Korean War veteran receives medal of valor
A Korean War veteran in hospice at the Bob Stump Veterans Affairs Medical Center received the Warriors Medal of Valor on Thursday afternoon as his wife Joy, daughter and others looked on in the community living center's dining room.
As flute music played, Ed Albert, a member of the Cherokee of the Bear Clan, gently touched Jim Bork, 78, of Camp Verde, with an eagle feather and blessed him with a smoldering bundle of sweet sage.
"It is an honor and a pleasure to award you the Warriors Medal of Valor for your service to this country and your people. This is just a small token of our appreciation," said U.S. Marine Corps (retired) Sgt. Alfonso Santillan Jr., commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 608. "We thank you for a job well done."
Then Larry Kimmel of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and a member of the Miami Tribe of Indians of Indiana presented Bork with his medal.
The Warriors Medal of Honor was designed by Marshall Tall Eagle Serna, who wanted to honor veterans with a medallion to show appreciation for their sacrifices, Santillan said.
The front of the medal shows the head of an eagle with an American flag in the background and two eagle feathers at the bottom of the medal.
The red, yellow, black and white stripes on the medal's ribbon represent the four directions.
Bork said he served as a private in the U.S. Army in the combat infantry and saw combat in the battle for Pork Chop Hill and in a valley at the farthest point in North Korea.
Bork said he did patrols and manned listening posts as well.
"One time when it got kinda dull, a couple guys and I got some boxes and made horns, and acted funny, telling jokes and stuff, " Bork said. "Then North Korea got into the act with mortar fire. If you didn't try to have some fun, you'd go nuts."
Bork said the Korean people also honored him and other veterans of the Korean War with medals after the war.
"The Koreans still think about us and thank us," Bork said.