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ARVN Lamson 719 Campaign Medal

Date: 1973-75

Description: Officially named the "Medal for Campaigns Outside the Frontier", this campaign service award was establised in 1973, and was the last new medal to be authorized in the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces. The medal was meant to be issued to soldiers who participated in campaigns outside of the boders of Vietnam. Two different devices were added to this award to designate specific service, these being "Ha-Lao" for Laos and "Kampuchea" for Cambodia. The medal shown here was awarded for service in Laos during the Lamson 719 operation, the only recognized action the ARVN undertook in Laos. Medals with the Ha-Lao device awarded for Lamson 719 were issued in less numbers than the Kampuchea medal. The design of the medal, an outline of Vietnam with arrows pointed in four directions, was meant to symbolize the ability of the Republic of Vietnam to go beyond its borders to defend its territory. Due to the 1973 establishment of the medal, and the award being entirely created for issue among ARVN troops only no US made versions of this medal exist, and it remains as one of the rarest Republic of Vietnam decorations today.

Cover of the March 12, 1971 issue of Life Magazine chronicling the ARVN in Lamson 719

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