Md. Army veteran will receive Prisoner of War medal after 18-year battle

Md. Army veteran will receive Prisoner of War medal after 18-year battle

Almost two a long time have passed considering that a Maryland veteran very first tried out to get the Prisoner of War medal. Now, just after a extended battle to get regarded, he will obtain the honor.

Virtually two a long time have handed considering that a Maryland veteran initial tried to get the Prisoner of War medal. Now, immediately after a prolonged struggle to get regarded, he will receive the honor.

Veteran Ron Dolecki’s fight to be honored with the Prisoner of War medal begun in 2004.

His application was rejected by the Army mainly because the people today who captured him while he was on a mapping mission in Ethiopia had been not an armed enemy drive. He mentioned it was since the U.S. had not declared war.

Pretty much two a long time have handed considering the fact that a Maryland veteran to start with tried using to get the Prisoner of War medal, Ronald Dolecki will receive the honor. (Courtesy Ronald Dolecki)

“It infuriated me,” claimed Dolecki, 76, of Huntingtown in Calvert County. “It persuaded me that I’m not going to allow this slide.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen worked to get language accepted to accompany the 2022 Nationwide Defense Authorization Act to use the law to Dolecki’s condition.

They are at the moment scheduling a ceremony where he will get his medal.

“It exhibits that persistence does pay off,” stated Van Hollen.

He expended about two weeks in captivity when Dolecki, his translator and helicopter pilot were being ambushed by armed guerrillas, or uniformed users of the Eritrean Liberation Front.

“They knocked my interpreter to the ground,” he claimed. “I truly thought they were being heading to eliminate him because one of the guerrillas experienced his rifle up in the air, and he was getting prepared to strike the interpreter in the head with the rifle.”

They have been led to Sudan where by he reported they didn’t have any meals and had scarcely any liquids.

“Sometimes, they gave us drinking water, but it was putrid. It was in goatskin bags, and it just stunk to high heaven,” he reported.

“Once we had been in the Sudan, and they comfortable their guard on us. We decided that was the best time for just one of us to attempt to escape,” he said.

He experienced to also escape hyenas, other armed forces and the lack of clean water right before he produced it to protection.

Now, not only will Dolecki get the POW medal, the Military posthumously awarded a medal to Jack Kalmbach, Dolecki’s pilot, who was held captive together with him. Kalmbach passed absent in 2015.

Click Impression TO ENLARGE: While Ron Dolecki has been recognized for his assistance by other awards, receiving a prisoner of war medal proved to be a obstacle. (Courtesy Ronald Dolecki)

“I only wish we could have been given our metals together though he was nevertheless alive,” Dolecki said. “But you know, which is the way it is.”

Van Hollen claimed he’s thrilled that they will be equipped to celebrate both equally gentlemen and their service in a ceremony.

“It took battling the forms and shifting the regulation, clarifying the law in buy to make this transpire. I’m happy we at last arrived at this day,” Van Hollen said. “It shouldn’t have taken this kind of a prolonged fight to get that medal.”

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