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Siouxland veterans finally honored for their service

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – Three Siouxland military veterans are being honored for their service in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst visited Sioux City on Tuesday morning to recognize the veterans and personally thank them for their service.

According to the Senator, there are different reasons why some veterans don’t immediately receive their medals and awards.

Historically, following the end of the Vietnam War, many service members were sent home and never saw their comrades again.

Honoring the veterans, even years later, is an important reminder of their service.

In a ceremony this morning at the Federal Courthouse in Sioux City, Ernst presented Richard Skuya, Antonio Diaz Lopez, and Les Levin with the medals they earned while serving their country.

Ernst individually recognized each veteran, allowing them to share stories of their service.

It’s important to note, some American service members returned home unaware they had earned medals.

Their awards are a symbol of heroism, which can be passed down to their families.

“When we’re presenting these awards and honors to these veterans its not coming from Senator Joni Ernst its not coming from Lt. Kernal Joni Ernst it’s coming from a grateful nation on behalf of the United States Government and these medals are long overdue I’m glad to present them today,” says Ernst.

One of the medals honoring one of the veterans this morning was a purple heart.

“I waited fifty years, it’s kind of exciting because I tried before but there was no luck to get it back. Now I get it back. I don’t know where I’m going to put it in the house,” said Lopez,  a Vietnam veteran.

In the cases such as Lopez’s, misspelled or mismatched information can be one of the reasons why some veterans don’t receive their medals.

Danielle Saitta

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