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Pages 124 & 125 Dad's Military Album Vol. II
Pages 124 & 125 Dad's Military Album Vol. II

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Registered: April 2019
Posts: 145
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Pages 124 & 125 Dad's Military Album Vol. II

The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) was established by President Eisenhower on 22 April 1953. It is often jokingly referred to an “I was there medal.” Even though it has been the butt of jokes it is an important medal awarded to members of the US Armed Forces.

Eligibility for award is based on the following time periods. 27 June 1950 – 27 July 1954 Korean War 1 January 1961 – 14 August 1974 Vietnam War 2 August 1990 – 20 November 1995 Gulf War 11 September 2001 – Present Global War on Terror The medal is awarded to service members who have served during one of the eligible time periods. Additional awards are represented by a bronze star for each additional eligible time period.

The NDSM was created by T. H. Jones. In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, an eagle with displayed, inverted wings shown standing on a sword and palm branch, all of which is beneath the words NATIONAL DEFENSE in raised letters following the contour of the upper edge of the medal. The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents the United States. It is perched in an attitude of defense, alluding to the purpose of the medal. The sword represents armed strength, to be used in defense of the United States, and the palm represents victory.

The back of the medal is a shield of thirteen pieces above an open wreath consisting of oak on the right and laurel on the left. The shield is taken from the coat of arms of the United States and refers to the authority under which the medal is both given and earned. The oak represents strength and courage while the laurel represents honor and achievement.

The ribbon consists of a red background bisected in the center by a stripe of gold which is edged with white, blue, white and red pinstripes.

The red stripes going from the edges inward represent the color of Mars, the Roman god of War, and are also symbolic of fortitude and courage. The central golden stripe flanked by pinstripes of blue, white and red are taken from the American Defense Service Medal, the precedent medal upon which the National Defense Service Medal is based. The gold represents the golden opportunity of the youth of America to serve the Nation, represented by the national colors as embodied by the blue, white and red pinstripes.

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Registered: January 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 7,697
Mon September 21, 2020 3:29am

What a wonderful tribute. My dad has one of these medals and I didn't know, to the extent you journaled, what the history was. Thank you for so elegantly describing it. Wonderful addition to your album.

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Registered: August 2011
Location: Buckeye Country
Posts: 11,598
Mon September 21, 2020 11:15pm

How wonderful! Love the red bg.
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