Combat Infantrymen Monument

By: Belinda Post Email
By: Belinda Post Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Combat Infantryman Badge is only awarded to U.S. Army Service men and women who have personally fought in active ground combat. In the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month, a monument was dedicated to those honored with that very badge.

Kathy Smith wishes her husband had lived to see the combat infantryman monument dedicated at 10th and Gage.

“My husband Gordon was a Vietnam Vet; he died of complications of agent orange in September,” said Smith.

Still, the pride of his family lives.

“Very proud, proud of my dad. He fought like so many veterans did. It's very overwhelming. I’m proud that all he wanted to do was serve his country. He's a good man like so many people here,” said Jessa Smith.

“This is all about men. It's about going into battle. Blood, sweat, and tears. And in some cases, it's about dying. They earned this badge,” said Col. Michael Neer.

“What an impressive medal it is and how prestigious. And how hard he had to work to get one,” continued Kathy Smith.

Vietnam Nam, WWII, current conflict, and Korean War vets were present, including 87 year old, WWII veteran, Charles Hamm -- Who was wearing the same uniform he sported during the war. His escort, a Holton High student, copied the look.

"I’m with a youth of today to help carry on the story of WWII,” said Hamm.

A story this site will help to carry on.

It was the last military appearance for Col. John Davidson who describes the combat infantryman badge as "dedicated for those individuals who were in the wrong place at the right time."


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