Why is there no "era" differentiation for support personnel for WWI, WWII, Korea, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom? As a matter if fact, if you joined the service the day before the end of WWII and never stepped foot in theater you were still awarded the WWII Victory Medal. The "era" label is an insult to all the support personnel during the Vietnam conflict.


Jim's Reply:

I'm not at all sure why you're angry? An insult? Seriously? This is what you choose to get upset about? I take it that you're Vietnam era and you didn't get the Vietnam Service Medal and you're all hurt about that?

The term 'era' is used throughout many references to historic events. VA defines eras like the Mexican Border period (May 9, 1916, to April 5, 1917), World War I (April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918), World War II (December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946) and so on. Each of those eras is entitled to different benefits and such so there is plenty of differentiation.

Human history is generally divided into eras such as Prehistory, Classical, Middle Ages, Early Modern, and Modern. Humans like to categorize things so our brain better grasps the concepts we're presented. Periods of history are put into boxes where similarities exist. The fact that you're upset about that to a point that you are compelled to write to me is...interesting.

For what it's worth, I'm Vietnam of the 'support personnel' you refer to. Although I served most of my tour in Germany as a hospital medic, I cared for Vietnam combat troops so in a roundabout way I was part of your support personnel. I'm proud of my service and I'm proud that I was able to make some small contribution to help my comrades through difficult times. I did my job well and I'm happy I was able to serve my country during the Vietnam war era.

'A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon' - Napoleon Bonaparte. I get so much mail about the VSM I fear it proves him right. You're another in a long line of veterans who wonder why they didn't get their 'bit of colored ribbon'.

The WWII Victory medal was awarded for military service, much like the National Defense Medal or a Good Conduct Ribbon. It didn't note any particular region of service (Pacific, European Theatre. etc.) and was criticized for both the timing of the award and the fact that almost everyone got one, even student cadets who never served. 

If you're really all that concerned, your Congressional representatives are waiting to hear from you. That's where change of government definitions begins. Good luck.


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