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Monday, July 23, 2018

10 times turned down, Sergeant Major John Canley will receive a Medal of Honor

God bless, retired Marine Sergeant Major John Canley, 80, who saved 147 American lives in Vietnam. He will receive a Medal of Honor for his heroism, 50 years after the fact.

The country denied him the honor 10 times.

"The 80-year-old had previously been awarded a Navy Cross, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for leading the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines through a week-long battle at Hue City in 1968," the Daily Mail reported.

The battle was at the beginning of the Tet Offensive, which contrary to revisionist history, the Marines won.

He was a Gunnery Sergeant at the time. Military.com has a photo of him in Vietnam. He looks old then too, such is the price of war. They still call him Gunny.

Ten times, he had been turned down for the Medal of Honor. General Mattis became secretary of defense and looked into the matter. On July 9, President Trump called Canley with the news.

Canley told the Ventura County Star, "It’s more about them [his men] than me."

That's not modesty. That's the truth. That's how men like Canley view war. He was part of a team, albeit its leader.

Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley of California had championed his cause.

"Anyone who has had the chance to meet Sergeant Major Canley knows what a humble man he is, as well as how dedicated he is to his fellow service members — both then and now," she said.

Retired FBI agent John Ligato, then a private first class, has fought for 15 years to get the award for Canley.

"The Medal of Honor was rejected 10 times -- never on the merits of what he did, it was always procedural," Ligato told Military.com.

"There were times I gave up. … But the irony is he's one of the most deserved Medal of Honor recipients ever in the history of our country."

Those 147 men in Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, that Canley saved faced 10,000 Vietcong.

"He was totally fearless," Ligato said.

"He loved his Marines, and we loved him back."

And a half-century later, the nation finally is recognizing that with full honors.

UPDATE: To clarify what happened, the Daily Mail reported, "Previous requests to recognize Canley with the Medal of Honor were denied because it is supposed to be given within five years of the recipient's particular achievement.

"Defense Secretary James Mattis reviewed Canley's file in 2017 after California congresswoman Julia Brownley drew attention to his case.

"The Democratic representative was ultimately able to pass a resolution allowing Canley to be recognized."

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11 comments:

  1. Well, well deserved, Gunny! Props to Mr. T, Mad Dog, and Brownley as well. Some things are worth fighting for.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. The Daily Mail article explains.

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    2. Thanks. I will add that. I didn't realize I had not explained that.

      Delete
  3. Bravery has no time limit, IMO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does not and thanks to current leadership for recognizing that and doing what it takes to make it happen.

      Delete
  4. A DEMOCRAT from CALIFORNIA honoured a serviceman?
    Mirabile dictu, as they say beneath the Eiffel Tower.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Many other heroes would have served if not for bone spurs . Let's not forget their bravery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be such a sad sack 'nony and come out from under your rock.

      I'm sure we can find you a participation award just for showing up!

      SC

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    2. What about YOUR bravery? Did you serve? Asking for a friend.

      Delete
  6. Sir:
    You may want to add Walter Cronkite to the Schadenfreude list.

    His reporting put black cloud over survivors of the Tet offensive.

    ReplyDelete