Vietnam Veteran Awarded “Medal Of Valor” because of “Lost Records”  UPDATED

| March 22, 2019

UPDATE:  Much thanks to Another Pat for finding additional information about this.  It appears that NewsOn6 has virtually no idea what they are talking about.

 

On Thursday at Grace Living Center in Jenks, Marler, joined by family and fellow center residents, received an overdue honor related to his service in Vietnam — an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was there to present the honor to the disabled veteran.

Marler had received a Purple Heart for his wounds at the time, but just hours earlier, in the same fight, he’d saved another soldier’s life. He was written up for a commendation medal for it, but after his own wounding he never followed up.

“I’m glad he can get this now,” said Marler’s son, Jeremy Marler, on hand Thursday with his brother Christopher.

The siblings said their dad was proud of his Vietnam service, but didn’t talk much about it over the years.

“There were little glimpses that he was willing to give us,” Jeremy said, “but for the most part he kept it to himself.”

Marler, a Tulsa native, dropped out of Webster High School to join the military.

The incident that led to the medal happened just four months after he arrived in Vietnam.

On July 29, 1969, Spc. Marler, a medic with the Army’s 27th Infantry Regiment, was with his company when it ran into a larger enemy force. Within minutes it had sustained several casualties.

Tim Stanley of Tulsa World seems to be a much better reporter than those folks over at NewsOn6.

 

From the NewsOn6 report:

An Oklahoma veteran is finally getting the recognition he deserves, nearly 50 years after risking his life for others.

Army Medic John Marler and the group he was with came under enemy fire in Vietnam in the summer of 1969. He earned a Medal Of Valor for his brave actions providing medical care to the injured.
Senator Jim Inhofe presented the medal to Marker Thursday morning in Jenks.
“All the things we’re doing right now, all the freedoms we have in this great country, and the prosperity that we have is due to the people who are willing to sacrifice their lives to make sure we have it, and we have to keep reminding ourselves: they’re the heroes,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma.

Inhofe says the delay in recognition is due to records that were lost by the government.

 

I stand corrected on my previous comments.  Clueless reporters should not publish articles about military topics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Oklahoma Vietnam Veteran Awarded Medal Of Valor – News On 6

Category: "Truth or fiction?", Dumbass Bullshit, Politics, Veterans in the news

Comments (59)

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  1. AnotherPat says:

    Dave,

    The article below stated he received the Army Commendation Medal with Valor (ARCOM w/V), which makes me suspect that whoever wrote the article you quoted “Oklahoma Vietnam Veteran Awarded Medal of Valor-News On 6” made a mistake in identifying the ARCOM w/V.

    “Disabled Jenks Veteran Receives Belated Medal For Life-Saving Action In Vietnam”:

    https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/disabled-jenks-veteran-receives-belated-medal-for-life-saving-action/article_2970fb01-9981-5128-a410-aa2477dbc897.html

    “On Thursday at Grace Living Center in Jenks, Marler, joined by family and fellow center residents, received an overdue honor related to his service in Vietnam — an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was there to present the honor to the disabled veteran.”

    Hope that clarifies things. Once again, a misleading title to a news article based on shoddy journalism work.

    • AnotherPat says:

      And another story that states he received the ARCOM w/V. In reading the article below, it looks as if he never PHYSICALLY received the ARCOM w/V. He probably had the orders for this award…and for some strange reason, never pursued on getting the actual medal until now.

      Or his award may have been forwarded to an address he provided the Army when he was in Vietnam…and the medal never reached that address.

      Vietnam Veteran In Jenks Awarded Army Commendation Medal 50 Years Overdue”

      https://ktul.com/news/local/vietnam-veteran-in-jenks-awarded-army-commendation-medal-50-years-overdue

      “The Army Commendation Medal is to specialist fourth grade Johnny Marler, Company D, Second Battalion, 27th Infantry,” US Senator Jim Inhofe read off a commendation for Marler.”

      “He went above and beyond the call of duty and was given recognition when he came back stateside, but the actual hardware never showed up.”

      “We looked for it over and over, it just never got through orders. I was told that it was approved, but I couldn’t get it,” said Marler.”

  2. Claw says:

    50 years overdue? “We looked for it over and over,”?

    One each 76Y Supply Sergeant
    One each DA Form 2765-1
    FSN 8455-269-5750 ARCOM Medal Set
    FSN 8455-249-0190 Letter “V”

    Some assembly required – Undoubtedly would show up in the Supply Room about one week after submitting the requisition, especially since he spent time on active duty after Vietnam Times./s

    • Claw says:

      Oops, Mea Culpa – That should read “two each DA Forms 2765-1”, (one requisition per FSN)

      Note to self – need more coffee before typing./smile

      • Ret_25X says:

        DA Form 2765-1!

        How old fashioned!

        Now you log into LOGSA and order online!

        LOL

        • Claw says:

          I’m just an old fashioned kind of guy, still believing in the manual system of doing things, especially when the supply room lap-top has a through and through shrapnel wound./smile

    • MI Ranger says:

      CLAW are you inferring that the Soldier should just be a PX Awardee and wear the medal he “knows” he is entitled to?
      I think Mr. Merle was trying to say he knew it was signed off, but he never received the Card Stock Award Certificate with awards number typed on it. He had made several trips to his PAC to get them to hunt it down, but eventually gave up as they were too lazy to hunt it down.

      • Claw says:

        Nope, not inferring that he should have been a PX soldier at all. Just trying to inject a little early morning supply humor into the mix./smile

      • rgr769 says:

        I am a PX Awardee of the RVN Cross of Gallantry. It is not in my records, but I wore it anyway, as I was there in the battalion formation when it was awarded to the entire battalion by an ARVN colonel in our last formation before deactivation of 3rd Bn, 12th Infantry.

        • rgr1480 says:

          I’m sure you mean RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm and Frame (unit award).

          *We* know that, but I’ve met many vets who wear the ribbon without the frame (personal award) — not knowing the difference.

          • rgr769 says:

            Yes. And I only wore it as a unit citation next to my other unit citation for the 10th SFGA while I served in it.

  3. Non Cedo Ferio says:

    Here’s my take , if you were entitled to an award why is it not on your 214?and let’s say for the sake of argument that it does not reflect it. In the Army you have a few ways to go. You can submit whatever evidence you have to the HRC awards branch in Fort Knox. , or you can contact the Army G1 branch at the Pentagon who have folks who investigate such claims. In order to receive an award for valor in any case you need either strong paper evidence or credible witnesses to the event or both. They prefer both. My best friend and two of my dearest friends received the BSM with V. They all had to have both forms of evidence. Me I’m a pre CAB Iraq Vet I for one don’t have the requisite evidence to get mine retroactively , for one thing I was one of I only a few in my unit to roll across the border in 03. Secondly since I was supporting SF I didn’t really know the guys I was working with. My point is , I think I’m eligible but I don’t have any evidence to speak of. But I’m not bothered by it. And I wouldn’t want anyone trying to give me some Captain Midnight decoder ring and saying here , we can’t give you a legit award but here’s a nice consolation prize to make yourself feel better. I’m happy with my rack. With my AAMS ICM and GWOTE. Among others. I wouldn’t want an award for something I can’t physically account for and neither should this guy. Just sayin

    • Non Cedo Ferio says:

      I’m glad the truth came out and this guy got the award he deserved. Both he and his family should be proud

    • MI Ranger says:

      Someone tried to give you a CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT decoder ring and you declined to accept it? That was your chance to get in behind the curtain, passing on it meant they can no longer send you telepathic instructions and secret missions. Hence forth you will only be able to wonder if they are just conspiracy theories or something we should all be worried about!

      If I can infer from Mr. Merle’s comments it sound like he knew the award went up and was approved, but he never got the signed certificate. He likely tried to get his PAC to look in to it several times, but they were too lazy to track down the missing certificate.

      • Non Cedo Ferio says:

        Lazy PAC Clerks? Say I ain’t so ! Those dedicated Soldiers who work tirelessly every day to make sure the command teams issues are taken care of before anyone else’s? They work so hard at avoiding the paperwork they seem to lose constantly , but always make sure they blame you for it! That dedication to protecting their own asses for sure. Oh yeah and the promises they make that they will forward your PCS award to your next duty station gotta be your fault too that it never got there? And just the sheer consistency they have in not turning in NCOERs on time ? Amazing and the courage they have in facing a fire breathing Brigade CSM when said NCOERs are late? I hear they may even be getting ARCOMs that they write up for themselves for the most lost leave.forms in a quarter. Before any 92 , or old 42 , or 75 series jump my ass here I’m just poking fun . My dad was a 75Z for most of his and I had a duty mos of 42L F5 for a few years. But ya gotta admit. It’s all based in truth.

        • SFC D says:

          No shit, there I was. Kuwait Army hospital, OCT 2003. Medevac’d from Camp Victory due to a raging case of pneumonia that almost sent me to Landstuhl. Medic tells me I have a call at the nurses station. I Make my way down the hall, ass in the breeze, trailing an IV rack, it’s only like 25yds but I have to stop to breathe every 3 steps, only to find out it’s the 1LT at S1 (Rear det) calling to tell me my NCOER is late. I’m still pissed.

          • Non Cedo Ferio says:

            Yup. I’ve seen folks buy airline tix for leave , go to sign out only to find S1 has lost it happened a few times. I’ve seen retirements held up , out processing held up and On a personal note two count em two PCS awards lost because I was told they were going to my next duty station. Sorry about your experience SFC D. Sucks I know , I think anyone who’s been in the Army for a minute must have an S1 horror story

            • SFC D says:

              I have a PCS award (ARCOM) from 1990 that’s floating around somewhere between here and Korea. Orders made it into my file, but that’s it. I had a CAB, but S1 said the orders were “in the wrong format” and yanked it. I was too close to retirement to care.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          I spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the mess left by my predecessors. One of them had a habit of typing the cert for the presentation and “catching up later” on the orders. Which oddly never actually seemed to have been typed. We fixed that so they had to be a set to get to the Commander for signature. I was able to authenticate and issue almost every one of the screwups.

          Having a good Adjutant helped unfark stuff.

    • stoutguy says:

      I received an end of service award in the mail months after I got off of active duty and after I was given a dd214. I think it happens a lot that awards don’t make it into records. Just as often as a journalist writing about something they know nothing about. Kind of like all the security clearance stuff in the news recently I am seeing people write news and opinions on security clearances with clearly no idea what they discussing.

      • aGrimm says:

        Stoutguy – Basically same here. Upon exiting Vietnam and AD, I received a DD-214 and was returned to USNR. A few months later they pinned a NAM w “V” on me at a Reserve meeting. The first time I saw the citation and certificate was when I got my discharge papers in the mail. So there is no DD-214 entry for it. However, I have a NAVPERS 1650/96 that indicates it. I suppose I could go for an upgraded DD-214 (215 or is it 216?), but I don’t give a dang.

        • AnotherPat says:

          aGrimm:

          Recommend you submit for a DD215 to ensure your award shows up on your records. Paperwork is not difficult.

          My Better half and I both had to update out Military records via DD215 for Military Awards and Campaign Stars given to us shortly after we retired. Paperwork was a piece of cake. We were lucky that an Army base near our home had personnel to help us with it. We received our DD215s in a short time. Don’t remember if the Army Board of Corrections filed our documents or if we did. Our belated awards are in records and a copy of our DD215s are in our fireproof safe.

          • aGrimm says:

            AP: as I respect your opinion, maybe I will. Can anyone point me to where I start the application?

            • Claw says:

              aGrimm, the whole process starts with a DD Form 149 that is submitted to Arlington, VA for we Army types. The blank form can be printed off from Google-Fu and submitted by the individual himself by snail mail.

              Another start point would be the Post Adjutant at your local VSO.

              • AnotherPat says:

                Claw is correct, aGrimm…

                DD Form 149 can be downloaded at this site:

                https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/correct-service-records.html

                Since you are Navy, am researching where you can send that form. Or as Claw said, perhaps the Post Adjutant…or if you are near a Navy Base, perhaps you can use them if they help former/retired Veterans such as yourself.

                I know that it has been more than three years since you received your Valor Award, but I still recommend you try to get it in your official records. Having your records updated may benefit your family in the future (and I bet they are proud of you!)Plus, you deserve it!

        • aGrimm says:

          You guys, as usual, are good. Dang I hate saying that about Army types. 🙂
          Thanks!

    • FatCircles0311 says:

      My CAR isn’t on my dd214. It’s in the marine corps CAR database though. I recently requested my records and going to see if they’ve updated them but I doubt it so I’ll have to get it corrected. I don’t know about other services but in the corps zero ducks given to accurate awards and commands will fuck you out of them because they can. My second CAR which I should have earned in Iraq never happened because I EAS’d before the deployment was over with and thus my name wasn’t on the returning roster that was submitted. Nice fuck you from my command for bringing my ass with them and keeping me there until I had 30 days before I EAS’d.

      Military award process is balls. Not a fan.

      Also fucked out of another sea service deployment because we didn’t meet the minimum time back in the states before deploying again so the whole deployment didn’t count. What the fuck. Like it was our fault for emergency deploying as though we were scamming the awards process. Fucking marine corps bulllshit.

    • SEAL TWO says:

      Following a transfer from one command to another I was recommended (and approved) for an award without my knowledge, and it was never entered on my DD214 when I retired. It caught up with me about five years AFTER the approval, after I’d been retired from the service for more than two years and was living overseas. The tattered envelope indicated that it bounced around the Navy Special Warfare community for years; I still have the award documentation somewhere, never pursued having it entered in the record – simply too much water under the bridge.

      • NavyEODguy says:

        Same here – CAR & NMCM w/V. Clerks & jerks, including my non-EOD XO at the time. After several attempts/arguments over my DD214 getting ready for retirement I told them all to go fuck themselves.

        I probably could get it straightened out. I still have all the supporting docs, but who would I have to deal with? Yeah, another fucking clerk & jerk.

  4. Guard Bum says:

    You are off base on this one Dave, your ire should be directed to the News6 people. SPC4 Marler received an appropriate medal for valorious acts in Vietnam.

    We should be celebrating this Soldier’s honorable service.

  5. AnotherPat says:

    Dave NAILED it when he commented:

    “Clueless reporters should not publish articles about military topics.”

    He is so right.

    Thank You, Dave.

    Kudos.

    👍👏

  6. Combat Historian says:

    “…It appears that NewsOn6 has virtually no idea what they are talking about…”

    When it comes to military matters, most “journalists” and news outlets have no idea what the hell they’re talking about…

    P.S.: Kudos to that reporter from Peoria who pop in here from time to time to learn and ask questions about military subjects…

    • AnotherPat says:

      Yes, agree…Kudos to Andy Kravetz, a Reporter from the Peoria, IL Journal Star.

      👍👏

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        Do think that Andy Kravetz is the ONLY reporter that has a clue, IMO.

        If anyone finds another clued reporter post their name or shout it from the rooftops.

  7. Doc Savage says:

    The guy was a “Wolfhound”……2/27 Inf is my old Bn.

  8. Comm Center Rat says:

    Maybe Senator Inhofe will initiate a Military Retiree Service Medal (MRSM) with initial award coming upon completion of 5 years of commendable retirement service. Each successive 5 year award period would be indicated by an Oak Leaf Cluster. Something bright and shiny with a colorful riband would be visually appealing to catch the eye of adoring civilians wishing to say “thank you for your service.”

    My Retired Soldier For Life pin just ain’t getting me enough thanks. The MRSM might even encourage Home Depot to ratchet up their discount to 15%. Retirees need more than a license plate or ribbon rack window decal to generate adulation. Military retirees should be set apart from mere veterans in recognition of their much longer service to the nation. The MRSM might result in more timely service or even preference at VA clinics and hospitals not to mention at PXs and commissaries. Sure its great to receive military retired pay and TRICARE benefits but those are not visual reminders of a military career built on decades of service and sacrifice. I expect many bars at AL and VFW halls would also reserve a few seats of honor for MRSM awardees. My coveted NDSM has gotten me a lot of mileage but an MRSM would be priceless.

  9. 26Limabeans says:

    At first I thought the guys name was Jenks.
    Kudos on his actions that day long ago and far away.

  10. 5JC says:

    When I got out the first time my unit had just returned from supporting Hurricane Andrew Relief in Florida. I had an HSM and AAM pending from the deployment. Eventually they mailed them to my ETS address but they never showed up in my file or were on my DD214.

    When I went back in after commissioning they stuck them in there but it actually took three trips to the S1 to get them straight. The Army always sucked at paperwork.

  11. Trent says:

    Way to go Wolfhound! Bout damn time!

  12. Honor and Courage says:

    This is not a story I would share with anyone other than this site. I was the NCOIC of the VIB branch when HRC moved to FTKKY. The Army produces a document that is Directed by the COS DOD. The form is a plain English document that is given to the family of US Army Service members KIA. I had this detail assigned as an additional duty, To shorten the story in the Soldiers awards I listed a Purple Heart. The Civilian that proofed the documents at Casualty and Mortuary Affairs called and said I had made a mistake and needed to correct the 1569. She said she had reviewed the Soldier military file and found no mention of a Purple Heart! My reply (The Soldier was Killed in Action by a Hostile Enemy Force. If you need the document in hand contact the Awards Branch. Some people have jobs that have no knowledge about how the system works. I would estimate thousands of Soldiers serve and do not have proper documents completed and place in the official military record.