Jun 1, 2007

Howell veterans sets up web site to help wounded vets get recognition

After miles of red tape, appeals and hard work, Staff Sgt. Sean Knudsen of Howell finally received the Purple Heart he earned in battle in Iraq last month, and now he wants to help fellow wounded veterans get the recognition they have been denied.

He has set up a web site at http://www.mycounty.us/information.aspx?account=1247&ID=1247&sState=&sCounty=&sCity=&sZipcode=&sCategory=Knudsen&sType=Go&ssort=&sPage=0&Page=Results to help other veterans do that.

Knudsen said the goal of the web site is to help reach “veterans of the United States Armed Forces that have been wounded or injured by enemy action, met all DOD criteria for the Purple Heart Medal and were still denied the Purple Heart Medal.

“Not only is it disgraceful and unethical to deny wounded service members the honor and recognition they have earned, it is anti-American and against all principles that many have fought and died for throughout the history of this nation,” Knudsen said on the web site.

The rules for earning a Purple Heart are pretty straightforward and unambiguous. It says “the Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not "recommended" for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria.”

It makes you wonder if the denial is political. You may recall the so-called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” that tried to smear the Democratic Presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry, in 2004 for his service and questioned the three Purple Hearts he earned as a Navy Lieutenant while serving as the commanding officer of a swift boat in Vietnam. The smear vote vets slimed every single veteran who ever earned a medal, commendation and decoration. I wonder what they would have to say about this?

Staff Sgt. Sean Knudsen an also be reached via email at sknudsen@mycounty.us.

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