Retired Sgt. Major John Canley will receive the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump at a ceremony at the White House today. He will become the sixth American and third Vietnam veteran to receive the honor from President Trump.
“It means a lot to me,” said Canley. “Mostly for my Marines because we’ve had to wait 50-plus years to get any kind of recognition.”
“It's not about me,” he continued. “It's about the Marines who didn't the appropriate recognition when we got home."
Watch the ceremony LIVE in the video below:
In the Battle of Hue during the Tet Offensive in early 1968, Canley led a team of Marines and rescued many wounded soldiers while under heavy enemy fire during one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war.
Despite being wounded multiple times, Canley continued to push forward.
Marine and FBI agent John Ligato wrote a book about Canley’s Vietnam heroics and said he was amazed by Canley’s calmness and composure during battle.
“He never ran and he never ducked,” said Ligato. “You know, it’s just amazing. I don’t know if he had some sort of death wish or what. Gunny says that he just gets into a zone and does what he has to do. I don’t know how the bullets didn’t hit him.”
"Only seven of the 147 Marines who went into Hue came out unbloodied.”
Canley grew up in El Dorado, Arkansas and joined the Marines at the age of 15. He served for 28 years, doing several tours in Vietnam in the late 1960s and received a Navy Cross for all the lives he saved during his service.
“I'm honored that Sgt. Major (Ret.) John Canley of Oxnard is joining me as my guest at tonight's SOTU. Yesterday, my bill was signed into law, making him eligible to receive the Medal of Honor for his life-saving actions during the Tet Offensive – which began 50 years ago today,” tweeted Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA).