William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Silver Star recipient joins Hall of Heroes
MADISON, Wis. — The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison posthumously inducted Capt. Scott Alwin into their “Hall of Heroes” at a virtual ceremony on Friday, May 28th at 11:00 a.m. in the hospital auditorium.
An exceptional pilot, Alwin earned more than 140 medals, including the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with three Oak Leaf clusters, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Alwin’s family attended the ceremony to accept the honor.
“An honorable, loyal, courageous man of principle,” said Penelope Kleinhans Alwin. “As a person again, who thinks that young people today need examples not to drift, to have something to fight for, I hold up my brother, Captain Scott Alwin.”
A veteran communicated to the family that Alwin had earned one of his Distinguished Flying Crosses for Volunteer missions and recounted that story to Alwin’s sister Pamela Fullerton about a harrowing flight to rescue children from a mission before enemy troops arrived.
“He was a candle that burned brightly in a very dark time,” said Fullerton.
According to his family one of the reasons Alwin stayed in Viet Nam for as long as he did, was that he felt his service meant that others did not need to take his place.
From Bien Hoa, Alwin wrote to his sister Penelope, "I know what I do sounds scary, and believe me, I understand the danger, but when I get up there, up into the air... I’m in my element. Be happy for me."
According to army records Alwin earned 136 Air Medals during his 5 tours in Viet Nam. He is believed to have earned more than any other airman.
“Our ‘Hall of Heroes’ serves as a reminder of the bravery of our Veteran patients and is a testament to the sacrifices they have made for their country,” said hospital director John Rohrer. “We are honored to celebrate Scott’s heroism with his family.”
Alwin was killed on his way home in Wisconsin by a suicidal drunk driver on June 26th, 1976. Alvin is buried in the cemetery of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in the town of Berlin Wisconsin.
The ceremony can be viewed on the web at: https://fb.watch/5QAhrJTHzt/
The Hall of Heroes is located on the first floor of the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in the main corridor on the wall near the Patient Education Resource Center.
Silver seals of the five branches of military service and the wording “Hall of Heroes” are permanently displayed.
The Veterans selected to be honored have their photograph and information about their personal awards and citations for heroism or valor displayed. A total of thirteen Veterans have been honored since 2002.
The criteria for induction are as follows: Candidates for the Hall of Heroes are service members or Veterans who currently or previously received care at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital and Clinics. If a Veteran would have been a patient at the William S. Middleton Memorial VA Hospital but died before establishing care, applications can still be submitted and considered for the Hall of Heroes.
Veterans should have been decorated with a personal award and citation for heroism or valor.
Awards are reviewed and authenticated with a release form signed by the Veteran to authorize the required verification. Awards will be ranked following military ranking, i.e. Congressional Medal of Honor being the highest possible decoration. Multiple awards for bravery, receipt of a Purple Heart, and prisoner of war status will also be considered.
Submissions of potential honorees are welcome from individual Veterans, County Veterans Service Officers, service organizations and others. As an on-going project, submissions can be sent at any time. Instructions for submissions for the consideration of the Hall of Heroes Committee can be found at: https://www.madison.va.gov/hall_of_heroes.asp
Each submission should include copies, not originals, of awards and citations, a completed authorization for verification form, and a completed submission coversheet. Questions and completed packets can be emailed to VHAMADHallofHeroes@va.gov.