Local Vietnam veteran to be inducted into Hall of Valor

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PITTSBURGH – A former Washington County man who served in the Vietnam War is among 14 soldiers who will be inducted into the Hall of Valor at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall March 24.


U.S. Army Sgt. Dennis K. Walker, now living in Perryopolis, received the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star medal for his service.


Walker was born in Brownsville and was living in Charleroi when he enlisted in 1969. He served in South Vietnam and Cambodia, returning home a year later.


Located at 4141 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, the museum and Medal of Honor exhibit will open at noon that day. The induction ceremony will begin at 2 p.m., followed by a dinner.


Soldiers & Sailors is the nation’s only military museum dedicated to honoring men and women of all branches of service, and in all capacities such as active, Reserve or National Guard. The historic building has exhibits covering America’s conflicts from the Civil War to present operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Since 1963, the Joseph A. Dugan Jr. Hall of Valor at Soldiers & Sailors has recognized Pennsylvanian veterans who have received medals for bravery and heroism during times of military conflict. Soldiers & Sailors has inducted nearly 700 veterans who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Airmen’s Medal and Soldier’s Medal.


  Soldiers & Sailors also will unveil a new exhibit of five Medals of Honor, each received by local heroes for the Civil War, Indian campaigns, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam.


“The Hall of Valor program reflects the core purpose of our mission to honor and remember those Pennsylvanians who have gone above and beyond the call of duty,” said President John F. McCabe.


 The 14 honorees who will be inducted as the Class of 2013 represent nine Western Pennsylvania counties, three branches of the military and received four types of medals awarded for gallantry.


 In addition to Walker, other honorees are Michael J. Boback, John F. Frankovich, David M. Gerardi, William C. Gutknecht, Clarence R. Humbert, Donald E. Johnson, Thomas Jones Jr., Gene A. Laus, Thomas A. Manol and Robert S. Negle, all of Allegheny County; Michael V. Kravontka of Westmoreland County; Frank J. Pierce of Elk County; and James G. Boots of Beaver County.


Soldiers & Sailors is currently accepting applications for the Class of 2014. For more information about nominations and reservations, visit http://www.soldiersandsailorshall.org/veteran-hall-of-valor.html.


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