Local DAV Commander Tom Montez, working with Larry Kerr and Ferron Johnson, all part of DAV Davis County chapter 14, have taken up the mantle of honoring those veterans who served in the armed forces from 1945 to 1963 in what has been called the invisible war. A medal was created to honor these veterans and some funding was provided for their purchase; however, once the initial funding was expended, the program virtually stopped. After some research, Larry found out who created the medals and learned that he could purchase them in bulk for $15 each. In speaking with his DAV Commander and other veteran friends, these men felt moved to continue to honor these veterans.
Many of these veterans served in terrible times and conditions, serving in bases and active military zones across the world, especially around communist nations to protect free people in neighboring countries. The conditions were terrible and the war though unnamed could be called the actual cold war. These men and women served and can sometimes go unrecognized because they don’t get to carry a title like WWII Veteran. However, they served in submarines, drove tanks and conducted surveillance from Germany to North Dakota. For Utah veterans, this greatly deserved recognition is being made possible by this local DAV unit and led by two Syracuse Veterans, Larry and Ferron.
Initially the group was able to raise $500 and purchase 33 medals to distribute. Spreading the word and holding an event to honor these fine veterans, they saw in the eyes and heard from other veterans who attended that they wanted the award and honor as well and wondered if it was possible. This motivated Larry and Ferron to start pulling together resources to be able to honor more of the 70,000 potential recipients, which would take over $1,000,000 in funding to give the medal to every one of them. That is why this group is raising money and holding small events to honor as many as they can.
Named the Cold War Victory medal, it is an authorized medal which was supported by Chris Stewart, R-Utah, Congress and the Utah Veterans of Foreign Affairs. The medal (pictured) is a small token of much needed gratitude for the brave who served in those perilous times.
Looking to honor Syracuse Cold War Veterans, the group currently has 40 medals available and are looking for nominees. The public is invited to attend the upcoming event to be held at the Syracuse Recreation Center on March 29th at 5pm.
March 29th is now officially recognized as Vietnam Veterans Day after being honored by President Barack Obama in 2012 and then made official for every year by President Donald J. Trump in 2017. This will be a great and fitting day to honor other veterans who served by giving out Victory Medals.
The funding for these local medals is 100% by donations and the medals are purchased in $500 bundles. The group is accepting donations as well as name submissions for the upcoming event and future events. Families can also receive the medal even if their veteran family member has passed away. For more information, call either Larry Kerr 801-776-4230 or Ferron Johnson 801-991-0257.
I am grateful for the work these men are putting in as a labor of love to honor those men and women who served our country. Thank you!