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After 40 years, Vietnam vet Toll gets his medals

Fort Bend Herald
After 40 years, Vietnam vet Toll gets his medals

Congressman’s office surpasses expectations with several honors



Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:34 AM CDT

It was an honor he waited 40 years to receive. Rosenberg resident Walter Toll III only wanted to get his good conduct medal for serving in Vietnam. Not only did he get that, he got six more awards.  Toll was presented with his medal, an expert badge with auto rifle bar, a Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation with palm device, a Republic of Vietnam civil actions honor – first class, a Vietnam campaign medal and three Bronze Service Stars at a ceremony June 4 at the Texas National Guard Armory in Rosenberg.

 “I thought it was just a fluke,” he said. “It was an unexpected surprise.”  Toll was aware of the possibility of getting a medal after meeting with Eneditra Johnson-Robinson, a veterans case worker for Congressman Pete Olson.  Johnson-Robinson met with veterans at the The DAV (Disabled American Veterans) of Tri-County Chapter 233 in Rosenberg.  “After meeting with her, I gave her a call and asked if I could get my good conduct medal,” Toll said. “Two to three weeks later she got a letter stating they would not only grant me my medal, but I was also entitled to other medals. I was flabbergasted and it was exciting to know that I was recognized for some of the things I did in Vietnam.”

Toll remains passionate about his service in the war and disagrees with people who were and still are against Vietnam. “I don’t know why it was so unpopular,” he said. “I guess people just didn’t understand why we were there. I don’t think it was fair for people to blame the soldiers. When the President says go, that’s an order.”  The night he got his medals, his three children — Miranda Pruess, Stacey Teague and Dustin Toll — were there to each pin two of his medals. Also on hand was his wife Glenda, his father Watler Toll Jr., and his six grandchildren.

 Although he finally got what Toll says he deserves, he was baffled on why it took so long for him to get his medals. Now he is on a mission to make sure it does not happen to other soldiers.  “Forty years is just too long,” he said. “We’re going to try to set up a committee around the Houston area and maybe South Texas for every veteran that is due medals. We’re going to try to get these boys their medals now because they shouldn’t have to wait 40 years long.”