Clark County

Change allows Ky. Medal of Freedom award

Winchester: The son of a Winchester resident is the newest recipient of the Kentucky Medal of Freedom, thanks to a recent change in Kentucky law. Sgt. James Hunter was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2010. An Army photojournalist, he was documenting the experiences of men on the front lines at the time of his death.

His father, Tom Hunter, learned about the Kentucky Medal of Freedom shortly after his son's death. It is given to soldiers from Kentucky killed in the line of duty. However, James Hunter was denied the medal because, although he was born in Lexington and is buried there, he graduated from high school in Ohio and was living there when he entered the service. Tom Hunter said he filled out the application and submitted it anyway.

When James Hunter was denied the award, his father contacted state Rep. Donna Mayfield. "They tweaked it, so it doesn't matter where you joined the Army," said Mayfield, adding that it took two years to get the law changed. The change took effect in April.