My name is William Perrault and I served 11 years in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer (four years regular Army and seven years in the army reserve).
During my time in the service, I had the opportunity of serving with NATO forces in Germany for two years and also spent some time in Panama re-building schools after the U.S. invaded that country and captured Manuel Noriega.
After 9/11, I pulled out my honourable discharge from the U.S. Army and proudly displayed it on the wall of my office.
Recently, I purchased several commemorative medals for myself, and also had purchased two medals for a Canadian Korean War veteran who received a presidential citation for his action during a big enemy offensive that allowed U.S. forces time to retreat and regroup.
His unit was the only one that received such an honour.
Over the years I have known this Canadian Korean War veteran, I’ve heard his stories about what he went through and how he did not receive the presidential citation that was given his unit.
During my search for the commemorative medals, I noticed the medals that he was telling me about and purchased them for him.
Now, here is the problem I wish to tell everyone about! Last week I was coming across the Canadian border when I was asked if I had purchased anything in the States.
I, of course, declared my medals and then I was asked to come in with my receipts.
The cost of bringing in the medals was $11 and some change. But I refused to pay the money, citing I felt I paid enough for these medals with my time in service and I should be exempt from taxes.
The medals subsequently were confiscated and they currently are being held at the local Customs. According to the paperwork I received, I have 40 days to retrieve these medals or they could be destroyed.
This makes me sick to think that Customs would charge a person a tax on something like this. I haven’t decided what I will do as of yet, but I felt that everyone should know.