By Matt Phillips
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site
Today, 1 May 2023, is Silver Star Service Banner Day, a time to recognize those who have been awarded The Silver Star Medal, and remember the sacrifices of our wounded and ill veterans.
The Silver Star is the third-highest military decoration for valor in combat and is typically awarded for actions over a short-term and may be earned for specific acts in combat. Compare that to other types of medals for longer-term service, the Meritorious Service Medal, for example, which is awarded at the end of a military tour when conditions warrant.
Silver Star Service Banner Day is a time of recognition related to the Silver Star medal, but not exclusively dedicated to it. Silver Star Service Banner Day pays respect to those who have received the Silver Star but is more broadly associated with service members who have been affected by combat.
My Uncle Perce (photo above) was awarded the Silver Star for actions during the Meuse-Argonne offensive as a Private with the USA 77th Division during WWI. He left it, along with the original citation, to me – which I treasure. He was one of 7 Uncles who served in either WWI or WWII (plus my dad, a WWII Marine who spent 20+ months in the Pacific) and one Uncle that served in both wars, with the USN in Atlantic convoy duty in WWI, and then a USN Seabee in WWII where he was in 4 Campaigns – the last Okinawa where he ran into his son, also a Navy Seabee. His other son was a torpedoman abord a Gato Class submarine during the war.
As Uncle Perce never had children, and had 13 brothers and 2 sisters and so a multitude of nieces and nephews to leave it with, I always feel honored that he chose me to keep it for him… I was, as he called me, his, “Bosco” – which I loved and all those of a similar age understand what that refers to – LOL!
He came home from WWI and was a Air Raid Warden during WWII and spent 40 years “on the job” and retired an Inspector of Police with the Nassau County PD. He was my Uncle, and also a good buddy…
Matt Phillips is the Founder and CEO of the Military Java Group.
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