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Rep. Chu Presents Military Medals to Korean War Veteran

September 6, 2016
Press Release

PASADENA, CA – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) presented Cpl. Buddy Leland Brower with the military medals he earned but never received while serving in the United States Army during the Korean War.

Mr. Brower explained that at the end of his enlistment in 1953 he was sent to an office, directed to the rear of the room to pick up his orders, and told to go home. Once he arrived back in the country, he was discharged without his awards. After waiting several decades, he finally reached out to Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) for help in obtaining his medals. Rep. Chu contacted the National Personnel Records Center, who provided the medals. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

“I am so honored to present to Buddy Leland Brower the medals he earned while serving our country. I was shocked to learn that after he was discharged from the Army he never received his awards or a simple thank you. Today we make things rights by recognizing Mr. Brower for all his sacrifices and finally presenting him with the medals he earned while fighting for our country during the Korean War. Thank you Buddy Leland Brower for your service to the United States of America!”  

For his service, Mr. Brower received the following medals: Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Army of Occupation Medal & Japan Clasp, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal & 2 Bronze Star Attachments, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award and United Nations Service Medal

Rep. Chu continued, “Buddy received his Purple Heart after his squadron came under heavy attack. During the attack, mortar rounds were being shot at his squadron, cutting through trees and injuring the men. Mr. Brower describes his injury as ‘merely a cut or scratch on the hand’ but his story paints a more dramatic and powerful picture. A mortar round had cut through a large tree branch which landed on a fellow service member, who in turn fell upon Mr. Brower. As he attempted to free himself from under the heavy weight of the tree branch and service member, his helmet fell which exposed his forehead to debris and enemy fire. He protected his head with his hands as he pulled himself away and only realized he had several cuts across his hand from the mortar shrapnel after getting free.  The cuts across his hand could have been upon his forehead had he not covered his face. He simply characterizes his experience as ‘lucky’ and ‘a gift from god’.

“Buddy also depicted another courageous moment when his squadron followed another team up a hill before taking over as lead toward the top. At the top of the ridge Buddy’s squadron was fired upon. Many were injured and killed during the battle. They pulled back a bit and attempted to fight but the assault was too overwhelming. The officer in charge wanted to retreat back but there were still some wounded men out in the field. Mr. Brower took it upon himself to run out and help another soldier carry an injured friend out of the line of fire and into a safer area.”

Mr. Brower is 85 years old and a longtime native from the City of Pasadena.