President Donald Trump will present his first Medal of Honor in July. The award will acknowledge the valor of a Vietnam vet who repeatedly risked his life to save his fellow soldiers. The Medal of Honor is being presented nearly 50 years after Specialist Five James C. McCloughan’s heroic actions.
Specialist Five James C. McCloughan was then a 23-year-old private first class medic with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment during the Battle of Nui Yon Hill in 1969. He risked his life 9 separate times back in May of 1969. McCloughan is credited with saving ten other soldiers over a 48 hour period, despite having been shot and taking shrapnel from a grenade.
“He suffered wounds from shrapnel and small arms fire on three separate occasions, but refused medical evacuation to stay with his unit, and continued to brave enemy fire to rescue, treat, and defend wounded Americans,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in the White House’s statement.
McCloughan was a medic in Vietnam. When he returned to the states, he returned to his home in Michigan where he lives with his wife and four children. He had a long career teaching and coaching at South Haven High School.
“I’m not a hero,” McCloughan has said when asked about his actions. “I just did my job. I’m not a hero. There’s a bunch of heroes there, a bunch of heroes. You know, any veteran will tell you the real heroes, they’re not here with us.”
President Trump called McCloughan on May 25th to let him know about the decision.
“‘I have the president of the United States on the other line,’” McCloughan said an Army captain told him. “I said, ‘Can my wife pick up another phone?’”
“This medal is all about love,” he added. “It’s a love story so deep in my soul that’s it’s truly immeasurable.”
The ArmyTimes is reporting that the award process was begun under the Obama administration, but was not completed before he left office. The Trump administration picked up the approval process and is planning now for the award ceremony in July.