Cpl. John Bishop's family receives flag
Milan family receives veteran's medals

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

Christmas came early for the family of the late Robert Mann. His wife Mary of Milan, received the medals that he earned while serving his country in World War II. He was in the AirCorps as an airplane mechanic at Iwo Jima. According to Mary, he was there about three years and was discharged on February 14, 1946.

The medals were presented by Jeannette Mount, a representative of Congressman Baron Hill’s office. She also presented a flag that was flown over the Capitol in honor of Cpl. Bishop to family members. Bishop was killed in Afghanistan on September 8.

The presentations took place at the Versailles American Legion Post on Thursday, December 23 where Mann served as Post Commander in 1972. Bishop was a member of the post as well and the first active member to be killed in the line of duty.

At the Versailles post surrounded by family, Mann received her husband’s Asiatic Campaign, WWII Victory, Good Conduct, and American Campaign medals. Mary said her husband never received these medals.

Gears were put into motion about three years ago after the death of Robert by nephew Will Bennett of Indianapolis. According to Bennett, he grew up hearing the stories of his uncle’s service in the war. Upon learning that his uncle never received the medals he earned, he wrote a letter to Congressman Hill asking for help.

According to Mount, the process to replace or receive medals often begins with a phone call or a letter from a family member. The office then contacts the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO, where all military records are kept. Form DD214 is used to verify all information and to determine which medals have been earned by the veteran.

Those in a similar situation, or those who have lost their medals due to a situation such as fire or theft, can either contact their Senator or Congressman or their county Veteran Services officer, said Mount. The Veteran Service Officer for Ripley County is Ken Hylton.

“I am just overcome with emotion,” said Mary. “It was a great Christmas gift for me.”

She said that she misses Robert more than ever. The couple was married on October 11, 1947 for nearly 50 years. They had no children, but said their nieces and nephews were like their own children.

Members of the fallen Marine's family were also present to receive the flag flown in honor of their loved one. Cpl. Bishop's mother, Sarah Thomas of Columbus, was presented the flag that was in honor of her daughter-in-law, Crystal Bishop and new granddaughter, Ella, who was born after her father's death. Also on hand for the presentation were Cpl. Bishop's brothers, Tyson Bishop and son, Bryce; and brother, Mike and wife, Peggy Bishop of Versailles.

Pictured above from left are Jeannette Mount, Mary Mann, her sister Dorothy Bennett, nephew Will Bennett, and Bennett's daughter Emily and son Jack and mother-in-law, Betty Miller. Pictured below: A flag that was flown over the Capitol on September 16 in honor of Crystal and Ella Bishop, wife and infant daughter of the late Cpl. John Bishop, was presented to the Bishop family on Thursday, December 23 at the Versailles American Legion by Jeannette Mount representing Congressman Baron Hill. Pictured are Bryce Bishop, Tyson Bishop, Sarah Thomas, Cpl. Bishop's mother, Peggy Bishop and Mike Bishop.