House gives initial approval to give medals posthumously

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Widows of World War II veterans would become eligible for special state medals under legislation given initial approval Monday by the House.

The medal program already is available to living veterans who served in the military at some point between Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 30, 1945. About 35,000 people have been approved for medals.

The legislation proposed by Rep. Dan Ward, D-Bonne Terre, would extend the window of time during which a person must have served until Dec. 31, 1946, and allow the veteran's widow to accept the honor.

The bill also would extend the application deadline until July 1, 2003. In order to get their medals, veterans were supposed to have submitted applications by Jan. 1. Many applications came in late and lawmakers have been working to extend the deadline until next year.

The House already has approved a separate bill that would extend the deadline by 18 months.

Ward's legislation was passed by a voice vote and needs final House approval before moving to the Senate.

War medals bill is HB1398 (Ward).

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