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Old 08-30-2017, 01:08 PM
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Thumbs up Rep. Mike Gallagher presents Green Bay family with father's WWII medals

Rep. Mike Gallagher presents Green Bay family with father's WWII medals
By: Jeff Bollier - USA Today 8-30-17

A family friend and Rep. Mike Gallagher's office helped secure four medals Cpl. Norman Chernick earned during his service in the U.S. Army. Aug. 29, 2017. Jeff Bollier/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

GREEN BAY – U.S. Army Cpl. Norman Chernick never told his son, Rick, much about his experience fighting in Africa and Europe during World War II.

“Many members of that generation who fought didn’t talk about what they did,” Rick Chernick said. “I knew he started in Africa and ended up in Germany.”

Thanks to a family friend and Rep. Mike Gallagher’s staff, Rick knows a little more about his fathers service as a corporal in the U.S. Army and has a few reminders to share with future generations of the Chernick family.

On Tuesday evening, Gallagher, R-Green Bay, presented the Chernick family with the Army of Occupation, World War II Victory, American Campaign and European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medals his father earned during his service in the U.S. Army from Dec. 12, 1942 to June 12, 1946.

"He never had a chance to receive the medals he so selflessly earned, so today we take a small step in doing right towards Cpl. Norman Chernick," Gallagher said. "I couldn't be prouder to present his medals to his son, Rick. ... I hope these medals will remain in your family for a long time to come as a reminder of your father's sacrifice."

He also presented the Chernicks with the Honorable Service Lapel Button and a Sharpshooter Weapons Qualification Badge with the carbine qualification bar.

“We didn’t think there was anything. Ever,” Chernick said. “If you had a family member or loved one who served, you can go through this process, too.”

David Daul, a local attorney and family friend, got the process started after talking with Chernick about his dad’s service. Daul likes military history and told Chernick his dad might have some unissued medals.

“The statutes for awarding medals were often not passed until after the war ended, so the medals weren’t issued until well after World War II,” Daul said.

What Daul found about Chernick’s military career interested him.

“He was a war crimes investigator who interviewed witnesses and gathered evidence so the Nazis could be prosecuted after the war,” Daul said. “He might have even attended the Nuremberg Trials.”

Daul said other families who think there might be unissued medals need to get a copy of their loved one’s Certificate of Honorable Discharge, try to research their service in the National Archives, and then submit a Request Pertaining to Military Records form requesting unissued medals through their congressman’s office or directly to the archives.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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