Philip Pistilli Silver Veterans Medal Award

The Foundation’s principal founder Henry J. Talge lamented how veterans returning from the unpopular Vietnam War were treated. To recognize their service, he established the Silver Veterans Medal whereby the Foundation became one of the first organizations to pay tribute to the service of Vietnam veterans.

The Silver Veterans Medal was given at the first luncheon in 1973 when Chief Justice Earl Warren received the Good Neighbor Award. U.S. Army Lieutenant General Louis W. Truman, a cousin of the President, presented the medals to a small group of veterans who had been prisoners of war in Vietnam.

In 1992 the Foundation determined that it would honor the veterans of any war involving American service members. In 2003 the award was named to honor Philip Pistilli, a prominent member of the Kansas City business community and a nationally recognized hotel executive who served as President of the Foundation and was a combat veteran of World War II.


Silver Veterans Selection Criteria

  • Distinguished and honorable service while on active duty, including significant positions of
    leadership and/or achievement;
  • Integrity and courage, especially if in a combat zone, although service in combat is not a
  • Post-military service accomplishments and leadership in the veteran’s community; and
  • Serving as a role model for young people to follow, given the candidate’s background, family
    and education.



2024 Recipient

Colonel Keith Butler
509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri

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See Former Recipients