By Tiffany Williams –
Governor Charlie Baker has re-filed legislation to establish the Massachusetts Medal of Fidelity. The bill, entitled “An Act Relative to Establishing the Massachusetts Medal of Fidelity,” will authorize the Commonwealth to award the Medal of Fidelity to the next-of-kin of Massachusetts service members who “died as the result of service-connected diseases, conditions or injuries that are related to either exposure to harmful toxins, herbicides, agents, and materials or service-related post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Complementing the Medal of Liberty, which is presented to the families of Massachusetts veterans who die of combat-related physical injuries, the Medal of Fidelity will recognize service-connected injuries related to exposure to harmful substances, such as Agent Orange, as well as death attributed to service-related mental illness.
The bill will also authorize a commission to make Medal of Fidelity award recommendations to the Governor. The commission will be composed of The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard and two field grade officers of the armed forces of the Commonwealth.