Lake County Medal of Honor recipient to be honored

MANISTEE — A bronze plaque will be placed in the Manistee Veterans Memorial Park this month, honoring Korean War Medal of Honor recipient Duane Dewey.

The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. on June 11 at the Manistee Jaycees bandshell.

“Duane Dewey is one of America’s heroes,” said Michigan 101st House of Representative Ray Franz, one of two guest speakers for the event.

Duane Dewey, Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, will be honored on June 11 when a bronze plaque will be placed at Manistee Veterans Memorial Park. He is pictured with his wife, Bertha. (Courtesy photo)

Duane Dewey, Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, will be honored on June 11 when a bronze plaque will be placed at Manistee Veterans Memorial Park. He is pictured with his wife, Bertha. (Courtesy photo)

“He didn’t intend to be, but that’s what makes his selfless actions so special. That’s the spirit that epitomizes what America, and the American soldier, is all about.

“It is an honor to be a part of this very special recognition for one of America’s true heroes,” said Franz, who is from Onekama and was the recipient of a Bronze Star for his actions during the Vietnam War during his tour of duty from 1968-70.”

Dewey, who lives in neighboring Lake County, said he is honored to have a plaque placed in the Manistee Veterans Memorial Park.

“It’s great, I can’t believe it,” said Dewey. “For me? Wow!”

The young U.S. Marine was presented the Medal of Honor by President Eisenhower just one year after he grabbed an enemy grenade and held it beneath his body in order to protect a medical corpsman, and fellow soldiers.

Though badly wounded, Dewey survived and is today just one of two living Medal of Honor recipients in Michigan

John W. “Jack” Bergman, a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant general who served as commanding general of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North, will also be a guest speaker.

Bergman served as a naval aviator, flying rotary-winged aircraft such as the CH-46, T-28, and UH-1, as well as fixed-wing aircraft such as the KC-130. He lives in northern Michigan.

David L. Barber will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

Two similar plaques were placed in the park last year, one honoring the crew of the USS Liberty, and the second one that honors Native American code talkers.

A fourth plaque, one that will honor Manistee native Dr. Lewis Haynes who served aboard the WWII light-cruiser the USS Indianapolis, is being planned for placement later this fall, or early next spring.

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