SHAHEEN PRESENTS ACWORTH VIETNAM VETERAN WITH MEDALS FOR SERVICEOctober 22, 2010
(Manchester, N.H.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today presented Vietnam veteran John "Jack" Rieck of Acworth with medals for his heroic service at a ceremony at her state headquarters in Manchester. Rieck was awarded the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, the Marksman Badge & Rifle Bar, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon. Rieck contacted Shaheen's office to seek assistance in obtaining the medals, which he had not received previously due to an administrative error.
"It is my great honor to present Retired Specialist Jack Rieck with these medals for his courageous service to our country during the Vietnam War," said Shaheen. "After more than 40 years, today Jack Rieck will at long last receive the full honor and recognition he has earned. On behalf of all the people of New Hampshire, we thank Jack for his selfless service to our nation."
"I am very grateful to Senator Shaheen for her work on my behalf and I am thankful to have had my fellow veterans with me for this event," said Rieck.
Rieck's service in the U.S. Army spanned three years, from 1966 to 1969, and two continents. As a Bulldozer Operator with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, Rieck conducted mine sweeps, built wet lands crossings for military vehicles, and led patrols during the war's height. As a squad leader of a combat engineering squad with the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany beginning in 1968, Rieck helped protect the German-Czechoslovakian border during the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
For his service, Rieck had previously received several medals (including the Bronze Star), but was curious if a shrapnel wound he had suffered to his leg in Vietnam qualified him for a Purple Heart. After Rieck contacted Senator Shaheen's office, her staff learned that he had been approved for the award in 1968, but an administrative error had prevented it from entering his records.
"I'd like to thank the Senator and say how proud I am of Jack!" said Pat Rieck, Jack's wife.
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