Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government.  It is bestowed by the president, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States."  Due to the nature of its criteria, it is often awarded posthumously.  The President of the United States presents the medal in person, on behalf of the Congress, representing and recognizing the gratitude of the American people as a whole.

Approximately 3, 475 Medals of Honor have been awarded.  During the Vietnam War, 246 Medals of Honor were received, 154 of them posthumously.

SGT Mitchell W. Stout

Sergeant Stout was in a bunker with members of a searchlight crew when the position came under heavy enemy mortar fire and ground attack.  When the intensity of the mortan fire subsided, an enemy grenade was thrown into the bunker.  Displaying great courage, Sergeant Stout ran to the grenade, picked it up, and started out of the bunker.  As he reached the door, the grenade exploded.  By holding the grenade close to his body and shielding its blast, he protected his fellow soldiers in the bunker from further injury or death.  Sergeant Stout's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action, at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and The United States Army.

Mitchell was my cousin.  When he was killed at The Battle of Khe Gio Bridge, he was five weeks into his second tour of duty.  When asked why he had chosen to serve a second tour of duty he replied, "because I might make a difference."  And he did.


  1. Indeed he did make a difference! What pride you must have that this brave, selfless young man is family. And he had all this integrity at the young age of 20! May we always remember to honor and thank those who serve our Country...not just this weekend, but every day.

  2. Thank you Sgt Stout for making the ultimate sacrific. Thank you for sharing this honorable story.