WASHINGTON - The U.S. Postal Service is issuing two new Medal of Honor stamps at a special Veterans Day ceremony at the National World War II Memorial -- and a special sheet of living medal recipients is part of a special folio version, including Bend's Bob Maxwell.
More than 16 million Americans served in the armed forces during World War II; 464 were singled out to receive the Medal of Honor.
Of that, nearly half died as a result of their heroic actions to receive the honor posthumously. Only nine are alive today, including Bob Maxwell, who turned 93 on Oct. 26 -- the nation's oldest living WWII medal recipient.
"The Postal Service is issuing the stamps depicting the Medals of Honor and including photographs of the living recipients on the stamp sheet as an appropriate way to recognize the living while still paying respect to all 464 recipients whose names are included in the Medal of Honor World War II Forever stamp prestige folio," the agency's media advisory on the First Day of Issue ceremony said Monday.
Pictured (clockwise from top left) are Charles H. Coolidge of Chattanooga, TN (video); Francis S. Currey of Selkirk, NY; Walter D. Ehlers of Buena Park, CA (video); John D. Hawk of Bremerton, WA (video); Daniel K. Inouye of Honolulu, HI; Robert D. Maxwell of Bend, OR (video); Vernon McGarity of Memphis, TN; Nicholas Oresko of Creskill, NJ (video); Wilburn K. Ross of Dupont, WA; and George T. Sakato of Denver, CO (video), all of whom served with the U.S. Army. Arthur J. Jackson of Boise, ID (video); and Hershel W. Williams of Ona, WV (video); served with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Sadly, Senator Daniel K. Inouye and Vernon McGarity died before the stamps could be issued, as did Nicholas Oresko, who died after the stamps were printed. Their photographs are still included, as they remain among the last representatives of a remarkable group whose courage and devotion we honor with this issuance.