“It’s up to each of us to not lay and wait for better days, but instead look for opportunities to make the lives of those around us better.”
These words were written by one of the most highly decorated veterans of the Vietnam War, Army Colonel Robert L. Howard. Colonel Howard recently passed away on December 23, 2009, but his memory will long live on. Colonel Howard enlisted in the Army in 1956, when he was 17. He served five tours of duty with Special Forces in Vietnam. During 54 months of combat, he was wounded 14 times and awarded eight Purple Hearts. He was nominated for the Medal of Honor three times within a 13 month period and was awarded this highest honor for valor. On Dec 30, 1968 then sergeant first class Howard rallied his platoon against an estimated 250 enemy troops. Despite being unable to walk because of injuries, he coordinated a counterattack while aiding the wounded and was the last man to board a helicopter. Even in retirement, Colonel Howard continued his efforts in support of American troops, visiting those deployed abroad. For more information about this American hero, see: www.sphere.com/nation/article/medal-of-honor-recipient-robert-howard-dies/19293108; and www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/DN-howardobit_24met.ART.Central.Edition1.4bcne6ae.html.