NATIONAL NEWS

Biden awards Medal of Honor to 4 for Vietnam War heroism

Jul 5, 2022, 3:26 PM
U.S. President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Army Specialist 5 Dwight W. Birdwell during a...
U.S. President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Army Specialist 5 Dwight W. Birdwell during an event in the East Room of the White House July 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden presented the Medal of Honor to four U.S. Army soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War including Specialist 5 Dwight W. Birdwell, Major John J. Duffy, Specialist 5 Dennis M. Fujii, and posthumously to Staff Sergeant Edward N. Kaneshiro.(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday bestowed the nation’s highest military honor to four Army soldiers for heroism during the Vietnam War, bravery that he said had not diminished even with the passage of time.

Biden presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Edward N. Kaneshiro, Spc. Five Dwight W. Birdwell, Spc. Five Dennis M. Fujii, and retired Maj. John J. Duffy. Speaking at a ceremony in the White House East Room, Biden praised their heroism, noting that many like them don’t receive “the full recognition they deserve.”

“Today, we’re setting the record straight. We’re upgrading the awards of four soldiers who performed acts of incredible heroism during the Vietnam conflict,” Biden said.

“It’s just astounding when you hear what each of them have done,” he said. “They went far above and beyond the call of duty. It’s a phrase always used but … it takes on life when you see these men.”

Addressing the three living soldiers and relatives of Kaneshiro, who is deceased, the president said, “I’m proud to finally award our highest military recognition, the Medal of Honor, to each of you.”

Biden noted that more than 50 years had passed “since the jungles of Vietnam where, as young men, these soldiers first proved their mettle. But time has not diminished their astonishing bravery, their selflessness in putting the lives of others ahead of their own and the gratitude that we as a nation owe them.”

Kaneshiro, killed in action by hostile gunfire in Vietnam in 1967, received his honor posthumously for a Dec. 1, 1966 raid where his unit came under fire by North Vietnamese troops. His actions were credited with helping his unit withdraw from the village where they were fighting. Kaneshiro was born and raised in Hawaii, a son of Japanese immigrants.

Birdwell was honored for actions helping to head off an assault and evacuate wounded at Tan Son Nhut Airbase near Saigon on Jan. 31, 1968, despite injuries to his torso and face, during an opening salvo in what is known as the Tet Offensive, an especially bloody period of the war.

Birdwell, a member of the Cherokee Nation and a lawyer in Oklahoma City, had received a Silver Star for his actions. Biden said it took Birdwell’s commanding officer decades to realize that Birdwell had not received the proper recognition and took steps, even in retirement, to “make this day possible.”

“At long last, long last, your story is being honored as it should have been always,” Biden told Birdwell.

Fujii received a Medal of Honor for actions over four days in February 1971 treating wounded and directing air strikes against enemy positions after his air ambulance was forced to crash land.

Duffy was recognized for leading troops who came under ambush after their commander was killed in action, repelling attackers and evacuating wounded, despite his own injuries. Duffy went on to become an author and once was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

“He is the definition of a warrior poet,” Biden said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

FILE - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice delivers his annual State of the State address in the House C...
Associated Press

West Virginia bans some child marriages in compromise law

West Virginia will no longer allow children under 16 to marry, after the governor signed a compromise bill Wednesday.
1 day ago
60 earthquakes under Yellowstone Lake were recorded within 12 hours Wednesday. (KSL TV Earthquake T...
Brooke Williams

Over 60 earthquakes at Yellowstone Lake not sign of impending doom

60 earthquakes under Yellowstone Lake have been recorded between 11:18 p.m. Tuesday and 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, with magnitudes ranging from -0.1 to 3.7.
1 day ago
A West High School employee holds a Pride flag and an updated Pride flag that includes colors for t...
Associated Press

Twitter removes tweets about ‘Trans Day of Vengeance’

Twitter says it has removed thousands of tweets showing a poster promoting a “trans day of vengeance” protest in support of transgender rights in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
1 day ago
(Oct. 1, 2022) --- NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Frank Rubio is pictured inside ...
Jackie Wattles

This astronaut will set a new US record for longest time spent in space

Astronaut Frank Rubio will stay in space for over a year.
1 day ago
Luxury Italian sports car designer Lamborghini has unveiled its first supercar with a charging port...
Peter Valdes-Dapena

End of an era: Lamborghini goes hybrid…and very fast

Soon, you'll be able to plug in your Lamborghini.
1 day ago
An an entry to Covenant School has become a memorial for shooting victims, Tuesday, March 28, 2023,...
Ben Finley, Adrian Sainz and Holly Meyer

Children lost in shooting were ‘feisty,’ a ‘shining light’

The children who died at The Covenant School were Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Biden awards Medal of Honor to 4 for Vietnam War heroism