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  Dedication Completion of KWCM Photo Exhibit GI's and the Kids Mike Strang's Recognition  

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Mike Strang's Recognition

S/Sgt. Merle Y. “Mike” Strang served as Chaplain’s Assistant to Chaplain (Colonel) Russell L. Blaisdell (USAF, Retired) who saved the children in the Kiddy Car Airlift in December of 1950. Mike died in 1998 without ever having been given any citation or recognition for his contribution to that effort. At our initiative the office of the Chief of Chaplains, USAF, is pursuing a Bronze Star for Mike for that feat.

On 8 March 2005 I found out that the Bronze Star for Mike Strang has been approved and is on the desk of Washington State Senator Patty Murray awaiting plans for the formal presentation ceremony. According to protocol the medal will be pesented to Mike's next of kin who would be his brother Homer who lives in Maine. Senator Murray's staff person for military affairs did not inform me that the medal had been approved and seemed upset that I was interested in having the ceremony held in Las Vegas at the opening of the Korean War Children's Memorial photo exhibit. I got the impression that she felt that I had no further role in the matter at all notwithstanding the fact that I was the person to initiate the whole process, do the research and document the basis for the medal.

I sent an e-mail to Senator Patty Murray telling her how upset I was with her staff. Whether she will answer the e-mail remains to be seen. Meanwhile I spoke to the aide to the Chief of Chaplains, USAF and he will take it upon himself to call Homer Strang and speak with him about the possibility of the medal ceremony being held in Las Vegas. One reason to come to Las Vegas would be to see the photo exhibit that has pictures of Michael Strang and the children whose lives he saved. Homer would also be able to meet Mike's former boss, Chaplain Russell L. Blaisdell who could tell Homer about Mike and his help in saving the lives of the children in the Kiddy Car Airlift.

As this process unfolds I will note here what is happening. Keep checking back. gfd



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