Step Back in Time
features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Sept. 22, 1987
GILBERTSVILLE — Seventeen years after he returned from Vietnam, Brett A. Gilbert of Gilbertsville received five medals for his service there.
Gilbert, 39, of 15 Bloom St., was awarded the prestigious Bronze Star with a “V” to signify valor, and an Air Medal for operations involving flight over enemy territory. He also received the Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars, the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
“These are medals they don’t give away casually,” said Terry Bresina, state veterans’ counselor in Norwich, who issued them to Gilbert.
Though the awards were authorized in 1969 and 1970, they were never issued.
Gilbert, a Sidney native, received a first Bronze Star in June 1970 when he completed a two-year tour of duty in the Army, for “heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force in Nov. 25, 1969,” according to the citation that accompanies the medal.
Gilbert served with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry.
“During initial contact, several men were wounded and pinned down,” Gilbert’s citation said. “With complete disregard for his own safety, PFC Gilbert moved through the bullet swept area and helped evacuate the wounded men. His valorous actions contributed immeasurably to the success of the mission.”
According to Bresina, “It’s not unusual” for veterans not to receive their awards. It happened in World War II and much as in the Vietnam War, as veterans were separated from their records when they were discharged.
50 years ago
Sept. 22, 1962
ANDES (Special) — Ahmad Zia Takhari, 34, of Afghanistan, is spending a month in the village of Andes, where he is studying and participating in the educational system at the Andes Central School, under the direction of, and in cooperation with, Lloyd Johns, supervising principal.
Mr. Takhari is a graduate of the Faculty of Letters of Kabul University, in Kabul (capital city of Afghanistan), where he majored in the social sciences. For several years he was assistant director and acting director of Evn-E-Seena, the Ministry middle school, which prepares students for the secondary level, teachers college, the vocational agricultural school, and the technical school. Since 1959 he has been in the Institute of Education.
He arrived in Andes, Sept. 19, and will live for a month in an Andes private home.
Mr. Takhari is a friend of Dr. John Polley, a native of Andes, who is now in Afghanistan, where is the chief of a group from Columbia University which is working at the Institute of Education of Afghanistan, helping the government organize an educational system.