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Letters (May 3, 2017)

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Calling all artists!

The Anderson Valley Progressive Action Committee is sponsoring a Community Poster Project aimed at raising awareness of our common neighborly humanity in the face of the gathering political forces against immigrants.

With the help of our neighbors, we have collected a group of phrases to be illustrated:

We Are One Community / Somos una comunidad

We Build Bridges, not Walls / Construimos puentes, no paredes

We Are All Immigrants / Todos somos immigrantes

We love our neighbors, no matter from where they come / Amamos a nuestros vecinos, sin importer de donde son

Or a phrase of your choice.

Artists of all ages will choose one of the pairs of phrases, pre-printed on poster stock, and create an illustration that fits it.

The kick-off event will follow the running of the Bootling Classic footrace on May 7, when the Elementary School hosts “The Day of the Child.” We will provide poster materials, and will talk about the concept to the children to get them started. During the week, a poster announcing the event will be displayed at Valley businesses and schools. Poster materials will be available to anyone who is interested.

The posters will be displayed at Lauren’s in the following weeks. There will be an artists’ reception at Lauren’s during the last week in July. And on the Fourth of July celebration at the Fairgrounds the posters will be displayed, voted upon, and the favorites selected to be reproduced in some number for continuing display at businesses and schools in the Valley.

So stretch those creative muscles and show everyone how important we all are to our community!


  • Day of the Child Poster Making: May 7
  • Student Deadline: June 2
  • Adult Deadline:  June 23
  • Poster show and artists’ reception at Lauren’s: July 2
  • Poster show at the Fairgrounds: July 4

Further information: 895-2500

Steve Wood


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Dear Editor,

The over abundant rains gave us a beautiful sampling of our spring flowers.

We would like to thank everyone who made the 2017, Wildflower Show such a success. The Sanhedrin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society returned this year and had books and posters to offer and was kept busy with many visitors questions. New to the show was Larner’s Seeds, offering a wide variety of native wild flower seeds. There was also an Edible Native Plant table manned by Susan Newstead with recipes, samples, and lots of information about foraging.

Thank you to Anderson Valley High School’s instructors Nat Corey-Moran and Nadia Berrigan whose students produced stunning photos on display at the show. The Garden Section Club voted on the pictures and the top three winners received $50 each.

An invasive plant table with specimens, pictures and information regarding the damage these plants cause to native species provided a necessary counterpoint.

Another component for the show was a Lyme disease exhibit presented by Sue Davies. Many brochures and even live ticks (in a covered jar), were available offering extensive information about preventive measures and dangers associated with Lyme.

This year we also added a speaker program that presented a variety of talks on a wide range of subjects. We thank Mary Pat Palmer for her presentation on medicine making and plant preservation; Jade Paget-Seekins for her talk on bees and plant identification, Kate Marionchild for lessons on the Oak Woodlands, Lee Siri for information on butterflies and Linda MacElwee on replacing invasive plants in our gardens with natives.

This year we had a bounty of raffle prizes and we wish to thank the following for their generous donations: Sanhedrin Chapter of CNPS, The Puzzle People, Pot Shop, North Star Nursery, Gowans Oak Tree, Farmhouse Mercantile, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Goodness Grows, Fiddlers Green, Fish Rock Farm Girls, The Rock Stop, Little River Inn, Larner Seeds, Cal Flora, Anne Bennet/Aaron Weintraub, and Tom Dow/Gina Marie Lindsey. In addition to these donations our club members provided many more raffle gifts.

A big thank you to Shirley Hulbert, and company for the delicious food served in the tea room.

We wish to thank the following people who helped our club members with collections, identification, the raffle, plant donations, set- up or cleanup:, Linda MacElwee, Jade Paget-Seekins, Sheryl Green, Lynn Halpern, Ken Montgomery, Wally Hopkins, Hans Hickenlooper, Kristy Hotchkiss, Scott Hulbert, Sarah McCarter, Taunia Green, Rick Bonner, Kathy Bailey, Melanie Holloway, Tom Shaver, Tone Taylor, and Pat and Michael Smith.

Our wildflower collectors this year benefited again from updated and a much improved collection route book courtesy of our own Nancy Wood. The AV Museum provided Grandma Stubblefield’s story about the special rose we have populating our valley.

Thank you to Jody and the Fairgrounds staff for all their help. Thanks to Robert Rosen, the Anderson Valley Brewery and the AV Methodist Church for allowing us to place our banners, advertising our event, on their respective fences.

We are extending an invitation to community members to join us in next year’s wild flower adventure. We would love additional collectors, and especially those interested in identifying plants. Contributors with new ideas can only help to improve this community event. We want more of our community members to be an integral part and help make this show even better. Interested? Please contact Robyn Harper at 895-2609.

Anderson Valley Unity Club Garden Section

Robyn Harper


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Dear Editor,

The insanity of using water, especially clean water, to move humanure and urine is clear when reading the Water and Sewer In Boonville article in the April 19, 2017 AVA. In one instance, leach fields are implicated in pollution of existing wells, and in another the proposal is for the typical industrial method of resource destruction, said leach fields on a massive scale (yes, the nutrients in humanure are a valuable resource if composted properly, and mixing it and water with household chemicals so the whole mess can infiltrate our soil is crazy and destructive). The Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese have used it as a resource for 40 centuries or more, not always in the best way, but science has shown that thermophilic compost is effective in destroying pathogens. The Humanure Handbook by Joe Jenkins outlines how to do this in detail, with a collection system separate from the compost system so these can be done on a home or municipal scale. While health department regulations are not savvy enough yet, it is time to start the push.

Bill Taylor

Redwood Valley

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Hump Day Rant

I'm getting pretty tired of all these libertarians around me, especially now that our Grand Cheeto is flubbing his way through the presidency. I see posts whining about militant liberalism not letting Ann Coulter speak at Berkeley. Who gives a rat’s ass? All these sideshows are bullshit anyways. Focus on the real issues: reinstating Glass-Steagall, unlocking Wall Street from Main Street, real immigration and healthcare reform. And the biggest elephant in the room, next to Il Douche himself: the Federal deficit. I used to get earfuls from all these libertarian nuts about how the federal deficit is going to bring us, our children and grandchildren to our knees. Now what is #45 doing? Building a stupid wall and reducing corporate taxes to 15%. What about that federal deficit now? Not a peep from those steadfast libertarians. Face it libertarians, your idealistic view of the world is NEVER going to be a realistic form of governance. You point out all of the failures of communism and socialism (e.g., Venezuela), but Libertarianism is nothing short of anarchy. It's a pipe dream in a vacuum of American idealism and imperialism surrounded by unlimited automatic weapons (nevermind that the Natives were here first)! And look at what our Mendoland libertarian mindset on private property rights combined with burnt-out hippy indifference has gotten us: every yahoo and their cousin coming here to grow dope. Yee-haw!

Kirk Vodopals


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Dear Editor

Last week my wife and I shared the sad event of having to put our Golden Retriever down.

A wonderful vet from Mendocino Animal Hospital met us at AV Farm Supply and gently put Sunny to sleep.

I’m almost 77 and would like to be permitted to have the same relationship and service from my physician that my dog experienced.

Please vote fix to fix this wrong.

Michael Smith


Ed note: On line sources say that California’s physician-assisted dying law, ABX2-15 (AB-15), the End of Life Option Act, took effect on June 9, 2016. In the meantime, a group of anti-choice doctors filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the Act’s implementation. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottoliaat denied the request by a group of doctors for an injunction to stop the new law from taking effect. However, the plaintiffs have filed an appeal in their attempt to block California’s new Death with Dignity law.

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This Memorial Day, 2017

If I make myself a sheep, will the wolves eat me?

If I can’t stand behind our troops, shall I stand in front of them?

If I can write poems and paint portraits and landscapes, am I free?

Socrates said, Know yourself, so I keep looking.

Dear God, give us a world without war this Memorial Day.

Composed 24 April 2017. Headlands Coffeehouse, 9am.

Sincerely, Diana Patricka Farina Bengladesh Vance

Uptown Fort Bragg, California, USA

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Once again we in California have the opportunity to create a single-payer universal healthcare system through SB 562. If the last month has taught us one thing it’s that our healthcare will continue to be a political tug-of-war in Washington DC. In California, we have the infrastructure and talent to make single-payer a success. We just need the political will to make it happen. Read about it at

Stefanie Kaku


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The AVA needs news and loves a good argument, but this set of “Grange War” articles is sending good community people into ever worsening upsets with each other. Is that doing us any good up here in Mendo? AVA — I think you have a responsibility to your community as well as to your barrel of ink. It has done no one any good to hear about one version of the “Grange fight”, much less how we good Grangers feel being stained with lies and propaganda by our neighbors. Beyond pointing fingers and making fault, the current spate of articles and radio shows has done the service work of all our communities and the Grange halls we steward great harm.

We have maintained for years these old Granges. The buildings need constant repair; the community depends on these halls for getting together and entertaining our communities as we do so well in our rural county.

The promise of the California Grange of 2011 was slowed by a small legal problem that was not handled well by either side. It grew. The original reasons do not matter anymore as most do not know or understand. What we are left with is a Community Nightmare that is still unfolding and taking so much of our limited resources — volunteer service time, emotional turmoil, and lots of money to benefit lawyers. Taking away from our true focus.

Where there was such great hope in 2010, the current negative press about the Grange is squarely the fault of some misguided Guild members. I am sorry to have to say this. Some people are going out of their way to build a coalition of hate among community members. Is that in line with the higher values of the Grange that Bob McFarland so clearly expressed a few years ago?

Is it the intention of a few people who do not find the Grange to be a place for them — to attack the Grange for purposes of destroying it? Are they creating negative press to ruin the Grange movement? All the hard work of 150 years of our Grange ancestors to be thrown away to prove some point that everyone has forgotten what it was in the first place? Could 100 years of Grange legacy be thrown away in 5 years?

Grangers want and will continue to maintain their local Grange Hall and continue the traditions of the people who began that Grange and donated or volunteered to build it long ago. Community service. Bringing people together for food and fun. We want everyone to join us, find the joy in being together, working together, building relationships.

The Grange is also continuing the movement that began at the grass roots level 150 years ago with a goal of defending the small farmer who was striving to get products to market in an economically reasonable way.

Complicating this is a widespread untruth by the “Guild” people (who want to take Grange Halls) that there has been a change in the Digest of Laws of the National Grange. This scares communities into fearing that the Grange halls may be taken away by the State Grange, despite having been built and maintained by the communities where the halls are located. There has been no change, & this is not true. This lie is causing people to get upset and go against each other to try and protect halls that need no protection from the State Grange. If you look at the California State Grange Bylaws that were being used under Bob McFarland’s leadership in 2013 you will see the same exact language that is being used today in the National Grange Digest of Laws. Why? Because McFarland took those bylaws almost word for word from the National Digest, which still reads the same as it did. Check it out, I did.

What is true, is that the title to our buildings are listed in the name of the local Grange. For example, the deed to Redwood Valley Grange says the property belongs to “the Redwood Valley Grange”. Period. Not some person or a group of people or the State Grange or any other organization like the newly hatched “Guild”.

The building is supposed to be kept as a Grange. Maintained by Grangers. Used by the community as a Grange Hall. Just like has been done for a hundred years. In fact — we need more people to become Grangers to save, maintain and rebuild these halls, create better local resources and build relationships to help us all survive in these turbulent times. I would add that the individual Grange’s articles of incorporation tie them to the National Grange’s bylaws.

The Grange bylaws at every level are very clear on the relationship of the Grange and properties, including oversight, anti-corruption, and also clearly state what happens if a building reverts to the State Grange in case of a loss of membership. The State Grange has no interest in owning and maintaining the expenses of a large public building for 7 years just so they can sell it and then keep the money in a trust fund for another 7 years, until finally in 14 years the money can be used to help buy another Grange in the area or do improvements on a neighboring Grange Hall, or if nothing else can happen locally...”be used in accordance with the general purposes of the Order”. In 2016 California State Grange took that definition further; “any funds coming from real property will be reinvested back into real property — repairs, building improvement loans, or new Grange Halls”. The State Master wants to stop the past cannibalization and liquidation of property in order to fulfill other budget needs.

Let’s do the math. In 7 years, the insurance on a large public building, maintenance costs, taxes and other fees, including the cost of maintaining an employee just to manage and track these multiple things is enormous and hardly belongs in a category of greed or mischief by any standing President or officer who might benefit personally. (The bylaws also state that no individual can benefit from these sales). 14 years to profit by some sale? Hardly. The State Grange shells out a lot to save these buildings for 7 years in case someone wants to reorganize it!

Because of the original and further legal issues, there are a number of lawsuits at the state level that are working their ways through the court system. Including appeals, it will take many thousands more to finalize the arguments, which are so far all being won by the Grange — because the court agrees that the properties are titled in the name of “Grange”, intended to stay as Granges, as they were intended by those who came before us, our ancestors who gave their money and time to create these halls in the first place. Protected also by the structure of the Grange which includes a set of charters, constitutions and bylaws at every level.

What started as an unfortunate and simple problem years ago could have been mediated, but that didn’t happen, and so here we are now. Mistakes have been on made on both sides. There will be no winner.

I appeal to the “Guild” propaganda machine that is running at full speed trying to blind the community to reality. It is they who are pouring gasoline on this turmoil to ruin our communities. Here in Willits we are lucky to find agreement among ourselves quietly and peacefully, stay working together as a Grange. We are happy we did not join the Guild. Our work is about community, building farmers and growing food systems, not about breaking down doors and sleeping “on watch” in a Grange as in Fort Bragg where the “Guild” has forcibly taken over the building.

If a motorcycle club or any other group wanted to have a place to do their thing they could join a Grange Hall & try to take it over. A few years down the line they might want to sell it and who knows what happens with the money. The Grange system specifically is designed to preserve from one generation to another the contribution that many generations of Grangers have made to their local hall/community. Those Grangers’ efforts were made to pass their good work onto future generations. The beauty of the Grange is that its structure preserves and supports that intention.

Let us repeat that the 12 month old (filed on June 23, 2016) newly minted organization called the “Guild” can of course use Grange halls, just as every other community group does; they just can’t take them away from the 150 year old organization that is the Grange, that has maintained them for so long and well. Remember the Obligation we all made when we joined.

One other comment we hear from the “California Guild”, is that the National Grange and thus the California State Grange are subject to undue influence by Monsanto and other multinational corporations. Is this true? There is no evidence of it. It is an unfounded and unsupported rumor. Please advise me of an actual accounting of such an event or communication or money exchanging hands. I would like to see it for myself.

It is up to us, the grassroots Grange members, to educate our community and fellows — to let everyone know as best we can — what we care about. Perhaps it is about sustainability and climate change and other issues of great importance to us. It is a great opportunity to speak to people with whom we disagree, using the values we have sworn to uphold, with Charity to those who think differently.

Locally — we have the ability to affect & change the policies of the Grange at all levels by the Grange process of Resolutions. Just as we proponents of Local and Organic Food systems are working to help all people we meet to better understand the benefits of sustainable and regenerative farming, of clean and safe foods, we in the Grange are empowered to educate our fellow Grangers across the country in these things. This can’t be done unless you are IN THE GRANGE. Our process empowers us to make change, unlike so many other organizations. That is why it feels good to be a Granger.

Fault for this fight lies with neither Grange nor Guild exclusively, but rather with this lack of trust on the part of some individuals in each group. Unfortunately, this means that the efforts of communities are being spent dealing with this difference of opinion instead of making things happen to benefit their whole community. I honestly hope that we can get past these difficulties so that we may function together, with mutual respect for the opinions of others. I have seen great stride in moving onward in the healing process. Poor reporting & unfounded fake news that is being reported is taking some folks back a step. The California State Grange website has court documents, unfiltered, that explain much of the information and facts in this situation.

Grangers — take heart! You are definitely on the right path. The Grange is what you have been and will be, in these buildings and in your community.

Please believe me, if we continue on with our good works of service, continue to bring people together, who want to make a difference, work as community, this can all be in the past. I hope for that very soon.

Who am I? I am an 11 year long Grange member, have held many offices, including Past President of our local Willits Grange as well as currently serving as Mendocino County Pomona Grange Program Director, and am a past officer of the California State Grange. I am a 7th degree member in the Assembly of Demeter, the highest degree anyone can hold in our National Organization. I am the author of a book called “the Spirit of the Grange”, which reminds us of our core values and how we can create positive relationships with Grange spirit.

With Faith, Hope, Charity and Fidelity,

Annie Waters, Proud to be a Granger

Little Lake Grange, Willits

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“The deed to Redwood Valley Grange says the property belongs to “the Redwood Valley Grange.” Period. Not some person or a group of people or the State Grange or any other organization like the newly hatched “Guild”.”

I haven’t seen the deed yet because a restraining order inhibits me from contacting any County office but I assure you that it was not my great grandfather’s intent to give that land to the State Grange. At one time the Woolley’s owned a large portion of east side Redwood Valley and were very community minded. Not only did my grandfather donate the Grange land to the community, he also donated the land where the old Redwood Valley School currently sits empty.

“Formed Feb. 9, 1920, Sequoia school was located in Redwood Valley, its name being a term used for the giant trees which once grew along the Russian River area. The Mendocino County Book of Deeds; May 12, 1921. J. M. Wooley and Florence Wooley, his wife, to the Redwood Valley School District; 4.31 acres to be used for school purposes, for the sum of $10.”

For years and years a granite monument sat in front of the school recognizing J.M. Woolley’s gift to his community. We have no idea where that is now.

My half brother Dan Woolley wants me to look into the both the School and Grange situations and make sure that both properties are only used for the specific purpose and only by the people our family meant them to be used by.

James Marmon aka J.M. Woolley

Lake County

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As many readers of this paper probably know there has been great turmoil within the California Grange system fomented by the head organization, the National Grange, who wanted California to not be so damned progressive. National de-Granged California and turned all previous Granges into Guilds. Did so even though California was the only state in the nation to show a reversal in the precipitous decline in Grange membership.

An ensuing shake-up of leadership did instill a more "progressive" National Master but an underlying issue of who owns the Grange buildings still lingers along with a feeling in some that the National Grange is not "progressive" enough and still too dominant.

Each California Grange/Guild organization must decide which way they want to go - Grange or Guild. To that end a meeting was held Sunday morning to address the issue and introduce a mail ballot that will be sent to all Anderson Valley "Grange" members.

It is a complicated and confusing situation but as I looked around the room I saw a handful of those stalworth Anderson Valley oldtimers that actually handed us the Grange in the first place and worked hard in doing so. And I thought "What in the hell's wrong with what we have?"

Christine Clark, Sam Prather, Gene and Berna Walker, Joy Frazer were quiet but subliminally they spoke to me. Save the Grange. Let's not tumble into a possible many years long legal morass that quite possibly won't give us anything we don't already have. As Captain Rainbow poetically quoted an unnamed source, "We are caretakers of the vessel which is the Grange itself." We should not sink the ship. Go Grange! Vote Grange and let's settle back in to what has served us so well over many years.

David Severn


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In regard to the never ending (but thankfully behind the scenes these days) harassment of the Mendocino Animal Care Shelter, I was the lucky recipient of an unknown Facebook "alias" from the Oakland-based No Kill Advocacy Center's Facebook page, who decided to make things personal (i delete the nastiest bits.)

When making those absurd PRA requests (at least four times a year), which have totaled over 900 pages in some instances, the requester is also unknown, but I now figure the No Kill Advocacy Shelter is involved, somehow.

Here's an example of the kind of writing that springs forth, ironically, on a post which originated from the NKA center's congratulatory post about the Ukiah Shelter having reached a "No Kill" status ("live release rates" 90% or higher):

"Anyone who looks deeper at the numbers in Ukiah will see that they are NOT a no kill shelter. They categorize animals in ways that remove them from the Asilomar accords definitions and thereby choose not to ‘count’ them when euthanized. Or they just do not report them altogether… You have made it your personal goal (apparently) to cover up the killing that goes on there. You have gone to great lengths to make excuses for the failure of the staff there to perform on the animal's behalf. All I ask is that you wear that (and) spout the same beliefs for those of us who believe wholeheartedly in no kill sheltering… tell us again why it does not work, tell us how it is necessary to kill these animals, please give us all the same old tired excuses you love to spread in your pedantic style."

A delightful combo of the best aspects of social media, combined with that old adage: No good deed goes unpunished.

Off to kill a few dogs and cats,

K. Shearn


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President Trump posted an Exec. Order today Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy — part of which follows:

Sec. 2. Policy. It shall be the policy of the United States to encourage energy exploration and production, including on the

Outer Continental Shelf, in order to maintain the Nation’s position as a global energy leader and foster energy security and resilience for the benefit of the American people, while ensuring that any such activity is safe and environmentally responsible.

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I suggest that the Board of Supervisors:

1. Again establish the Coastal Protection Citizens Advisory Committee

2. Affirm the standing of the voters initiative banning onshore petroleum facilities without voter approval

3. Pass a current resolution opposing prospecting or drilling off the California coast.

Norman de Vall


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I read the letter to the editor in the UDJ about this subject and totally agree. I thought it is interesting and worthwhile to know that the Clover Theater has an even lower matinee price for seniors of $5.50; That's definitely worth the half hour drive from Ukiah.

Barbara McClean


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To the Editor:

A letter to the editor is my best recourse after foolishly signing a contract with a door-to-door salesperson in the spring of 2016. Added to my PG&E bill was SFE California’s charge of $40.97 every month, claiming this was to average my PG&E billing for the high winter cost of heating my mobile home in a senior park in Ukiah. As my gas usage increased with the cold weather, my PG&E bill increased as usual, plus the extra charge caused by the contract. My bill with PG&E included a Gas Procurement Charge by the Core Transport Agent, SFE Energy and was based on misrepresentation. I knew then I had been scammed.

These are the steps I have taken:

11/14/2016- PG&E states it was my choice to sign the contract, warning me to pay attention to public service announcements warning the public about misrepresentation.

11/15/2016- SFE Energy cancelled 3 year contract per customer’s request, waived cancellation fee (due to financial hardship).

11/18/16- California Public Utilities Commission kindly said they could do nothing because the company is out of state.

12/19/2016- BBB (Better Business Bureau) taking my complaint ID# 11855368 directed me to seek the advice of an attorney, or file a claim in Small Claims Court.

Please note, in checking on who to contact with SFE California, Inc., it is a Delaware Corporation Service Company, the business, CSC-Lawyers Incorporating Service. (Process Servers)

My concern is: I do nothing and another person may be misled by the sales pitch and suffer from a loss of faith and peace of mind, as I have. Thank you for your time. Please pass this information on.

Diana Ratliff


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Dear Editor:

South Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal

As appreciation from the Korean government to U. S. service members, your readers who served in the Korean conflict may be eligible for the Korean Ambassador for Peace medal. This medal is in appreciation for the sacrifices, service and friendship for the American men and women who served in the Korean War. Please note women who served in Korea are also eligible.

To be eligible you must have served in the country during the Korean War from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. It is also available for veterans who participated in the UN peacekeeping operations until the end of 1955. If you were in the US Navy and served aboard a naval vessel assigned to Korean waters during the 1950 to 1953 time frame you are eligible.

To establish eligibility, you need a copy of your DD 214, it need not be certified or notarized but it should be legible. There are no costs or fees to the family or to the veteran. There are no legal agreements that need to be met, nor any documents to be signed.

The application is very simple: on plain paper head it:

Korean Ambassador for Peace Metal Application: on the application furnish your name and address. ENCLOSE your DD 214 and mail it to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Office of Defense Attaché, 2450 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20008.

If you are not interested, perhaps one your children, grand children, or great grand children would appreciate the medal as a gift.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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