The Vietnam War was a horrendous and harrowing experience for many veterans who served there. The combat was fierce and seemingly never ending.
With all the bad publicity that conflict received in the American media during that time, sadly it’s decades later that some brave veterans are receiving the accolades they justly deserve for their courageous service.
One such vet, retired Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley, now 80 years old, was honored by President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
He received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, for his bravery in Vietnam.
When you hear Canley’s story you’ll know what extreme circumstances he went through during his time in service and you will agree with the president that he is a uniquely courageous man.
According to The Washington Post, Canley was honored for his actions during the Battle of Hue, a South Vietnamese city overrun by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces during the commnist Tet Offensive in 1968.
At one point, on the fifth day of fighting, according to The Post, Canley’s company had the job of driving the communist forces out of the Joan of Arc school, “which had become the communists’ strategic and symbolic stronghold in the city.”
And that’s where Trump picks up the narrative in this video:
.@POTUS: “Despite sustaining serious injuries…[John] continued to face down the enemy with no thought for his own safety. John waged seven straight days of unrelenting combat, personally saving the lives of more than 20 Marines.” https://t.co/LWaInXhl7q pic.twitter.com/qNFe4JahA5
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 17, 2018
“Despite sustaining serious injuries…he continued to face down the enemy with no thought for his own safety,” Trump said. “John waged seven straight days of unrelenting combat, personally saving the lives of more than 20 Marines.
“By the battle’s end, American Marines had defeated the communists and taken back the city.”
During the ceremony, Trump told the audience that Canley, originally of El Dorado, Arkansas, had enlisted in the Marines at the age of 15, using his brother’s paperwork.
Canley spent 28 years in the service, according to Fox News, making several deployments to Vietnam between 1965 to 197.
USA Today noted how humble Canley is and that he isn’t one to crave the spotlight:
“Canley seems uncomfortable with the attention being lavished on him. He prefers to talk about the Marines who served with him, people like John Ligato, the retired FBI agent who has advocated since 2005 for Canley to receive the nation’s highest military honor.”
But excerpts from a CBS interview in this Twitter post should give you an idea of how much that honor was deserved.
Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Maj. John Canley tells CBS News he doesn’t like being singled out from other Marines who served in Vietnam: “When you look at what type of award or what type of recognition they received, it’s nothing. That really offends me” https://t.co/3vh2xusDmM pic.twitter.com/lULGdB2KDc
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 18, 2018
ABC reported that admirers of Canley’s service and bravery went to great efforts to make sure he was recognized for his valor.
“Normally, a recipient must be presented the medal within five years of his gallantry. But as time passed, and even though Canley had received other high honors, his fellow Marines, remembering how he risked his life repeatedly to rescue his wounded comrades, thought he deserved more, and campaigned for his case to be reviewed,” the network reported.
“Now, because of that effort, Canley has made history: becoming the 300th Marine to receive the nation’s highest award for valor.”
You don’t come across men like Canley very often anymore.
The media should spent more time honoring men like him for their outstanding and unselfish acts. He is the kind of role model the youth of our country should look up to.
“I like brave people, and you meet them right here,” Trump said at the ceremony.
It’s wonderful that Canley received this honor. I’m just sorry it took so long..
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