Northern Michigan Veteran Displayed on New Postal Stamp

A local Medal of Honor recipient honored today with a big surprise.

People in Lake County rallied together today to put on a celebration to recognize one of their own. Duane Dewey of Irons received a Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Korean War.

“I never in my life thought that I was a hero. I did something that I thought I had to do at the time,” says Duane Dewey.

This local hero was honored all day today with a motorcycle escort, a parade, and ceremony. 

“This program today is hard for me to believe that it was ever put on by this little town of Irons,” says Dewey.

Duane Dewey earned a Medal of Honor after he smothered a grenade to protect his crew in the Korean War. He was the first recipient of the Medal of Honor from President Eisenhower.

A new stamp was unveiled in Washington DC this week, recognizing thirteen Medal of Honor recipients. But Duane didn’t go, instead the US Postal Service came to him. 

“Duane is the one who proposed it be brought here. He felt that if he went to Washington, where he was invited, that not enough people would be able to join in the celebration,” says Laura Herrmann, Post Master in Irons.

It seemed like the whole town helped make Thursday’s ceremony special for Duane. 

“If you knew Mr. Dewey and the history behind him, you would not be surprised about Mr. Dewey being on the Medal of Honor stamp,” says John Duvall, president of the AMVETS Baldwin post. 

“Since the portfolio was created, four have passed, so we only have nine living, two of which are in the state of Michigan,” says Herrmann.

Thursday’s events didn’t just make Duane happy; it made a town happy. 

“I’m just so proud, proud of them and proud to be part of them,” says Herrmann.

The Medal of Honor Korean War stamp set are now available for purchase.