Retired Marine to receive Medal of Honor for Vietnam actions

John Canley Will Be 300th Marine to Get Medal of Honor for Bravery in Vietnam

President Donald Trump will present the Medal of Honor today to a retired sergeant major who carried wounded Marines to safety in Vietnam.

Canley is being honored for his service during the Vietnam War in 1968, when he, according the Marines, repeatedly rushed across risky terrain to carry his wounded comrades to safety, despite bearing wounds of his own.

Canley took over after his commanding officer was severely wounded, killing countless enemy fighters as his team retook Hue, in what was then South Vietnam.

"In the days that followed John led his company through the fog and rain, and in house-to-house, very vicious, very hard combat", said President Trump. "As a leader, as long as subordinate unit leaders take care of their people, you don't really have to worry about the mission".

In 2014, one of Canley's fellow servicemembers contacted Rep. Julia Brownley, the California Democrat who represents Canley's home district, to request that Canley's Navy Cross, two Bronze Stars and Purple Heart be upgraded to the nations' highest military honor.

At 80 years old and looking as though he could still lead Marines into combat, retired Sgt. Maj.

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"He was always leading and attacking the enemy and always standing up and encouraging us", Fraleigh said. "Canley is more than worthy of our nation's highest award", Brownley told Task & Purpose on Wednesday. "He raced into heavy machine gun fire on many occasions, all to save his fellow Marines". While some of them are the result of a Pentagon-ordered review of Post-9/11 valor awards, others such as Canley have been the result of years of effort by friends and family of the recipients.

Trump said Canley was personally responsible for having saved the lives of 20 Marines under his command. With respect to this recognition and receiving the Medal of Honor, he will never talk about his role in it, but he only speaks of his fellow service members - the Marines who served with him.

Back in December, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis approved plans to give the medal of honor to Canley. Trump signed the bill into law in January. "I think if a Marine comes to you with a problem, you must do whatever within your power to alleviate that problem", he said. "It does represent the best of all of us - the best of our country and our patriotism".

Canley's award came as no surprise to those who knew and served with him.

Throughout the harrowing seven days of intense combat, Canley saved the lives of almost twenty Marines despite sustaining serious injuries, Trump said. John Canley for his "unmatched bravery" during the historic battle to retake the city of Hue during the Tet Offensive.

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