Gov. Nixon Honors Injured Veterans
JEFFERSON CITY - A ceremony was held Monday morning honoring four wounded veterans for their service. Gov. Nixon presented Don Hentges, David Mauldin, Wilburn Rowden, and Roger Stottlemyre--all from Jefferson City--with Silver Star banners for wounds they sustained in combat.
In 2009, Nixon signed a bill setting May 1 as the annual Silver Star Families of America Day, named for the group that sponsors the banners for veterans. The day and the banners are meant to honor wounded and ill members of the armed forces in the state of Missouri. Nixon said serving in the military is certainly a sacrifice and these men are prime examples. "The veterans we honor today made that sacrifice over more than 65 years on behalf of our country and to protect our freedom," Nixon said.
One of the veterans, 61-year-old David Mauldin, served in Vietnam when he was only 19. Mauldin was injured when he stepped into a hole and badly injured his knee, requiring surgery. He said he was proud to be a veteran and receive this type of award. "It was truly an honor to serve and I was doing my patriotic duty and to receive this award from the governor is truly an honor and I'm just proud to be a veteran," he said.
Mauldin and his wife, Ginger, were married just before he left for Vietnam. She said, "He is a special veteran to more than just me." She said Mauldin left her love notes hidden away in her school books and day planner before he left and those small messages were something very special she's kept with her after all these years.
Mauldin said he'll hang the banner alongside the rest of the honors he's collected during his years in service and after. "I have an 'I Love Me' wall and it's gonna go proudly on the top of my 'I Love Me' wall," he said.
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