Friday, May 04, 2007

A Message from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson

America's veterans are the face of America. They come from all walks of life, all ages, all ethnicities. They served our Nation honorably and well and we honor that service, but how do we honor the veteran – the individual who put on the uniform and gave his or her all for our country?

In the spring of 2006 I had the privilege of attending the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day ceremonies in Sydney, Australia. ANZAC Day is the most important national holiday in Australia, a combination of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

It was established to commemorate the more than 8,000 Australians killed in the battle of Gallipoli in World War I, and now honors all Australian and New Zealand

Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson

One of the things that stood out during the day-long ceremonies was how all of the veterans and surviving family members wore their medals and campaign ribbons. It focused public pride and attention on those veterans as individuals with personal histories of service and sacrifice for the common good.

That is why I am calling on America's veterans to wear their military medals on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Wearing their medals demonstrates the deep pride our veterans have in their military service and reminds all American citizens of the sacrifices our veterans have made.

Veterans, wear your pride on your left side on patriotic holidays! Let America know who you are and what you did for freedom.

News Release

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a link below to see the correct order of precedence for each military service's awards.


Marine Corps


Air Force

Coast Guard

Click on an image, below, for enlarged view

miniature medals
large medals
large medals, device and unit awards

  • Reconstructing Lost Records (VA Fact Sheet on reconstructing records lost in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis)
  • Memorial Day 2007 Material
Veterans Pride Poster

Veterans Pride Brochure
(455 KB PDF)

(582 KB PDF)

Two-sided brochure - poster

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