Sunday, January 22, 2017

Florida Medal Of Honor Hero Charles Liteky Passed Away

Vietnam veteran Charles Liteky, who became a peace activist and famously gave up his Medal of Honor to protest US foreign policy in Central America, dies at age 85
By Associated Press and Jessica Chia For
21 January 2017

Liteky grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was quarterback in high school
He went to seminary school and became a Roman Catholic priest
Liteky served in the Vietnam War, and rescued 20 wounded men in 1967 despite the fact that he had been hit with shrapnel in the neck and foot
One man was too heavy, so he rolled on his back, placed the man on his chest and crawled back to the landing zone using his elbows and heels
He volunteered for another tour in Vietnam, before renouncing faith
He met former Catholic nun and peace activist Judy Balch; they married in 1983
Liteky became an activist as well, and gave up his Medal of Honor in protest
He also went on a six-week hunger strike to protest US foreign policy in Central America, including the US-backed, right wing Nicaraguan contras
In 2003, he traveled to Baghdad with other peace protesters to bear witness to the war and work with children in an orphanage and at hospitals
Charlie Liteky, a Vietnam veteran who courageously rescued more than 20 wounded men only to give up his Medal of Honor in protest after he became a peace activist, has died at the age of 85.

Richard Olive, a longtime friend of Liteky's said he died on Friday night at the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco, California.

Liteky was a quarterback in high school who became a Roman Catholic priest before two tours in Vietnam eventually led him to renounce his religion and protest for peace in places like El Salvador and Iraq.

Reflecting on his life in 2009, he told the Florida Times Union: 'I have tried to live life to the truth as I see it at the time. That's a very costly thing. I've lost a lot. I'm an ex-lot of things. But what have you got? Your integrity.'
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