SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – There are special medals for military service, including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star. Korean War veterans can receive another. It’s for their service overseas.
The Ambassador for Peace medal, presented to Ed Volansky, is a gift from the Republic of Korea for all U.S. service personnel who helped them secure their freedom and liberty.
“It was just an honor to receive it and I’m humbled by it. I actually do feel proud about it,” Volansky said.
“They all, across the board, are so indebted to us in the United States for coming to their country and saving them,” said Congressman Mike Kelly.
Volansky was born in Farrell. He joined the Navy in 1951 while he was a senior in high school.
“Didn’t tell the truth on our age. We were a lot younger than we were supposed to be,” he said.
Volansky was sent to Korea aboard the USS New Jersey, the fastest and largest battleship in the world at the time.
He remembers helping with the turrets and in particular recalls a special May Day off the shore of North Korea.
“We went up there and gave them a big welcome with our 16 inch guns,” Volansky said.
Volansky left the Navy in 1955, and moved to Sharpsville. He and his wife were involved in service around town. He even played Santa a few times and visited young children.
“This is a great example to the youth of the community and to other people, say you know what, if they can do it, can’t you do it,” said Kelly.
“I always kid about going through town. 2 stop signs, 1 red light and you’re through Sharpsville,” Volansky said. “It’s a wonderful place to live.”
The mayor of Sharpsville also declared today, Ed Volansky Day.
Volansky got his medal in the mail last year, and someone thought he deserved a ceremony, which is why today’s event was put together.
The medal is open to all U.S. military personnel who served in Korea. If you know someone who’s deserving, you can apply for the peace medal online here.