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Medals finally make it to Ladd

LADD – Congressman Adam Kinzinger made a quick stop in Ladd Friday afternoon to present veteran LeRoy C. Padgett with four medals he earned but never received.

The presentation took place at the American Legion in Ladd, surrounded by Padgett’s family members, Ladd village officials and legion officers, including the 16th District American Legion commander.

Kinzinger read a brief background on Padgett, who entered the Armed Forces in 1951. Padgett completed his basic training in Kentucky and then his advanced training. After training, he was deployed to Japan and served on an anti-aircraft artillery battalion.

Padgett’s unit was responsible for defending an air strip in Japan during an intense time. Padgett served in the U.S. Army from February 1951-53 with an honorable discharge and transfer to ERC for five years, where he served as a corporal.

Padgett was awarded the United Nations Medal, which is for participation and joint military operations authorized by the United Nations. He received the Korean Service Medal, authorized by the Department of Defense for his service in the Armed Forces during the Korean War. He received the Army Occupation Medal of Japan for the occupation service performed with the Army after World War II. And lastly, he received the Nation Defense Service Medal for servicing honorably during a declared national emergency time during the Korean War.

After the presentation, the humble 60-year Legion member quickly responded by saying “I’m no talker.”

Kinzinger ended with expressing his appreciation for men who have served the country.

“We find ourselves in tough times, but the thing that distinguishes us from the rest of the world is the people who stand up and defend our great country,” he said. “There are so many who have made our country great.”

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