Community Groups Sought to Coordinate Local Ceremonies
RALEIGH, N.C. – About 1,500 Certificates of Appreciation have been requested through the N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs by Korean War veterans and family members as part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s June launch of “The Year of the Korean War Veteran.”
“The certificates are processed in Washington, D.C., where they are signed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta,” said Tim Wipperman, Assistant Secretary for Veterans Affairs. “We have sent out about 800 so far and expect to get more very soon.”
The N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs (NCDVA) is working with community groups to host ceremonies where certificates will be presented to recipients. Wipperman said NCDVA is eager to build relationship with additional organizations to ensure that events are planned statewide.
“The Korean War was sometimes referred to as the ‘Forgotten War,’ but it’s gratifying to see that local groups are so dedicated toward helping to make these presentations special and appropriately patriotic,” Wipperman said. “We would love to hear from communities that want to get involved in honoring their heroes and the families that supported them.”
Interested organizations are encouraged to call NCDVA at 919-807-2450. Wipperman said the presentations will continue into 2013, adding that residents of North Carolina’s State Veterans Homes who served during the Korean War will be presented get their certificates on Veterans Day in November.
NCDVA records indicate that more than 177,000 North Carolina citizens served in Korea between June 27, 1950, and Jan. 31, 1955. It is estimated that more than 72,000 of these veterans are still living in North Carolina today, as well as many of their descendants.
NCDVA has placed a link on the Division website (http://www.doa.nc.gov/vets/KoreanWarForm.aspx ) to provide a Certificate of Appreciation to all Korean War veterans and the family members who supported them. No documentation is necessary and the form can be filled out and submitted online by the veteran, family member or a friend. Requests for certificates may also be downloaded and mailed to: Korean War Veterans Certificate, N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs, 1315 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1315.
According to NCDVA, North Carolina recorded 968 deaths in service during the conflict, of which 784 were battle deaths. An additional 2,272 service members were wounded; 109 were taken as prisoners of war (POWs), and 204 were designated as Missing in Action.
In addition to the Certificate of Appreciation, the U.S. Department of Defense encourages any Korean War veteran who would like to share his or her story with the Korean War Commemoration Committee’s oral history project to visit http://koreanwar.defense.gov/ or call 703-545-0522.