The Courier

Veterans who served in the Korean War may be eligible for the Ambassador for Peace Medal – Photo from the  Government of Canada website 

The Government of France and the Republic of Korea have made available the National Order of the Legion of Honour and Ambassador for Peace medals.

Guy Black’s goal is to connect as many eligible veterans as possible with these medals. While the Ambassador for Peace Medal can be awarded posthumously, the Legion of Honour cannot, so given the advancing age of both World War II and Korean War Veterans, time is of the essence.

To date, he has helped more than 800 veterans receive these awards.

“If you ask me why I do it, it is something I just like doing and I feel I am making positive things happen,” said Black. “Something that motivates me to keep doing it is when I speak to veterans and families of veterans.”

He recently spoke to Flying Officer Herbert McGee, 425 and 434 Squadrons in #6 Bomber Command, and asked him if he had been wounded, a question on the Legion of Honour nomination form. He replied: “No body wounds, just the mind. The memory of a single raid prevented me from sleeping in the same room with my wife for 50 out of 63 years.”

His story, and those of so many others, touched Black deeply, and he continues to push through the paperwork.

Black’s work is entirely voluntary. He provides information on the two medal programs, helps applicants fill out forms if they have issues, and answers questions.

“I am only unofficially helping, but I think if I did not help, not as many people would know these medals are available,” said Black.

He gets all his information from the Veteran Affairs Canada and the French and Korean embassies’ websites.

It is not easy to find recipients, but he reaches out wherever he can. For each medal sent out, he makes every effort to contact newspapers and local government offices to ensure the recipient is not forgotten.

“I try to do things that are unique and hard to do,” said Black. “My goal is to get historical events, past wars, back into today’s world on the news and in newspapers.”

If you are a living World War II veteran who participated in the campaign to liberate France from D-Day, June 6, 1944 to the end of August 1944; or Dieppe in 1942, you may be eligible for France’s highest award.

“(If) the person has passed away, they cannot get it,” said Black. “You have to be alive when you are nominated.”

He noted that fact has upset a few people, but he does not establish criteria for the distribution of the medals. He is strictly a messenger, and a volunteer for those who need assistance filling out the applications.

The Korean government is looking for veterans who served in the Korean War, 1950 to 1953, or its peacekeeping phase, which lasted until 1955. Unlike the Legion of Honour, Korea’s Ambassador for Peace Medal may be awarded posthumously.

“It is worth applying for even if it is just for the families,” said Black.

For further information or assistance in applying for these two medals, please contact Guy Black at with the subject “Veteran,” or send a letter to 1028 Moray St., Coquitlam, B.C., V3J 6S3.

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