Howard “Jeff” Parker, Jr., honored in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

On Friday, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) presented World War II veteran and current Ridgeland resident Howard “Jeff” Jefferson Parker, Jr., with a Combat Action Ribbon for his service.

Parker was awarded the ribbon after extensive research of his service records showed he had engaged in combat while serving as a member of the Navy Armed Guard in 1944.

The Combat Action Ribbon was established by the Department of the Navy in 1969.

“Created at the height of the Vietnam War, the ribbon is both the most highly regulated and the most retroactively applied award in both the Navy and Marine Corps,” a release from Senator Wicker’s office said. “When determining eligibility, it takes intensive investigative research by records technicians and the service branch to ensure that a veteran is entitled to the Combat Action Ribbon. The criteria set by the Department of the Navy requires bona fide evidence that the member was engaged in direct combat with an enemy.”

Wicker’s office assisted the Parker family with applying for the award.

Senator Wicker said that this is a wonderful opportunity to thank people who have stepped forward, even decades and decades ago, to keep us free and to win our peace and freedom again.

“Mr. Parker served admirably under very trying conditions in the Pacific, under active fire. Only about fifteen percent of servicemen actually see combat as he did,” Wicker continued. “He is very deserving of the Combat Action Ribbon.”