Congressman Mark Meadows and the great Ms Elliott were instrumental in getting these medals of my dad, George Byers Jr., sent to me after decades of impasse. I thank them for this kind gesture. Those above are from the Department of the Navy and more particularly the USMC. Dad flew bombers and then flew Fighter Attack for and was commander of the Checkerboarders.
The first one above is the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, above the Silver Star and one time just below the Medal of Honor. He got it twice.
I stand to be corrected, but I’m thinking that his stint in the Army got him a third Distinguished Flying Cross. See the star on the medal above and the third below.
I’m happy that he didn’t get any second or third battle-awarded Purple Heart. One is too much.
Then there are a few more from the infant U.N., from the Philippines and Korea:
I had thought that that was the whole of it. And then some months later a shipment came in from the U.S. Army. I’m finally only now realizing that it may be that none of these medals below are redundant. That would mean he got the Distinguished Flying Cross a third time plus the Air Medal five times over. He had told me way back in the mid 1970s that he had also been asked to do up the air campaign in Vietnam, though he later headed back to Andrews just outside of Washington, D.C. to do his JAG training at Georgetown and, meanwhile, train the guys how to fly.
So, a stint in the Army after the Marines. When he got stateside he joined the National Guard until he was in his fifties. I mean, can you even fit those on a dress uniform?
I would love to get the backstory for this DFC. The other citation accounts are awesome.
The great Beverly Elliott at Congressman Mark Meadows field office in Murphy NC was able to nudge the Navy guys in Millington TN sufficiently that dad’s list of medals and then the medals themselves were provided. I had been unsuccessful for decades, but she was able to do this straightaway. Ms Elliott didn’t like just giving them to me, so she offered to get hold of a guy in Waynesville NC who makes shadow boxes for medals of decorated veterans pro-bono, and then said that she’ll try to get Mark over so that these could be presented a bit more officially. I love that. Dad, post-mortem, will be able to encourage a bit of patriotism in these USA. We need that always and especially today.
I tried to place the medals in order of precedence. Note the double issuance of the first two medals as signified by the stars on the ribbons, and the triple issuance of the last medal as signified by the two stars on the ribbon of that medal. I’ve written of the first three medals in generalities:
Ms Elliott said that she’s going to try to get the stories of the particular circumstances for the issuance of the first number of medals as recommended by the POTUS of the day.
The above medals are issued by these USA. There are three other medals issued by the Philippines, Korea and even the United Nations – Hey! – the back-in-the-day-U.N.!
Patriotism is a virtue of the natural law and is blessed by God. Speaking of God, my best memory of dad is when I was only a few years old and was able to walk up the aisle of the Cathedral church to kneel at the linen-covered altar rail with him at Communion time. I’ve written of this before:
My favorite memory of him was back in the Autumn of 1962, when I was just 2 1/2 years old. I’d walk up in the Communion line next to him with the rest of the family behind us. This was at the Cathedral with its gorgeous altar rail with the linens flipped over the top. I was always impressed by the linens getting flipped over the top, just as I was with kneeling there beside my dad, reaching up as high as I could to put my hands under the linens like he was doing. I was pretty small. I was filled with such wonder and awe and reverence as the priest and altar boy with paten would make it over to us. They would start on the Epistle side. We were always on the Gospel side. Everything worked together to instill reverence.
It was good be on my knees with dad before the Lord Jesus. Very good.
Why mention that in this post on the medals of a highly decorated war hero? Because here we have a warrior on his knees, in reverence, before The Warrior, Jesus, in the epic battle of good over evil, God over Satan. And dad is with Jesus. I love that.