Vietnam War Special Forces veteran to receive Medal of Honor

By Stephen Carlson  |  Sept. 21, 2017 at 3:39 PM
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Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Retired Army. Capt. Gary Michael Rose will receive the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House on Oct. 23 for heroism in Laos during the Vietnam War.

Rose was a Special Forces medic with the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group, a highly classified special operations unit that saw extensive action in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the Army said.

Rose's unit was involved in Operation Tailwind in1970 as part of an effort to interdict and tie down North Vietnamese soldiers operating out of Laos to attack targets in South Vietnam.

Sixteen Special Forces soldiers were operating with indigenous Montagnard allies in four days of operations when helicopters came to evacuate them following the end of the mission. The helicopter carrying Rose crashed and despite injuries from the wreck and during the operation, Rose re-entered the helicopter and pulled injured soldiers from the helicopter before it could explode.

Rose said he is highly honored to be considered for the medal but considers it to be a collective award for the entire MACV-SOG, which he credits with tying down tens of thousands of NVA soldiers that might have been killing American troops in South Vietnam.

"That medal, to me, recognizes finally the service of all the men in all those years that served in MACSOG. It's a collective medal from my perspective," he said.

"There were only about 2,000 people who were ever in MACSOG from 1965 to 1972," Rose said. "I can tell you that our raids and our reconnaissance into Laos tied up some 40,000 to 50,000 NVA troops originally sent going south to fight American units."

Rose enlisted in the Army in 1967 and was recruited by Special Forces while training as a mortarman. He retired from the Army in 1987.

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