Medal of Honor Recipients to Dedicate Vietnam War Stamps on Memorial Day

pr15_031-02WASHINGTON — Nearly a dozen Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients will help the Postal Service dedicate the Limited Edition Medal of Honor: Vietnam War Forever Stamps.

The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m., Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and theNational Park Service will host the ceremony, which is free and open to the public.

The Protracted Conflict

Several million service men and women fought in the conflict, which claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. Two hundred fifty-eight people who served during the war received the Medal of Honor. More than six out of 10 recipients were honored posthumously.

The Vietnam War was a protracted conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam, beginning in the mid-1950s and ending with the fall of Saigon in the south in 1975. The first U.S. combat troops were committed to the defense of South Vietnam in March 1965, although American military advisers had been involved in South Vietnam since the 1950s. Several million Americans served on active duty in Vietnam until March 1973, when U.S. troops were withdrawn from the country.

Medal of Honor: Vietnam War Prestige Folio

The prestige folio stamp sheet depicts 48 of the more than 50 living Vietnam War recipients (some chose not to have their name and/or photograph included). The folio, which lists the names of the recipients, is modeled after the World War II and Korean War Medal of Honor prestige folio stamp sheets issued in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Medal of Honor: Vietnam War Prestige Folio

The Nation’s Most Prestigious Military Decoration

The Medal of Honor is our nation’s most prestigious military decoration. It is awarded by the president of the United States on behalf of Congress to members of the armed services who distinguish themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty” while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States.

The Medal of Honor traces its origins to the first year of the Civil War, when Congress saw the need for a formal means of recognizing or rewarding acts of heroism. In 1861, James W. Grimes, a senator from Iowa, introduced a bill to “promote the efficiency of the Navy” by distributing “medals of honor.” President Lincoln signed the bill into law on Dec. 21, 1861. Lincoln signed a similar measure on behalf of the U.S. Army on July 12, 1862, and the country had two Medals of Honor: one for sailors and one for soldiers.

 

Three Versions of the Medal of Honor

There are now three similar, yet distinct, versions of the Medal of Honor, one for each Military Department (Army, Navy and Air Force). The medals are similar in that each consists of a variation of a five-pointed star worn around the neck on a light blue ribbon. The Navy version is awarded to those serving in the Navy and Marine Corps, and during times of war, to members of the Coast Guard. The Air Force, which was established as an independent department in 1947, adopted its distinctive Medal of Honor in 1965. The first presentation of the U.S. Air Force’s medal took place in 1967 during the Vietnam War.

Following is a listing of the living recipients depicted on the stamp sheet in state order. Click the links to the videos of the recipients recounting their experiences. (Note: Media use is of video is only permitted if broadcast in its entirety.)

LAST NAME FIRST CITY ST MEDAL OF HONOR
CITATION
VIDEO LINK
ADKINS BENNIE OPELIKA AL Citation Video
SPRAYBERRY JAMES MADISON AL Citation N/A
THORSNESS LEO MADISON AL Citation Video
FERGUSON FREDERICK CHANDLER AZ Citation Video
BACA JOHN JULIAN CA Citation Video
MODRZEJEWSKI ROBERT SAN DIEGO CA Citation Video
PITTMAN RICHARD STOCKTON CA Citation Video
TAYLOR JAMES PENN VALLEY CA Citation Video
VARGAS JAY SAN DIEGO CA Citation Video
LEMON PETER COLORADO SPRINGS CO Citation N/A
BUCHA PAUL RIDGEFIELD CT Citation Video
INGRAM ROBERT JACKSONVILLE FL Citation Video
LITTRELL GARY ST. PETE BEACH FL Citation Video
MORRIS MELVIN COCOA FL Citation N/A
PATTERSON ROBERT PACE FL Citation Video
RAY RONALD PONTE VEDRA BEACH FL Citation Video
KELLOGG JR. ALLAN KAILUA HI Citation Video
FRITZ HAROLD PEORIA IL Citation Video
LYNCH ALLEN GURNEE IL Citation Video
DAVIS SAMMY FREEDOM IN Citation Video
DONLON ROGER LEAVENWORTH KS Citation Video
HAGEMEISTER CHARLES LEAVENWORTH KS Citation Video
JENKINS DON MORGANTOWN KY Citation N/A
KELLEY THOMAS SOMERVILLE MA Citation Video
RASCON ALFRED LAUREL MD Citation Video
BALLARD DONALD GRAIN VALLEY MO Citation Video
MARM JR. WALTER FREMONT NC Citation Video
ROBERTS GORDON ERWIN NC Citation Video
JACOBS JACK NA NA Citation Video
DIX DREW MIMBRES NM Citation Video
BEIKIRCH GARY ROCHESTER NY Citation Video
KERREY JOSEPH
(BOB)
NEW YORK NY Citation Video
LIVINGSTON JAMES MOUNT PLEASANT SC Citation Video
FITZMAURICE MICHAEL HARTFORD SD Citation Video
BRADY PATRICK NEW BRAUNFELS TX Citation Video
EREVIA SANTIAGO SAN ANTONIO TX Citation N/A
FLEMING JAMES MANVEL TX Citation Video
O’MALLEY ROBERT GOLDTHWAITE TX Citation N/A
RODELA JOSE SAN ANTONIO TX Citation N/A
SASSER CLARENCE ROSHARON TX Citation Video
THORNTON MICHAEL PLANO TX Citation Video
BARNUM JR. HARVEY RESTON VA Citation Video
FOLEY ROBERT ALEXANDRIA VA Citation Video
FOX WESLEY BLACKSBURG VA Citation Video
CRANDALL BRUCE MANCHESTER WA Citation Video
JACKSON JOE KENT WA Citation Video
STUMPF KENNETH TOMAH WI Citation Video
WETZEL GARY OAK CREEK WI Citation Video

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks

Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at the Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Medal of Honor: Vietnam War Stamps
Special Events
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by July 24, 2015.

Ordering First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online atusps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO  64121-9014

Philatelic Products

There are nine philatelic products for this stamp issue:

Medal of Honor: Vietnam War Framed Art

589724, Framed Art, $39.95.

Medal of Honor: Vietnam War Press Sheet

589706, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $35.28 (print quantity 1,000).

589708, Press Sheet without Die-cut, $35.28 (print quantity 1,500).

Digital Color Postmark Keepsake

589710, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake with sheet of 24 stamps (set of 3), $16.95.

First-day cover

589716, First-Day Cover (set of 3), $2.79.

Digital Color Postmark

589721, Digital Color Postmark (set of 3), $4.92.

Digital Color Postmark

589730, Ceremony Program, $6.95.

589731, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.

589732, Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Post mark (random stamp), $1.99.

Source: Medal of Honor Recipients to Dedicate Vietnam War Stamps on Memorial Day