Rep. Miller Presents WWII Medals in Honor of Leon Viger, Sr. of Algonac, MI

Nov 2, 2012

Harrison Township, MI – U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today presented military medals in the honor of the late Leon Viger, Sr. of Algonac, Michigan to his family for Leon Viger, Sr.’s service to the nation.  Leon Viger, Sr. was a WWI Veteran and served during WWII as a civilian under the U.S. Navy’s command in the Pacific theatre of operations during the war with Japan, ultimately becoming a Prisoner of War and was killed at sea in 1944.  However, since he was working as a Naval Contractor at the time of his capture and death, no military medals were awarded.  The Viger Family contacted Rep. Miller who advocated on their behalf to the Department of the Navy and asked that they review Leon Viger, Sr.’s case and consider him for service medals.  The Navy reviewed Leon Viger, Sr.’s case and has subsequently granted him the following: the Purple Heart with certificate, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asian Pacific Campaign Medal, and the Prisoner of War Medal.  The Navy also issued a new Certificate of Release from Active Duty which confirms his service status in WWII.

“Our nation has been very fortunate to have countless citizens who have stood up in times of peril to defend our freedom.  Leon Viger, Sr. was such a person.  He answered his nation’s call to service in World War I, serving in the United States Army, and again answered the call in World War II only this time as a civilian contractor with the United States Navy serving in the Pacific Theater of operations,” said Miller.  “In 1944, during his service in the Pacific, the ship on which Leon Viger, Sr. served was torpedoed and sunk.  After escaping the doomed ship he was captured by the enemy, tortured, and left to die.  Leon Viger, Sr. made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom, but his brave service in World War II had never been recognized by the United States Military until today.  Today, I was proud to present to Mr. Viger’s family the Purple Heart, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal, and Prisoner of War Medal in honor of his service to our nation.  Even though Leon Viger, Sr.’s sacrifice was made 68 years ago our nation will never forget and will forever owe him a debt that can never be repaid.”

Rep. Miller presents Leon Viger Sr.’s children with the WWII medals honoring their father’s service.
(left to right: Sally Appleman, Rep. Miller, Leon Viger Jr., Charlotte Taylor)


Medals presented in honor of Leon Viger Sr.
(The Purple Heart, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asian Pacific Campaign Medal, and the Prisoner of War Medal.)