Posts from the ‘hero’ Category



Taken from:
Image via Wikipedia

Individual Decorations & Service Medals:

  • Distinguished Service Cross (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
  • Silver Star (with nine Oak Leaf Clusters)
  • Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters)
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Bronze Star Medal (with “V” Device & seven Oak Leaf Clusters)(Seven of the awards for heroism)
  • Purple Heart (with seven Oak Leaf Clusters)
  • Air Medal (with “V” Device & Numeral 34)(One for heroism and 33 for aerial achievement)
  • Army Commendation Medal (w/ “V” Device & 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany and Japan Clasps)
  • National Defense Service Medal (with one Bronze Service Star)
  • Korean Service Medal (with Service Stars for eight campaigns)
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal (2 Silver Service Stars = 10 campaigns)
  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Unit Awards:

  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Valorous Unit Award (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation

Badges & Tabs:

  • Combat Infantryman Badge (w/ one Star; representing 2 awards)
  • Master Parachutist Badge
  • Army General Staff Identification Badge

Foreign Awards:

World War II Merchant Marine Awards:

  • Pacific War Zone Bar
  • Victory Medal

Note: As per a Department of the Army audit conducted by COL Pam Mitchell, Chief Personnel ServiceSupport Division on May 6 1999.

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101stAirborneDivisionHis name was David Haskell Hackworth and he died on May 4, 2005. He was a retired colonel in the United States Army and up until the day of his death, the nation’s most decorated living soldier. He lived a full life, but died as no soldier should: ravaged by a cancer most likely caused by his own nation’s use of chemical agents during the Vietnam War.


“Commissioned on the battlefield at the age of 20,” he became the U.S. Army’s youngest captain. He would later go on to become its youngest full colonel. And he would throw it all away on principle after appearing on a CBS news program in 1971 declaring that the Vietnam War was unwinnable and that the United States should pull out. He also predicted that Saigon would fall within four years – it did on April 30, 1975 (how prescient he was).


The Army that he lied about his age to join at 15 had been his life and it turned his back on him. Phony charges were trumped up against him and he was almost court-martialed. His career ended prematurely by the political hacks in uniform and the West Point Protective Association (WPPA), and he resigned. He threw away all of his medals or gave them to the children of relatives. He moved to Australia where he became successful with a string of restaurants and by breeding ducks. He married for a second time. But he never stopped loving the Army that had nurtured him.


Perhaps most importantly, he never stopped caring about the welfare of the average GI who did the fighting, bleeding and dying for the nation he still called home. He thought about them and wrote about them and in 1989 published his bestselling book entitled quite appropriately, About Face.


The book brought him additional attention and he decided to return to the USA. He traveled and lectured and became a senior correspondent for Newsweek magazine. At an age when most men are thinking of retirement, he started a new career as a war correspondent and traveled with U.S. and French forces during the first Gulf War. He would later post dispatches from Bosnia, Macedonia, and wherever and whenever American troops were sent in harm’s way.


He never tired of speaking for the common soldier, sailor, airman, Marine or Coast Guardsman. He established a foundation known as Soldiers For The Truth (SFTT) and set up a website where he allowed GIs to write in about poor leadership, broken equipment and whatever other problems are the lot in life of the poor snuffy who all too often is told to grasp the bitter end.


Hack would have never succeeded in elective politics; he didn’t know how to be diplomatic. A true infantry officer, trained in the profession of arms, he cared most about his troops and ensuring that he brought as many home as he could. But Hack was no blood-thirsty killer. Despite his years of combat and chest full of medals, he knew that war represented the failure of national policy and that most of the conflicts we had become embroiled in since he retired from the Army were unnecessary.


When he died on May 4, he was 74. In his too many battles, he had been wounded eight times. Until the day he died, in one leg, he continued to carry a bullet he stopped, fired at him by a North Vietnamese soldier more than 35 years ago. And he developed a virulent form of cancer most likely as a direct result of defoliants used by his country in that all too painful war in Indo-China.


Hack inspired an incredible degree of loyalty and devotion among the soldiers he once led and later, with the staff of writers who posted regularly at his site. I was one of them and feel honored to be able to say that.


–Paul Connors

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Robert L.
Image via Wikipedia

This site is dedicated to Robert L. Howard, one of America’s most decorated soldiers. He served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation’s history to be nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions within a thirteen month period. Although it can only be awarded once to an individual, men who served with him said he deserved all three. He received a direct appointment from Master Sergeant to 1st Lieutenant in 1969, and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon at the White House in 1971. His other awards for valor include the Distinguished Service Cross – our nation’s second highest award, the Silver Star – the third highest award, and numerous lesser decorations including eight Purple Hearts. He received his decorations for valor for actions while serving as an NCO (Sergeant First Class).

     Robert L. Howard grew up in Opelika, Alabama and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1956 at age seventeen. He retired as a full Colonel in 1992 after 36 years service. During Vietnam, he served in the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and spent most of his five tours in the super-secret MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group) also known as Special Operations Group, which ran classified cross-border operations into Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. These men carried out some of the most daring and dangerous missions ever conducted by the U.S. military. The understrength sixty-man recon company at Kontum in which he served was the Vietnam War‘s most highly decorated unit of its size with five Medals of Honor. It was for his actions while serving on a mission to rescue a fellow soldier in Cambodia, that he was submitted for the Medal of Honor the third time for his extraordinary heroism.

     Robert L. Howard is said to be our nation’s most decorated soldier from the Vietnam War. He was the last Vietnam Special Forces Medal of Honor recipient still on active duty when he retired on Sept. 29, 1992. His story is told in John Plaster’s excellent book, SOG The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam.  

     It is important for future generations that we remember our military heroes and the great sacrifices they have made for us in the name of Freedom.

Excerpt from John Plaster’s recent book SECRET COMMANDOS Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG pg. 303:
“The day that President Nixon draped the Medal of Honor’s pale blue ribbon around Howard’s neck, I sat before the TV in my parents’ living room watching the evening news. Coming on top of his previous decorations – the Distinguished Service Cross and multiple Silver and Bronze Stars, plus eight Purple Hearts – Howard’s combat awards exceeded those of Audie Murphy, America’s legendary World War II hero, until then our most highly decorated serviceman. At last, Howard would get his due. I flipped station to station, but not one of the networks – not CBS or NBC or ABC – could find ten seconds to mention Captain Robert Howard or his indomitable courage. I found nothing about him in the newspapers. Twisted by the antiwar politics of that era, many in the media believed that to recognize a heroic act was to glorify war. They simply chose not to cover the ceremony. It might as well not have happened.”

NOTE: In 1917, the laws governing the award of the Medal of Honor ended all DOUBLE awards of the Medal of Honor. Click here for more information

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He walked as tall as Alvin York and Audie Murphy. But they earned their combat records in World Wars I and II. Joe earned his medals in that unpopular war. That place called Vietnam.

At the age of 17 Joe enlisted in the Navy. He liked the service life and planned a military career. But when it was time to reenlist in 1961, he changed to the Army. Joe ended up with the 101st Airborne Division and went to Vietnam where he earned The Congressional Medal of Honor.

…Company D. was assualting a heavily defended enemy position along a river bank when it encountered a withering hail of fire from rockets, machine-guns and automatic weapons. He rallied several men and stormed across the river, over running several bunkers on the opposite shore.

…..With utter disregard for his own saftey, he moved out under the intense fire again and pulled back the wounded, moving them to saftey…Joe was seriously wounded, but refused medical aid and returned to his men. With the relentless enemy fire disrupting the attack, he single-handedly stormed three enemy bunkers, destroying them with hand grenades and rifle fire, and shot two enemy soldiers who had attacked and wounded the Chaplin….

Finding his men under heavy fire from a house to the front, he proceeded alone to the building, killing its occupants with rifle fire and grenades By now his initial body wound had been compounded by grenade fragments, yet, despite the multiple wounds and loss of blood, he continued to lead his men against the intense enemy fire….

He gathered several grenades and raced down a small trench which ran the length of the bunker line, tossing grenades into each bunker as he passed by, killing all but two of the occupants… He then raced across an open field, still under enemy fire, to rescue a wounded man who was trapped in a trench. Upon reaching the man, he was faced by an armed enemy soldier whom he killed with a pistol… He neutralized the final pocket of enemy resistance by fatally wounding three North Vietnamese officers…

Joe was wounded seven times that day. But he wouldn’t allow himself to be removed from the battlefield until all his men were safe. He finally passed out from loss of blood.

He regained consiousness in a field hospital. But Joe was still worried about his men, young men who depended upon the experience of the 29 year old sargent.

The next day he stole a rifle and hitched a ride back to his outfit. Technially, he was AWOL. But by the time the Army found him two days later, Joe had been wounded again.

President Richard Nixon pinned the Medal of Honor on Joe, who had been comissioned a 2nd Lt. He went on a speaking tour across the nation.

Then he asked to go back to Vietnam.

After two combat tours in the war, Joe had received 37 medals. They included two Silver Stars(one of them had started out as another recommendation for a second Medal of Honor), six Bronze Stars and eight Purple Hearts.

Joe returned to duty at Fort Polk, La. where he was training recruits. But he didn’t fit in well with stateside duty and he resigned his comission in 1972.

Joe was disillusioned by the Army and its lack of discipline. He believed that discipline and training were what paid off in combat.

Joe’s wife said he cried that day as he watched the news films showing the last of the American forces being pulled out of Vietnam. He told her all those lives and all those broken bodies had been wasted. He said we had accomplished nothing.

Joe made many speeches about his combat experiences. He told a reporter he could smell the enemy.

If someone asked, he would tell them about the day he won The Medal of Honor, “I had no choice that day, ” Joe would say, “I did what I had to do.”

That was Joe Hooper’s philosophy in life. You do what you have to do at the time and face tomnorrow when it arrives.

Joe was in Louisville, Kentucky for the running of the Kentucky Derby, when he died on May 5,1979. He was found in a hotel room. He was 40 years old. He died a quiet death from a cerebral hemorrage while sleeping.


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Iwo Jima Memorial
Image by blahmni via Flickr

I didn’t write this, I received this in an email. It may be an *Urban Legand*, maybe not. In any case, I don’t care. Just enjoy it for what it is and remember those that gave ALL they had for this nation.

The Old Man…

As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.

The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.

I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something.

The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man and I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying, ‘You shouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car at your age.’ And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine. He then went to his wife and spoke with her and appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near him I said, ‘Looks like you’re having a problem.’

He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around I saw a gas station up the road and told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside and saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us, he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too.

I nodded and asked the usual question, ‘What outfit did you serve with?’

He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal . He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket..

We all shook hands all around again and I said my goodbye’s to his wife. I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me..

One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name.. ‘Congressional Medal of Honor Society.’

I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage and an honor to have been in his presence. Remember, OLD men like him gave you FREEDOM for America .

Thanks to those who served and to those who supported them.

America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the Mall.

If you don’t stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!

Remember, Freedom isn’t “Free” — thousands have paid the price so you can enjoy what you have today.

texas Fredimage0379

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