance about how he can't QC everything. What at an insult.

  • airbus737

    Don't think someone is fessing up completely here.This appears to be a REPLACEMENT SET which is ALWAYS sent by mail from the Secretary of the appropriate service.

    First, among those pictured other than the purple hearts, I see only one personal decoration and that is the ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL. The other medals are campaign or unit ribbons.

    Marines present Purple Hearts in person at the hospital or to the family if the Marine is killed or dies from wounds. REPLACEMENT MEDALS by are NORMALLY mailed from the Secretary of the Army or SecNav ONLY upon request after the recipient loses the original or when requested by surviving family.

    • Missile

      Actually, a replacement set is purchase by the said named soldier or Marine. Not mailed. And if you had read the statements in the article, then you would see that these were a first set that took 4 years to get to the man. Also when purchasing the medals, you must show a warrant proving that you have earned them to the place of purchase.

  • ruggbutt

    First thing, what a disgrace this MARINE got his medals in the mail. Should never happen ever. Second, if you're one of those who served who has been treated like the Marine in this story remember this: There are millions of us out here who love you for your sacrifices and for your service. I'd throw a party to end all parties for each and every one of you. I'm saddened by the way the military has handled this situation and I hope in some small way that my family's gratitude helps to negate the poor way this was handled. Semper Fi.

  • Zen Bonobo

    That is the sort of thing that a Congressman is on the prowl for. I do note that the two possible Congressmen that might represent this individual are Republicans, so maybe they were more concerned with standing in the way of the President than honoring a constituent.

  • Robert Anderson

    Let's all face reality. Corporations are into making war. Soldiers are sent to fight war in the name of patriotism, country, God, service. You want reality? No. Soldiers fight for corporate interests. Read Smedley Butler's book War is a Racket. This war should have never, never gone on to this extent. But, regretfully, it has and will continue. I am a former serviceman. All I can say is read history, in detail, and you too will be disturbed by the masked lies and other forms of deceptions.

  • Hooter

    That's nothing compared to one of these stories…. Tom Harrison, 93, a WWII veteran, received a package in the mail that contained : the Army Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Legion of Merit Medal. These had been awarded for actions in the PI, he was Battling bastard of Bataan,captured by the Japanese and POW. Over six decades, 65 years later. Only higher award the Medal of Honor. Normally Sec of Def, or the President presents that medal not the postman.