World War II, Vietnam Veterans
Portland Receive Congressional Recognition
(November 21, 2009)
|PORTLAND (11/17/2009 - NNS) -- More than 40 World War II and
Vietnam veterans received congressional recognition during a
ceremony at the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC),
Portland Nov. 14.|
Capt. Edward Brands, from Commander, Submarine Group 7
Detachment Alpha, along with U.S. Rep. David Wu, presented
certificates of Special Congressional Recognition.
"This is one of the two most poignant ceremonies I get to
do. This is a happy ceremony because I get to say my thanks
on behalf of a grateful nation," said Wu.
Brands represented the NOSC by thanking veterans as he
co-presented with Wu, as well as reciting a letter to the
veterans from the secretary of the Navy during the ceremony.
"I'm honored to be here. We're here today as a direct result
of their sacrifices," said Brands in reference of all
The veterans were from various branches of the military.
Those who were eligible for the certificate either served in
the U.S. Navy assigned as a member of a gun crew on board
merchant ships as part of the Naval Armed Guard Service
during World War II, or served in the Vietnam War and were
eligible to receive either the Vietnam Service Medal, the
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the Vietnam Campaign
During World War II, some members of the U.S. Navy Armed
Guard were stationed aboard merchant ships, which were used
as cargo ships for transporting supplies. According to Julia
Krahe, communications director for Wu, many of these Sailors
and Soldiers have yet to be recognized for their service of
defending the merchant ships.
Former Yeoman 1st Class Henry Drexel, Jr. trained gun crews
for the merchant ships while stationed in San Diego and
Pearl Harbor from 1942 to 1945. "This [ceremony] is great.
It was very nice," said Drexel.
The sentiments expressed by Drexel were shared amongst many
of the veterans. "I really appreciate Congressman Wu for
putting this together. He always supports veterans' issues,"
said former Army Lt. Col. William Kroger, who was honored
for his service during the Vietnam War.
Legislation was passed in 1999 to give members of Congress
the authority to recognize the contribution of these
veterans. Veterans who received the certificates were those
who reside in Oregon's 1st Congressional District, which is
"We're getting lots of interest from other members of
Congress who are interested in replicating this ceremony.
This is only the second of its kind in the country," said
By Navy MCS 2nd Class Lily Daniels
Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Detachment Northwest
Navy News Service
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