July 18, 2002

World War II Veterans Award Recognition Program Expands

Recently signed legislation has extended the application time, allowing spouses to apply posthumously and expanding the eligibility dates of the World War II Veterans Award Recognition Program established two years ago.

In November 2001 four Scotland County veterans of WWII were presented the awards in a special ceremony at the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the V.F.W. LTC Tom O'Donnell of the United States Army National Guard presented the awards to Okie Boyer, Roy McDaniel, Wayne Newman and Lawrence Ward.

The new legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Dan Ward (D-Bonne Terre), Rep. Harold Selby (D-Cedar Hill), Rep. Bill Ransdall (D-Waynesville) and Rep. Jim Kreider (D-Nixa), offers some significant changes. It allows veterans to apply for the award until January 1, 2003, it allows spouses of World War II veterans to apply posthumously, and it expands the eligibility dates to December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946.

"It is a privilege for the Missouri National Guard to administer the program," said Brig. Gen. Dennis Shull, Missouri National Guard adjutant general. "These veterans have given so much for our nation, it is appropriate that we give them this honor."

Since the program began, 34,910 veterans have been honored with the appreciation award and 4,006 have been awarded the Jubilee of Liberty medal.

To be eligible for the medallion, medal and certificate, a veteran must have served in an U.S. military force between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946. Applicants also must have been honorably separated or discharged from military service unless they are still in active service in an honorable status, according to the legislation.

Every eligible Missouri World War II veteran of the June 6, 1944, "D-Day" invasion of Europe will receive a replica of the 50th anniversary "Jubilee of Liberty" medals issued by France in 1994. The same application submits the veteran for the World War II recognition and the D-Day awards.

Information needed for the application form are current address, serial number, branch of service, rank, unit, dates of World War II service and date landed in Normandy, if applicable.

Veterans will also need to submit a copy of Record of Discharge or Separation from Service or Department of Defense Form 214 as military service documentation.

Applications for the awards are available on the Missouri National Guard website, www.moguard.com, by calling toll-free 1 (866) 834-3431 or by writing Office of the Adjutant General, Attn: Director, WWII Veterans Recognition Program, P. O. Box 1808, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102.

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