About the Ambassador for Peace Medal

Published 2:11 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Ambassador for Peace Medal began to be presented to veterans as a special memento for those who returned to South Korea through the ‘Revisit Program.’ The honor has since expanded to veterans who cannot travel to Korea, Covington County Veterans Affairs Officer Brian Foshee said. 

South Korea originally offered the medal in 1951 to all United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters. But at the time, U.S. law prohibited members of the military from wearing medals issued by foreign governments. Congress changed the law 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 offer to award the medal to U.S. veterans of the war.

To be eligible, the veterans must have served in Korea’s land, air or sea during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. It is also available for the veterans who participated in UN peacekeeping operations until the end of 1955.

On Tuesday, Foshee presented medals to three Korean War veterans – William Robinson, Charles E. Wratchford, and Gillis Jones. A fourth county veteran who was to receive the honor, Dalton Kenneth Barr, Sr., died in January.

“As you know, the Ambassador of Peace medal is an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to the American service men and women who fought for our country’s freedom during the Korean War,” Foshee said. “Awarding this medal is a great privilege for me. “