Vice Chair Crowley Presents Military Awards to Family of Late Bronx Korean War Veteran

April 24, 2015
Press Release

(Bronx, NY) – On Monday, April 20, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, presented several military service replacement medals to the family of late Korean War veteran Thomas Matta, in recognition of his service in the United States Army. Crowley secured for the family a total of five awards including the Korean Service Medal, the primary distinction for participating in the war and performing duty in the Republic of Korea between June 27, 1950 and July 27, 1954.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve and have served in uniform to protect our country and defend our freedoms at home and abroad,” said Rep. Crowley. “Thomas Matta is one such individual who the Bronx and our nation should be proud of. He served with valor and distinction during the Korean War, and these medals serve as tokens of our appreciation for his selflessness and courage.”

“Whatever you do in life, you have to do it to the best of your abilities and honor your country,” said Thomas Matta, Jr. “My father was proud to serve in the armed forces and I thank Congressman Crowley for his help in securing the medals my father earned for his service.”

In addition to obtaining the Korean Service Medal, Crowley was able to replace other medals the family had lost, including: The National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean War Service Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge.

Mr. Matta was a member of the U.S. Army from October 12, 1951 until July 11, 1953 when he was honorably discharged. After leaving the Army, Mr. Matta worked as a handyman for over 30 years. However, through his military service he inspired other relatives to serve their country, including his own sons.

On March 28, 2012 Mr. Matta passed away. He is survived by his wife Luz, five children and several grandchildren.

Congressman Crowley is the nine-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.