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Richardson Campaign Press Release - Governor Richardson Presents Purple Heart to Family of Korea Veteran

November 05, 2007

On last day of "Keeping our Promise" tour across Iowa, Richardson honors soldier whose remains were recovered in bipartisan trip to North Korea

DES MOINES, IA-- On the fourth and final day of his "Keeping our Promise" tour through Iowa, during which he advocated a $15 billion plan for veterans and military families, New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson presented a Purple Heart medal to the family of Corporal Clem Robert Boody. Richardson was joined on the tour by Congressional Medal of Honor winner Hiroshi Miyamura, Army Brigadier General John Johns, New Mexico Secretary of Veterans Services John Garcia, and Director of Field Operations for the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services Lou Helwig.

"It is my privilege to present this medal to the family of Corporal Clem Robert Boody, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the security of our people and the honor of our nation," Richardson said. "It has been my honor to travel through Iowa the past few days talking to the veterans and military families who have kept this country safe. When I am President, I will not rest until our veterans and military families get the health care, education, and other benefits that they have earned so courageously."

In 1954, the Secretary of the Army posthumously awarded Corporal Boody the Purple Heart medal for wounds received in action during the Korean conflict; the medal never was received by the family. U.S. Secretary of the Army Pete Geren provided the medal to Richardson for bringing back Corporal Boody's remains from North Korea and for his efforts to secure the medal on behalf of the family. Corporal Boody's niece, Stacey Brewer, and his nephew, Robert Vannevele, received the medal on his behalf.

"Governor Richardson's commitment to this issue has been nothing short of amazing," Brewer said. "He is a dedicated advocate with a proven track record of fighting for veterans and military families. I am so touched by his effort in fighting to see that Clem finally received the medal he so rightfully deserved. I will always be grateful for Governor Richardson's help."

In April, North Korean military leaders turned over the remains of six American soldiers, including those of Corporal Boody, to a bipartisan delegation led by Richardson and former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi. Upon the request for help from the Boody family, Richardson petitioned the Secretary of the Army for the medal that the family actively had sought for five decades.

"We have the chance to put a real veterans' advocate, a champion of veterans and their families, in the White House in 2008," New Mexico Secretary of Veterans Services Garcia said. "We need one now more than ever. Bill Richardson will be the veterans' President. A lot of the candidates talk about the things they will do for veterans if they become President. There is an important difference between Bill Richardson and the rest of them. He already has delivered for veterans in New Mexico. He has a record of accomplishment."

Corporal Boody was a member of Headquarters Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy near Unsan, North Korea on November 2, 1950. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953, and identified through DNA testing in September 2007.

To read Governor Richardson's policy for Veterans and Military Families, click here.

Please find bios of the veterans accompanying Governor Richardson below:

Congressional Medal of Honor winner Hiroshi Miyamura

Hiroshi Miyamura, Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment, was born in Gallup, New Mexico on October 6, 1925. He was drafted into the Army in 1944 and served briefly with the 442nd Infantry Regiment, an all Japanese-American unit. Following the war, he enlisted in the Army Reserve and was recalled to active duty following the start of the Korean War. He was assigned to Company H, 7th Infantry, and accompanied that unit to Korea in the fall of 1950. Sergeant Miyamura later was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for action that took place on April 24, 1951, at which time he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Communist Chinese Forces, to be released some 27 months later. Following his release on August 20, 1953, he returned to the United States and was discharged from the Army shortly thereafter. He was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Eisenhower in October 1953. Hiroshi is married to the former Terry Tsuchimori and has three children. He has resided in Gallup since his separation from the Army, where he has pursued a career as an automobile mechanic and service station owner.

Army Brigadier General John H. Johns (USA, Ret.)

Dr. John H. Johns served as a combat arms officer in the Army for over 26 years, retiring as a brigadier general in 1978. During his career, he served in command assignments up to Assistant Commander of the 1st Infantry Division and Director of Human Resources Development for the Army General Staff. He has taught leadership and ethics at the U.S. Military Academy, the Army War College, and the Naval Academy. He served four years as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense before resigning to become a Professor of Political Science at the National Defense University at Fort McNair. He is an adjunct professor at the Federal Executive Institute, where he lectures on "Values and the U.S. Constitution" and teaches a one-week course in ethics. Dr. Johns has an undergraduate degree in economics and political science from the University of Alabama. He holds Master's degrees from Vanderbilt University and George Washington University and a Ph.D. from American University. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.

New Mexico Secretary of Veterans Services John Garcia

New Mexico Secretary of Veterans Services John Garcia is a native New Mexican, appointed by Governor Bill Richardson in 2003 as the first Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services. Previously he was President of Garcia & Associates, a consulting company he started in 1995. He was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff and Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department by former New Mexico Governor Bruce King.

Secretary Garcia was a member of the United States Army from 1969-1971 and served in the Central Highland of South Vietnam from 1969-1970. While attached to the 4th Infantry Division, he received several citations and was honorably discharged in 1971 as an E-5. He is a founding member of the Vietnam Veterans of New Mexico. He served as the National Deputy Director of the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program in Washington, D.C. from 1983-1985. Secretary Garcia was involved actively in the dedication of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. C. He also was the State Director of the Vietnam Veterans of New Mexico Program. He served as a Commissioner of the New Mexico Veterans' Service Commission for twelve years.

Secretary Garcia is a member of numerous boards, committees, and task forces and has been recognized by numerous organizations, including by De Colores, Inc. for the New Mexico Hispanic Business Leadership Award. He also has received the National Hispanic Leadership Award from the Mexican-American Foundation and the American Center for International Leadership Award. He is listed in Who's Who Among Hispanic Americans and has received the Profile of Courage Award from the Vietnam Veterans of New Mexico and the New Mexico Veteran Small Business Advocate of the Year Award from the New Mexico Small Business Administration.

Secretary Garcia is married to the former Yolanda Luciani of Albuquerque. They have three children.

Lou Helwig, Director of Field Operations, New Mexico Department of Veterans Services

Lou Helwig spent twelve years in the Air Force from 1962-1975. He attended New York State University and Troy State University and graduated from the United States Armed Forces Institute with degrees in English and math. Helwig has been an advocate for veterans since 1991, when he started helping homeless veterans through the now-defunct Vet Help Program. He worked for over five years as a New Mexico State Service Officer/Benefits Counselor before joining the Veterans Affairs Regional office in Albuquerque as a National Service officer for AMVETS. Helwig was recognized as the National Service Officer of the Year in 2001. He is now in his fourth year as the Director of Field Operations for the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, managing seventeen field offices across New Mexico. Helwig is an Associate Member of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs and a member of the American Legion, AMVETS, and Disabled American Veterans.

Bill Richardson, Richardson Campaign Press Release - Governor Richardson Presents Purple Heart to Family of Korea Veteran Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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