Retired Marine to receive Medal of Honor for Vietnam actions
Retired Marine to receive Medal of Honor for Vietnam actions
Trump To Present Medal of Honor To Vietnam Vet
19 October, 2018, 02:28
President Donald Trump presented the nation's highest military honor Wednesday to an 80-year-old retired Marine sergeant major who five decades ago "fought with unmatched bravery" at the beginning of one of the Vietnam War's longest and bloodiest battles. During that effort he exposed himself to direct enemy fire as he twice scaled a wall to aid wounded Marines and carry them to safety.
On the first day of the battle, then-Gunnery Sgt. Canley assumed command of Company A, First Battalion, First Marines after the captain in command was severely wounded in the early fighting.
"In the days that followed John led his company through the fog and rain, and in house-to-house, very vicious, very hard combat", said President Trump. "There are very few like you", he said.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Canley received the Bronze Star with "V" device for valor, the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with "V" device for valor for his service in Vietnam between 1964 and 1970, according to his Marine biography.
"He assaulted enemy strongholds, killed enemy fighters, and with deadly accuracy did everything you had to do", said Trump. "Canley is more than worthy of our nation's highest award", Brownley told Task & Purpose on Wednesday. The pair faced heavy machine-gun fire, but forged ahead with rocket launchers, driving the enemy from their position.
"I spent nine months in the St. Alban hospital, required numerous surgeries and am disabled, but, I would have died if (Canley) had not risked his life for mine", Fraleigh said.
Also in attendance were five other Medal of Honor recipients.
"It's about taking care of subordinates", Canley said in a Marine Corps video interview. But Canley's Marines didn't think that was enough.
The intense urban battle at Hue City is hallowed battle ground for the Corps. After a review of the case, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis agreed in December 2017 that Canley was deserving of the honor.
"We'd all be dead if it wasn't for the gunny", said Ligato, who served under Canley at Hue City. "It does represent the best of all of us - the best of our country and our patriotism".
Canley still can hold his own, even when it comes to working out with young Marines just a quarter of his age. He retired from the service in 1981 as a sergeant major after serving 28 years in the Marine Corps.
The president praised Canley for bravely leading the Marines under his command in multiple combat missions.
Throughout the harrowing seven days of intense combat, Canley saved the lives of almost twenty Marines despite sustaining serious injuries, Trump said. "That really offends me", he said.
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