Ninth District U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith on Monday presented the Navy Good Conduct Medal to Johnny Nolen of Martinsville.

After being in the Navy reservers, Nolen was an electronics technician and served on the USS William M. Wood and USS Eugene A. Greene destroyers in 1966-69. Part of the time he served was in the Mediterranean.

Awardees of the Navy Good Conduct Medal who were enlisted between Nov. 1, 1963, and Jan. 1, 1996, were required to have served three consecutive years with a clear record, meaning no convictions by court martial, no nonjudicial punishment and no civil convictions for offenses involving moral turpitude.

“Sometimes the United States military, in this case, the Navy, the records don’t always go where they are supposed to and sometimes you have to dig,” Griffith said.

Nolen had not received a Good Conduct Medal, but after Griffith’s office was contacted, the National Personnel Records Center checked Nolen’s records and found that his early enlistment provided the necessary time of service to qualify for the medal.

Griffith told Nolen on Monday: “Let me present you with this medal that should have arrived 50 years ago. Better late than never. This is your Good Conduct Medal for good service, faithful service, not only to the United States Navy but the people of America.”

Nolen said he was “proud to serve the country.”

Paul Collins is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. Contact him at 276-638-8801, ext. 236.

CORRECTION: Because of incorrect information provided to the Bulletin, an earlier version of this article misstated the qualifications Nolen met to earn this medal. 

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