Tester honors a Vietnam hero

Senator presents Missoula family with late Airman’s medals

(MISSOULA, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester on Friday honored an American hero with the medals he earned during the Vietnam War.

On the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Friday, Tester presented the daughter and granddaughters of Colonel Donald Singer with the Purple Heart, the Presidential Citation Unit, and four other medals honoring military service.

Singer was selected to be part of an elite group of Airmen known as the “Wild Weasels.” In August of 1966, on a mission north of Hanoi, he was shot down and never heard from again.

“Although Colonel Singer was a decorated Airman, his family never received all the honors he earned in service to this nation,” Tester said during a ceremony in Missoula. “These decorations are small tokens, but they are powerful symbols of true heroism, sacrifice, and dedication to service.”

In addition to the Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citation, Singer earned the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Ribbon, and two Bronze Service Stars.

Tester presented the medals to Singer’s daughter, Susan Vincent, who attended the ceremony with her two daughters. Vincent, of Missoula, contacted Tester’s office for help obtaining the medals after a previous unsuccessful attempt.

Tester’s office regularly serves Montana veterans whose service awards are lost or never received. Including recently helping three other Montana veterans receive medals, Tester has presented 339 medals, ribbons, and badges to 43 American veterans since 2008.

More information on Tester’s efforts to help Montana veterans receive their service awards can be found HERE.

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, also recently made the Purple Heart memorial in Billings more user-friendly for veterans and their families. Read more HERE.


Tester’s statement for the Congressional Record