Vietnam Vet receives medals 35 years after service

Kenneth (Mike) Ford
Kenneth (Mike) Ford

FAIRFIELD, OH (FOX19) - Kenneth Ford of Fairfield served in the United States Marine Corps for 3 years in the 1970s, deployed to both Vietnam and Cambodia. After a long delay, Kenneth, who goes by Mike, received seven service medals on Saturday.

Mike participated in the evacuation of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Saigon, Vietnam. While returning to Japan from Saigon, his unit was diverted to recapture the USS Mayaguez that had been seized by the Cambodians.

When he left the Marines, his personnel file lacked proper documentation about where he had served. This became a problem when Mike sought VA treatment for the effects of Agent Orange.

Mike obtained sworn statements from others in his unit, and with the help of Speaker of the House John Boehner's Office, he was able to receive VA benefits and treatment.

It was also discovered that Mike qualified for the following service medals:

  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Combat Action Ribbon-Operation Frequent Wind
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one Bronze star- Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind
  • Vietnam Service Medal with one Bronze star- Operation Frequent Wind
  • Humanitarian Service Medal with one Bronze star- Operations Frequent Wind and New Arrival

Mike received these medals at Saturday's "Support the Troops" rally at Jungle Jim's International Market. The program featured the Fairfield Police Color Guard, Fairfield Mayor Ron D'Epifanio, and others.

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