Hoeven Presents Military Medals to North Dakota WWII, Gulf War Veterans

MINOT, N.D. – At a medal presentation ceremony in Minot today, Senator John Hoeven presented military service medals to Gulf War veteran James J. Capps, World War II veteran Loren G. Fenner and the family of World War II veteran Herbert A. Skeldum. Hoeven’s office has been working to secure the medals earned by the veterans during their military service.

“At this time of Thanksgiving, we are especially grateful for the freedoms we enjoy and the men and women who have sacrificed so much to preserve them,” said Hoeven. “Today we present these military medals and honor these brave men, who served and fought on our behalf. We hope these medals serve as a tangible reminder of our tremendous gratitude.”

James J. Capps Military Honors

Hoeven presented James J. Capps with the medals he earned while serving in the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War. He entered the military in July 1989 and served eight years active duty. He achieved the rank of Petty Officer Third Class, Boatswain’s Mate Third Class and sailed on four different ships, the USS Independence, USS Sacramento, USS Ingraham and USS Camden. He was honorably discharged in 1997. Following his service, Jim started over the road truck driving and continues that now in the oil fields. He is the father of 10-year-old Anaelijah Marie and lives in Minot.

  • Navy Good Conduct Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal with Two Bronze Stars
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Star
  • Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon
  • Navy “E” Ribbon
  • Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with Three Bronze Stars
  • Navy Discharge Button

Loren G. Fenner Military Honors

Hoeven presented World War II veteran Loren G. Fenner with the medals he earned serving in the U.S. Army. Loren was drafted into the Army in October 1943 and became a heavy machine gunner. He served in campaigns in Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. He served with the 28th Division 109th Field Artillery who moved into Norther France toward Paris and were given the honor of marching down the Champs-Elysees in the Liberation of Paris. Loren was honorably discharged in February 1946. Following his military service, he owned the ACE construction company and continued to farm. He was married to JoAnn Sherlock in 1952 and they have 2 children, Loren Jr. and Linda. He married Elvera Knuth in 1964 and they have a daughter, Lisa. Loren is 90-years-old and currently resides in Minot.

  • Good Conduct Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
  • WWII Victory Medal
  • WWII Honorable Service Lapel Button
  • Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar

Herbert A. Skeldum Military Honors

Hoeven today presented the family of Herbert A. Skeldum with the medals he earned serving in World War II. Following service in the Civilian Conservation Corps, Skeldum enlisted with the United States Army in July 1942. He served as a truck driver and mechanic in Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. He was a member of the 95th Infantry Division Artillery and the 9th Division “Iron Men of Metz” renowned for fighting back fierce German counterattacks to liberate the town of Metz during a three month battle. Skeldum was honorably discharged in November 1945. He married Laura Spitzer in 1948 and together had six children. Herbert passed away in Jamestown in 1989. His medals are being presented to his son, Don.

  • Good Conduct Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
  • WWII Victory Medal
  • WWII Honorable Service Lapel Button
  • Driver and Mechanic Badge
  • Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar

Hoeven worked to pass the Veterans Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 to improve accountability and transparency at the VA and ensure veterans have the option to receive care from a non-VA provider at the department’s expense if they cannot schedule an appointment within the established VA wait times or if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility. He has also been leading efforts to ensure that veterans can access a nearby health care provider if their local Community Based Outpatient Clinic or VA Medical Center cannot provide the required service. He has also been working to implement a policy that would allow veterans more options for health care and long-term care (LTC) services in their home communities.

Hoeven serves on the Appropriations Committee Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.