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    Obama Honors Vietnam Era Military Heros

    UpTake Video

    by UpTake Video

    THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to the White House. And welcome to a moment nearly 40 years in the making. Last month, I was privileged to present the parents of an American soldier, Sergeant First Class Jared Monti, with our nation's highest decoration for valor -- the Medal of Honor. Today, we celebrate the awarding of our nation's highest honor for a military unit -- the Presidential Unit Citation. The Presidential Unit Citation is awarded for "gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions." Since its creation during the Second World War, it has only been bestowed about 100 times. Today, another unit assumes its rightful place in these ranks -- Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry, the legendary Blackhorse Regiment. To mark this occasion we're joined by Congressman -- and Vietnam veteran -- Leonard Boswell; Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Jim "Hoss" Cartwright; John McHugh, our Army Secretary; and Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli; from Fort Irwin, California, leaders of today's 11th Armored Cavalry -- Colonel Paul Laughlin and Command Sergeant Major Martin Wilcox; and most of all, the men of Alpha Troop -- those behind me and some 100 here today. Now, these men might be a little bit older, a little bit grayer. But make no mistake -- these soldiers define the meaning of bravery and heroism. It was March 1970, deep in the jungles of Vietnam. And through the static and crackle of their radios Alpha Troop heard that another unit was in trouble. Charlie Company, from the 1st Calvary Division, had stumbled upon a massive underground bunker of North Vietnamese troops. A hundred Americans were facing some 400 enemy fighters. Outnumbered and outgunned, Charlie Company was at risk of being overrun. That's when Alpha Troop's captain gave the order: "Saddle up and move out." As these men will tell you themselves, this isn't the story of a battle that changed the course of a ...