Two veterans who served their country decades ago are finally getting the recognition they earned.
Today, the two former Army veterans received service medals for their actions overseas.
It’s the first time both men were recognized in more than 30 years.
The medal ceremony took place at the Prudenville American Legion Post in Roscommon County.
9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Jeff Blakeman attended the medal ceremony. They have the veterans’ stories.
Edward Childs and John Carl Makowski served in two different eras.
Childs was a private in the Vietnam War, serving from 1967 to 1970.
Makowski also served in the Army, rising from private to corporal between from 1962 to 1964.
He didn’t live to see the recognition he was honored with today.
"It is so great," Childs says. "It is my welcome home."
Applause and medals — things Pvt. Edward Childs and Corp. John Makowski never got.
"There’s not a day goes by I don’t think about Vietnam, all the people I lost," Childs says. "This is a tremendous day for me."
Congressman John Moolenaar presented childs with several Vietnam medals, including a silver service star.
"I was a blackout truck driver," Childs says. "I went on short convoys at night and we went to artillery outposts out in jungles. I’m elated. I’m overwhelmed right now."
Corp. John Makowski didn’t get to see his recognition.
His daughter stood in his place.
"Since I was five years old, I really didn’t know much about my dad other than from my grandma and my grandparents," Makowski says.
She remembers hearing about how her dad met her mother in Germany around the time the Berlin Wall fell.
“[My mother] was actually there when the Berlin Wall went up and she said she wanted to be there when it came down," Makowski says. “I wish I could’ve gotten to know him more than just what everybody else in the family has been saying about him.”
Makowski received four medals.
"I’m proud of him. I’m glad that he did all of this," Makowski says. “It means a lot for me to get these medals that my dad has worked so hard for to serve our country.”
"He served our country with honors," says John Mathers, Brigitte’s boyfriend who also attended the ceremony.
It’s the appreciation everyone here says they hope to see continue…
"They’ve got to recognize everyone, not just me," Childs says. "There’s a lot of people that don’t get the recognition they deserve. I would just like to welcome them all home."
Anyone who knows of a veteran who has not received his service medals can call Congressman John Moolenaar’s office for help.
“It’s important that we honor our veterans and those who have served our country so nobly and have earned these awards and honors," Moolenaar says. “It’s important to recognize them, as well as their families.”
Edward Child’s Medals / Awards:
-Vietnam Service Medal
-One Silver Service Star
-Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon
-Driver & Mechanic Badge
-Marksman Badge, with Rifle Bar
-Vietnam War Commemoration Pin
John Makowski’s Medals / Awards:
-Army Good Conduct Medal
-Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
-Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp
-Army Qualification Badges, including Marksman and Sharpshooter