Former Army Capt. Gary Michael Rose received the Medal of Honor from President Trump in an Oct. 24 White House ceremony, for heroism he demonstrated while serving as a combat medic during the Vietnam War.
According to official records, Rose was serving with a Special Forces unit during Operation Tailwind on Sept. 11-14, 1970 — a mission the details of which had remained classified for years. They were ordered to block the North Vietnamese army from transporting weapons through Laos to their Vietcong allies in the south. Shortly after helicopters dropped them on to a landing zone in Laos, enemy forces launched a series of attacks on Rose, 16 fellow soldiers, and 120 Montagnards. The fighting lasted four days, during which Rose braved enemy fire and explosives to assist wounded comrades. Two days into the fight, Rose was hit by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade — but still persisted in his mission without food or sleep.
A helicopter sent to extract him and his fellow soldiers was damaged and made a hard landing. One of the Marines on the aircraft was shot in the neck. Rose acted quickly to save the man’s life. He also ran to the downed helicopter to pull another man to safety.
“Mike treated an astounding 60 to 70 men,” President Trump said during the ceremony, which took place in front of his wife, grandchildren, and 10 service members who fought alongside him for the four-day ordeal.
“This is our medal,” Rose said. “We all earned it.”