Davis, Bost Present Bronze Star to Metro East Veteran
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Mike Bost (R-Ill.) today presented Specialist Fourth Class (ret.) Stephen Baldwin with the Bronze Star Medal. Photo attached (L to R: Davis; Colonel Peter Nezamis, who officiated the ceremony; Baldwin; and Bost)
The fourth-highest award for military combat bravery, the Bronze Star Medal is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, and meritorious service in a combat zone.
“Recognizing our military veterans for their service is one of the most humbling parts of my job,” Davis said. “It is truly an honor to present Spc. Baldwin with this distinction that he earned through his service to our country.”
“I was honored to present this medal on behalf of a grateful nation to Spc. Baldwin. As many who know him and served with him have said, nobody deserves this medal more,” said Bost. “He is one of the many brave men and women who have risked their lives on behalf of our great nation. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for his heroic service. Southern Illinois is lucky to have Spc Baldwin as part of our community. We are proud and we thank him.”
Baldwin was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army at the age of 22 before deploying with the 23rd Infantry (American Division) from 1970 to 1971. Upon his honorable discharge, Baldwin received the Army Commendation Medal and the National Defense Service Medal for his service. However, despite the orders that were issued to award him the Bronze Star, he never received the medal and numerous other awards.
Davis and Bost presented Baldwin with the Army Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar, Marksman Badge with Auto-Rifle Bar, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm Device.
Baldwin was born in Rock Island, Illinois on May 10, 1948. He was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 22. Upon completion of basic training at Fort Campbell, KY, he went on to complete his Advanced Individual Training in Fort Lee, VA. He then deployed to South Vietnam as part of the 23rd Infantry (Americal Division), where he was stationed in Chu Lai and Da Nang from 1970-1971.
After leaving active duty, Baldwin earned his Associate’s degree in Agriculture Production from Black Hawk College East Campus in Kewanee, Illinois and returned to working on his family-owned dairy farm in Aledo, IL. He continued with the Army Reserve until 1976. Baldwin and his wife Carleen raised their five children in Waterloo, Illinois where Baldwin worked on a small dairy operation for over thirty years.
Baldwin earned numerous awards and decorations for his service in Vietnam, including the Bronze Star, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm device.