Obama Honors Army Unit for Heroism in Vietnam
October 20, 2009 - 12:58 PMPresident Barack Obama has awarded an Army squadron the highest honor given to a military unit for the daring rescue of about 100 soldiers during the Vietnam War nearly 40 years ago.
Obama was joined at the White House by dozens of veterans of Troop A, 1st Squadron of the 11th Armored Combat Regiment. Also at the ceremony were some of the soldiers they saved in the jungles of Vietnam.
The Presidential Unit Citation is the highest unit award in the military and the equivalent of the Distinguished Service Cross for every man in the unit. On March 26, 1970, the unit rescued about 100 members of an American infantry company that had stumbled onto a massive underground enemy bunker of North Vietnamese forces.
"These soldiers define the meaning of bravery and heroism," Obama said.
Though their battle may not have changed the course of the war, and may not have made the newspapers back home, Obama said the troop's efforts are "a proud chapter in the story of the American soldier."
The president credited the unit's leader, Capt. John Poindexter, for his efforts to ensure that his soldiers were ultimately rewarded for their service.
Obama said the unit is a reminder of America's obligation to honor its veterans and their families, and only send troops into harm's way when it's absolutely necessary.
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