Trump Awards Medal of Honor to Army Medic 48 Years Later - NBC Southern California
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

Trump Awards Medal of Honor to Army Medic 48 Years Later

"I know I speak for every person here when I say we are in awe of your bravery and your actions," Trump said after describing McCloughan's actions

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Former Army medic James McCloughan, from Michigan, risked his life nine times to rescue comrades in Vietnam. President Donald Trump awarded his first Medal of Honor to James McCloughan at the White House on Monday, July 31, 2017. (Published Monday, July 31, 2017)

    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 for which James McCloughan is now nationally recognized.

    McCloughan 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 Secretary David Shulkin and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, sworn in earlier Monday as the new White House chief of staff.

    McCloughan said in a brief statement on the White House driveway after the ceremony that it was "humbling" to receive the medal. Now 71, he pledged to do his best to represent the men who fought alongside him "as the caretaker of this symbol of courage and action beyond the call of duty."

    Roy Moore's Communications Director Resigns

    [NATL] Roy Moore's Communications Director Resigns as Moore Continues to Deny Sexual Misconduct Allegations

    Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's communications director, John Rogers, has resigned, as Moore continues to deny any sexual misconduct against underage girls.

    In a new interview, Moore again denied the allegations against him, and now it appears he has the president's backing.

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017)

    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 comrades despite his serious wounds from shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade.

    In announcing the honor last month, the White House said McCloughan "voluntarily risked his life on nine separate occasions to rescue wounded and disoriented comrades. He suffered wounds from shrapnel and small arms fire on three separate occasions, but refused medical evacuation to stay with his unit, and continued to brave enemy fire to rescue, treat, and defend wounded Americans."

    "He ran into danger," Trump said.

    McCloughan, who lives in South Haven, Michigan, told The Associated Press in an interview last month that the battle was "the worst two days of my life."

    He described the shrapnel as "a real bad sting" and recalled, "I was tending to two guys and dragging them at the same time into a trench line." He said he looked down to see himself covered with blood from wounds so bad that they prompted a captain to suggest he leave the battlefield to seek treatment.

    "He knew me enough to know that I wasn't going," McCloughan said.

    Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Resigns

    [NATL] Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Resigns

    Zimbabwe’s Parliament launched impeachment proceedings against the country’s leader of 37 years, before he sent a letter of resignation.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017)

    The combat medic stuck around until the battle ended, coming to the aid of his men and fighting the enemy, even knocking out an enemy RPG position with a grenade at one point. In all, the Pentagon credits McCloughan with saving the lives of 10 members of his company.

    The Medal of Honor is given to Armed Forces members who distinguish themselves by going above and beyond the call of duty in battle.

    McCloughan left the Army in 1970 and spent the next several decades teaching psychology and sociology and coaching football, baseball and wrestling at South Haven High School. He retired in 2008.

    In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter recommended McCloughan for the Medal of Honor. But since the medal must be awarded within five years of the recipient's actions, Congress needed to pass a bill waiving the time limit. President Barack Obama signed the measure in late 2016, but he didn't get the opportunity to recognize McCloughan with the medal before his term ended this year.

    "President Donald Trump will be putting that on me for the first time in his experience of doing such a thing," McCloughan said. "That's pretty special."

    Associated Press writer Mike Householder in Detroit contributed to this report.

    Trump Designates North Korea a State Sponsor of Terror

    [NATL]Trump Designates North Korea a State Sponsor of Terror

    President Donald Trump designated North Korea a state sponsor of terror during a cabinet meeting Monday. Citing repeated nuclear threats, support of international terror and Kim Jong Un's suspected involvement in the assassination of his half brother as reasons for the designation, Trump also said on Tuesday the Treasury Department will announce new, larger sanctions on North Korea.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 20, 2017)