November 28, 2017

Kingwood and Humble Residents Receive Retroactive and Replacement Medals for Honorable Service to the United States

 HOUSTON, TX – Today, Representative Ted Poe (TX-02) proudly presented Chief Warrant Officer Douglas P. Roper of Humble and LT. Michael Gene Penn of Kingwood with medals for honorable service to our great nation.

“The men and women who serve our great nation are America’s finest,” said Rep. Poe. “Many of those who came to the aid of their country during a time of war were not properly recognized upon their return home. The presentation of the Korean Defense Service Medal to Officer Roper seeks to right this disservice. While Hurricane Harvey may have left Southeast Texas battered and bruised, it has not taken our humanity and our appreciation for our men and women who so admirably served. It is with great honor that I present replacement medals for those Lt. Penn lost to the devastating flood waters.” 

Douglas P. Roper (United States Army) admirably served during the Korean War from 1969-1974 as a multi engine Army Aviator. Today, he received the Korean Defense Service MedalArmed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and a Basic Army Aviation Badge. The Korean National Defense Medal was created in 2002 by President George W. Bush. This medal is awarded retroactively to the end of the Korean war, and is granted to any service performed after July 29th, 1954.  Through the efforts of Congressman Poe, the United States Army has verified Chief Warrant Officer Douglas Roper for the long-deserved recognition of the Korean National Defense Medal.

Michael Gene Penn (United States Navy) admirably served during the Vietnam War from 1969-1973 as a Naval Aviator, assigned to Attack Squadron 56. On his 75th mission, he was shot down by a surface to air missile over Haiphong. Despite ejecting from his aircraft, he was captured minutes after his landing and subsequently held as a prisoner of war for over 235 days at the infamous Hanoi Hilton. Hurricane Harvey has taken much from the people of southeast Texas and it is Congressman Poe’s honor to have these medals replaced for Lt. Penn as a reminder of his military service and personal accomplishments.

  • For his continued years of military service and dedication, he was awarded: 
    • The Distinguished Flying Cross- Awarded for Lt. Penn’s extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in Southeast Asia.
    • The Bronze Star-Awarded for Lt. Penn’s heroic achievements and meritorious service in a combat zone.
    • The Purple Heart- Awarded to Lt. Penn in the name of the President of the United States for having been wounded while serving our nation.
    • The Air Medal- Awarded for Lt. Penn’s single act of heroism and meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.
    • The Navy and Marine Crops Commendation Medal-A mid-level United States military decoration which was presented to Lt. Penn for his sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service.
    • The Combat Action Ribbon- Awarded for Lt. Penn’s active participation in ground or surface combat on or after December 7, 1941.
    • A Presidential Unit Citation for Gallantry- Awarded for Lt. Penn’s Gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing a mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions.
    •  The Prisoner of War Medal– Awarded for Lt. Penn’s honorable service in the Armed forces of the United States, and being taken prisoner in Haiphong, Vietnam in 1972 and held captive for 235 days.
    • The National Defense Service Medal- Awarded for Lt. Penn’s military service during periods of national emergency or any other periods designated by the Secretary of Defense.
    • The Vietnam Service Medal- Awarded for Lt. Penn’s service in the geographical theatre area of Vietnam from July 4, 1965 through March 28, 1973.
    • An Honorable Discharge Button- Awarded for Lt. Penn’s honorable service in the United States Navy. 

Congressman Poe Presents Chief Warrant Officer Douglas P. Roper with the Korean Defense Service Medal

Congressman Poe Presents LT. Michael Gene Penn with the Purple Heart, a replacement for his lost in the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey