Medal of Honor
Instituted in 1944 for all branches of service. The criteria for this Medal: exceptional heroic or meritorious achievement or service not involving participation in aerial flight.
George Washington established this medal in 1782 during the Revolutionary War. The Order of the Purple Heart is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who are wounded or killed by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.
National Defense Service Medal
Issued to members of the Naval service for honorable active service between 1961-1974. Established by President Eisenhower in 1953. Designed by Mr. T. H. Jones, the eagle, our National emblem, together with the shield of the Coat of Arms of the United States, is used to symbolize the defense of the United States. The combination of the oak and palm leaves signify strength and preparedness.
Vietnam Service Medal
Established by President Johnson in 1965 for all members of the Armed Forces who served in Vietnam or in that area, such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, or directly connected with the war from other bases such as Okinawa, Japan, etc. between 1965-1973. Designed by sculptor Thomas H. Jones, the suspension ribbon reflects that of the flag of the former South Vietnam - yellow with three red stripes. The green trim at the edges is suggestive of the jungle nature of the conflict.
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross With Device
Issued by the South Vietnamese Government for gallantry under fire. This is one of the highest awards by that government.
Father Vincent Capodanno's Citation:
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Issued to Members of the Armed Forces who participated in combat operations in the Republic of South Vietnam.
Navy-Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation (ribbon only)
Issued by the President to Units of the Armed Forces for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. The Unit must display such gallantry and determination in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from, and above, other units participating in the same campaign. Each branch of service has its own award. President Franklin D. Roosevelt originally established it in 1942 as the "Distinguished Unit Citation" and it was officially changed to "Presidential Unit Citation" in 1966.