U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre introduced legislation to honor veterans that have made outstanding contributions to their communities beyond their time of military service.
Congressman McIntyre said, "Currently, no national medal exists to recognize exemplary veterans who have significantly impacted their communities by giving of themselves after their time of service has ended. That's why I am working to establish the Department of Veterans Affairs Medal for Distinguished Public Service. This will honor veterans with an unwavering desire to serve others--those who exemplify the kind of selfless dedication that inspires us all to greater heights."
Congressman McIntyre was motivated to craft this legislation after seeking recognition for Mr. Erwin "Bud" Sweetman of Sunset Beach, who enlisted as a field soldier in the U.S. Army at 19 years old, deployed to Europe during World War II, and stormed the beaches of Normandy on August 3, 1944. On this day, a machine gun wound forced him to receive blood transfusions at a field hospital--transfusions that ended up saving his life. Since that day, Mr. Sweetman has dedicated his life to a number of civilian causes, but most notably, to the American Red Cross. He has donated over 310 pints of blood in his attempt to repay the debt he feels he owes.
While no federal veterans' community service award presently exists, Congressman McIntyre's legislation would establish a Department of Veterans Affairs Medal for Distinguished Public Service to honor veterans who make remarkable and distinguished contributions to their communities.
Congressman McIntyre is Congressman McIntyre is a senior member of the House Armed Services and serves as Co-Chairman of the Special Operations Forces Caucus.