The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military award which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy force, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star, the Valor device ("V" device) may be authorized as an attachment to the decoration.
For meritorious service during the period 1968 to 1970 while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. During his years of confinement in the Prison Camp Plantation, he served as an example of inspirational leadership and as a source of aggressive motivation to those associated with him. Although crippled from serious and ill-treated injuries, he steadfastly refused a "no commitment" release to freedom offered by his captors. His selfless action served as an example to others and his forthright refusal, by giving emphasis to the insidious nature of such releases, may have prevented a possibly chaotic deterioration in prisoner discipline. His singularly distinctive accomplishment and devotion to duty reflected credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval service and the United States Armed Forces.