Thursday afternoon saw the President of the United States bestowed the Medal of Honor, the most decorated medal in the US military. What was interesting about this event was that one of the three soldiers awarded was the first African-American to receive the award since the Vietnam War. The awards were presented posthumously to Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe and Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Celiz, with Army Master Sergeant Earl D. Plumlee to be the only surviving awardee.
During the ceremony, the President stated that everyone in the army knew what it felt to stare deep at death and summon strength in the face of adversity. Even then, the entire country was grateful for everything that the three soldiers had done.
Medal of Honor Awarded To The First African-American Since Vietnam
The first Medal of Honor awardee, Late Alwyn Cashe risked his own life while serving in Iraq, as he pulled out several soldiers and an interpreter from a burning vehicle that had been hit with an IED. As a result of the extensive wounds he received due to the gunfire he had been exposed to, he passed away in 2005. Although Cashe was initially awarded a Silver Star, it took a new law to exempt his case for the most prestigious award the country had to offer the military.
Celiz received his Medal of Honor for his services in Afghanistan in 2018. While routinely clearing an area of the enemy, the unit he was leading came under heavy fire. He was himself exposed to bullets more than once, but he used his own body as a shield for an injured person who he loaded into a helicopter designed for medical evacuation and guarded it as it took off without him. He later died of his wounds on a later evacuation flight. The President stated that today was the day when Celiz’s name would be added to the vanguard of American warriors, who kept serving the nation despite all odds.
The only living member to receive the Medal of Honor this year was Plumlee, who was awarded for his services in the Middle East in 2013. While killing insurgents with just a pistol and protecting the driver who was careening towards an explosion towards Forward Operating Base Ghazni, he fired at an insurgent wearing a suicide vest, which detonated. The President told Plumlee that the entire country was grateful for his actions.