WATCH: President Trump Presents His First Medal Of Honor To Vietnam Vet LIVE STREAM
President Donald Trump will present his first Medal of Honor since coming into office, and it will go to a Vietnam veteran who risked his life multiple times to save his comrades back in 1969.
Watch live above, starting at 3 p.m. EST.
According to the White House’s statement, James C. McCloughan, a U.S. Army medic, was 23 years old when he was in Don Que, Vietnam. McCloughan graduated from Olivet College with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a teaching credential before he was was drafted into the Army. He is being awarded for his efforts during two days of combat, in which he “voluntarily risked his life on nine separate occasions to rescue wounded and disoriented comrades.”
“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.”
McCloughan returned from Vietnam to earn a Master of Arts in counseling and psychology from Western Michigan in 1972 before spending the next 40 years teaching and coaching sports at South Haven High School.
McCloughan, now 71, did an interview with the Associated Press last month, in which he described those two days as “the worst two days of my life.” He compared being hit by shrapnel as “a really bad sting.”
“I was tending to two guys and dragging them at the same time into a trench line,” McCloughan said. He continued saying he looked down and saw he was covered with blood, and was told by his captain that he should leave the battlefield to receive treatment. “He knew me enough to know that I wasn’t going,” he said.
The Pentagon credits McCloughan for saving 10 lives in those two days. The Medal of Honor is given to Armed Forces members who distinguish themselves by going above and beyond the call of duty in battle.
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