Army medic receives Medal of Honor 48 years later

Kristopher Drake
August 1, 2017

President Donald Trump bestows the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, to retired Army medic James McCloughan during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House Monday, July 31, 2017, in Washington. "And with God as your witness, we thank you for what you did for all of us".

"What could be greater than to be able to look in the eye of someone you know has lived nearly 50 years after that battle because of your action and the action of the other men around you", said McCloughan. Seventy-one medal recipients are still living, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

"I held 18, 19, or 20-year-old men in my arms, and I heard their last words, and I saw them take their last breath", he said.

McCloughlon ignored his commander's orders to stand back, determined to rescue the soldiers.

Trump said, "It quickly became clear that they were surrounded by enemy troops".

Afterwards, he told reporters he was "humbled" by the experience.

The last Medal of Honor recipient was another MI man, Maj.

"He knew me enough to know that I wasn't going", McCloughan told The Associated Press recently. Charles S. Kettles of Ypsilanti, a helicopter pilot who was awarded the medal a year ago for his role in a 1967 battle near Duc Pho, Vietnam.

Scaramucci said he wanted to give newly named White House chief of staff John Kelly the space to build up his own team as he sees fit. "And he would not flinch in the face of death and definite danger".

But because the award must be given within five years of the actions it recognizes, Congress had to vote to grant permission.

"Today the President awarded the Medal of Honor to Private First Class James C. McCloughan, a Vietnam veteran distinguished by his great strength & courage". However, a bill passed under the Obama administration has since waived this standard. There was a problem, however: The medal needs to be awarded within five years of the recipient's heroic actions.

McCloughan was drafted a year earlier, after earning a degree in sociology from Olivet College and he was later discharged with the rank of Specialist (SP5).

He is a member of the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame. The Department of Defense recently recommended that James McCloughan receive this honor. McCloughan's post included servingas a guide for division officers who would come to the hospital to visit their wounded.

Back in MI on Sunday, the now 71-year-old retired high school teacher and coach was among about a dozen local Vietnam veterans honored for their service.

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