U.S. Army Veterans Honored on 45th Anniversary of Vietnam Rescue Mission

SAIGON, VIETNAM – April 1972 – Flames engulfed the transport plane after being shot down. American soldiers flew over it in a “Huey” helicopter. They were certain there would be no survivors. But then they spotted movement among the burning wreckage. Low on fuel, they initiated a rescue mission. The helicopter gunner shot at North Vietnamese Communist forces closing in. The rest of the team pulled five airmen from the crashed C-130 Hercules plane. The rescuers then called for a second helicopter to grab two more soldiers. No Americans died in the incident.

My heart races when I read stories such as this one. American soldiers risking their lives to save others. It’s a big part of what made this the greatest country in the history of the world.

And my heart rejoiced last week. Four of those Vietnam veterans received the Silver Star, for their rescue mission, 45 years ago to the day.

The Silver Star is the third highest military combat decoration that can be awarded!

Robert Monette, Robert Frank, John Deslouriers and Leonard Shearer were finally recognized last Tuesday. Arkansas Representative French Hill presented the medals to the veterans at a ceremony in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The effort to honor these veterans has been going on for years.

The original recommendation got “lost in the shuffle,” according to Stars and Stripes. Retired Major Jack Shields commanded the “Huey” crew, and he requested that all four men receive the medals back in 2005. The Defense Department got involved. And finally it happened.

Monette, the pilot during the rescue mission, told Stars and Stripes that the medals were “unexpected, and very, very humbling.”

We’re the ones who should be humbled. Americans of every generation have benefitted tremendously from the incredible courage of our military men and women.

As many of you know, our customers help too. A portion of 4Patriots’ proceeds supports organizations that aid active and veteran U.S. military members and their families.

And it all happens because of your purchase. Thanks for helping us help the people who are the most deserving!


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