CLEVELAND, OH —More than 40 years after serving in the Vietnam War, Master Sergeant Raymond Hatch (U.S. Army, Ret.) finally received 11 medals earned for exemplary service in the Vietnam War, including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. In a ceremony today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown presented MSG Hatch, of Sheffield Village, with the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Parachute Badge, a Sharpshooter M-14, an Army Good Conduct Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Service Medal with Four Bronze Service Stars.
“Ohio’s veterans made invaluable contributions to our fight for worldwide peace and democracy. Our state’s current and former servicemembers have answered the call to action without delay throughout our nation’s history,” Brown said. “As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is fighting for Ohio’s veterans—like Raymond Hatch—by ensuring that they receive the benefits they so richly deserve. With Memorial Day approaching, we must all remember to express our gratitude to the men and women that have served our country in uniform.”
Brown and MSG Hatch were joined at the ceremony by Mayor John Hunter of Sheffield Village; Don Bates, the Executive Director of the Lorain County Veterans Service Commission; Major General Dan Hahn, (U.S. Army, Ret.); Paul Suscinski, Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 599; and many of MSG Hatch’s family and friends.
MSG Hatch grew up in Vermilion and graduated from Vermilion High School in 1965, enlisting in the Army in October of 1967. He spent a year in Vietnam serving as a clerk in Division Operations, but not all his time was behind a desk. When Firebase Airborne was overrun by North Vietnamese troops, he volunteered to join with those who were being dispatched to provide support. Unfortunately, as his helicopter arrived at Firebase Airborne, it crashed. MSG Hatch was injured, but he was able to clear himself from the wreckage, carrying another injured soldier to safety. MSG Hatch retired from the U.S. Army after 24 years of service in the active Army and Army Reserves. In his civilian life, he worked at the Lorain Ford Plant for 42 years and was a member of UAW Local 425.
Ohio veterans and the family members of deceased veterans may request military records and medals by contacting Senator Brown’s Cleveland office at (216) 522-7272 or by visiting the “Constituent Services” section of Brown’s website at brown.senate.gov.