Vietnam Vet Crandall Receives Medal of Honor
Bruce Crandall is finally receiving a Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. From FoxNews:
As a 32-year-old helicopter pilot, he flew through a gauntlet of enemy fire, taking ammunition in and wounded Americans out of one of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War, Army records say.
Now, a week after his 74th birthday, Crandall will receive the nation's highest military honor Monday in a White House ceremony with President Bush.
The article goes into some detail behind the action and the reason for his receiving the Medal of Honor. Anyone who has read the book We Were Soldiers, Once…and Young know that this honor is highly deserved.
During the battle, Crandall and his wingman, Ed Freeman (received the Medal in 2001), volunteered to fly numerous missions into a very hot landing zone that was constantly under fire, to resupply the troops on the ground with water, ammunition and medical supplies. They also flew out of the combat zone the wounded, saving more than 70 lives, as the med-evac pilots refused to go into this hot zone.
It takes a lot of guts to fly into battle zones such as the Ia Drang, yet these men and their crews did so when others refused to do it. Their dedication and performance is without measure.
If you are interested in learning more about the battle, read the book We Were Soldiers, Once. It is a well written telling of the battle and its aftermath; the parts where the wives and children tell their side of the wait in the States brought tears to my eyes.
And yes, the movie is good, too, but the book is better.
I am very glad to see that Bruce Crandall is receiving our nations highest honor. I wish that it had not been so long delayed.