Saturday, January 16, 2010

Col. Robert L. Howard

The most highly decorated American soldier in modern history is honored in this NBC news story by Brian Williams.

Col. Robert Howard was wounded 14 times in 54 months. He was awarded 8 Purple Hearts.

This is no John Kerry p-p-pantywaist poser who tosses someone else's medals. Col. Howard is the Real Deal. A full blown American Hero. A tribute site is here. The video clip is amazing - please take the tinme to experience this man's life. Col. Howard's Medal of Honor citation is as follows.

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Howard (then Sfc .), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an American-Vietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam. The platoon had left its helicopter landing zone and was moving out on its mission when it was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion. 1st Lt. Howard saw his platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader. As 1st Lt. Howard was administering first aid and removing the officer's equipment, an enemy bullet struck 1 of the ammunition pouches on the lieutenant's belt, detonating several magazines of ammunition. 1st Lt. Howard momentarily sought cover and then realizing that he must rejoin the platoon, which had been disorganized by the enemy attack, he again began dragging the seriously wounded officer toward the platoon area. Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy. For 3 1/2 hours 1st Lt. Howard's small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all were aboard safely. 1st Lt. Howard's gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself,
his unit, and the U.S. Army.

His medals and awards are as follows:

Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross (with one oak leaf cluster) (2 awards), Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with three oak leaf clusters) (4 awards), Bronze Star (with three oak leaf clusters and "V" device) (4 awards), Purple Heart (with a silver and two bronze oak leaf clusters) (8 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters) (3 awards), Air Medal (with "V" Device and numeral 3 - one award for heroism and two for aerial achievement), Joint Service Commendation, Army Commendation Medal (with "V" device and one each silver and bronze oak leaf clusters - 4 awards for valor and 3 for achievement), Joint Service Achievement, Army Achievement, Good Conduct Medal with four Good Conduct Loops (4 awards), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with three service stars (3 awards),Vietnam Service Medal with 3 service stars (3 campaigns), Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Overseas Service Ribbon.

This is truly an amazing man, an incredible hero.

He passed on to his Eternal Award on December 23, 2009.
Rest in Glory Colonel.


Subvet said...

God rest his soul.

sig94 said...

Subvet - amen.

Anonymous said...

We are blessed that God took some extra time to create such a man.