Missouri Governor Jay Nixon introduces three military veterans, including one former Missouri National Guardsman, during a ceremony at the Capitol building in Jefferson City. Each veteran received the Silver Star banner for injury or illnesses they received during a deployment. (Photo by Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).
By Sarah E. Lupescu
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Governor Jay Nixon presented the Silver Star banner to three military veterans, including one former Missouri National Guardsman, during a ceremony at the Capitol building in Jefferson City.
"Throughout our state's history, Missourians have demonstrated courage and self-sacrifice while serving in our nation's military," Gov. Nixon said. "These three veterans are among the many who incurred injury or illness while in harm's way, and I am pleased to help honor their service to our state and nation with this award. As we observe Silver Star Families of America Day on May 1, we are reminded of the sacrifices that our military veterans have made, and continue to make, on our behalf."
The recipients, all Jefferson City residents, include Ralph Kalberloh who served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Dewey Riehn who served in the Army in Vietnam and who previously served as a Marine, and Shams Chughtai who served in the Army in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Chugtai was born in Pakistan and immigrated with his parents to the United States when he was six years old. He joined the Missouri National Guard and then the Army Reserve. Chugtai speaks the Urdu language fluently and that proved to be an important asset when he deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in 2009. He was able to help America's military communicate with local people.
When Chugtai's unit came under mortar attack, he suffered some hearing loss.
Now, as a civilian, Chugtai works as the state veterans' coordinator for the Division of Workforce Development.
"Gentlemen, I greatly appreciate this opportunity to pay you this honor," Nixon said. "You faced the perils of a theater of combat with courage and determination."
For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please visit www.moguard.com and our social media sites: www.facebook.com/Missouri.National.Guard; www.twitter.com/Missouri_NG; www.youtube.com/MoNationalGuard; www.myspace.com/missouri_ng; www.flickr.com/photos/missouriguard; www.moguard.com/blog; www.pinterest.com/monationalguard/
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon presents the Silver Star banner to Shams Chughtai, a former Missouri Guardsman, who served in the Army in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. When Chugtai's unit came under mortar attack, he suffered some hearing loss. (Photo by Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).
Gov. Jay Nixon presents three Mid-Missouri veterans with Silver Star Banners at his Capitol office on April 30, 2012. From left: MG Stephen Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard; Ralph Kalberloh, a prisoner of war during World War II; Gov. Nixon; Dewey Riehn, Vietnam veteran; Shams Chughtai, veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom; Jeremy Amick, Silver Star Families of America public affairs officer; and, Shawn Johnson, Silver Star Families of America photographer. (Photo by Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).