An Aroostook County veteran recently received several medals for distinguished military service in Vietnam.
At an Oct. 20 ceremony in Presque Isle, U.S. Air Force Maj. (Ret.) Dean Rauch of Woodland was presented the Bronze Star and several other medals by Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine.
Rauch was awarded the Bronze Star for extraordinary service in Vietnam from 1968-69 as the administrator of the 14th USAF Dispensary.
Brandon Conley, Poliquin’s Washington, D.C., press secretary, said despite harsh conditions and a determined enemy, the dispensary overseen by Rauch provided outstanding medical care to wounded servicemen as well as badly needed medical and dental services to local civilians, including children.
Rauch also received the Distinguished Presidential Unit Citation for his unit’s notable work while at Dow Air Force Base in Bangor.
In addition to his time at Dow, Rauch was stationed at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone from 1976 to 1981 and during that time worked to get a much-needed new hospital built on the base.
Posted in Texas at the time of his retirement from the Air Force, Rauch and his family remembered their time in Maine so fondly they decided to move back to Aroostook County, settling in Woodland, Conley said.
At the ceremony, which was also attended by Rauch’s wife of 52 years, Donna, Poliquin also presented him an Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze service stars, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and the National Defense Service Medal.
“During his two decades of selfless service to our nation and especially during his time in Vietnam, Major Rauch was continually cited for his outstanding dedication and determination, and the sound judgment, extensive knowledge and efficiency he brought to his work which always resulted in improved medical care for our servicemen and women,” said Poliquin, who worked to obtain the recognition for the local veteran.
“Unfortunately, those who served our nation in Vietnam did not get the homecoming they deserved. To Major Rauch and our many other heroic Vietnam Veterans, I say ‘welcome home’ and thank you for your incredible sacrifices fighting for freedom under hostile conditions at home and overseas.”