Medic who ‘ran into danger’ in Vietnam earns top honor
An Army medic who “ran into danger” to save wounded soldiers during a Vietnam War battle despite his own serious wounds on Monday became the first Medal of Honor recipient under President Donald Trump, 48 years after the selfless acts.
James McCloughan, 71, mouthed “thank you” as Trump placed the distinctive blue ribbon holding the medal around the neck of the former Army private first class. As the president and commander in chief shook McCloughan’s hand, Trump said “very proud of you” before he pulled the retired soldier into an embrace.
“I know I speak for every person here when I say that we are in awe of your actions and your bravery,” Trump said, describing McCloughan’s actions for a rapt audience that included numerous senior White House and administration officials. Among them were Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Veterans Affairs Secre- tary David Shulkin and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, sworn in earlier Monday as the new White House chief of staff.
Drafted into the Army, McCloughan was a 23-year-old private first class and medic who in 1969 found himself in the middle of the raging Battle of Nui Yon Hill. McCloughan willingly entered the “kill zone” to rescue injured com- rades despite his serious wounds from shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade.
“He ran into danger,” Trump said.
McCloughan, who now lives in South Haven, Michigan, told The Associated Press last month that the battle was “the worst two days of my life.”
President Donald Trump awards the Medal of Honor on Monday to James McCloughan for heroism during the Vietnam War.