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Billy Orr is presented his Ambassador for Peace medal

Date
17 October 2013 15:15

Today 92 year old Billy Orr was presented with his Ambassador for Peace medal, for service during the Korean War, by Defence Attache, Captain Juhyeon Park.

Today 92 year old Billy Orr was presented with his Ambassador for Peace medal, for service during the Korean War, by Defence Attache, Captain Juhyeon Park. Captain Park is a naval officer of the Republic of Korea and has been the Korean defence attaché since August 2012. Also attending were South Korean TV, who interviewed Blind Veterans UK's Residential Manager Paul Cartwright.
Billy was among the United Nations forces which fought alongside South Korea troops against North Korea and Chinese in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.  Billy was captured as a Prisoner of War (POW) in 1951 and was put into a camp where he was kept for some time in a bamboo cage. It was during the War that an explosion damaged Billy's eyes and the subsequest captivity and poor diet led him to go blind.

Defence Attache, Captain Juhyeon Park said:

"Korea has become a strong and vibrant nation because of many Korean War Veterans like Billy.  As a military officer I salute Billy and cannot thank him enough for personal sacrifice and dedication he made for Korean people.  We would also wish him speedy recovery and good health for long time to come."

Billy said: "I am absolutely delighted to be receiving my medal.  I am really looking forward to meeting the Defence Attache."

Billy has been a member of Blind Veterans UK - the charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women, for more than 40 years, and has been a resident of the charity's Brighton centre since 1989.

The award ceremony is the culmination of a campaign by fellow Korean War veteran and member of Blind Veterans UK Tom Clough from Gloucester who had approached the British Korean Veterans Association about Billy receiving a medal after learning of his plight when he met him at a Blind Veterans UK event. Tom is himself a Korean War veteran and received his Ambassador for Peace media when he returned to Korea.

Blind Veterans UK provides free services for Armed Forces and National Service veterans suffering with age-related sight loss. If you know someone who could benefit from our free support visit the No One Alone campaign website or freephone 0800 389 7979.