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 started while Liteky was serving with Company A in a search-and-destroy mission in the Bien Hoa province, Vietnam. A battalion-sized enemy force attacked them, blanketing the group in heavy fire. Just as Liteky and his men hit the ground, he noticed two wounded soldiers lying nearby.
Moving through intense enemy fire, Litkey made his way to the wounded men, just within 15 meters of an enemy machine gun. He then protected the men, placing himself between them and the enemy. When the fighting broke for a moment, Liteky dragged the two wounded soldiers to relative safety.
His official citation reads. "In a magnificent display of courage and leadership, Chaplain Liteky began moving upright through the enemy fire, administering last rites to the dying and evacuating the wounded."
As the battle raged on, Liteky carried a seriously wounded man to safety on his chest, crawling backwards through heavy fire using his elbows and heels. He then returned to the action and helped another wounded soldier entangled in the dense, thorny underbrush.
The next morning, it was discovered that Liteky had personally carried more than 20 wounded men to the landing zone, where they could be evacuated—despite retaining wounds in his neck and foot.