Trump presents first Medal of Honor to Vietnam vet

Trevor Jackson
August 1, 2017

An Army veteran from West Michigan has finally been recognized for his heroic efforts over 40 years ago in the Vietnam War. The president hugged the 71-year-old retired school teacher after presenting him the medal.

"During the morning darkness of May 15, Private 1st Class McCloughan knocked out a rocket propelled grenade position with a grenade, fought and eliminated enemy soldiers" and treated numerous casualties while organizing medevac helicopter runs.

Trump said, "It quickly became clear that they were surrounded by enemy troops". Seventy-one medal recipients are still living, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. "In those 48 hours, Jim rescued 10 American soldiers and tended to countless others", Trump said. He says he is grateful for the medal that now lays around his neck, but McCloughan says knowing 10 men are alive because of him is the most rewarding of all. McCloughan was serving combat medic with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, when his unit air assaulted into an enemy-infested area near Nui Yon Hill.

Scaramucci said he wanted to give newly named White House chief of staff John Kelly the space to build up his own team as he sees fit. Former President Barack Obama presented 52 Medals of Honor during his time in office. "And he would not flinch in the face of sure death and definite danger", Trump said. "I know I speak for every person here when I say that we are in awe of your actions and of your bravery".

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

After the battle, McCloughan's lieutenant inquired about honoring McCloughan with the Distinguished Service Cross but the award was downgraded and McCloughan instead received the bronze Stars with "V" device for valor.

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McCloughan left the service with a rank of specialist five and returned to MI.

But because the award must be given within five years of the actions it recognizes, Congress had to vote to grant permission.

In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter recommended McCloughan for the Medal of Honor. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters for McCloughan to receive the medal. For four decades, he taught sociology and psychology and coached football, baseball and wrestling, before retiring in 2008.

McCloughan was a four-sport varsity athlete at Bangor High School in MI before attending Olivet College, where he earned a degree in sociology and a teaching certificate in 1968.

Three months later, McCloughan was drafted into the Army at the age of 22.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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