A recognition that many felt was long overdue was rectified recently when Charles Wright of Conway was awarded with two medals as a result of his time on the Iwo Jima campaign in World War II.
Wright received those medals in a morning ceremony at Ed’s Bakery in Conway to a group of supporters and passers by.
The medals are the Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation. Those who researched Wright’s service found out that while he was awarded the two medals, he was never presented with them.
The Marines of the Dale W. Langford Detachment No. 1323 were the ones to honor Wright, who survived the campaign at Iwo Jima despite being shot twice. Wright still harbors a bullet in his head from the attack.
"The Iwo Jima campaign is one that is very sacred to us," said David Skelton, Detachment Commandant. "We knew if we had to go through Washington to get this done, it would take too long, so we took matters into our own hands so we could take care of our own."
When presenting the medals along with Arkansas Department Commandant Dwight Witcher, Skelton simply told a seated Wright, "Semper Fi."
"There is no way we can show our appreciation for what we consider the ‘Greatest Generation,’" Witcher said. "And Charles is a shining example of that. We all stand in the shadows of the marines and soldiers of World War II."
Witcher said that men like Wright "saved the world," and soon after all in attendance stood and saluted.
"It doesn’t matter what service you are in, we all bleed red, and that’s what it’s all about," Skelton said.