It was a long time coming, and a well-deserved moment to honor a hero.
President Trump bestowed the prestigious Medal of Honor to retired Army Captain, Vietnam War veteran Gary Michael Rose in the East Room of the White House on Monday. Rose was being honored for the selfless and brave act of providing medical treatment to his comrades while they were repeatedly attacked during a secret mission.
“To Mike and all of the service members who fought in the battle, you’ve earned the eternal gratitude of the entire American nation,” Trump said. “You faced down the evils of communism, you defended our flag, and you showed the world the unbreakable resolve of the American armed forces.”
Trump went on to tell how Rose’s heroic acts were regarded during that harrowing time.
“I will tell you the people who were with him could not believe what they were witnessing,” the president said.
“Their goal was to prevent the North Vietnamese from funneling weapons along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to use against our American troops. Helicopters dropped the unit into Laos. Before they even touched the ground, enemy fire struck three men,” Trump said.
Rose, who was injured himself, attended to the medical needs of the Green Berets throughout an excruciating four days.
“Once they landed in the clearing, they rushed to the jungle for much-needed cover. Soon, another man was shot outside their defensive perimeter. Mike immediately rushed to his injured comrade, firing at the enemy as he ran. In the middle of the clearing, under the machine gun fire, Mike treated the wounded soldier. He shielded the man with his own body and carried him back to safety,” Trump recounted.
“But this was just the beginning of Mike’s harrowing four-day mission. Mike and his unit slashed through the dense jungle, dodged bullets, dodged explosives, dodged everything that you can dodge because they threw it all at him, and continuously returned fire as they moved deeper and deeper and deeper into enemy territory.”
“As Mike puts it, ‘If you don’t believe in God, then you should have been with us that day. And I can tell you, it’ll make a believer out of you because we should not [ever] have survived.’ Mike, today, we have a room full of people and a nation who thank God that you lived,” Trump said.
“Mike’s story doesn’t end there. Soon after the helicopter lifted off the ground, the chopper was hit by enemy fire.
Trump also lightened the mood a bit with a good-hearted quip that elicited some laughter. “Mike, this is serious stuff. This was not a good four days.”
Trump explained that after the unit was finally rescued by helicopter, Rose was covered in blood, but wouldn’t let medics attempt to help him until his comrades were treated first.
And it’s that kind of selfless devotion that has stuck with Rose to this day, as witnessed by his reaction to receiving the medal.
“This is our medal,” Rose said, referring to his comrades. They were four words that summed up the selfless nature of military service.
And so it is.
You can hear Rose recount the mission in a video obtained by the Daily Mail below: