tv The Presidency CSPAN May 28, 2016 12:52pm-1:15pm EDT
bent in its pursuit. but in this company, we hear again in our minds the sound of distant battles. this room echoes once more to those words that describe the heights of bravery in war, above and beyond the call of duty. five heroic sons of america come to us today from the tortured fields of vietnam. they come to remind us that so long as that conflict continues, our purpose and our hopes rest on these steadfast bravery of
young men in battle. these five soldiers in their separate moments of supreme testing summoned a degree of courage that stores wonder and respect and an overpowering pride in all of us. through their spectacular courage, they set themselves apart in a very select company. they represent the contribution of more than a half a million young americans to a world of order and of peace.
other bitter days and bitter -- and other battles still lie ahead. i cannot emphasize strongly enough that we have not attained peace. only the possibility of peace. we shall need in the days ahead, all the courage and all the steadiness, and all the wisdom that the brilliant commander of these men, general westmoreland has evidenced throughout this terrible ordeal, and that these men bring evidence of here today.
other brave men will be called upon to perform other brave acts. before the search for peace yields a settlement at the conference table. but men like these have brought us the distance we have traveled. and men like these will see us the rest of the way. freedom will be forever in their debt. and finally, that prize for which all the world hungers will be their monument. the work of heroes who stood
fast, when standing fast was really the only true way to a lasting and to an honorable peace. secretary reeves will now read the citation. secretary reeves: the president of united states of america, authorized by an act of congress march 5, 1863, has awarded in the name of the congress the medal of honor to chaplin angelo j. litky for risk of his life beyond the call of duty. on september 6, 1967, he distinguished himself while serving with company a fourth , battalion, 12th infantry. they came under fire from an battalion sized enemy force.
observing to wounded men, he moved within 50 meters of an enemy machine gun to drag them to the relative safety of the landing zone. inspired by his courageous actions, the company began placing a heavy volume of fire from the enemy's positions. captain liteky begin moving up right through the enemy fire and administering last rites to the dying. noticing another trapped and seriously wounded man, he crawled to his aid, rolled on his back, placed the man on his chest, and crawled back to the landing zone. he returned to the action and came upon a man entangled in dense underbrush. intense enemy fire was directed at him, but he calmly broke the vines and carried the man to the landing zone. chaplain liteky personally directed medevac helicopters in and out of the area. despite painful wounds in the neck and foot, he personally
carried over 20 men to the landing zone for evacuation. through his inspiration and heroic actions, he saved a number of lives and enabled the company to repost the enemy. his outstanding and test heroism and inspiration is in the highest keeping with the united states army and reflects great credit upon himself and the armed forces of his country. the president of united states of america, authorized by act of congress march 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to captain james a. taylor, united states army, for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. captain taylor was serving as
executive officer of troop b first squadron, first cavalry, on november 9 1967 in the republic of vietnam. -- engaged in an attack on a fortified position and came under intense enemy fire. one armored vehicle was hit immediately, and all five crew members were wounded. aware the vehicle was in danger of exploding, captain taylor moved forward on foot and removed the crew men to safety. moments later, the vehicle exploded. after he was returning, a mortar round painfully wounded captain taylor, but he returned to the vehicle to relocate the medical evacuation zone closer to the front lines. as he was moving, he came under machine gun fire from enemy positions 50 yards away. he engaged the position with his own machine gun, killing three men. upon arrival of the evacuation site, another vehicle is struck. again, captain taylor rushed forward, pulled wounded from the
vehicle, and returned them to the evacuation site. his actions of valor were a source of inspiration to his troops and responsible for saving the lives of a number of fellow soldiers. his actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the united states army and reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of his country. the president of united states of america, authorized by act of congress march 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to sergeant sammy l. davis, united states army for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity of action at the
risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. sergeant sammy l. davis distinguished himself on november 18, 1967 while the -- while serving as a cannoneer with battery c, second battalion, fourth artillery. west of callay, republic of vietnam. at approximately 2:00 in the morning, they came under heavy -- the fire support base came under heavy mortar attack. the viet cong battalion, launched a fierce ground assault. the attacking enemy drove to within 20 meters of friendly position. only a river separated the viet cong from them. detecting a nearby enemy position, sergeant davis sees the machine gun and provided covering fire. despite efforts, and enemy round scorede direct hit on the artillery. it through the crew and sergeant davis into a foxhole. he struggled to his feet and returned it to the howitzer, which was burning furiously.
disregarding a withering hail of enemy fire, he aimed and fired the howitzer, knocking him to the ground. undaunted, he returned to the weapon to return and fire again. and enemy mortar injured him painfully. incomplete disregard for his own safety, he loaded and fired three more shells into the enemy. disregarding his extensive injuries and inability to swim, he picked up an air mattress and struck out across the deep river to rescue comrades on the other side. while the most seriously wounded soldier was helped across the river, sergeant davis protected the two remaining casualties until he could pull into safety. his outstanding heroism and leadership were in keeping with the highest tradition of united states army and reflect great credit on himself and the armed forces of his country.
the president of united states of america, authorized by act of congress march 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of congress medal of honor to specialist dwight h. johnson, united states five army, for conspicuous gallantry and risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. specialist five dwight h. johnson distinguished himself on january 15, 1968 in the republic of vietnam. specialist johnson, a tank driver, was company b, first battalion, 69th armor and he was a member of a reaction force moving to aid other elements of the platoon, which was in heavy contact with a battalion-sized north vietnamese force. specialist johnson path tank through a track, and he became
immobilized. realizing he can do no more as a driver, he climbed out armed only with a pistol. despite intense hostile fire, specialist johnson killed enemy soldiers before he expended ammunition. returning to his tank through a heavy volume of fire, he obtained a submachine gun with which to continue his fight against the advancing enemy. he engaged in extremely close combat when the last of his ammunition was expended. he killed an enemy soldier with the stock end of his machine gun. now weaponless, he ignored the and many -- enemy file -- fire around here -- around him he , climbed into his platoon sergeants tank, executed test excavated a wounded soldier and returned to his carrier. he returns to the same tank and fired the main gun until it jammed. specialist johnson again left the tank and armed only with a pistol gave several north vietnamese troops, fighting his way through devastating fire and remounting the immobilizer tank. he remained fully exposed as he engaged with the externally
mounted machine gun. specialist johnson's conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life is in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit on himself and the united states army. the president of the united states of america, authorized by acts of congress march 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of the congress the medal of honor to specialist iv jerry g. wetzel, united states army for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity of action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. specialist iv jerry g. wetzel, 103rd helicopter company, distinguished himself near the -- in the republic of vietnam.
january 8, 1968, he was serving as a door gunner on a helicopter which was part of an insertion force trapped in the landing zone by intense and deadly hostile fire. he was going to the aid of aircraft commander when he was blown into a rice paddy and critically wounded. although bleeding profusely due to severe wounds, he staggered back to his original position and took enemy forces under fire. his machine gun was the only weapon placing effective fire on the enemy at that time. specialist wetzel remained at his position until he eliminated the automatic weapons inflicting heavy casualties on the american troops. refusing to attend his own extensive wounds, he attempted to return to the aid of his aircraft commander, but passed out from loss of blood. regaining consciousness, he persisted in his efforts to drag himself to the aid of his fellow crewmen. specialist wetzel displayed extraordinary heroism at the risk of his own life.
things has the president awarded? and that caused me to reflect a little bit about these things, these medals of honor. there is some 4.5 million people that make up the defense of this country, military and civilian. and in the history of the congressional medal of honor, there have been something like a little over 3000 awarded. and this president has awarded i believe less than 30. out of 200 million americans, i
have awarded only 30 congressional medals of honor. these modest men who never thought that they would be here anymore than i thought i would be where i am, i want to remind you of what another president said upon another occasion. that i would rather be able to have that blue band around my neck than the congressional medal of honor than to be the president of the united states. that is an honor that is not accorded to the president. although he occupies the honored position formerly held by blackjack pershing and formerly held by george marshall, general
westmoreland, their brilliant commander cannot wear that blue ribbon. it goes to a very select and special group of men. and you are a part of that group. so to you and your families, on behalf of all of the people of this country and the free world who you have sought to protect and whose freedom you have tried to ensure, we say we thank you and we are grateful to you. and we are proud of the honor that the congress has authorized be conferred upon you. i hope and i believe that your
♪ >> in england, general dwight d eisenhower chart the liberation of the lost continent. they plan when and where the miter -- the mighty armies of the united nations will strike. northern france is that battleground. to the building of their defense system the so-called west wall, the nazis board the slave labor up conquered nations, pictures made by the germans himself to impress their satellites with the strength and invincibility of their fortifications. ♪