The Senate could vote as soon as this week to create a new medal that would be awarded posthumously to South Carolinians who die while serving in the military overseas. The new “Medal of Valor” would be awarded to the surviving family of a fallen service member.
“South Carolina has a very strong and proud tradition of its military involvement and citizens responding to the call of service,” said Sen. Tom Alexander (R-Walhalla), who first proposed the idea. “You never can do too much for our military veterans.”
The medal would be given to those armed forces members who were native South Carolinians, former students at state colleges, or stationed at a South Carolina military base at the time of their death. Their names would also be entered into a special Medal of Valor roll maintained by the Adjutant General’s Office.
The bill faced few obstacles on its way through the Senate and House– passing unanimously in each. How the medals would be funded seemed to be the only real issue. After the legislation passed the Senate in February, House members attached an amendment that the Adjutant General’s Office would not be required to pay for them. That means another vote is required in the Senate.
Alexander said lawmakers haven’t figured out funding, yet, but he hoped it could come through donations.
“Those individuals gave the ultimate price and this is not about the price of a medal,” he said. “Knowing the goodness of the citizens in the state of South Carolina, that will not be an issue.”
He said he expects the Senate to agree with the House version, thereby sending it to the governor for her approval.