Congressman Chris Smith joined Salazar’s family in honoring his service by presenting him the medals he earned, but had not received, during a ceremony at the Xanadu senior condominium club house in Wall Township.
“It was 73 years ago this week that Mr. Salazar landed in Europe as a 20-year-old young man,” said Smith, the former Chairman of the Veterans Committee in the House of Representatives and a senior Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “He is truly part of the ‘Greatest Generation’ that helped liberate Europe and create a foundation for peace after two horrendous World Wars. I am honored and humbled to present these medals to him today on behalf of a grateful nation. We thank God for you and what you did, Mr. Salazar.”
Smith presented Mr. Salazar with:
- Medal Set, Army Good Conduct Medal
- European–African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal & Bronze Star Attachment (Quadruple)
- Medal Set, World War II Victory Medal
- Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII
- Marksman Badge & Rifle Bar
- New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal and Certificate
After the family experienced difficulties with acquiring the medals, Smith intervened with the National Archives’ National Personal Records Center requesting the medals be issued. The Army approved the request and Smith received the medals in February. Mr. Salazar’s health precluded a medal ceremony until now.
“These medals are a small but important part of both his life and his family’s history,” Smith said. “I am glad his daughter Linda prompted Mr. Salazar to seek them, because he served his country honorably and is very deserving of this recognition.”