Showing posts with label Distinguished Flying Cross. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Distinguished Flying Cross. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Medevac crew refused to give up on saving Army Ranger

Medevac crew receives valor awards following harrowing rescue mission

Published: January 11, 2019

Under fire and carrying a badly wounded patient, the Black Hawk helicopter was just lifting off an Afghan battlefield when the crew chief saw an Army Ranger in the landing zone get shot and drop to the ground.

The Black Hawk darted back to evacuate the fallen Ranger.
From left: Sgt. Armando Yanez; Spc. Emmanuel Bynum; Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Six; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Cole; and Capt. Benjamin Krzeczowski 101ST CAB, WINGS OF DESTINY/FACEBOOK
Spc. Emmanuel Bynum, thinking quickly, directed the pilot to make an emergency landing on a dusty patch masked from most enemy fire. They still took fire — in all, about two dozen rounds to the helicopter, which would become nearly unflyable.

After the wounded Ranger was loaded, the Black Hawk lifted off. But there was more danger to come as they flew from Paktia province toward a base in Logar province dozens of miles to the north.

For their courage during the July operation, Bynum and four other aircrew members received the Distinguished Flying Cross with valor during a Jan. 5 ceremony officiated by Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Each of the five “completely disregarded his own safety” and refused to leave Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz and an unnamed casualty on the battlefield, award citations said.
read more here

Thursday, August 9, 2018

3 Fabulous stories of women changing the rules

Service women national treasures!

MJ Hegar Sued the Pentagon and Won. Now She's Running for Congress
MJ Hegar served in the Air Force for 12 years, first as an aircraft maintenance mechanic and later as a pilot. She deployed three times to Afghanistan, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross on her final tour. Courtesy MJ Hegar’s campaign

Carla Provost Becomes the First Woman to Lead the Border Patrol
Ms. Provost, who was appointed acting chief of the Border Patrol last year, will become the first woman to lead the Border Patrol in its 94-year history.
Carla Provost, who has been serving as acting chief of the Border Patrol, is being promoted to lead the agency. Credit:Lexey Swall for The New York Times

This all-female flight crew just made history
"While we are very proud to have made history yesterday by being the first all-female flight crew, we are more proud of the mission we are doing and the safety we are providing for people," said Waddington, who has been a pilot with the NOAA Corps for eight years.
Pilots Rebecca Waddington and Kristie Twining made history on their flight to Hurricane Hector.

Add those women to these!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Air Force veteran died saving kids from drowning

Veteran dies trying to save 2 kids from drowning at Florida beach
Military Times
By: Kyle Rempfer
3 hours ago
"Robidoux was deemed critically injured, and he was airlifted to a local hospital, where he later died. "He died as he lived — a hero," Robidoux's cousin, Annette, told Fox News. She added that he was “a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.”"

An Air Force veteran and pilot died after attempting to save two kids from drowning at a beach along the Florida Panhandle on Saturday.

Michael Robidoux saw two kids struggling in rough surf at Navarre Beach and jumped in to try and save them, Fox News reported. The current proved too strong, though.

Navarre Fire Chief Danny Fureigh said Robidoux got "caught in an undertow" as he swam out to the struggling kids, according to WEAR TV. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office said the incident happened just after 6 p.m, the local ABC affiliate reported.
read more here

Sunday, January 7, 2018

VA Lawsuit: Tacoma VA

A Tacoma veteran died waiting for heart surgery from the VA. His family has sued

The News Tribune
Alexis Krell
January 7, 2017

He was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, a hereditary narrowing of his aortic valve. The VA put him on a surgical wait list to get a new one, and then sent him home. He learned June 24 that his surgery would be July 5. On July 1, he died at home.

A Tacoma veteran who needed a new heart valve died after a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center waited too long to do his surgery, his widow’s lawsuit says.
George Walker was 75 when he died at home July 1, 2016 — days before he was scheduled for surgery at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and a little more than a week after doctors knew he needed the operation, the complaint says.
“They absolutely shouldn’t have sent him home,” said attorney Jessica Holman Duthie, who represents the family.
After Walker’s death, his wife found paperwork that shows he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal in 1967 — things he didn’t talk about, she said. 
He worked for almost 30 years as the foreman of a forklift shop at a Seattle warehouse, where his blue coveralls and white beard earned him the nickname Papa Smurf.
read more here

Friday, July 31, 2015

Veteran of Korea and Vietnam Laid to Rest At Arlington

Fresno-area veteran lauded at Arlington burial
McClatchy DC
Corinne Kennedy
July 30, 2015
A family man and patriot, friends and family say
Veteran of 329 combat missions in Korea, Vietnam
Inspired loyalty from colleagues
Leué flew 329 combat missions over both Korea and Vietnam during more than three decades of military service. He earned numerous honors, including four Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Navy Commendation medals and a Bronze Star. He also penned two memoirs detailing his service.

The Navy Honor Guard carries the casket of Korean and 
Vietnam war veteran David Leue. Daniel Desrochers McClatchy
WASHINGTON A construction worker removed his hardhat and held it over his heart Thursday morning as the funeral procession wound its way through Arlington National Cemetery.

As the sun broke through the clouds for the first time all morning, tourists put down their cameras to watch as the family of David E. Leué followed his shiny silver casket, draped in an American flag and carried by horse-drawn cart, to its final resting place.

Leué, of Clovis, Calif., died Jan. 25 and was interred with full military honors, including a three-volley rifle salute and the playing of Taps. He was 87.

His burial at Arlington took several months, as is often the case at the revered patch of greenery across the Potomac River from the capital, where the tombstones honor national luminaries and everyday Americans alike.
read more here

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ex-POW Veteran of 3 Wars Passed Away at 92

Brevard Vietnam veteran, POW dies
Norman Moody
August 18, 2014

Retired Col. Larry Guarino was a POW for more than seven years. The Indian Harbour Beach resident died of natural causes at the age of 92.
(Photo: File photo)

MELBOURNE – Retired Air Force Col. Larry Guarino, a fighter pilot who in the Vietnam War was shot down near Hanoi in 1965 and held as a prisoner of war for more than seven years, has died.

He was 92.

Guarino, an Indian Harbour Beach resident, was a highly decorated veteran, who also served in World War II and Korea. He told the story of his captivity in Vietnam in "A POW Story — 2801 Days in Hanoi."

"That book inspired so many people," said Evelyn Guarino, his wife of 71 years.

She said a young private once wrote her husband to say that after reading about what Guarino went through in prison, he was ashamed of himself for complaining about not having his family with him in Germany where he was serving.

"He was a wonderful man," Evelyn Guarino said. "He had a great sense of humor."

She said he served for 33 years as a pilot and loved the plane he flew in World War II, the Spitfire.

His medals included the Air Force Cross, the second highest military award, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Purple Hearts.
read more here

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jesus statuette saved life of Vietnam Hero

Vietnam veteran seeks lost statuette that saved his life
George Warren
March 5, 2014

LODI, Calif. - Former Air Force pilot Phil Litts earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for one of his many combat missions in Vietnam, but says the more precious memento of that day is a statuette of the Baby Jesus in his breast pocket that caught a bullet fired from the ground.

"The bullet would have gone right through my heart," Litts said.

Litts was a forward air controller flying out of Da Nang and Tam Ky in 1970. He said the lucky statuette was given to him by an older cousin who had carried in in World War II.

The 70-year-old brought the medal and statuette with him Jan. 14 to the Denny's on Harbor Boulevard in West Sacramento where he was meeting his friend, the well-known cartoonist Morrie Turner, who died a week later.

Litts said he and Turner were sharing war stories over breakfast. As they left, he placed the items on the roof of his car as he helped Turner with a wheelchair - then drove away.
read more here

Monday, April 8, 2013

Distinguished Flying Cross for Vietnam Vet after 42 years

Vietnam veteran receives Distinguished Flying Cross 42 years later
Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
By Ariana Diaz

A local Vietnam veteran was recognized and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valorous actions in Vietnam, more than 40 years later.

Instrument instructor pilot Charles "Butch" Grafton was presented the medal by former company commander retired Maj. Gen. C.A. "Lou" Hennies, during a graduation ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum, April 4.

"Here today we're proving that it's never too late or too long to make a wrong right," Hennies said.

Grafton earned the medal for saving the life of a fellow service member while participating in an aerial fight in Vietnam, while assigned to the 61st Assault Helicopter Company, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, as a warrant officer 1.

On April 10, 1971, a platoon with the 173rd Airborne Brigade came under heavy fire and sustained several casualties.
read more here

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Raleigh WW II veteran honored for heroism

Finally, Raleigh WW II veteran honored for heroism
Published: March 1, 2013
By Matt Caulder


Approaching his 91st birthday, Kenneth Wilbur Keplar told his son a war story the son had never heard and about a medal Keplar never received: the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After hearing it last week, the son, Kenneth Wyley Keplar, got on the phone to a nephew at the State Department. The mission: track down his father’s medal.

The nephew had a connection at the Pentagon, and through quick work, the records were found in time for the younger Keplar to present the medal to his father at his birthday party Thursday night.

And Thursday night, before pulling the medal out of a gift bag, the son asked his father to tell the story of Dec. 19, 1944, again for multiple generations assembled at a North Raleigh home.
read more here

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Special Operations Aviation Regiment receive 20 medals for valor

Spec ops unit awarded 20 medals for actions
Army Times
By Michelle Tan
Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

Seven soldiers from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment received Silver Stars for their actions during a harrowing rescue in Afghanistan.

The soldiers, from the regiment’s 3rd Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., were honored with the nation’s third-highest award for valor during a ceremony Feb. 22.

They were honored for their actions of Sept. 14, 2011.

Six other soldiers received the Distinguished Flying Cross, also for their actions on that day.

In addition, seven soldiers from the 160th, including one of the Silver Star recipients, received the Air Medal with “V” device for their actions during separate missions.

One other soldier, Sgt. Jonathan L. Nichols, received a Purple Heart for wounds he received in action Sept. 29.

Officials declined to discuss many details of the events of Sept. 14, 2011, due to the sensitive nature of the 160th’s missions. However, officials confirmed that the soldiers were responding to a distress call for a risky daytime casualty evacuation in an area known for heavy insurgent activity.
read more here

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Formerly homeless vet finds a place in a widow's heart and home

Ken Reusser obituary in the LA Times brings a lot more meaning to this already wonderful story about his widow Trudy.
He received 59 medals during his career, and his 253 combat missions are considered the most ever by a Marine pilot.
After his retirement, he worked for Lockheed Aircraft, where he helped develop the U-2 spy plane, and then the Piasecki Helicopter Co. Retiring to his native Oregon, he was active in veterans groups.
He and his wife, Trudy, made headlines in 2004 when they defiantly refused to leave their home after it went into foreclosure. The couple had lost much of their retirement savings in a high-risk investment and then a swindle by a bookkeeper. Ultimately they were forced to obey a court order.

Now that you know the backstory on this, read what Trudy Reusser did.

Formerly homeless vet finds a place in a widow's heart and home
Published: Tuesday, December 25, 2012
By Mike Francis
The Oregonian

If there's one thing on which everyone -- activists, columnists, elected officials, cabinet secretaries, even the president of the United States -- seems to agree, it's that Americans should support military veterans.

Bind their wounds. Give them jobs. Provide them counseling. Welcome them home. Easy to say, harder to do.

This is the story of one welcoming. It involves a 73-year-old Milwaukie widow and her housemate, a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran.

She was married for almost 35 years to a legendary military aviator, living in a place she and her husband built before he died three years ago.

And he is her helper, sleeping in a warm bed in her spare bedroom, out of the cold and the rain since she invited him in.

If Trudy Reusser and Norm Gotovac seem an unlikely pair, that's because you don't know Reusser.

"She is a wonderful lady," says her friend, Kay Saddler of Hemlock, Ore. "She would give the shirt off her back and the shoes and socks off her feet if it would help a veteran."

Reusser. Why is that name familiar?

Military history buffs will know instantly: Ken Reusser is the most decorated Marine pilot in history. He displayed extraordinary bravery in combat not once, but repeatedly, across decades. He is, it is believed, the only pilot to have survived being downed in World War II, the Korean War and in Vietnam. He was awarded the Navy Cross twice, the Legion of Merit with V twice, the Distinguished Flying Cross five times, four Purple Hearts and numerous other commendations.
read more here

Friday, April 27, 2012

Heroic Vietnam veteran always there for comrades

Heroic Vietnam veteran always there for comrades
Luc Pieterbourg Jim Basta, right with Barry Spear, helped put together the Vietnam War Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park.

The Tampa Tribune
Published: April 26, 2012

Jimmy Basta hovered the Huey helicopter gunship over a mountainous stretch northwest of Kon Tum, a provincial capital in Vietnam, laying down a barrage of rockets and bullets at the enemy below.

Known by the call signal "Tornado White," Basta was doing what he did best in the jungle: protecting buddies regardless of risk.

"It was his hallmark," said Charlie Rayl. Now a lawyer in Kansas, Rayl was then a fellow member of the Ruthless Riders, 7th Armored Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry. Rayl's chopper had crashed. Basta was saving his life on March 9, 1968.

Years later, Basta would move to Tampa, where he was part of what eventually would become the Joint Communications Support Element at MacDill Air Force Base. He helped put together the Vietnam War Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park, off U.S. 301 in Tampa, volunteered for Meals-on-Wheels and became known as the guy who would cart around the little scout helicopter to parades and schools.

On Tuesday, Basta died after a long bout with lung cancer. He was 72.

His family and friends remember him as a straight shooter who ignored danger, be it to his life in the form of enemy fire or to his career in the form of general officers he was not afraid to criticize.

Before leaving Vietnam, where he did three tours, Basta would be shot down six times, said his wife, Marie, also 72. He earned the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal and, because he flew so many missions, 55 Air Medals.
read more here

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Army Capt. Brendan Murphy Distinguished Flying Cross

Pilot earns DFC for leading mission under fire
By John Ryan - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 17, 2012
SGT. JONATHAN SHAW / ARMY Maj. Brendan P. Murphy receives the Distinguished Flying Cross from Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick in a ceremony Feb. 6 at the 82nd Airborne Division Museum at Fort Bragg, N.C. Murphy was honored for leading helicopters on repeated trips under fire to resupply and extract about 130 besieged soldiers in Afghanistan.
On a dark day in Afghanistan in September 2010, Army Capt. Brendan Murphy led helicopters on repeated trips under fire to resupply and extract about 130 besieged soldiers.

The Army recognized Murphy’s heroism Feb. 6 at Fort Bragg, N.C., with a Distinguished Flying Cross, the highest aviation award for valor.

Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps, presented the medal to Murphy, who is now a major.

Murphy was serving with B Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, of Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, in Afghanistan in September 2010.

The night before the rescue, Murphy’s unit dropped off about 130 soldiers of a planned 350-soldier air-assault force in a remote valley before harsh weather grounded the choppers.

The next morning, Murphy heard far-off echoes of howitzer fire and volunteered to help the dislocated soldiers, who were suffering injuries “faster than they could report on the radio,” according to Murphy’s award documents.
read more here

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fort Bragg soldier receives Distinguished Flying Cross

Fort Bragg soldier receives Distinguished Flying Cross

The Fayetteville Observer
Published: February 07, 2012


Low on ammo and outgunned, about 250 soldiers were in danger, with enemy fighters closing in and thunderstorms roaring overhead.

The severe weather prevented the air support the soldiers, operating near Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam in eastern Afghanistan, expected. But the weather couldn't stand between them and the soldiers determined to rescue them Sept. 5, 2010.

Maj. Brendan P. Murphy, then a captain with the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade's Company B, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, was one of the men who volunteered for the dangerous mission to first reinforce and then extract the isolated ground forces.
read more here

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why was Maj. Troy Gilbert's body left behind in Iraq?

North Texas family seeks pilot's body left in Iraq


Posted on February 6, 2012
Maj. Troy Gilbert took off in his F-16 in November 2006 for a mission near Baghdad.

Now that U.S. forces have left Iraq, his family wonders who will look for his body to bring it home to Texas.

The 22nd combat mission for the Texas Tech grad would earn him the Distinguished Flying cross with valor, one of the nation's highest military awards.

He's credited with saving about 20 American commandos under fire.

"They say he was very calm," said the hero's mom, Kaye Gilbert. "He told this young man on the ground, 'I will not leave you.'"

According to witnesses, Maj. Gilbert destroyed one gun truck, then turned sharply to attack a second.

"Of course, he was already too low to begin with to do a strafing run," said his father, Ronnie Gilbert. "He went ahead and did it."

Kaye finished her husband's thought: "...because they were calling him from the ground saying, 'We're dying down here.' And when someone says, 'I'm dying down here,' you do everything you can."

The jet's tail hit the ground. Maj. Gilbert died instantly.
read more here

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Korean War Vet Nominated for Distinguished Service Cross

Vet Nominated for Distinguished Service Cross

Halcomb said he is not so sure if the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are worth it. He flies an American flag at half mast at his Mulberry home.

EDITOR'S NOTE: More than 1,789,000 men and women from the United States fought in the Korean War between its start June 25, 1950, and the signing of the armistice July 27, 1953. Many of the heaviest, largest-scale battles took place in subzero weather. When hostilities were over, the war dropped from public memory, unlike World War II. It is often referred to as “The Forgotten War.” In this occasional series, The Ledger features veterans who fought in this first campaign of the Cold War era.

MULBERRY | Edward "Grady" Halcomb was kicked out of the Army the first time, when his mother presented officials with his birth certificate showing he had joined at age 16. When he became of age he went back in just in time for one of the most brutal incidents in Army history, for which he has now been nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross 61 years after the fact.

Halcomb, 80, is a retired career soldier, who ran Grady's Bait and Tackle for several years after leaving the military and other careers.

read more here

Friday, November 26, 2010

Flight Lieutenant Tim Pollard received the Distinguished Flying Cross

Brave Chinook pilot who saved five after Taliban attack awarded highest military flying honour
Last updated at 6:21 PM on 25th November 2010

A Royal Air Force pilot has received the highest military flying honour for picking up five seriously-wounded soldiers despite his helicopter being badly-damaged in a Taliban attack.

Flight Lieutenant Tim Pollard received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroics on the battlefield in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

His twin-rotor Chinook was hit by an insurgent's bullet which damaged the rotor brake cylinder, spraying him with highly flammable hydraulic fluid.

RAF Ft Lt Tim Pollard risked his own life by rescuing fellow troops injured in a Taliban attack

Ignoring the risk of the cockpit bursting into flames, he courageously landed the helicopter to pick up the severely-injured troops.

His selfless bravery and coolness under pressure during the incident earned him the gallantry award.

He was given the prestigious medal in an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace today.

Ft Lt Pollard was part of the British Armed Forces' Immediate Response Team, which is deployed to evacuate and treat the most serious battlefield casualties in a specially-kitted out Chinook helicopter.

Effectively an operating theatre with rotor blades, it carries a four-man medical unit to deal with Category A casualties - those who cannot walk and are at immediate risk of dying.

On December 15 last year, Ft Lt Pollard was scrambled to pick up five grievously-wounded soldiers when a Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated himself at the vehicle checkpoint in Sangin, Helmand Province.

Two British servicemen - Lance Corporal David Kirkness, 24, and Rifleman James Brown, 18 - and two Afghan soldiers later died from the injuries inflicted when they tried to stop the insurgent blowing up a market packed with civilians.

Read more: Flight Lieutenant Tim Pollard received the Distinguished Flying Cross

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vietnam Vet, Charles "Larry" Deibert honored by Oregon Army National Guard

This is one incredible story about a hero Vietnam Vet!

Oregon Guard aviator, who saved Marines in Vietnam, honored with Salem building
Friday, August 27, 2010
Julie Sullivan, The Oregonian

For decades, as he aged into a salesman with silver hair and a golden touch, no one knew the story, except the men he served with, and the men he saved.

Today, the two groups will meet in Salem so the rest of Oregon will know how Charles "Larry" Deibert flew a two-seater Cessna into history over South Vietnam.

The Oregon Army National Guard will dedicate its new $14.8 million aviation center to Deibert, the most decorated living Oregon Guard aviator. The center is the hub for the Guard's 12 search-and-rescue Blackhawks, firefighting and the civil support team that responds to chemical, biologic or nuclear attacks. It replaces a double-wide trailer and a hangar.

On hand to celebrate will be 76 of the 3rd Battalion/26th Regiment Marines, who arrived in Portland Wednesday for a reunion hosted by Deibert. Their lives turned on Sept. 10, 1967, at a place called Ambush Valley in South Vietnam. More than 800 Marines were on the ground, outnumbered 6-to-1. Deibert was above, flying the improbably low and slow reconnaissance plane known as a "bird dog."

"I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for Larry," says Moe Miller, 63, who lives off the grid in rural Ohio. "And these men wouldn't be here either."

For Deibert, though, Sept. 10 was like Oct. 11, or Nov. 12, "another day." After a year in combat, he had flown 570 missions, including 73 over North Vietnam. He was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Vietnam Crosses for Gallantry, a Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service medals, and 25 other awards. He was back in the Oregon Guard and working when he was called to Camp Rilea on the Oregon Coast in 1968 and presented with the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest American decoration, second only to the Medal of Honor for his actions on Sept. 10, 1967.
Oregon Guard aviator

Vietnan veteran Larry Deibert

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Caregivers of veterans offered relief

Caregivers of veterans offered relief

MARTIN J. KIDSTON Helena Independent Record

HELENA — Mike Bolin’s slide into dementia was years in the making.

During his lectures at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Vietnam veteran and teacher began losing his words. It wouldn’t be long before Parkinson’s would set in. Dementia would follow, along with the hallucinations.

Now, 65, the winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross and retired military man has lost the ability to walk, to feed himself and to care for his most basic needs. As a result, his wife, Lynn, has made some dramatic changes to her life.

“I had to quit work in November when I couldn’t leave him alone anymore,” Lynn said.

“This happened fast. He’s young and we don’t know what the future holds.”

Mike eased in and out of sleep recently in a La-Z-Boy recliner at the Rocky Mountain Care Center in downtown Helena. When he stared across the room, his eyes fixed on nothing in particular. When he tried to talk, his words came randomly, as if he were dreaming.

Chances are, Lynn knows, that his condition will only get worse.

But, where Lynn once cared for Mike alone, she now relies upon a new service launched by the Veterans Administration at Fort Harrison to help carry the responsibility of providing around-the-clock care.

Known as the Non-Institutional Care program, the service offers relief to those who find themselves responsible for the ongoing and often constant care of an ailing veteran.
go here for more
Caregivers of veterans offered relief

Friday, November 21, 2008

Col. James C. Burris, Vietnam War veteran passed away at 78

Col. James C. Burris, Vietnam War veteran
Baltimore Sun - United States
November 21, 2008
Col. James Curtis Burris, a highly decorated career Army officer who fought in the Vietnam War, died Nov. 13 at his Havre de Grace home of cancers related to exposure to Agent Orange. He was 78.

Colonel Burris, who was born and raised in Tulsa, Okla., graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1948.

Born into a military family, Colonel Burris was the grandson of two Civil War veterans and the son of a World War I veteran. He enlisted in the Army in 1948 and was selected to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1954.

Assigned to the infantry, he served in Korea and South and Central America. He completed three combat tours of duty in Vietnam during the 1960s, where he was a combat leader with the 101st Infantry Division. During his 25 years of service, Colonel Burris held numerous command assignments throughout the world.

He was decorated for valor and heroism during combat with two Bronze Stars, three Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, a Distinguished Flying Cross and 39 Air Medals for combat assaults in Vietnam.

Other decorations included the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Ranger Tab and Master Parachutist's Badge, plus numerous decorations from foreign governments.
click link for more