For 28 years, Michael Whiteside taught in a classroom in the West Carrollton (Ohio) City Schools.
He would occasionally bring in his Army uniform on Veterans Day, a link to his service in Vietnam decades ago.
“That kind of impressed them,” he said.
On Tuesday, he got his own recognition in a ceremony at the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission: The 68-year-old retired school teacher received the Bronze Star and several other decorations for his service as an Army military police officer in Vietnam. The Vietnam Service Ribbon with two Bronze Stars was pinned to the lapel on his suit jacket.
The West Carrollton man spent a year in southeast Asian country during his stint in the Army between 1965-67.
Montgomery County Veterans Service Commissioner Tom Istvan, himself an Air Force medic in Vietnam and who pinned the medal on Whiteside, encouraged former servicemembers to contact veterans service commission, or as Whiteside said, contact Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, to receive medals they’ve earned. Other congressional lawmakers also have aides who help veterans on service-connected issues.
“It is important to help out a fellow Vietnam veteran, and I know there is a lot more out there,” Istvan said.