Vietnam Vet Harbaum presented with lost medals

August 3, 2018

Photo courtesy of David Russell of Congressman Moolenaar’s office

Photo courtesy of David Russell of Congressman Moolenaar’s office

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

Vietnam War veteran Milton Harbaum was surprised when his request for a replacement of his lost Army medals led to a special ceremony at the VFW Post 1075 in Harrison Monday.

“I wasn’t expecting the ceremony. I just wanted to get my lost medals back. They were accidentally thrown away a long time ago,” he said.

After many years, Vietnam veteran Milton Harbaum, shown here with his wife Nora and Congressman John Moolenaar, was presented with his lost medals awarded for his service in the Vietnam War.

After many years, Vietnam veteran Milton Harbaum, shown here with his wife Nora and Congressman John Moolenaar, was presented with his lost medals awarded for his service in the Vietnam War.

Congressman John Moolenaar was at the ceremony and presented Harbaum with the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star Attachment, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device, the Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, and the Vietnam Commendation Pin from Governor Rick Snyder. The pin, which honors all veterans of the Vietnam War, was petitioned for him by State Representatives Jason Wentworth and Judy Emmons, who along with Former Representative and Veteran Rick Outman, attended the ceremony.

Harbaum was drafted into the Army and served from August of 1970 through February of 1972. He served as a radio relay equipment carrier and later as a battalion personnel clerk. After his active duty, he enlisted in the Army Reserves for 18 months.

He is originally from Hamilton, Ohio and moved to the Detroit area in 1964 he said. From there, with his family, he moved to Harrison in 1999.

He celebrated his retirement from the Mt. Pleasant Home Depot store just two weeks ago.

Harbaum and his wife Nora have three children. He said he has a stepdaughter and stepson and a son, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. “And one more on the way,” he said.

He said he wanted to thank Congressman Moolenaar and his staff for getting the medals to him so fast. “It was only a few weeks after we applied for them,” he said. The congressman’s office work with the Department of Defense to especially recognize the veterans of the Vietnam War, who didn’t get a friendly welcome home at the time.

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