Medal to end widow's quest

June 27, 1991|By New York Times

WASHINGTON -- It has taken more than 23 years, but today the Army was scheduled to award the Silver Star to the widow of an Army captain who was killed in Vietnam while risking enemy mortar fire to save his badly outnumbered troops.

The award will bring an end to Brenda Reed's emotional campaign of perseverance and devotion to her husband, Capt. James Eddie Reed.

The Army has resisted awarding the medal because no one recommended the honor immediately after Reed's death. Reed died during the 1968 Tet offensive. An oversight by Reed's field commander delayed the process until 1988.

Her quest took Brenda Reed to the jungles of Vietnam for evidence, to tiny towns throughout America in search of men who had fought alongside her husband, and to the streets near here California home, where she petitioned strangers to write letters to the Pentagon.

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