PUMPKIN CENTER – The American Legion’s Medal of Honor Ceremony will recognize four soldiers who went above and beyond their calling on the battlefield.
The event starts at 9:15 a.m. May 23 at North Lincoln High School.
Lincolnton Mayor John Gilleland and Lincoln County Commissioners Chairman Alex Patton, as well as Maury Williams and Chuck Gibson of the NC National Guard, will introduce the soldiers.
First Lt. Walter Joseph Marm Jr.
Marm, 72, earned the Medal of Honor in la Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam, where he took his men through treacherous gunfire until they were pinned down by a concealed machine gun. The gun sat a 30-meter distance of open ground from where the men lay pinned. He fought off men to get a shot at the gun with an anti-tank weapon to allow him time to run the open space and hurl a grenade on the enemy. He was wounded with the blast but finished off the enemy with his rifle to allow his men to continue and finish the mission.
Sgt. Robert Martin Patterson
Patterson, 66, earned his Medal of Honor in La Chu, Republic of Vietnam, on May 6, 1968, by taking out heavy armed bunkers. With automatic gunfire and propelled grenades, he ran toward a third bunker and single handedly took out five enemy bunkers by surprise and killed eight soldiers to gain seven useful weapons. His bravery inspired fellow soldiers to press on and continue to complete the mission.
Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris
Morris, 72, earned his Medal of Honor in Chi Lang, Republic of Vietnam, on Sept. 17, 1969, when he went above and beyond to get a comrade's body. He and his men ran across a minefield where they were then attacked by enemy forces. He soon after heard that a fellow team's commander had been killed near a bunker. Morris took two men with him, who both were soon wounded by gunfire and then taken back to friendly lines by Morris. He then went alone to save the body of the commander but in the process took out four bunkers with grenades. He saved the body and brought it back to friendly lines but was wounded three times by gunfire to get to the body.
Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter
Carter, 33, earned his Medal of Honor in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Providence, Afghanistan, where his division was awakened to gunfire as enemy troops moved toward its location. Carter ran 100 meters twice through gunfire to make sure his fellow troops had ammunition so they could keep pushing the enemy forces back. He was only armed with a rifle that he used accurately to keep enemy troops back from the lines. He maneuvered through enemy fire to give first aid to a wounded soldier and help him get away from gunfire. He then ran to another wounded soldier with a squad radio, where he called in to give coordinates so the enemy wouldn’t be able to move in.