More than 40 years after his combat tour in Vietnam, retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Phillip O’Donnell was awarded the Bronze Star. Sgt. Earl Scott reports.
The medal was presented by Senator Jim Webb. His office issued a statement
Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) today presented the Bronze Star Medal to Warrant Officer Phillip O’Donnell, U.S. Army (Ret.), a Stafford resident and Vietnam veteran who served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. Although he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service by the Army during that assignment, the decoration was never presented as the result of an administrative oversight.
Senator Webb’s office has been working with the Army on his behalf since January to assist in verifying O’Donnell’s eligibility for the award. Following a review of its available historical records and all documentation provided by Warrant Officer O’Donnell, the Army confirmed the award of the Bronze Star Medal was authorized.
“I am honored to present the Bronze Star Medal to Warrant Officer O’Donnell for his service to our country,” said Senator Webb. “Speaking as a Marine combat veteran of Vietnam, this long-awaited award for his meritorious service is well deserved.”
Warrant Officer O’Donnell served as a pilot in the 336th Aviation Company (Assault Helicopters), stationed at Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam, from January 1970 to January 1971.
“This is an immense honor,” said O’Donnell. “I never thought I would see this day.”
Editor’s Note: Senator Webb is a Vietnam veteran, having served with the Fifth Marine Regiment, where as a rifle platoon and company commander in the infamous An Hoa Basin west of Danang he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, and two Purple Hearts. He currently serves on the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Veterans Affairs.
To view photos of today’s ceremony, visit: http://webb.senate.gov/photos/photogallery/Bronze_Star.cfm
More on the Bronze Star at wikipedia.