Printer Friendly

VIETNAM VETERANS AWARDED BRONZE STAR 26 YEARS LATER, AFTER 'THE CRUSADERS' CONVINCE THE NAVY TO RECONSIDER A CHAPLAIN'S APPEAL

 BURBANK, Calif., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Like many Vietnam veterans, Robert R. Wilson and Barry Ronald Smith did not give much thought to medals and decorations once the war ended. That was until Navy Chaplain Leo "Chappy" Stanis learned in 1991 that, through a paper-work mix-up, Bronze Stars were never awarded to the two former Navy corpsmen who he had witnessed running through a Vietnamese minefield on Aug. 15, 1967, in an attempt to save two wounded Marines.
 The chaplain's struggle to get official military recognition went unanswered until reporter Randy Paige, of the news magazine "The Crusaders," offered to help. His investigation resulted in the government's re-opening of the files. Based on new evidence uncovered by Paige, Secretary of the Navy John Dalton approved the Bronze Stars and will present the decorations to Wilson and Smith at 11:15 a.m., Nov. 10, in Washington, D.C., prior to Veteran's Day. (Capt. Bill Harlow is press contact for Secretary Dalton: 703-697-7491.)
 "The Crusaders," a nationally syndicated news show that involves its reporters in finding solutions to stories it covers, will unite the two former Vietnam veterans with their chaplain for the Washington ceremony. The two Marines who were rescued, both subsequently died of their wounds. Their parents are planning to attend the ceremony. (Show airs in syndication the week of Nov. 12-18; check local listings for times and dates.)
 The Pentagon had previously told Paige if he could prove extraordinary circumstances as to why the paperwork was not submitted, the case would be re-examined. The breakthrough came when Paige and his team of researchers located the corpsmen platoon leader, Marine Lt. Peter Wymes.
 "He told us there was almost constant incoming artillery at the time, and that the company was shipped out the next day. In the confusion, the paperwork


was never submitted," said Paige. "I also found the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Lee Bendell, who supported the lieutenant's account."
 Stanis had assumed the two medics had received their Bronze Stars until he spoke with Wilson in February 1991. That month, Stanis had been featured in Vietnam Magazine. Wilson read the article and contacted Stanis, who learned for the first time that the decorations were never awarded. Stanis spent the next two years unsuccessfully trying to get the Navy to award the medals. It was not until "The Crusaders" interceded on his behalf that the Navy Department agreed to award the Bronze Stars.
 (Note resident cities: Wilson, Charleston, Ill.; Smith, Abilene, Texas; Stanis, Bowie, Md.)
 "The Crusaders" is cleared in 90 percent of the country representing 145 markets, which include the NBC owned-and-operated stations. The series is produced by First Run Productions Ltd. and distributed by Buena Vista Television. Group broadcasters Westinghouse Broadcasting Co., Lin Television Corp. and Providence Journal Broadcasting are equity investors in the series. Buena Vista Television is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co.
 -0- 11/8/93 R
 /CONTACT: John Michaeli of Buena Vista Television, 818-560-7565/


CO: Buena Vista Television ST: California IN: ENT SU:

JB-JL -- LA022 -- 3697 11/09/93 12:26 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 9, 1993
Words:509
Previous Article:ANGELES PARTICIPATING MORTGAGE TRUST ANNOUNCES CASH DISTRIBUTION OF $14.50 PER CLASS A SHARE
Next Article:ST. PAUL PORT AUTHORITY TO SEEK BONDHOLDER APPROVAL OF MODIFICATIONS TO COMMON BOND FUND TO IMPROVE PROGRAM CASH FLOW
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters