Congressman Ed Royce Nominates Korean American War Hero for Presidential Medal of Freedom
Hyo Jin Lee, March 11, 2016, 9:39 a.m.
The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has nominated late Korean-American war hero Kim Young-oak for this year's Presidential Medal of Freedom, his office said Thursday.
Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) sent a letter to President Barack Obama last month to nominate the late retired colonel, the office said. Kim, a son of a Korean independence fighter, was the first minority officer to command an Army combat battalion in American history.
"Colonel Kim served with exceptional valor in the European theater during the Second World War," Royce said in the letter. "During the Korean War, Mr. Kim was the first Asian-American to command a regular U.S. combat battalion, leading forces which pushed the enemy back from the thirty-eighth parallel."
After retirement from the military, Kim dedicated the remainder of his life to serving the people in his community, founding numerous nonprofit organizations to aid fellow Korean-Americans in Los Angeles, the lawmaker said.
"Colonel Kim's honorable service has received the highest recognition worldwide, and it would be appropriate to bestow such added recognition here in the United States. I request your full and thorough consideration of awarding Colonel Young Oak the Presidential Medal of Honor," he said.