Here's an excerpt from an article about a medal I wasn’t aware of - the National Defense Medal awarded by the United Daughters of the
Confederacy. It appears in the Marco Island Sun Times of Florida. The article didn't picture the medal, but I added an
illustration from the UDC web site. -Editor
Marco Islander Lou Stickles is very proud man.
He has just been awarded the National Defense Medal by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), which was established in 1894 and
is the oldest patriotic lineage organization in the country.
Stickles received the medal because he is an honorably discharged veteran and because he can trace his lineage, by blood, back to the
War Between the States. The certificate and the congratulatory letter that accompanies this medal thanks Stickles for his service during
the Vietnam conflict, describing it as a reflection of “the true southern spirit of his Confederate ancestry.”
“This is a big deal. It’s basically for veterans,” says Stickles. In fact, he is one of only three people in the State of Florida who
have received this medal. He is already a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and, in fact, can trace his lineage even farther back,
on both sides of his family, to the Revolutionary war, making him eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.
Stickles grew up in Virginia immersed in history. “I grew up where the tales where told,” said Stickles.
“We could get in our car and be in Williamsburg or Jamestown in a matter of minutes.” His father was career military and often deployed
unable to take his family. Stickles spent a lot of time with his grandparents and their contemporaries hearing stories of from the past.
“A lot of people would not listen to them. But I sat there and realized how fortunate I was compared to so many people elsewhere,”
Stickles claims. “You read about it. You hear about it. But there’s nothing like an eyewitness to bring history to life.”
Stickles credits a chance encounter with a perfect stranger for his strong interest in history. His family was stationed in Princeton,
New Jersey; his father working at the Institute for Advanced Technology. With his mother looking from the kitchen window, Stickles, a third
grader, decided to go outside and check out what was considered unusual bug activity at the time — Princeton had just been invaded by the
An old man approached and asked what he was doing. After an impromptu science lesson too long to go into here, the man left him with
some sage advice: always study the past in order to predict what will happen in the future.
“I have never forgotten his words,” said Stickles. “It’s a lesson that has guided the rest of my life … and sparked my interest in
listening to people’s stories and studying what happened in history.”
It’s hard to think of better advice than that. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
Marco historian gets rare
For more information on medals of the Daughters of the Confederacy, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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