(West Haven, Conn.) – Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) presented five medals and three ribbons to U.S. Navy veteran James “Moe” Armstrong for his military service. Armstrong lives in West Haven, Conn. and works as a counselor for the VA Connecticut Healthcare System at the Errera Community Care Center. He is also the founder of Vet-to-Vet, a program where veterans mentor other veterans in wellness and recovery.
"Moe Armstrong is a courageous patriot whose service and sacrifice are profoundly inspiring and deserving of this high recognition by a grateful nation," Blumenthal said. "The bravery he displayed on July 14, 1965 – when he rescued an injured comrade under enemy fire and treated the Marine’s wounds after bringing him to safety – is particularly powerful.”
Blumenthal added, “His exemplary service has continued as he works to help his fellow veterans in Connecticut, and his model of caring and character should lead us all to aim higher and do better. I am honored to join in this recognition that is long overdue."
The highest medal Blumenthal presented to Armstrong was the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor Device – a medal the U.S. Navy veteran received for heroic achievement in combat. Blumenthal also presented the following medals and ribbons to Armstrong:
• Navy Good Conduct Medal
• National Defense Service Medal
• Vietnam Service Medal (With 2 Bronze Stars)
• Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon
• Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
• Combat Action Ribbon
• Vietnam Campaign Medal
In October of last year, Armstrong contacted Blumenthal’s office seeking assistance in obtaining medals and ribbons he was awarded but never received. Blumenthal’s office worked with the National Personal Records Center and the Department of the Navy to obtain them.
Below is an August 1968 citation from Lieutenant General V.H. Krulak about the bravery Armstrong displayed on July 14, 1965:
For heroic achievement while serving as a Corpsman with Company A, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division near DaNang, Republic of Vietnam. During a reconnaissance patrol on 14 July 1965, Hospitalman Armstrong’s platoon was taken under fire by an insurgent communist (Vietcong) force. The initial burst of enemy fire wounded a member of the patrol and left him immobilized in a stream bed, exposed to the fire of the hostile forces. Completely disregarding his own safety, Hospitalman Armstrong fearlessly exposed himself to the enemy fire as he moved to the wounded Marine. Upon reaching him, he promptly moved him to safety and expertly treated his wounds. By his inspiring initiative and prompt, courageous actions, Hospitalman Armstrong undoubtedly saved the life of this Marine and upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Hospitalman Armstrong is authorized to wear the Combat “V”.
For an explanatory list of all the medals and ribbons that were presented to Armstrong, go to the following link: http://blumenthal.senate.gov/download/?id=f46c87f3-92e7-4054-9bb5-91c274eec0eb