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Arkansas Marine veteran recognized for service in Vietnam

By THOMAS SACCENTE | Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark. | Published: September 5, 2019

FORT SMITH, Ark. (Tribune News Service) — U.S. Rep. Steve Womack and U.S. Sen. John Boozman presented Cpl. Richard E. Cosner III with the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat 'V' during a ceremony Wednesday in Fort Smith.

A certificate states the medal was for meritorious achievement while serving as radio operator assigned to Company H, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines from May 24 to Nov. 8, 1969, in Vietnam.

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"During multiple encounters with the enemy, Cpl. Cosner repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to ensure dynamic command and control communications between the company commander and rifle platoons," the certificate states. "He was vital in coordinating unit movements with artillery and air-support, thereby allowing the company to destroy enemy positions and repel repeated assaults. On 18 June 1969, his effective communications were crucial in the destruction of a large enemy force and the withdrawal of his reconnaissance team."

Cosner said he felt honored and humbled the people who were present at the event took the time to be part of it.

"It's a very humbling experience, and quite an honor for me that Sen. Boozman and Congressman Womack would take their time to come and present the medal because I know they've got a lot more important things to do," Cosner said.

The United States, Womack said, continues to "do the right thing" when it fails the first time around.

"When these warriors came home, they were spat upon, they deboarded planes at the sight of people burning American flags," Womack said. "It was a very sad chapter in this country's long history, and for the last half century plus, we've been making amends for that, and today we're doing it again."

©2019 Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.)
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