Tester presents medals, decorations to Montana war heroes

Ted Dolney and John Horigan served in World War II and Vietnam respectively

(U.S. SENATE) – Two Montana war heroes received long overdue recognition by the military, as Senator Jon Tester presented them with medals they earned decades ago but never received.
Tester on Thursday presented Ted Dolney, a Billings World War II veteran, with the prestigious Bronze Star and six other medals.  On Friday, Tester presented the Purple Heart and five other medals and decorations to Vietnam veteran John Horigan of Big Timber.

Dolney spent 27 months as a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany between 1943 and 1945.  Dolney, 90, never received his medals, and his military records were destroyed by fire in 1973.

Horigan operated equipment in Vietnam and was shot in the back and in the arm in 1968.  The military then misplaced his records.  Horigan attended today’s ceremony in Bozeman with his wife Cindy and his five grandchildren.

Tester secured Dolney’s and Horigan's medals from the military after working with the families of each veteran.
“Mr. Dolney, on behalf of all Montanans and all Americans, I stand to say ‘thank you’ for your service to this nation,” Tester said before presenting the medals.  “These seven medals may be small tokens, but they are powerful symbols of true heroism, sacrifice, and dedication to service.”

During the event, Tester spoke about Dolney’s heroism in World War II.  Tester will enter the remarks into the Congressional Record, “where they’ll be recorded in America’s history forever.”

Horigan joined the Army in October of 1967.  Based in Long Bin, Vietnam, he operated equipment and drove trucks through dangerous conditions until he was shot in the arm and the back on August 26, 1968.

“When the military lost John’s records, he never complained,” Tester said. 

After leaving the Army, Horigan worked as a metalworker before retiring in the Big Sky State.

In addition to the Bronze Star, Tester also presented Dolney his European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Bronze Service Stars, the American Defense Service Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge First Award, a Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Honorable Service Lapel Button.

Tester presented Horigan with the Purple Heart, the Vietnam Service Medal and Bronze Star Attachment, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device, and the Cold War Recognition Certificate.

Tester’s remarks on Dolney for the Congressional Record appear online HERE.

Tester’s remarks on Horigan for the Congressional Record appear online HERE.