FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2004
Schumer Awards Madison County Korean War Hero Three Medals Of Honor
Schumer helped to obtain the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal for Hamilton resident William Edmonston for his service during the Korean War
US Senator Charles E. Schumer today awarded Madison County war hero William Edmonston three medals of honor for his service during the Korean War. Schumer helped to obtain the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal for Mr. Edmonston and awarded the medals to him at a ceremony today in New Hartford.
“In Korea, Mr. Edmonston was a pioneer in training soldiers for shell shock and his bravery and service made a world of difference for so many of the soldiers on the front line over there,” Schumer said. “His work made the pains of war a bit more tolerable for those men and women and forty years later, I’m glad to help see that he gets his due recognition from the United States military.”
Mr. Edmonston served as an officer in the Medical Service Corps, serving an eight month tour in Korea from 1953 to 1954. In Korea (1953-1954) he served as an officer in the Army's Medical Service Corps. The Medical Service Corps served as the military’s hospital administrators. Mr. Edmonston was with the 212 Psychiatric Detachment of the 123 Medical Holding Company. This particular unit was the only one in Korea and a first of its kind. Previously, soldiers who were thought to have "shell shock" (now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) were immediately sent home to the US. Instead Mr. Edmonston’s unit intervened and provided psychiatric social work.
In October 2004, Mr. Edmonston reached out to Schumer’s office looking for help in obtaining the three medals. As a result, Schumer secured the National Defense Service Medal for honorable active duty service; the Korean Service Medal for his participation in military operations within the Korea; and the United Nations Service Medal for his service on behalf of the United Nations in Korea.
Mr. Edmonston began his military service when he enrolled in the ROTC program at John Hopkins University where he majored in psychology. Shortly after graduating he was commissioned and sent to Korea. After his service, he taught at Washington University in St. Louis and then spent 30 years at Colgate University teaching psychology and neuropsychology. He has been retired for 11 years. Mr. Edmonston and his wife have three children and two grandchildren and live in Hamilton