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tv   Vietnam Veteran James Mc Cloughan to be Awarded Medal of Honor  CSPAN  August 5, 2017 5:20pm-5:44pm EDT

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>> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. morning -- then the trump administration's crackdown on transnational gangs. and george mason university's mercator center will discuss the inflation rate. c-span'so watch washington journal. join the discussion. >> president trump awarded the medal of honor to 71 numeral james mcluhan, a retired army medic that served in vietnam. he is president with saving the lives of members of his platoon by repeatedly rushing into the line of fire.
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the ceremony from the white house east room is 20 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen the president of the united states accompanied by medal of honor .ecipient, u.s. army ♪
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>> let us gather in the sacred words, no one has greater love than this to lay down one's life for one's friend. let us pray. almighty god we thank you for and for allthis day living lives devoted in service to you and to your country. our hearts are especially grateful today for the courage, honor, and extraordinary service of specialist james mcluhan whose repeated acts of bravery convey to us a true understanding of the value of life. his service to mistreats your faithfulness and unconditional ask for all humanity, we you lord, continue to inspire and guide others and grant us all now parts eager to seek your will and all acts that serve to life, liberty, and the
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pursuit of happiness. president trump: thank you very much. please be seated. thank you, chaplain hurley. secretary mnuchin, secretary mattis, secretary shulkin, senator stabenow, congressman upton, and members of the armed forces: thank you for joining us as we award our nation's highest military honor to specialist five james c. mccloughan. president trump: today, we pay tribute to a veteran who went above and beyond the call of duty to protect our comrades, our country, and our freedom. joining jim today is his wife
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cherie, his brothers mike and tom, his sons jamie and matt, and many other members of his very large and beautiful family. we're also gratified to be joined by eight previous medal of honor recipients. now, jim's name will stand forever alongside theirs in our history and in our hearts. i want to take a few minutes to tell you about jim and how he earned this place among legends. jim was raised in bangor, michigan. his father built their house from scratch and worked 40 years at a piano factory. jim's dad taught him a simple but powerful lesson: never do anything halfway. always do your best.
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jim took that lesson very much to heart. he played for four varsity sports in high school and three in college. in august of 1968, jim was drafted into the army. within six months, he was trained as a medic and arrived in vietnam. right away, jim poured all of himself into his duties treating the sick and the wounded. before long, all his fellow soldiers called him "doc." on may 13, 1969, less than three months after he arrived, jim was one of 89 men in charlie company to embark on a mission to secure a transportation route near nui yon. as jim and his men jumped out of the helicopter, it quickly
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became clear that they were surrounded by enemy troops. within minutes, two choppers were shot down, and one of his men was badly wounded in the middle of an open field. president trump: jim did not hesitate. he blazed through 100 meters of enemy fire to carry the wounded and the soldier to safety. but this was only the first of many heroic deeds jim would perform over the next 48 hours. president trump: after tending to the first wounded soldier, jim joined a mission to advance toward the enemy, and advance they did. before long, they were ambushed. again, he ran into danger to rescue his men. as he cared for two soldiers, shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade slashed open the back of jim's body from head to foot.
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yet that terrible wound didn't stop jim from pulling those two men to safety, nor did it stop him from answering the plea of another wounded comrade and carrying him to safety atop his own badly injured body. he was badly injured. and so it went, shot after shot, blast upon blast. as one of his comrades recalled, whoever called "medic" could immediately count on mccloughan. he's a brave guy. president trump: as day turned to dusk, nearly all of those who could and really, really had to make it back -- they were finally within their night defensive position, except for one soldier whose plea jim could not ignore. again, "doc" did not hesitate. he crawled through a rice paddy thick with steel rain. that means bullets all over the place.
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as soldiers watched him, they were sure that was the last time they would see "doc." they thought that was the end of their friend, jim. but after several minutes passed, jim emerged from the smoke and fire carrying yet another soldier. he immediately badgered [bandaged] and fixed and worked, but he got the wounds fixed and lifted the soldier to a medevac helicopter. his lieutenant ordered jim to get in, too. "get in," he said, "get in." but jim refused. he said, "you're going to need me here." as jim now says, "i would have rather died on the battlefield than know that men died because they did not have a medic."
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over the next 24 hours, jim fired at enemy soldiers, suffered a bullet wound to his arm, and continued to race into gunfire to save more and more lives. president trump: and yet, as night approached again, after nearly two days of no food, no water, and no rest, jim volunteered to hold a blinking light in an open field to signal for a supply drop. he would not yield, he would not rest, he would not stop, and he would not flinch in the face of sure death and definite danger. president trump: though he was thousands of miles from home, it was as if the strength and pride of our whole nation was beating inside of jim's heart. jim did what his father had taught him -- he gave it his all and then he just kept giving.
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in those 48 hours, jim rescued 10 american soldiers and tended to countless others. he was one of 32 men who fought until the end. they held their ground against more than 2,000 enemy troops. jim, i know i speak for every person here when i say that we are in awe of your actions and your bravery. but let me tell you one thing, and one more story about jim.
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as he prayed, a great peace came over him. and if it was god's will for him to live, he'd keep his promise to god as soon as he had the chance. jim made it out of that hell on earth. he made it; here he is. and the first thing he did when he arrived back on american soil was to say those beautiful words: "i love you, dad.
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i love you." jim said those words over and over again for the next 22 years until the last time he saw his father, the night before his dad passed on. today, i'd venture to say his dad is the proudest father in heaven. jim fought with all of the love and courage in his soul. he was prepared to lay down his life so his brothers-in-arms could live theirs. with us today are 10 of the men who fought alongside jim, and five of those he saved. to bill, randy, mike, joe, kent, robert, john, charles, michael, orestes -- thank you for your service and sacrifice. stand up wherever you may be. where are you?
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where are you? [applause] president trump: thank you, fellas. that's great. for over two centuries, our brave men and women in uniform have overcome tyranny, fascism, communism, and every threat to our freedom -- every single threat they've overcome. and we've overcome these threats because of titans like jim whose and we have overcome these threats because of titans like jim whose spirit could never be conquered. that's with this award is, and jim's life represents so well
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america's unbreakable spirit. it has been 48 years since jim's .attle in vietnam he is now a husband, a father, and a grandfather. he coached high school football, wrestling, and baseball are 38 years, just like he said he would, and he brought together find ofmber he could his beloved charlie company. too many people in this room, mcluhan -- mcc loughan has always been their friend jim. to his parents, he will always today, 320n, but million grateful american hearts
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carries onecloughan title, and that title is hero. specialist five mccloughan, we honor you. we salute you. with god as your witness, we thank you for what you did for all of us. now i would like the military aid to come forward and read the citation. >> the president of the united states of america, authorized by act of congress, march 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of
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congress the medal of honor to private first class james d. , united states army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. private first class mccloughan distinguished himself at the risk of his life above and be on the call of duty from may 13 through 15, 1969, while serving as a combat medic with charlie company, third battalion, 21st infantry, 196, light infantry now -- americal division. the company air assaulted into an area. on may 13 with complete disregard for his life, he ran 100 meters in an open field through heavy fire to rescue a comrade too injured to move and
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carry him to safety. that same day, second platoon was ordered to search the area ambushed by a was large north vietnamese army force and sustained heavy casualties. with complete disregard for his life and personal safety, private first class mccloughan led to the of americans into the safety of a trench while being wounded by shrapnel from a rocket propelled grenade. he ignored a direct order to stay back and braved the enemy assault while moving into the kill zone on for more occasions wounded comrades. he treated the injured, prepared evacuation, and though bleeding heavily from shrapnel wounds on his head and entire by, refused evacuation to safety in order to remain at the battle site with his fellow soldiers, who were heavily outnumbered by the north vietnamese soldiers.
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on may 14, the platoon was again ordered to move out. private first class mccloughan was wounded a second time by small arms fire and shrapnel from a rocket propelled grenade to twoendering aid soldiers in an open rice paddy. of soldiers and an element 700 soldiers from a viet cong regiment dissented upon try the company's position on three sides -- upon charlie company's position on three sides. private mccloughan went into the crossfire numerous times throughout the battle to extract alsoounded soldiers while fighting the enemy. his courageous actions inspired and motivated his comrades to fight for their survival. when supplies ran low, private first class mccloughan volunteered to hold a blinking strobe light in an open area as a marker for a nighttime supply
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drop. he remained steadfast while bullets landed all around him and rocket propelled grenades flew over his prone, exposed body. during the morning darkness of may 15, private first class rockethan knocked out a for grenade position with a grenade, treated numerous casualties, kept two critically wounded soldiers alive through the night, and organized the dead and wounded four evacuation at daylight. his timely and courageous actions were instrumental in saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. 'sivate first class mccloughan personal heroism, professional competence, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest military tradition.
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[applause]
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now, oh, lord, as we depart our separate ways. occasion,mory of this may our participation here unite us all in compassion for service to all the members of our families, our military, our country, strengthen us in faith and renew us in spirit and send peforth with your piece -- ace. amen. you.m, thank god bless you. god bless your family. god bless the united states of america. thank you, jim. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until the president has departed. [applause] this weekend,rs our guest is massachusetts congressman richard neal, top democrat on the house ways and means committee. he talks about potential tax when membersgress return from their august recess. tomorrow interview here on c-span. >> sunday night on q&a.
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>> i had never heard of him. i wanted to know how this man who had been told from the time he was a young child that he was not worth anything could have had the courage and determination to find a way out of slavery. i just was intrigue and could not stop dreaming about him -- not stop reading about him. the author of the book "be free or die." >> he served five terms in the house of representatives. there was a bribery charge against him at one point in his career, and he never fully recovered from that, and that in my opinion is one of the reasons why he is not better known today. >> iranian president hassan auhani was sworn in for second term this weekend in tehran before a gathering of dignitaries from 100 countries. in his inaugural address, he mentions the

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