2012 Medal of Honor Convention - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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JOHN P. BACA

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By his own account, John Baca was a problem kid. Growing up in the San Diego area, he was in and out of juvenile hall for a variety of petty crimes. At seventeen, after serving a brief sentence in a California More>>

DONALD E. BALLARD

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Donald Ballard was 20 years old, married, and working in a dental lab with the hope of someday becoming a dentist when he decided to join the Navy in 1965. Midway through basic training, informed that More>>

HARVEY C. "BARNEY" BARNUM, JR.

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At the Cheshire, Conn., high school military assembly in 1958, representatives of all branches of the military made presentations to the student body. After the Navy, Army and Air Force speakers were all More>>

GARY B. BEIKIRCH

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Gary Beikirch followed his high school sweetheart to college in 1965. Within two months, she broke up with him, and he dropped out, figuring to get even with her by enlisting in the Green Berets. During More>>

PATRICK H. BRADY

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Reserve officers training was mandatory at Patrick Brady's college in the late 1950s. He hated it and eventually got booted out. He later got back into ROTC and was commissioned in the Medical Service More>>

PAUL W. BUCHA

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A high school all-American swimmer in the early 1960s, Paul Bucha was offered athletic scholarships from schools such as Yale and Indiana University, but he chose West Point instead. After graduation, More>>

HECTOR A. CAFFERATA

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Hector Cafferata was a Marine reservist on inactive status when the Korean War broke out. At six feet two inches, 220 pounds, and a former semipro football player, Cafferata was a big, strong Marine. He More>>

JON R. CAVAIANI

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Born in England, Jon Cavaiani came to America with his parents in 1947 at the age of four. Although he was classified 4-F because of an allergy to bee stings, and although he was married with two children, More>>

CHARLES H. COOLIDGE

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The bloodiest combat Charles Coolidge experienced was in 1943, after he went ashore at Salerno. Coolidge's unit went up the boot of Italy and crossed the Rapido River to engage the Germans at Montecassino. More>>

Bruce P. Crandall

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Growing up in Olympia, Washington, Bruce Crandall, a high school baseball All-American, hoped to become a professional baseball player. But he was drafted into the Army in 1953 before he could be signed More>>

FRANCIS S. CURREY

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An orphan who had grown up in a foster home in upstate New York, Francis Currey enlisted in the Army in the summer of 1943, one week after he graduated from high school. Though he completed the Officer More>>

SAMMY L. DAVIS

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Sammy Davis took some ribbing in the Army because he shared a name with the famous entertainer. Much later, long after his military days were over, he would again gain some acclaim among his old comrades, More>>

GEORGE E. “Bud” DAY

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George "Bud" Day was seventeen in late 1942 when he badgered his parents into allowing him to volunteer for the Marine Corps. He spent nearly three years in the South Pacific during World War II, then More>>

DREW D. DIX

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Drew Dix volunteered for the Army in 1962. He wanted to be in Special Forces, but at eighteen he was too young, so he spent the next three years with the 82nd Airborne and participated in the peacekeeping More>>

DUANE E. DEWEY

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When 19-year-old Duane Dewey joined the Marines soon after North Korean forces rolled into the South, it was an "indefinite" enlistment—the duration of the war plus six months. Dewey was part of the 1st More>>

ROGER H.C. DONLON

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Roger Donlon always felt that the military was his destiny in life. His father had served in World War I; all four of his brothers served in the Army or Air Force. He had wanted to go to the newly established More>>

WALTER D. EHLERS

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Walter Ehlers's older brother, Roland, had bullied and protected him throughout their childhood in Kansas. By D-Day, the two had already fought their way through North Africa and Sicily in the same unit. More>>

FREDERICK E. FERGUSON

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Frederick Ferguson got a part-time job driving a gas truck to pay for flying lessons while serving out his enlistment in the Navy, earning his pilot's license before his discharge in 1962. Over the next More>>

BERNARD F. FISHER

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After serving briefly in the Navy at the end of World War II, Bernard Fisher spent 1947 to 1950 in the Air National Guard, then joined ROTC while he was a college student in Utah. Commissioned a second More>>

MICHAEL J. FITZMAURICE

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In the spring of 1971, the 2nd Squadron of the 17th Cavalry was guarding the airstrip at Khe Sanh in South Vietnam for American planes flying missions into Laos. At about 2:00 a.m. on March 23, Michael More>>

JAMES P. FLEMING

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James Fleming never had any doubt that he would follow in the footsteps of his father, a career Air Force pilot. After graduating from Washington State University, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in More>>

ROBERT F. FOLEY

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Robert Foley was a basketball star in high school. At six foot seven, he had received fifteen college scholarship offers by the end of his senior year. He was still considering his options when the hockey More>>

WESLEY L. FOX

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Eighteen-year-old Wesley Fox thought he was enlisting in the Marines for four years in 1950, but he wound up staying for forty-three. Rising through the enlisted and officer ranks to become a colonel, More>>

HAROLD A. FRITZ

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Harold Fritz was working toward a career in veterinary medicine when he got his draft notice in 1966. After advanced armor training, he was accepted for Officer Candidate School. Graduating as a second More>>

SALVATORE A. GIUNTA

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During his high school years, Salvatore Giunta didn't care so much about grades, as he did about socializing, according to his parents. But it was during his junior year at Kennedy High School in Cedar More>>

CHARLES C. HAGEMEISTER

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Uncertain about his future and bored with academics, Charles Hagemeister left college after a year and a half and was working as a warehouseman when he was drafted in 1966. After finishing basic training, More>>

JOHN D. HAWK

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John Hawk, drafted right out of high school in 1943, was a private first class when he landed at Normandy in a C-47 transport plane a few weeks after the Allied invasion. As his infantry company fought More>>

FRANK A. HERDA

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It was night in the Quang Trang Province of Vietnam, June 29, 1968, when PFC Frank Herda would make the decision of a lifetime. While serving as a grenadier with Company A, he stood part of a battalion-sized More>>

RODOLFO P. HERNANDEZ

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Rodolfo "Rudy" Hernandez's platoon, part of the 187th Airborne, was holding a hill near the Korean town of Wontong-ni on May 31, 1951, when it heard the weird symphony of bugles, whistles, and human shrieks More>>

THOMAS J. HUDNER, Jr.

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Thomas Hudner had no particular interest in airplanes when he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1946. He wanted only to serve aboard a ship. But in 1948, after he had been at sea for several months and More>>

EINAR H. INGMAN

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Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin, Einar Ingman was always fascinated with heavy machines. When a military recruiter told him he could learn a trade involving this equipment in the Army, Ingman signed More>>

ROBERT R. INGRAM

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In 1963, Robert Ingram enlisted in the Navy to learn aviation electronics. But after he came down with pneumonia and was sent to the dispensary, he witnessed a meningitis outbreak and was touched by the More>>

DANIEL K. INOUYE

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Daniel K. Inouye was a senior in high school in Honolulu when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He remembered standing outside his house with his father as Japanese planes swooped down on the U.S. fleet, both of More>>

ARTHUR J. JACKSON

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Arthur Jackson graduated from high school in 1942, then got a job as a laborer at the Naval Air Station in Sitka, Alaska. That December, he traveled down to Portland, Oregon, to enroll in the Navy's flight More>>

JOE M. JACKSON

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Joe Jackson enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 because he wanted to be an airplane mechanic. He was made a flight engineer aboard a B-25; during a training flight, when one of the engines caught fire, More>>

JACK H. JACOBS

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If Jack Jacobs wanted a challenge, he certainly had one in 1966. He had a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University, a wife and a daughter, and no money. He had been through ROTC, and his plan was to enter More>>

DON JENKINS

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Like most of the people in Quality, the small Kentucky community where he was born, Don Jenkins went to work in the coal mines after he left school. Having already worked a shift during his last two years More>>

THOMAS G. KELLEY

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Thomas Kelley was about to graduate from Holy Cross College in Massachusetts in 1960 when his roommates announced that they'd enlisted in the Navy and urged him to do the same. Kelley couldn't think of More>>

ALLAN J. KELLOGG, JR.

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At the end of his sophomore year in high school, seventeen-year-old Allan Kellogg told his parents that he was bored and wanted to drop out. His father gave him permission. But the boy couldn't just find More>>

JOSEPH R. “BOB” KERREY

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Growing up in Lincoln, Neb., Joseph Kerrey — "Bob" since he was a kid — had an "all-American" childhood: He worked a newspaper route and helped out in his father's lumberyard, then attended the University More>>

THOMAS JAMES KINSMAN

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The attack came as PFC Thomas James Kinsman made his way up a narrow canal one afternoon on Feb. 6, 1968, near Vinh Long in the Republic of Vietnam. He'd been serving as a rifleman with Company B, on More>>

HOWARD V. LEE

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As a senior in college in 1955, Howard Lee joined the Marine Reserves and, after completing the required Officer Candidate program, became an officer. Finding that he liked the military, he transferred More>>

Peter C. Lemon

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"True heroism is not a matter of chance, it's a matter of choice." So are the words spoken by a man who lived the essence of his message: Sp4c. Peter C. Lemon. Today, Lemon is a motivational speaker and More>>

ANGELO J. LITEKY

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Angelo Liteky wasn't just a captain in the Army during the Vietnam War—he was a chaplain. And perhaps that's why on Dec. 6, 1967, he became the reason more than 20 men survived an aggressive attack. It More>>

GARY L. LITTRELL

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Gary Littrell was nine years old when his uncle took him to Fort Campbell to watch the 101st Airborne Division make parachute jumps. He always remembered watching the men floating down and saying to himself, More>>

JAMES E. LIVINGSTON

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The battle of Dai Do began when major elements of the North Vietnamese 320th Regiment infiltrated the area near the Third Marine headquarters in Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province. The command center was defended More>>

ALLEN J. LYNCH

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Allen Lynch was bullied throughout his school years. A loner, he was a poor student who had few friends. When he graduated from high school in 1964, he felt that he had to get away from Chicago and build More>>

WALTER J. MARM, JR.

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When Walter Marm graduated from college with a business degree in 1964, Vietnam was a distant place that didn't figure in his personal geography. He enlisted in the Army, graduated from Officer Candidate More>>

ROBERT D. MAXWELL

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Robert Maxwell was the "wire man" to his army buddies—a lineman in charge of stringing up the field phone connections for his battalion's communications. When he landed in North Africa with the 7th Infantry More>>

VERNON McGARITY

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It was the morning of Dec. 16, 1944 when the Germans wounded Vernon McGarity, sending him to an aid station during one of history's most famous counteroffensives: The Battle of the Bulge. But McGarity More>>

John J. McGinty III

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John McGinty always liked the recruitment slogan "Join the Navy and See the World," but he wasn't fond of Navy uniforms, so right after high school he joined the Marines. It was 1957, and over the next More>>

DAKOTA MEYER

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Dakota Meyer is America, born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky. He decided to enlist into the Marine Corps in 2006, a decision which led up to a fateful morning. On Sept. 8, 2009, Meyer was moving with More>>

Hiroshi H. Miyamura

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Hiroshi Miyamura grew up in Gallup, New Mexico, one of only a handful of Japanese Americans in the town. A teacher, unable to pronounce his first name, called him Hershey, and his friends adopted this More>>

Ola L. Mize

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Ola Mize, son of an Alabama sharecropper, dropped out of school in 1946 after the ninth grade to help take care of his mother, brothers, and sisters. A few years later, earning just fifteen dollars a week, More>>

Robert J. Modrzejewski

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Robert Modrzejewski was a student at the University of Wisconsin when he joined the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class, the Corps's version of the ROTC. He was commissioned a second lieutenant after More>>

Thomas R. Norris

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Thomas Norris graduated from the University of Maryland in 1967. He had studied criminology with the hope of joining the FBI, but knowing that he had to satisfy his military obligation, he enlisted in More>>

Robert O'Malley

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Robert O'Malley was one of four brothers, all of them two years apart in age and two years apart in joining the Marine Corps. Like his brothers, he enlisted after graduating from high school. He was stationed More>>

Nicholas Oresko

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Nicholas Oresko, a platoon leader with the 302nd Infantry, landed in France in August 1944, two months after the Normandy invasion. There were still pockets of German troops in northern France that had More>>

Robert M. Patterson

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When he was a senior in high school in 1966, Robert Patterson had an argument with his girlfriend and decided to get even by joining the Army. After basic training, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne More>>

LEROY A. PETRY

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Since he was 7 years old, Leroy Petry—a Native of New Mexico—wanted to join the Army. That chance came in September of 1999, when Petry was 21 years old. He enlisted from his hometown in New Mexico, volunteering More>>

Richard A. Pittman

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Richard Pittman was fifteen years old when he heard John F. Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you" speech and decided that he would do something for his country when he got out of school. More>>

Alfred Rascon

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At the age of four, Alfred Rascon came to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico with his parents. He became a legal resident a few years later and would always think of himself as "an immigrant by birth, More>>

Ronald E. Ray

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Ronald Ray was one of five brothers, three of whom served in the military. In 1959, he left high school to enlist in the Army. Discharged after serving three years, he came home for two months, then reenlisted More>>

Gordon R. Roberts

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His two older brothers were already in the Navy when Gordon Roberts enlisted in the Army three days after graduating from high school in 1968. He became part of the 101st Airborne, the same unit his father More>>

WILBURN K. ROSS

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It was 11:30 in the morning near St. Jacques, France when Private Wilburn Ross decided to absorb the impact of a German counterattack—alone. The year was 1944—October 30, to be exact—and the Germans More>>

Ronald E. Rosser

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As the oldest of seventeen children, Ronald Rosser always looked out for his brothers and sisters. He joined the Army right after turning seventeen in 1946 and served for three years. In 1951, he reenlisted More>>

Tibor Rubin

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Tibor "Ted" Rubin was thirteen in 1943 when the Nazis began to round up the Jews of his native Hungary. Rubin was sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria; the rest of his family, he learned More>>

George T. Sakato

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In 1942, George Sakato's family moved from California to Arizona, to avoid being sent to an internment camp for Japanese Americans. The twenty-one-year-old Sakato tried to enlist in the Army Air Corps More>>

Clarence E. Sasser

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When Clarence Sasser was drafted in 1967, he assumed that he would be just another GI. After a battery of tests indicated he should be trained as a medical aidman, he was surprised that the Army thought More>>

Robert E. Simanek

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Like other young men who grew up in the Detroit area, Robert Simanek went to work in the auto industry after high school. He was employed by General Motors when war broke out in Korea. Having two uncles More>>

James M. Sprayberry

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James Sprayberry was born in Georgia and grew up on a family farm in Alabama. He was attending college in 1966 when he decided that he needed more excitement in his life and enlisted in the Army. After More>>

James L. Stone

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On November 21, 1951, Lieutenant James Stone, a month away from his twenty-ninth birthday, was trying to keep warm in a desolate hilltop outpost above the Imjin River near Sokkogae. That morning his platoon, More>>

Ken E. Stumpf

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Early in 1967, the Communists' control of Vietnam's Quang Ngai Province was so complete that many villagers had never seen any troops other than those of the Vietcong. The U.S. command decided to try to More>>

James A. Taylor

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James Taylor served in the Army as an enlisted man for ten years before being selected for Officer Candidate School and becoming an officer. After graduating as a lieutenant, he was assigned to the 1st More>>

Brian M. Thacker

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Son of a career Air Force officer, Brian Thacker graduated from Utah's Weber State College and was commissioned in the Army through the ROTC program. After a tour in Germany, where he was "allowed to make More>>

Michael E. Thornton

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Although he came from the landlocked hills of South Carolina, the idea of being in the Navy seized Michael Thornton's boyhood imagination when he saw movies such as The Fighting Sullivan Brothers and Frogmen. More>>

Leo K. Thorsness

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Leo Thorsness enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 at the age of nineteen, largely because he had a brother serving in Korea. Though he didn't make it to Korea himself, he stayed in the military, becoming More>>

Jay R. Vargas

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The son of immigrants—an Italian mother and Hispanic father—Jay Vargas had two older brothers who fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in World War II, and a third who fought in Korea. Vargas himself got as More>>

Ernest E. West

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Private First Class Ernest West did his basic training as part of the 25th Infantry in Hawaii—a "paradise" in comparison to what he would experience in Korea, which he regarded as a frozen hell in the More>>

Gary G. Wetzel

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Gary Wetzel grew up as the second oldest of nine children and joined the Army at the age of eighteen. It was only one month after his nineteenth birthday when he landed in Saigon. With aspirations of being More>>

Hershel W. Williams

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The first time the five foot six, nineteen- year-old Hershel "Woody" Williams tried to join the Marines, in the fall of 1942, he was too short. The second time he tried, a few months later, he wasn't: More>>