Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Sens. Mark R Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) in presenting POW medals to Virginia veteran David Strickland and Maryland veteran Army Specialist Ronald Dolecki.

“In 1975, Army Specialist David S. Strickland was abducted while serving our nation. He spent four months in captivity, enduring ongoing physical and psychological hardships and not knowing when, or if, he would ever see his family again,” said Sen. Warner. “Although this recognition is more than 46 years overdue, I’m very proud to join my colleagues in recognizing Specialist Strickland’s sacrifice with the Prisoner of War Medal he rightfully deserves.” 

“This is about fairness. The change that was made in the NDAA is not only opening up opportunities for Army Specialist David S. Strickland and Army Sergeant Ron Dolecki to be recognized with the POW medal. The change that has been made is going to enable many, many others who have long been denied to eventually see the day that they do as well. That work is already underway thanks to this effort. I know I speak for all of us: we feel honored to play a part in getting here,” said Sen. Kaine.

“Ron Dolecki’s story is the story of American heroism. After making a daring escape from captivity in Ethiopia, he helped save his two mission partners who were also taken prisoner. He displayed true courage in action, and after a years-long effort to award him the Prisoner of War Medal, we were finally able to secure the recognition he so clearly deserves,” said Sen. Van Hollen. “It is my honor to congratulate Ron and thank his family and friends who helped get this across the finish line.”

“We cannot overstate our gratitude for all the sacrifices made by Specialist Dolecki while serving this country. He is a hero who endured excruciating conditions while held captive,” said Sen. Cardin. “It is a privilege to join in honoring Mr. Dolecki for his incredible spirit, patriotism, grit and bravery.”