Soldier receives medal 60 years after it was issued
- Written by Cheryl "CJ" Johnson
Congressman Ted Poe delivered a well-deserved citation and long-awaited medal to John Leming, 81, Retired USAF, at the North Harris County Law Enforcement breakfast on May 4. Leming is already a recipient of the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal 3rd Award, Presidential Unit Citation, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal with Germany clap, National Defense Medal with 1 bronze service star, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge 1st Award, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon w/Device, Expert Badge with Carbine Bar, Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar, and Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar. With Leming’s family looking on, he was finally presented with the Bronze Star with a “V” for valor, 60 years after the fact. The citation, dated Dec. 10, 1950, was read aloud by Poe, “For heroism in action against the enemy in the vicinity of Waegwan, Korea, on Sept. 17, 1950. Private Leming was a member of a platoon that was holding vital high ground against numerically superior enemy forces. In the absence of a medical aid man, he voluntarily, under heavy enemy fire, made his way to an exposed position, in order to render first aid, and to evacuate our wounded from exposed positions without regard for his own personal safety; and, despite the fact that he himself had been seriously and painfully wounded. He was able to evacuate two wounded soldiers to positions of comparative safety and give them first aid. Private Lemings’ heroic actions reflected great credit upon himself and the military service.” In addition to presenting the medal, Poe also presented Lemings with a U.S. flag which had been flown over the Capitol. The presentations were met with thunderous applause. “Thank you. I know you are all police officers and I really do appreciate all the things that you do for our community--the safety of our community, and I think the police officers do a wonderful job, and I’m real proud of them,” said Lemings. Poe then answered questions and touched on several issues which were brought up by the audience. He discussed his recent trip to Columbia where he saw firsthand the exercises that our military, along with the Colombian government, are engaged in to eradicate drugs to the U.S. He discussed the new immigration law being passed by the state of Arizona, and the fact that assaults on border patrol agents have increased 300 percent there. He explained the bill to let Puerto Ricans vote on whether they wish to remain a commonwealth, become independent, or switch to statehood. When asked if he would ever consider a run for the presidency, he replied, “I appreciate that, but I like what I’m doing right now, and I want to go back in November.” President of the North Harris County Law Enforcement Association John Garza acknowledged several personalities in the crowd, handled some “housekeeping” issues for the organization, allowed announcements, thanked the owners of Marshburn Flooring America for generously sponsoring the breakfast, and adjourned the meeting. Photo: Congressman Ted Poe presents Mr. John Leming, 81, Retired USAF, with the Bronze Star with a “V” for valor, 60 years after it was issued.