"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 22 Feb 2001

“Republic of Korean War Service Medal”

Veterans of the Korean War are now eligible to wear a medal initially offered to them more than 50 years ago, but never issued. In May 2000, letter to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, Republic of Korea Defense Minister Seong Tae Cho formally announced that his government would provide the Republic of Korea War Service Medal (ROKWSM) to eligible U.S. veterans of that conflict, or to their surviving next of kin.

The medal is provided at no cost to veterans or their surviving next-of-kin. The U.S. Air Force has been designated as the lead agency to receive and distribute the medals.

The medal was originally offered by the ROK in 1951 to United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters. At the time U.S. law prohibited the U.S. military from wearing medals issued by foreign governments. Congress changed that in 1954, but by then most U.S. service members eligible for the medal had returned home.

In 1998 the government of the Republic of Korea renewed its original offer of the ROKWSM to U.S. military personnel. On Aug. 20, 1999, the Defense Dept approved the acceptance and wear of the medal. Approximately 1.8 million U.S. veterans of the Korean War are eligible to receive it. Next-of-kin to eligible deceased veterans can also apply for the medal.

To wear this medal on U.S. military uniforms, U.S. military personnel must have:

The ROK specifies the eligibility period and criteria. Only the ROK-provided medal is approved by the U.S. government to meet the U.S. criteria for wear on the military uniform.

To apply, veterans must provide a copy of their discharge paper, commonly known as a "DD-214," or a corrected version of that document, a "DD-215." National Guard members must provide their statement of service equivalent, "NGB Form 22."

Additional information on how to apply for or request the medal can be found by contacting the: Air Force Personnel Center, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (CST) at 800/558-1404, or write the Awards and Decorations Sec.,HQ AFPC/DPPPRA, 550 C St. West, Suite 12, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas 78150 or visit their website at: http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/awards/.

Because the order of precedence for non-U.S. service medals and ribbons is determined by date of approval, the ROKWSM should be worn after the Kuwait Liberation Medal, which was the last foreign medal approved for wear by U.S. military personnel. For the majority of Korean War veterans the medal will be worn after the United Nations Medal, or the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal if they served during that conflict.

“Plum Seeds”

Does anyone have an old fashion Damson plum tree? Betty Fritz of Richmond, KY is looking for seeds. She remembers that when she was little, her father always bought a couple of gallons of the fruit home for her mother to make preserves. If you have any seeds, please send them to: Betty Fritz, 3533 Old Irvine Rd., Richmond, KY 40475.

“THC Seeks Preservation Award Nominations”

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is accepting nominations for individuals, groups or organizations who merit recognition for outstanding contributions to historic preservation. Awards are divided into several program areas and will be presented at the statewide Annual Historic Preservation Conference in Austin on April 19-21, 2001. If you know of a deserving person or organization, request an awards packet from the THC History Programs Division, P. O. Box 12276, Austin, Texas 78711, telephone: 512/462-5853 or visit their website at: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/ . The deadline is February 28th.

“Internet Hint - Irish Migration Resource Center”

During the 19th century, an estimated 7 million Irish emigrants left their homeland, however it was not the first migration of the Irish people. In the 17th Century, about 100,000 people left Ireland as indentured servants, rebels, or felons, followed by another half-million Irish who established homes on the frontiers of Pennsylvania and the Carolinas during the next century. In the 19th Century, Ulster-Scots as well as others from Leinster, Munster and Connacht migrated to Canada, and the Convict Ships transported many Irish immigrants to Australia. Throughout history, economic conditions, agricultural disasters, and military battles have created conditions warranting migration. Today, thousands of genealogists are seeking information about those who have left Ireland to re-build lives and establish families in other countries since the 17th Century.

The Irish Migration Resource Center at http://www.irishmigration.com/default.asp encourages the world-wide exchange of genealogy information about Irish emigrants and immigrants.

Genealogists may Submit Queries about individuals or families migrating from Ireland in any time period, any destination, and Search Queries by surname, ship name, place of origin or destination.

An extensive list of Books and Links about Irish migration, genealogy and history is also available. Each month the Top Five Queries are selected for continuous display and a Featured Query is chosen weekly to assist researchers in making connections with each other.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 13 Feb 2001 and was last revised on _______ 2001

Copyright © 1999, 2001 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604