(USNewsBreak.com) – The Vietnam War remains one of the most controversial military engagements in which the United States armed forces has ever involved itself. Nearly 60,000 US soldiers died in the conflict, and more than 100,000 returned with injuries. Yet, many individuals noticeably performed heroically, and President Joe Biden recently bestowed an honor on one.
On Tuesday, September 5, 81-year-old Larry Taylor, a former US Army captain, received a Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House. Taylor earned the medal for his courageous actions in flying his helicopter into enemy territory to help save four of his brothers in arms.
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) September 7, 2023
The incident happened on June 18, 1968. According to Military.com, Vietnamese soldiers surrounded the four soldiers on the ground, part of a long-range reconnaissance team. Without help, they had no chance of surviving. Taylor flew his helicopter, and AH-1G Cobra, into the melee, raining gunfire and rockets down on the opposition. His command ordered him to turn back, saying friendly forces couldn’t help the soldiers on the ground. Yet, Taylor refused.
The former captain kept fighting for his comrades, drawing enemy fire even though he had run out of his own ammunition. Taylor eventually landed the helicopter, allowing the recon team to grab onto the skids — the chopper had no cargo hold — and he airlifted them to safety. The team then walked back to base, and each member lived to tell the story of how Taylor risked his life to save theirs.
In the ceremony, Biden draped the medal over Taylor’s neck, saying, “He rewrote the fate of four families for generations to come.” He added that his actions were “valor; that’s our nation at its very best.”
Biden received criticism for leaving the ceremony without explanation soon after awarding the medal to Taylor. At past events, he stayed until after the closing prayer.
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