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Old 03-25-2016, 08:11 PM   #1
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Thumbs up NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY March 25

Today is National Medal of Honor Day...

NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY
25 Mar.`16 - National Medal of Honor day is a day that is dedicated to all Medal of Honor recipients.
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It was on March 25, 1863 when the first Medals of Honor were presented. Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton presented Medals of Honor (Army) to six members of “Andrews Raiders” for their volunteering and participation during an American Civil War raid in April of 1862.


Created in 1861, the Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor. It is awarded only to US military personnel, by the President of the United States in the name of Congress, for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

There are three versions of the Medal of Honor; one for the Army, one for the Navy and one for the Air Force, with personnel of the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard receiving the Navy version.

Since its creation, there have been 3,468 Medals of Honor awarded to the country’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen.

HOW TO OBSERVE
See also:

National Medal of Honor Day - Video on NBCNews.com

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Old 03-25-2016, 09:41 PM   #2
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MoH Day recognizes Navy Seal's heroism...

Navy Illustrates SEAL's Heroic Actions in Afghanistan to Honor MoH Day
Mar 25, 2016 | In honor of National Medal of Honor Day, the U.S. Navy created an informational graphic depicting the December 2012 hostage-rescue mission that earned Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward C. Byers Jr. the nation's highest award for valor.
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On Feb. 29, the Navy SEAL received the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions on Dec. 8-9 while serving as part of a team that rescued American aid worker, Dr. Dilip Joseph, a civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan. Congress has designated March 25 each year as National Medal of Honor Day to commemorate the day the first Medal of Honor was presented in 1863. The prestigious award has "bestowed on 3,496 men and one woman (a Civil War surgeon) since President Abraham Lincoln signed it into law on Dec. 21, 1861," according to a Defense Department webpage honoring the 18 Medal of Honor recipients from Iraq and Afghanistan.

A high-resolution version of the info graphic can be found on the Navy's website at Navy.mil - View Image. Byers, 36, became the first living sailor since the Vietnam War to receive the honor. Two other SEALs, Lt. Michael Murphy and Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, received the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism in Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively. In all, six SEALs including Byers have received the medal; two of them, Retired Lt. Thomas Rolland Norris and Retired Lt. Michael Edwin Thornton, were present for the ceremony. In 1980, Thornton became the founding member of SEAL Team Six, the elite group of special operators to which Byers also belonged.


The rescue mission started on a cold December night. Byers and his team conducted a four-hour trek over mountainous terrain and primitive roads to where intelligence indicated Joseph was being held, in a compound in the Qarghah'i district of Laghman province. Another member of the SEAL team, Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque, was the first into the compound, charging bravely to the entrance after a gate sentry was alerted to the presence of the team. He fell wounded from an AK-47 round to the head.

According to his summary of action, Byers was the second into the compound, sprinting in on Checque's heels. In the darkness, Byers first pulled down six layers of blankets that served as a primitive door, then began taking out enemy guards one by one. He took down one man; then jumped on another, grappling with him physically on the ground until he could adjust his night-vision goggles and identify him as the enemy. After that threat was dispatched, Byers and his teammates began calling out for Joseph to determine his location.

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Old 05-02-2016, 09:49 PM   #3
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Headstone corrects Error for MoH Recipient...

Headstone Fixes Error for MoH Recipient More than 140 Years Later
May 02, 2016 | A Canadian-born sailor was remembered during a ceremony in Washington last week, more than 140 years after a heroic deed earned him America's highest military medal -- a honor that was omitted on his headstone.
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Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Noil, who moved from Nova Scotia to New York and joined the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, was honored with a new headstone Friday during a ceremony at St. Elizabeths Hospital Cemetery attended by family members, veterans and representatives from the Canadian embassy. Noil's original memorial also misspelled his name. Historians from the Medal of Honor Historical Society investigated Noil's case and corrected the oversight that was "likely because of a clerical error on his death certificate," a Navy statement said.

The day after Christmas 1872, while serving aboard the USS Powhatan near Norfolk, Virginia, Noil jumped into the frigid Atlantic Ocean to save shipmate J.C. Walton from drowning. After hearing the man overboard cry, Noil "ran on deck, took the end of a rope, went overboard, under the bow, and caught Mr. Walton, who was then in the water, and held him until he was hauled into the boat sent to his rescue," the ship's commander wrote in a memo published Jan. 11, 1873, in the Army and Navy Journal. "The weather was bitter cold, and had been sleeting, and it was blowing a gale from the northwest at the time. Mr. Walton, when brought on board, was almost insensible, and would have perished but for the noble conduct of Noil, as he was sinking at the time he was rescued."


District of Columbia Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs Tammi Lambert, left, and Director of the Department of Behavioral Health Tanya A. Royster unveil the headstone for Medal of Honor recipient Joseph Noil.

Noil, who retired with a captain in hold rank in 1881 after being hospitalized with a "paralysis" diagnosis, died the following year, the statement said. "Your shipmate is not simply someone who happens to serve with you," Vice Adm. Robin Braun, chief of Naval Reserve, said at the ceremony. "He or she is someone who you know that you can trust and count on to stand by you in good times and bad and who will forever have your back. So by ... rededicating his headstone, we are not only correcting a wrong, we are highlighting and reinforcing the eternal bond which exists between shipmates past, present and those yet to come."

Headstone Fixes Error for MoH Recipient More than 140 Years Later | Military.com
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:47 PM   #4
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Chopper pilot finally gets his just honor...

Vietnam Vet Awarded Medal of Honor for Heroic Helicopter Rescue
Jul 18, 2016 | President Barack Obama awarded America's highest military honor for valor today to a U.S. Army veteran for risking his life to save the lives of 44 fellow American soldiers a half century ago on a Vietnamese battlefield.
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During a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House, Obama told the story of retired Lt. Col. Charles Kettles, who was serving as a flight commander assigned to 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division, when a battalion-sized enemy force ambushed an outnumbered element of 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, near Duc Pho. Kettles, then a major, led a platoon of UH-1D Huey helicopters again and again into intense enemy fire to help his fellow soldiers. Now 86, Kettles sat looking "sharp as a tack," Obama said, describing his dress blue uniform. Many of his fellow veterans have said that there is no one who deserves the Medal of Honor more than Kettles, Obama said. "Many believe that, except for Chuck," Obama said. "As he says, 'This seems like a hell of a fuss over something happened 50 years ago.' Even now, Chuck is still defined by the humility that shaped him as a soldier." But there are at least 44 former American soldiers who would disagree with Kettles' modest description of his actions on that battlefield. Obama gave the following account of the Kettles' bravery:

"May 15, 1967, started as a hot Monday morning. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne were battling hundreds of North Vietnamese in a rural riverbed. Our men were outnumbered. They needed support fast -- helicopters to get the wounded out and get more soldiers into the fight. "Chuck Kettles was a helo pilot and, just as he had volunteered for active duty, on this morning he volunteered his Hueys even though he knew the danger. "They call this place 'chump valley' for a reason. Above the riverbed rose a 1,500-foot tall hill. And the enemy was dug into an extensive series of tunnels and bunkers -- the ideal spot for an ambush. "Around 9 a.m., his company of Hueys approached that landing zone and looked down. They should have seen a stand of green trees. Instead, they saw a solid wall of green enemy tracers coming right at them. None of them had ever seen fire that intense. "Soldiers in the helos were hit and killed before they could leap off. But under withering fire, Chuck landed his chopper and kept it there exposed so the wounded could get on and so that he could fly them back to base.


President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles during a ceremony at the White House in Washington

"A second time, Chuck went back into the valley. He dropped off more soldiers and supplies; picked up more wounded. Once more, machine gun bullets and mortar rounds came screaming after them. As he took off a second time, rounds pierced the arm and leg of Chuck's door gunner, Roland Scheck. "Chuck's Huey was hit. Fuel was pouring out as he flew away. He landed, found another helicopter and flew Roland to the field hospital. "By now, it was near evening. Back at the riverbed, 44 American soldiers were still pinned down. The air was thick with gunpowder and smelled of burning metal. "And then they heard a faint sound. And as the sun started to set, they saw something rise over the horizon -- six American helicopters, as one of them said, 'as beautiful as could be.' "For a third time, Chuck and his unit headed into that Hell on Earth.

"Once again, the enemy unloaded everything they had on Chuck as he landed -- small arms, automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades. Soldiers ran to the helicopters. When Chuck was told all were accounted for, he took off. "And then mid-air, his radio told him something else. Eight men had not made it aboard. They had been providing cover for the others. Those eight soldiers ran for the choppers but could only watch as they floated away. " 'We all figured we were done for,' they said. Chuck came to the same conclusion. 'If we left them for 10 minutes,' he said, 'they'd be POWs or dead.' "A soldier who was there said, 'That day, Maj. Kettles became our John Wayne.' "With all due respect to John Wayne," Obama said. "He couldn't do what Chuck Kettles did. "He broke off from formation, took a steep, sharp, descending turn back toward the valley -- this time with no aerial or artillery support.

"Chuck's Huey was the only target for the enemy to attack, and they did. Tracers lit up the sky once more. Chuck came in so hot his chopper bounced for several hundred feet before coming to a stop. "As soon as he landed, a mortar round shattered his windshield; another hit the main rotor blade. Shrapnel tore through the cockpit and Chuck's chair. "Those eight soldiers sprinted toward the Huey, running through the firestorm, chased by bullets. "Chuck's helo, now badly damaged, was carrying 13 souls and was 600 pounds overweight. 'It felt,' he said, 'like flying a two and a half ton truck.' "He couldn't hover long enough to take off. The cabin filled with black smoke as Chuck skipped and hopped the helo across the ground to pick up enough speed to take off. "The instant he got airborne, another mortar ripped into the tail. The Huey fishtailed violently and a soldier was thrown out of the helicopter and was hanging onto a skid as Chuck flew them to safety."

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Old 06-17-2017, 12:46 AM   #5
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Old soldier fades away...

World War II Hero, Medal of Honor Recipient Arthur Jackson Dies at 92
16 Jun 2017 | Art Jackson, who singlehandedly destroyed a dozen enemy pillboxes and killed 50 Japanese soldiers during a fierce battle on the Pacific island of Peleliu, died Wednesday at the Boise VA Medical Center.
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Nine Marines, including Jackson, were presented the Medal of Honor for their roles in the battle. Fighting for control of the island lasted for two months, beginning in September 1944. The Japanese, entrenched in caves, killed 1,800 American soldiers and injured 8,000 more. Decades after his service, Jackson visited military cemeteries and spoke about fallen soldiers as a way to keep their memories alive. "The First Lady and I are saddened by the loss of a great and iconic American hero, Medal of Honor recipient Art Jackson," Idaho Gov. Butch Otter wrote on his Facebook page. "As an unforgettable member of the Greatest Generation passes into history, we wish the Jackson family all the comfort that our prayers can provide and all the respect that Art's life and valor deserve. Well done Marine. Semper Fi."

Family friend Rocci Johnson, who earlier confirmed Jackson's death, praised Jackson for his devotion to his country. "Art Jackson was a true American hero. He was from the Greatest Generation. If it wasn't for men and women like him, it would be a very different world," Johnson said. "We owe a lot to his dedication and hope that his legacy will serve as an example for all of those who are currently fighting for freedom."


Arthur J. Jackson tours the bridge of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu. Jackson was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery at the Battle of Peleliu during World War II, for which the ship was named.

The Boise Police Department sent condolences to Jackson's family. Former Chief Mike Masterson met Jackson during his time as chief and several other officers befriended Jackson and maintained a friendship with his family. "It is with great sadness that members of the Boise Police Department hear the news that Medal of Honor recipient Arthur Jackson recently passed away at the Boise VA," the department wrote in a statement. Services, including military honors, are pending. Flags at state offices throughout Idaho will be lowered to half-staff on the day of Jackson's internment, said Mark Warbis, a spokesman for the governor.

Jackson saved his platoon from almost certain destruction. A book about the battle described him as "a one-man Marine Corps." His Medal of Honor citation credits him with single-handedly confronting enemy barrages and contributing to "the complete annihilation of the enemy in the southern sector of the island." Despite a barrage of gunfire, Jackson charged a large pillbox, as the concrete guard posts were known. He threw white phosphorus grenades to provide cover, set off munitions charges that destroyed the pillbox and killed the 35 soldiers inside. Jackson kept advancing and picked off one enemy position after another.

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Old 07-11-2017, 11:31 AM   #6
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:37 AM   #7
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Hero soon to get his due reward...

Marine Gunny Gets Medal of Honor Nod for Battle of Hue Actions
12 Jan 2018 - In a rare move, Congress waived the time limit for the Medal of Honor recommendation.
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With backing from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, paperwork to upgrade the Navy Cross awarded to then-Marine Gunnery Sgt. John Canley to the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Hue City in 1968 was forwarded to President Donald Trump on Friday. "After giving careful consideration to the nomination, I agree that then-Gunnery Sergeant Canley's actions merit the award of the Medal of Honor," Mattis said last month in a letter to Rep. Julia Brownley, D-California, Canley's chief sponsor in Congress. Mattis noted that Congress would first have to waive the five-year limit for recommending the Medal of Honor, but once that happened, "I will provide my endorsement to the president." In a statement Friday, Brownley said the House waived the time limit on Dec. 21 and the Senate took similar action Thursday. All that is needed now is Trump's signature to give the nation's highest award for valor to the 80-year-old Canley, of Oxnard, California, who retired as a sergeant major and is reportedly battling cancer, Brownley said.

In the brutal battle to retake Hue City in 1968, Canley's "valorous actions and unwavering dedication to his fellow service members is the reason so many of the men who support his nomination are alive today to testify on his behalf. His incredible gallantry and selflessness is an inspiration to us all," Brownley said. In his account published last year -- "Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam," Mark Bowden, author of "Black Hawk Down" about the Battle of Mogadishu, cited Canley's actions in the house-to-house fighting more than 30 times. In a statement to Brownley on the MoH recommendation, Canley said, "I want to profusely thank Congresswoman Brownley for her continued work helping me with this honor." "The credit for this award really should go to all the young Marines in Vietnam who inspired me every day. Most of them didn't receive any recognition, but they were the foundation of every battle in the Vietnam War," he said. John Ligato, who served as a private first class under Canley in Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, in Hue, said the Medal of Honor was long overdue.


Marine Gunnery Sgt. John Canley, who has received a recommendation from Congress to receive a Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Hue City in 1968.

Canley served several tours in Vietnam from 1965 to 1970. "The sheer cumulative effect of Gunny Canley's actions and deeds over this continued period rank with the acts of America's greatest heroes from the Revolutionary War to this present day," Ligato said. "This man is the epitome of a Marine warrior." Others agreed. "I spent nine months in the St. Albans hospital, required numerous surgeries and am disabled, but I would have died if [Canley] had not risked his life for mine," said Pat Fraleigh, another Marine who served under him. The battle of Hue "was not the first time I saw Gunny Canley act heroically," Fraleigh said. In previous fighting at the Con Thien Marine base near the demilitarized zone, Canley "not only carried Marines to safety, but also exposed himself to enemy fire. He was always leading and attacking the enemy and always standing up and encouraging us," he said. Canley's Navy Cross cites his actions from Jan.31 to Feb. 6, 1968, during which he took command of Alpha Company when the company commander was wounded. "On 31 January, when his company came under a heavy volume of enemy fire near the city of Hue, Gunnery Sergeant Canley rushed across the fire-swept terrain and carried several wounded Marines to safety," the citation states.

Canley then "assumed command and immediately reorganized his scattered Marines, moving from one group to another to advise and encourage his men. Although sustaining shrapnel wounds during this period, he nonetheless established a base of fire which subsequently allowed the company to break through the enemy strongpoint." On Feb. 4, "despite fierce enemy resistance," Canley managed to get into the top floor of a building held by the enemy. He then "dropped a large satchel charge into the position, personally accounting for numerous enemy killed, and forcing the others to vacate the building," the citation states. The battle raged on. Canley went into action again on Feb. 6 as the company took more casualties in an assault on another enemy-held building. "Gunnery Sergeant Canley lent words of encouragement to his men and exhorted them to greater efforts as they drove the enemy from its fortified emplacement," the citation reads. "Although wounded once again during this action, on two occasions he leaped a wall in full view of the enemy, picked up casualties, and carried them to covered positions. "By his dynamic leadership, courage, and selfless dedication, Gunnery Sergeant Canley contributed greatly to the accomplishment of his company's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service," the citation states.

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