Vietnam veteran pushed for medal
all the details of his brother’s death until 30 years after he died because the information was labeled classified.
He didn’t try to get a medal for his brother because his brother was a modest person. “He never cared about medals and thought he was just doing his job and probably if he was alive would have never pushed for it,” Snowden said.
The person who did push for the medal was Roger Widdows, a Vietnam veteran who lives in Georgetown and who never knew Ben Snowden. He said he met John Snowden on Memorial Day in 2009 and was struck by the similarities in their lives.
“It turned out that we had both lost our younger brothers in helicopter incidents in Vietnam,” Widdows said. “I said to myself if that had been my brother who was not getting any recognition for what he did, I would not feel good about it.”
Widdows said he contacted U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s office in 2009 but that it took three years to supply all the documents detailing what happened in order to get approval for the medal. “I must have contacted about 75 people, and many wanted to remain anonymous,” he said.
Widdows said he read a book called “SOG: The Secret War of American Commandos in Vietnam” by a Vietnam veteran named John Plaster, which provided details of Snowden’s last mission. He said Plaster helped him track down one of Ben Snowden’s former commanders — Lowell Stevens — who saw the