43 Years Later, Vietnam War Covert Operations Vets Receive Medals for Heroism
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Spc. Roger Lockshier received a Distinguished Flying Cross for helping save a reconnaissance team even after he had been wounded.
Almost five decades after their feats, a group of American commandoes finally have been honored by the U.S. government for their bravery during the Vietnam War.
Fifteen men from the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG), a highly-classified, multi-service special forces unit that conducted covert operations throughout Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, received a total of 33 medals from the Department of Defense for actions performed between June 1968 and March 1969.
MACV-SOG, a forerunner to today’s Special Operations Command, carried out reconnaissance missions, captured enemy prisoners, rescued downed pilots and conducted rescue operations to retrieve allied prisoners during the war.
But the classified unit was not publicly recognized until August 22, 2000, when it received the Presidential Unit Citation, the highest award a unit can receive.
Eleven years after that, the individuals were acknowledged for their service and meritorious actions, receiving Silver Stars, Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Stars, Army Commendation Medals and more.
The medals will be handed out this week at the annual Special Operations Association convention in Las Vegas.
Lakeland Man, Other Special Forces Troops End Wait for Medals (by Howard Altman, Tampa Tribune)
Group of Vietnam Veterans Receive Long-Overdue Recognition (Office of Senator Bill Nelson)
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