For his support of a strong national defense, Weinberger, one of the longest-serving Pentagon chiefs, received The American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 1985.
"Weinberger has demonstrated many times over the importance of national defense for America by emphasizing the concept of peace through preparedness," National Commander Clarence M. Bacon said. "He has displayed untiring efforts and patriotic devotion in perpetuating American principles."
At the Legion's Legislative Conference in Washington in 1987, Past National Commander James Dean presented Webster, then CIA director, with the Legion's Distinguished Service Medal.
After serving in World War II as a Navy lieutenant and again in the Korean War, Webster returned home to St. Louis and a private law practice. In time, he entered public service as a U.S. attorney, then became a U.S. district judge and an appellate court judge.
For his contributions as a World War II correspondent, and his role as anchorman of the first regularly-scheduled daily television news report, Douglas Edwards received the Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 1988.
The National Executive Committee praised Edwards for his trustworthy journalism, stating that he has "contributed to the high national morale and public awareness as a correspondent during World War II (on CBS Radio), which influenced the conviction and resolve of the citizens of the United States of America to endure to victory."
A World War II Navy veteran and a member of Post 136 in Oneida, Tenn., Baker received The American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 1989 for an illustrious Senate career spanning 18 years. Four years earlier, he received the Legion's Distinguished Service Award.
For his contributions to the armed forces and his pioneering work in the field of open-heart surgery, the Legion gave the Distinguished Service Medal to DeBakey, who developed the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, or MASH, unit common in the Korean War. Presenting the award, National Commander Miles S. Epling said DeBakey "has the enviable reputation as a medical statesman, serving as adviser to almost every president in the past 50 years. ...
Bush accepted the Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 1991, telling Legionnaires that the United States must remain strong in every way. "In the 21st century, America must be not only a military superpower," he told delegates, "but also an economicsuper power and an export superpower .... We didn't end the Cold War to make the world safe for trade wars. We must fight the protectionist impulse here at home and we must work with our partners for trade that is free, fair and open."
Two tours of duty in Vietnam and four years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were among the accomplishments cited by The American Legion in its selection of Powell as its Distinguished Service Medal recipient in 1993.
The decorated general "served in increasingly responsible command positions throughout a distinguished military career," stated the National Executive Committee, also praising his direction of the U.S. military during the Persian Gulf War.