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Gov. Ricketts Honors Veterans on National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

Gov. Ricketts greets Walter Barsell of Wahoo during a ceremony at the State Capitol honoring veterans from across the state.  (July 27, 2018) — On Friday, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a ceremony at the State Capitol to honor veterans of the Korean War.  Over 300 people, including veterans from across Nebraska and their family members, joined the Governor for the ceremony.  At the ceremony, the Governor signed a proclamation and presented Ambassador for Peace medals to veterans, surviving spouses, and family members as a symbol of gratitude from Nebraskans and the Republic of Korea for their service.

“My administration strives to make Nebraska the most veteran-friendly state in the nation, both in providing excellent service to our veterans and in recognizing and honoring them for their bravery and sacrifices,” said Governor Ricketts.  “I want all our state’s veterans to know how much we appreciate them.  While the Korean War is often referred to as ‘the Forgotten War,’ today’s ceremony is a reminder that Nebraskans have not forgotten our veterans or the sacrifices they have made in defending our republic.”

July 27th is National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day in America, which marks the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement.  This year is the 65th anniversary of the signing of the proclamation.  A full list of the veterans honored today at the State Capitol and at home in communities across the state can be found by clicking here.

The Ambassador for Peace medals were created by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs.  Korean War veterans who served in Korea between June 25th, 1950, and July 27th, 1953, or participated in UN Peacekeeping operations in the country before January 1st, 1956 were eligible. 

“There are many ways to honor our state’s veterans, and this is just one step we’re taking to do that,” said Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) Director John Hilgert.  “Whether it’s through recognition, benefits, advocacy, care in one of our facilities, or any other service we can provide, serving Nebraska’s veterans is our mission, our passion, and our duty.”

Also attending the ceremony was Deputy Consulate General of Korea in Chicago Donghan Yang.  Mr. Yang’s overseas postings include Minister-Counselor at the Embassy in Manila; Counselor at the Permanent Mission of Korea in Geneva; Counselor at the Embassy in Libreville; and First Secretary at the Embassy in Washington, DC.  He has a Master’s Degree from UC San Diego, and a BA in Political Science from Seoul National University. 


Over the past few years, Governor Ricketts has worked with the Legislature and veterans’ groups to place a focus on supporting Nebraska’s military families and veterans.  Below are a few examples of how Governor Ricketts is making Nebraska a more veteran-friendly state:

  • Merging the NDVA and the Division of Veterans’ Homes to create a one-stop shop for veterans’ services in Nebraska.
  • Approving a 20 percent pay increase for staff care technicians working for the NDVA.
  • Expanding the hiring preference in Nebraska to include spouses of service members.
  • Waiving the requirement for veterans to resubmit certification for a key property tax exemption if no change in medical condition has occurred.
  • Creating five additional Military Honor License Plates to recognize the service of members of the reserves of the armed forces.
  • Approving revisions to Rule 21, allowing military spouses to receive a three-year teaching permit in Nebraska with a valid out-of-state license.
  • Signing LB 88e (2017) into law, which authorized the Department of Health and Human Services to issue temporary licenses for occupations regulated under the Uniform Credentialing Act to military spouses.