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tv   Vietnam Veteran James Mc Cloughan to be Awarded Medal of Honor  CSPAN  August 1, 2017 3:21am-3:44am EDT

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the an army medic to and former teacher who served in vietnam. injuries, he is credited with saving 10 members inhis particular -- platoon a battle that lasted five days. some of the members of the platoon were at this ceremony. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the
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president of the united states. ♪ >> let us gather in these sacred words. no one has greater love than this to lay down one's life for one's friend. let us pray. almighty god, we thank you for the gift of this day, of this time, and for all living, lives devoted in service to you, and to our country.
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our hearts are especially grateful today for the courage, honor, and extraordinary service of specialist james mccloughan, whose repeated acts of bravery convey to us a true understanding of the value of life. as his service demonstrates your faithfulness in unconditional love, for all humanity, we ask you, lord, continue to inspire and guide others to their own acts of selfless service, and grant us all now hearts eager to seek your will and all ask that serve to preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. amen. president trump: thank you very much. please be seated. thank you, chaplin hurley.
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secretary mnuchin, secretary mattis, secretary scholten, senator stabenow, congressman upton, members of the armed forces, thank you for joining us as we award our nation's highest military honor to specialist five james c. mccloughan. today we pay tribute to a veteran who went above and beyond call of duty, to protect our comrades, our country, and our freedom. joining jim today is his wife sherry, his brothers mike and tom, his sons jamie and matt, and many other members of his very large and beautiful family. we are also gratified to be joined by eight previous medal
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of honor recipients. now, jim's name will stand forever alongside theirs in our history and in our hearts. i want to take a few minutes to tell you about jim and how he earned this place among legends. jim was raised in bangor, michigan. his father built their house from scratch and worked 40 years at a piano factory. jim's dad taught him a simple but powerful lesson. never do anything halfway. always do your best. jim took that lesson very much to heart. he played for four varsity sports in high school and three in college. in august of 1968, jim was drafted into the army.
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within six months, he was trained as a medic, and arrived in vietnam. right away, jim poured all of himself into his duties, treating the sick and wounded. before long, all his fellow soldiers called him "doc." on may 13, 1969, less than three months after he arrived, jim was one of 89 men in charlie company to embark on a mission to secure a transportation route near -- as jim and his men jumped out of the helicopter, it quickly became clear they were surrounded by enemy troops. within minutes, two choppers were shot down and one of his men was badly wounded in the middle of an open field. jim did not hesitate.
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he blazed through 100 meters of enemy fire to carry the wounded, and the soldier to safety. but this was only the first of many heroic deeds jim would perform over the next 48 hours. after tending to the first wounded soldier, jim joined a mission to advance toward the enemy. and advance they did. before long, they were ambushed. again, he ran into danger to rescue his men. as he cared for two soldiers, shrapnel from a rocket propelled grenade slashed open the back of jim's body, from head to foot. yet, that terrible wound did not stop jim from pulling those men to safety, nor did it stop him from answering the plea of another wounded comrade, and
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carrying him to safety atop his only badly injured body. he was badly injured. and so it went, shot after shot, blast upon blast, as one of his comrades recalled -- you ever called "medic!" could immediately count on mccloughan. he is a brave guy. as day turn to dust, nearly all of those who could, and really, really had to make it back, they were finally within their night defensive position, except for one soldier whose plea jim could not ignore. again, doc did not hesitate, crawled through a rice paddy thick with steel rain. that means bullets all over the place. as soldiers watched him, they were sure that was the last time they would see doc. they thought that was the end of their friend jim.
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but after several minutes passed, jim emerged him the smoke and fire carrying yet another soldier. he immediately badgered and fixed and worked, but he got the wounds fixed and lifted the soldier to a medevac helicopter. his lieutenant ordered jim to get in, too. get in, he said, get in. jim refused and said, you are going to need me here. as jim now says, i would have rather died on the battlefield than know that men died because they did not have a medic. over the next 24 hours, jim fired at enemy soldiers, suffered a bullet wound to his arm, and continued to race into gunfire to save more and more lives. and yet, as night approached again, afternoon a two days of no food, no water, and no rest,
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jim volunteered to hold a blinking light in an open field to signal for a supply drop. he would not yield, he would not rest, he would not stop. and he would not flinch in the face of sure death and definite danger. though he was thousands of miles away from home, it was as if the strength and pride of our whole nation was beating inside of jim's heart. jim did what his father taught him. he gave it his all, and then he just kept giving. in those 48 hours, jim rescued 10 american soldiers and tended to countless others. he was one of 32 men who fought until the end. they held their ground against more than 2000 enemy troops.
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jim, i know i speak for every person here when i say that we are in are in awe of your actions and bravery. let -- but let me tell you one thing, and one more story about jim. on the second day of that bloody fight, jim found a few soldiers, and a fellow soldier who had been shot badly in the stomach. he knew the soldier would not make it if he flung him on his back, so he lifted him up and carried him in his arms. as jim was carrying the soldier, a thought flashed through his mind. although jim had always been very close to his father, he realized that it was not since he had been a young boy that he had told his dad those three very simple but beautiful words, i love you. in that moment, jim offered up a prayer.
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he asked god, if you get me out of this hell on earth, so i can tell my dad i love him, i will be the best coach and the best father you can ever ask for. as he prayed, a great peace came over him, and if it was god's will for him to live, he keeps his promise to god as soon as he had the chance. jim made it out of that hell on earth. he made it. here he is. and the first thing he did when he arrived back on american soil was to say those beautiful words, i love you, dad. i love you. jim said those words over and over again for the next 22 years, until the last time he saw his father, the night before his dad passed on. today, i would venture to say his dad is the proudest father in heaven. jim fought with all the love and
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courage in his soul, he was prepared to lay down his life so that his brothers in arms could live theirs. with us today are 10 of the men who fought alongside jim, and five of those he saved. to bill, randy, mike, joe, kent, robert, john, charles, michael, orestis, thank you for your service and your sacrifice. stand up wherever you may be. where are you? >> [applause]
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pres. trump: thank you, fellas. that's great. for over two centuries, our brave men and women in uniform have overcome tyranny, fascism, communism, and every threat to our freedom -- every single threat they have overcome. and we have overcome these threats because of titans like jim whose spirit could never be conquered. that is what this award is, and jim's life represents so well. america's unbreakable spirit. it has been 48 years since jim's battle in vietnam. he is now a husband, father, and grandfather. he coached high school, football, wrestling, and baseball for 38 years, just like
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he said he would. and he brought together every member that he could find of his beloved charlie company. to many people in this room, specialist five mccloughan has always been their friend jim. to others, he has been coach. to those who bravely served with him in vietnam, he still there -- he is still called their doc. to his parents, scotty and margaret, both watching from heaven, he will always be there -- their son. but today, 320 million grateful american hearts, private mccloughan carries one immortal title, and that title is hero. specialist five mccloughan, we honor you, we salute you, and with god as your witness, we thank you for what you did for
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all of us. now, i would like the military aide to come forward and read the citation. >> the president of the united states of america authorized by , act of congress, march 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to private first class james c. mccloughan, united states army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, at risk for his life above and beyond the call of duty. private first class c.
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mcluhan distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty from may 13 through 15th, 1969. while serving as a conduct medic with charlie company third battalion, 21st infantry, 196 light infantry brigade. americal division. the company air assaulted into an area near nu yon hill. on may 13, with complete disregard for his life, he ran 100 meters in an open field through heavy fire to rescue a comrade too injured to move, and carried him to safety. that same day, second platoon was ordered to search the area when a platoon was ambushed by a large north vietnamese army force and sustained heavy casualties. with complete disregard for his life and personal safety, private first class mccloughan
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led two americans into the safety of a trench while being wounded by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade. he ignored a direct order to back, and braved enemy assault while moving into the kill zone on for more occasions to extract more comments. it prepared the evacuation and although bleeding heavily from shrapnel wounds on his head and entire body refused and evacuation to safety to remain at the battle site with his fellow soldiers, who were heavily outnumbered by the vietnamese soldiers. on may 14, the platoon was moved out to the hill. private first class mccloughan was wounded a second time from a rocket-propelled grenade while rendering aid to two soldiers. in the final phases of the attack two companies from second , north vietnamese army division
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and an element of 700 soldiers from a viet cong regiment descended on charlie company's position on three sides. private first class mccloughan again, with complete disregard for his life went into the , crossfire to extract wounded soldiers while also fighting the enemy. his relentless and courageous actions inspired and motivated his comrades. hen supplies ran low, volunteers to will be blinking strobe light in an open area as a marker for nighttime resupply drop. he remained steadfast while those landed all around him and rocket-propelled grenades of flu over his body. during the morning darkness of may 15, private first class mccloughan knocked out a rocket -propelled grenade and thought
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-- fought and illuminated enemy soldiers, treated numerous casualties, cap to critically wounded soldiers alive, and organized the dead and wounded four evacuation at daylight. his timely and courageous actions were instrumental in saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. private first class mccloughan's personal heroism and professional competence and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the united states army. >> [applause]
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>> bless us now lord as we depart our separate ways. may the memory of this occasion, may our participation here unite
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us all in compassion for service to all the members of our military and our country. strengthen us in faith, and renew us in spirit and send us forth with your piece. -- peace. amen. >> amen. pres. trump: jim, thank you. god bless you, cut the your family, god bless the united states of america -- god bless your family, god bless the united states of america. thank you, jim. >> [applause] [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until the president has departed. [applause]
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>> [crowd chatter] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] president trump spoke briefly with reporters after new white house chief of staff john kelly was sworn in. he had served as homeland security secretary in the trump administration. we just swore in general kelly. he will do a spectacular job. i have no doubt, as chief of staff. what he has done in terms of homeland security is record -shattering. you look at the border, you look at the tremendous results we have had, and you look at the spirit. and with a very controversial situation, there has been very little controversy.


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