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U.S army Gen. Creighton Abrams, the U.S. Command in Vietnam, awards the Distinguished business Cross come Sgt. Gary M. Rose Jan. 16, 1971. Photograph courtesy that Gary M. Rose


Retired U.S. Military Capt. Gary Michael “Mike” Rose, a member that the Knights of Columbus, was recently awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s greatest military accolade, for his bravery throughout the Vietnam War.

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Born in Watertown, N.Y., Oct. 17, 1947, Rose grew up in the Los Angeles area before enlisting in the U.S. Military in 1967. Together a environment-friendly Beret medic, he to be exposed to maker gun fire while treating almost 70 hurt soldiers throughout Operation Tailwind, a an enig mission in Laos Sept. 11-14, 1970 (see sidebar). Operation Tailwind stayed classified for decades, and few details the Rose’s actions to be made public. Together a result, as soon as his name was submitted because that the Medal of respect in 1970, he to be passed over. Instead, he to be awarded the Distinguished company Cross in 1971. Rose ongoing his job in the Army, reaching the location of Captain prior to retiring in 1987. That later operated as a technological consultant in the defense and also automobile industries.

Today, he lives with his wife in Huntsville, Ala., wherein he is involved with a number of charitable organizations, including the Knights of Columbus. A past grand article of great Shepherd board of directors 11672 in Huntsville, Capt. Rose at this time serves as faithful navigator of father Jeremiah F. Trecy Assembly 0004 in Huntsville.

President Donald trumped bestowed the Medal of respect on Capt. Rose at a Oct. 23, 2017, White home ceremony in the visibility of Rose’s wife, Margaret, their three children and also two grandchildren, also nine former Medal of respect recipients. Increased is the fourth Knight that Columbus to be awarded the Medal the Honor, adhering to Sgt. Maj. Daniel Daly (1873- 1937), who got the respect twice, and Rev. (Maj.) Charles J. Watters (1927-1967) and also Maj. Basic Patrick Brady, 81, both because that their business in Vietnam.

Columbia newly spoke through Capt. Rose about his military service, his faith and his being a Knight.

COLUMBIA: describe how you joined the U.S. Army and also your beforehand experience together a medic.

CAPT. ROSE: once I was about 19, lock were heavily drafting in the maritime Corps. My father, mental what the went v as a personal in boots camp in the naval Corps in 1942, didn’t recommend being a draftee. For this reason I decided to sign up with the Army.

I had been in the 7th Special pressures Group for six months at fort Bragg as soon as I was assigned come the 46th agency in Thailand. I operated with the border police and with the Thai Army, and also I acquired a great amount of ar experience together a medic — not combat experience, however treating diseases and also injuries.

And then ns was transferred to MACV-SOG (Military help Command, Vietnam — Studies and also Observations Group, fifth Special pressures Group), which i later discovered out to be crossborder work in Cambodia, Laos and North Vietnam.

COLUMBIA: So, including Operation Tailwind, you offered in number of different countries in the course of the war?

CAPT. ROSE: every one of my combat suffer was in Cambodia and Laos. In Vietnam, i was never in combat but worked in the dispensary, hold sick contact for Americans and for our troops and their families. We additionally treated indigenous personnel needing medical help — children, women, men. It was akin to functioning in an emergency room.

At the time, there was a CIA procedure going on in Laos, and they were gaining their proverbial rear ends kicked. For this reason they sent us in, and our project was to get on the ground and create some noise to pull turn off those troops.

For the next 96 hours we had a running gun battle going on. Ns was serious hit top top two various days. Well, in Huntsville it would certainly be thought about a major injury. A feet in her foot or a hole in your arm, as long as friend can role with her weapon, to be not thought about a major injury. There were 16 Americans, and 24 purple Hearts were issued come those 16 Americans for those 4 days.

COLUMBIA: You have actually said many times that you don’t view yourself as specifically brave. Rather, in caring for various other wounded soldiers also amid foe gunfire, girlfriend were simply doing her duty.

CAPT. ROSE: A lot of the things that room in the citation, and also some that the evil statements, ns honestly don’t remember act them. Perhaps I to be so concentrated on the wounded that i wasn’t conscious of it. When you have skilled soldiers, that’s what they do. We were about as trained as any group of males have ever been trained. It’s very similar to your police and also your firemen; as soon as everybody rather is running away from the danger, they room running to it.

I was not on the perimeter; ns was working on the wounded and the injured. So that never developed to me to worry about the enemy. I understand that sounds ridiculous, however it’s no my function: My duty is the wounded. A medic is component of the morale support system within the unit, because the others understand that person’s job is your welfare.

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When you get in combat through people, you type a link that’s nearly unbreakable. You have the sense that you were part of something better than yourself. What I’m proud the is the truth that i was may be to do my task within mine unit, and also I kept belief with the guys I combated with. My secret pride, if friend would, is that ns didn’t failure them.