Medal of Honor recipients share stories in Honolulu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Medal of Honor recipients share stories in Honolulu

Ken Stumpf Ken Stumpf
Allan Kellogg Allan Kellogg
Donald Ballard Donald Ballard

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There is no higher military honor than the Medal of Honor and today three recipients were in Honolulu sharing their incredible experiences at the Navy Exchange. The three men were honored for their valor during the Vietnam War.

"I've never really felt that I deserved a medal of honor. What I did I did because it was my soldiers and that's what soldiers do we take care of each other," said Ken Stumpf, Medal of Honor Recipient.

Ken Stumpf served with Hawaii's 25th Infantry Division. In combat three of his men were hurt and under fire. One by one he rescued them then he went on to blow up the two enemy bunkers.

"When I decided to go my eyes watered up and I remember my throat dried up and my mind, the constant firing I was just unbelievably scared but I had to make an attempt," recalled Stumpf.

"When stuff is really flying all directions you do what you have to do to survive," said Allan Kellogg, Medal of Honor Recipient.

Allan Kellogg has lived in Kailua since the 1970's. As a platoon sergeant his men came under heavy fire and he was hit by a grenade. He buried it in the mud to save his men. It then exploded right beneath him.

"I couldn't breathe, it knocked the wind out of me and everything, blew my pistol out of my hand, you know the usual stuff," said Kellogg.

The stories are anything but usual. Like Donald Ballard who was a medic treating the injured when he handled three grenades. The third came the closest to taking his life.

"I figured it could blow any second, so I grabbed it and pulled it underneath my chest thinking I could absorb some of the blast and protect the other people. As I laid there I had time to think about it. So I literally realized what I had done so I grabbed the grenade rolled up on top of my other patient and slung it out of the hole and as it went out of the hole it blew up and all the shrapnel went away from us," said Ballard.

They wear the medal around their neck and the stories in their hearts.

Video of their interviews are linked on this web page.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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