Montana Standard: Long time coming

Gary Sonsteng served his country during the Vietnam War and returned to a quiet life in Butte.
He never asked for recognition.

But when his military service medals finally arrived — 40 years later — there was going to be a little ballyhoo when Sonsteng came to claim them Thursday, whether he wanted it or not.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said during the presentation ceremony on the steps of the Butte-Silver Bow Courthouse that Sonsteng deserved a few “bells and whistles” for waiting so long for his service to be recognized.

“In working with my office, we discovered that Gary never received the medals he earned decades ago. Gary insists his service was, quote, ‘nothing extraordinary,'” Tester told a gathering of family and supporters. “I, along with millions of Americans and the U.S. military, see it differently.”

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