Via CSM Jeffrey Mellinger, United States Army at Michael Yon’s site.
Today, at Arlington National Cemetery, we lay to rest COL(R) Robert L. Howard. The link for the interview is at the end of this email.
Read a bit about Howard at one of these links: The Robert L. Howard Tribute Website, The Congressional Medal of Honor Society Website, The Washington Post– Medal of Honor recipient Col. Robert L. Howard dies at 70.
COL(R) Howard was arguably America’s most highly decorated Warrior ever, earning more awards for valor (10) than Audie Murphy, but he was surely America’s most highly living warrior until his death. The US Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) Biographical Sketch.
Color image from the Robert L. Howard Tribute website.
Wounded 14 times in 54 months of combat duty in Vietnam, Robert Howard was awarded 8 Purple Hearts and was believed to be the most decorated living American.
Colonel Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation’s history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions within a thirteen-month period. He received a direct appointment from Master Sergeant to 1st Lieutenant in 1969, and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon at the White House in 1971. Colonel Howard is one of America’s most decorated Soldiers. His other awards for valor include the Distinguished Service Cross – our nation’s second highest award, the Silver Star – the third highest award, and eight Purple Hearts. He was the last Vietnam Special Forces Medal of Honor recipient still on active duty when he retired on Sept. 29, 1992.
Interview at the Pritzer Military Library Website.
Please find some time to read, listen and reflect on one of America’s real heroes – Robert L. Howard. He was once my commander, and always my friend. I last saw Bob in Iraq.
“Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn…..I listen then, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.
In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory …..Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country.”
—from General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell address at West Point.
Soldiers like Col. Howard embody the true meaning of selfless service and sacrifice.
Rest in peace, Soldier.