STANDISH, Maine — Since 1953, Donald L. Roy has waited to hold his Bronze Star Medal. Roy, who was a medic in the Korean War, was mailed his medal and certificate, but it arrived damaged and the medal had slipped out of its packaging.
On Friday, 67 years later, Roy finally received his medal.
Rep. Chellie Pingree's Office presented the 90-year-old vet of Standish with his long-overdue medal Friday. Pingree herself couldn't make it back from Washington to be there in person, but she sent Roy a note along with the medal.
“Mr. Roy served his country with honor and valor, tending to the wounds of his fellow soldiers. In his citation for meritorious service, Sergeant Roy was said to have displayed exceptional skill and knowledge in caring for his fellow soldiers while he supervised the immunization program and oversaw the first aid program,” Pingree said in a statement.
Bryan McManus, Commander of the Kenison Hooper Post 128 American Legion in Standish, presented the medal to Roy at the ceremony on Friday.
In a phone call with NEWS CENTER Maine Friday, Roy explained the mishap that happened in 1953 when he returned home from the war. He said after he realized the medal fell out of the damaged packing tube, he called the office about getting it replaced, but the department had changed locations. He said he didn't bother trying to track them down for it.
"It feels good to still be alive when I finally got it," Roy joked. "There's not many years left."
A handful of fellow Legion members joined Roy and McManus for the ceremony. They all wore masks, Roy said.
Roy said he enjoyed his time in Korea, except for being away from Maine and his soon-to-be wife, "but it was all in good service."
Roy married his wife shortly after he got home from the war in 1953. They've been married for 67 years and have eight children.
“What strikes me most is that he was lauded for his cooperative spirit and devotion to duty—that attitude is what makes a lifelong leader," Pingree said. "I was so honored that my office could be a part of this special day—I know Mr. Roy has looked forward to it for many years.”