In the final medal ceremony of his 16 years serving as the congressional representative for Colorado District 7, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter presented posthumous medals to the surviving son and family of a WWII Veteran and a service medal to a U.S. Merchant Marine who served during the Vietnam war.
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Edward Talbot was presented with the Merchant Marine Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin.
Honored and humbled by the recognition of his time in the U.S. Merchant Marines, Talbot said the true heroes of America's war efforts were the active duty men and women who faced combat.
Perlmutter interjected, noting Talbot's modesty and assuring him that his service providing much-needed supplies to U.S. combat troops was a selfless act during a time of war and deserving of the medals bestowed upon him. Talbot's life of service evolved after he left the Merchant Marines in 1972.
A short bio put together by Perlmutter's office said that after his time in the Merchant Marines, Talbot came back to Colorado and served his community as a longtime employee for the City of Arvada. Most recently, Edward served as the Director of the Arvada Housing Authority and Manager for the Housing Preservation and Resources Division providing affordable housing and community development programs for the community.
Lt. Anthony Iozzo’s son, Tony Iozzo, born just two days before his father was killed, was given posthumous medals his father never received for his service. Iozzo's medals included a Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Honorable Service Lapel Button for WWII.
Tony Iozzo said his father's family were Italian immigrants who believed wholeheartedly in fighting for their new homeland.
His father, Anthony, was deployed to Europe on Feb. 11, 1944, as part of the 119th Infantry and was part of the second wave of the D-Day Invasion, fighting in the hedgerows of northern France.
Two days later, Anthony was killed by a German sniper at Pont Hebert in northern France as his unit was heading toward a battle in St. Lo. He was buried in France. After the war, his body was sent back to the US and buried in the US Military Cemetery in Farmingdale Long Island, NY on Feb. 3, 1948. A V.F.W. Post was formed in his name in Green Island NY, his home town.
Perlmutter's office said the retiring congressman has held eight medal ceremonies, nine pinning ceremonies, primarily for Vietnam-era Veterans, and roughly 30 Veteran-specific events such as job fairs and town halls since 2012. Additionally, his office has helped document the stories of 32 Veterans through the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. Through this work, Perlmutter has recognized nearly 1,000 Veterans in total.
"It's been an honor for me to have recognized so many veterans who have sacrificed for our country. And to ensure that they get the benefits and care to which they're entitled," Perlmutter said. "It's been one of the highest honors that I know I've had, to be able to recognize so many men and women who have meant so much to our nation. When you do these ceremonies, you recognize the responsibility you have as an elected official in making sure that the decisions we come up with —especially when it means sending our young men and women to war — are really the last thing you can do, because good men and women lose their lives."
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