I just came from visiting my Grandparents a couple of weeks ago and my grannies brother came over to visit us since we had not been to visit because we live very far far away. My Great Uncle brought with him a gold star that had a pin on the back and had a pretty blue ribbon on it. My Uncle said that it belonged to my Great Grandfather who was in the Marines. Would you know what this star was?
Dear Curious Georgette,
How fabulous to actually see and hold what you are describing as a “Medal of Honor” Star for the US Marines Corps. This award is given by the President, in the name of Congress, to US military personnel for “Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty”.
The Medal of Honor was created in 1861 and there has been 3,490 receiving the award and 79 recipients are alive today throughout the US. South Carolina has 30 total recipients within its borders with currently 3 living recipients.
The most mature of the three was as well in the Marine Corps just like your family member, Maj Gen James Livingston. Maj Gen Livingston served 33 years throughout the world and was awarded his Medal of Honor in 1970 by President Richard Nixon.
He retired in 1995 with a list of decorations that include:
The Medal of Honor; Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Bronze Star Medal, with Combat V; Purple Heart, Third Award; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal, Second Award; Navy Commendation Medal, with Combat ?V?; Combat Action ribbon, Second Award; and various other service and foreign decorations. He is also a qualified military parachutist.
Maj Gen Livingston passionately serves on the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation Board where their mission is “to preserve and prevent the extraordinary stories of individuals who reached the highest levels of recognition, ‘ above and beyond the call of duty’ in service to the nation” as well as “to inspire current and future generations about the ideas of courage, patriotism, leadership and sacrifice, to help them understand the meaning and price of freedom, and to encourage them to embrace their responsibility as citizens in a democracy.”
Currently the Museum is being housed in the USS Yorktown in Mt Pleasant. The Foundation has projected a $125 million expansion of their Museum that will give recognition to all Medal of Honor Recipients being the only museum of its kind within the United States. Former Presidential Candidate, Ross Perot of Texas, has visited the site and met with the Board donating several million to the Foundation for this project as well as assisting in the acquisition of funds from others.
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