Black Vietnam vet finally awarded Medal of Honor for bravery



Col. Paris Davis
Image: Reuters

Col. Paris Davis is one of the first African-American officers to command a Special Forces team in combat. He was given a Medal of Honor on Friday, over 60 years after he was originally nominated for the distinction during the Vietnam War.

When President Biden draped the medal around his neck, he said, “God bless you, God bless everyone, God bless America.” The delayed acknowledgment was due to the misplaced, resubmitted, and then lost recommendation for the 83-year-old Virginian’s award. Advocates painstakingly rebuilt and resubmitted the documents in 2016; fifty years after Davis gave his life to save some of his friends from enemy fire.

There is still an American injured

Biden called Davis a “real hero” for his efforts “for placing himself in danger during a furious conflict to transport injured troops under his command to safety. According to Biden, when a superior ordered Davis to safety, Davis said, “I’m not going anywhere.” “Sir, I’m just not going to leave. There is still an American down there.”

He returned to the battlefield to retrieve an injured medic. You exemplify everything that this award represents “Biden informed Davis. You exemplify the very best of what makes America great. “brave and large-hearted, devoted and loyal, selfless and unshakeable.”

Biden questioned the delay in awarding Davis the medal, stating that he should have received it years ago and describing the hostility he faced upon his return to the United States. Biden said, “The paperwork was never processed.” Not even once. Nevertheless, this is not only once.

Davis does not spend time fretting about the lengthy wait for recognition and asserts that he has no clue why it took so long. In an interview published on Thursday, the day before the medal ceremony, he said, “Right now, I’m overwhelmed.” The moment is wasted on you when you’re engaged in combat “Davis said. You are trying your best to endure the situation. “That moment” in the middle of June 1965 lasted for nearly 19 hours.

During a predawn assault on a North Vietnamese army post in the hamlet of Bong Son in the province of Binh Dinh, Davis, who was then a captain and leader of the 5th Special Forces Group, was engaged in almost continual combat. He engaged the North Vietnamese in hand-to-hand combat, summoned precise artillery fire, and averted the capture of three American soldiers, all while sustaining fire and surviving grenade fragments.

“The wait has been thrilling”

As a grenade from the enemy severed his hand, he allegedly discharged his weapon with his pinky finger. Davis often sprinted into an open rice field to rescue crewmates. Biden remarked, “The word ‘gallantry’ is not used very much nowadays.” Yet I cannot think of a better way to describe Paris. Davis was born in Cleveland, Ohio, although he now resides in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

Biden called him at some point in the past to deliver the news. He argues that the delay has not weakened the honor’s value. When one must wait so long, “the item” gets more thrilling “His words. “That is comparable to waiting for someone to fulfill a promise of ice cream. Imagine seeing and smelling it in your imagination.

The nut has not yet been licked. His commanding officer nominated Davis for the highest military medal, but the paperwork never reached him. Davis was subsequently awarded the Silver Star, the military’s third-highest combat decoration, but his team contends that the lack of a nomination for the Medal of Honor was based on the fact that he is black. Ron Deis, a junior member of Davis’s team in Bong Son said that he thinks the documents were intentionally lost. In 2016, Deis, who was 79 at the time, contributed to a proposed idea.

I knew immediately after the battle

He claimed to have known immediately after the 1965 battle that Davis had been nominated for the Medal of Honor and to have spent years pondering why he had not been awarded the medal. Nine years ago, he discovered that his second submission had been submitted “and was similarly, “lost.” Nonetheless, Deis believed that they were not lost. For some reason, I believe they were discarded on purpose.

His race is the only plausible explanation for their rejection. Army officials denied any racial prejudice in the Davis case when questioned about it. Long overdue, we’re here to commemorate the fact that he got the award “The deputy commanding general of the United States Army Special Operations Command, Maj. Gen. Patrick Roberson said. There has been nothing that has caused the Army to pause and reflect This is blatant prejudice!” Roberson answered, “We can’t know that.” The then-acting Defense Secretary, Christopher Miller, demanded a prompt review of Davis’s case at the beginning of January 2021.

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