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Korean War Veterans Association

Chartered by Congress June 30, 2008
*Korean War and Korea Service Veterans...
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Progress Report On H.R. 2369 - "Honor Our Fallen Heros Act"

 

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From Shorty Estabrook, Tiger Survivor
Tigersurvivors@comcast.net
www.tigersurvivors.org/pages/13/index.htm

In 2002, one of the Next of Kin of those men who died while Prisoners of War in North Korea wrote to me saying that the Army Awards Branch had told him that their loved one was not eligible for, and had not been awarded, a Purple Heart Medal.

Like most veterans, I believed that when a man died as a Prisoner of War he was awarded a Purple Heart Medal.

I investigated this case and found that I was wrong.

Prisoners of War were not awarded a Purple Heart when they died of starvation, disease etc.

That is when I decided to do something about it.

I did not know where to start.

I wrote to the President and members of Congress and got no where.

I knew that I could not give up the fight!

In 2003, I made contact with Rick and Brenda Tavares of Campo, California.

Brenda’s Uncle, Corporal Melvin Morgan, died as a Prisoner of War with the Tiger Survivors group.

Rick and Brenda decided to help with this noble cause and made contact with J. W. August, General Manager of KGTV, San Diego.

Arrangements were made for Brenda and myself to appear on KGTV.

We were interviewed by Kim Edwards who is a Reporter for KGTV in San Diego.

This publicity caught the eye of Congressman Robert (Bob) Filner of San Diego and he immediately introduced a bill into Congress last year.

Sadly it was never brought up for a vote and died.

Rich and Brenda and myself along with Congressman Filner were not ready to call it quits and the Congressman reintroduced the bill on 16 May 2005.

It was given a new number which is H. R. 2369.

 

It was referred to the House Committee on Armed Services chaired by Congressman Duncan Hunter of California.

Appropriately, the title of this bill is "HONOR OUR FALLEN HEROES ACT."

There are three co-sponsors as of this writing - Danny Davis, Illinois; Michael McNulty, NY; and Chris Van Hollen, Maryland.

Endorsements to date are as follows:

  • The Military Order of the Purple Heart,
  • The Korean War Ex-Prisoners of War Inc.,
  • The Tiger Survivors, East Texas Chapter # 1, American Ex- Prisoners of War Inc.,
  • My local VFW Post, and,
  • My local US Marine Corps League.

Along the way Rich and Brenda Tavares have sent letters to all Senators and Representatives.

They have also sent out news releases and have called many by phone.

Sharon Schultz, Legislative Director for Congressman Bob Filner, is another who has worked tirelessly on this bill.

I should mention Senator Robert Morgan, retired, of North Carolina who has been a great help.

The www.Patriotfiles.com has published articles about this bill as well as the Barker brothers of the Korean War Project.

And, of course, I have to show appreciation to the many around the country who have made the calls on this bill.

-end-

 

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