Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Vietnam War Hero Robert L. Howard Passes Away at 70
Bob McCarty Writes ^ | 12-23-09 | Bob McCarty

Posted on 12/23/2009 8:13:02 PM PST by BobMcCartyWrites

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Robert L. Howard, the only American soldier ever nominated for the award three times for three separate actions, died today in Waco, Texas, at the age of 70.


TOPICS: Government; Military/Veterans; Society
KEYWORDS: army; medalofhonor; moh; robertlhoward; warhero

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Robert L. Howard, the only American soldier ever nominated for the award three times for three separate actions, died today in Waco, Texas, at the age of 70.

Below is the citation describing the events of Dec. 30, 1968, that earned then-Sergeant First Class Howard the nation's highest military honor while serving in the Republic of Vietnam as a member of the Army's 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Howard (then SFC.), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an American-Vietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam.

The platoon had left its helicopter landing zone and was moving out on its mission when it was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion.

1st Lt. Howard saw his platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader.

As 1st Lt. Howard was administering first aid and removing the officer's equipment, an enemy bullet struck 1 of the ammunition pouches on the lieutenant's belt, detonating several magazines of ammunition. 1st Lt. Howard momentarily sought cover and then realizing that he must rejoin the platoon, which had been disorganized by the enemy attack, he again began dragging the seriously wounded officer toward the platoon area.

Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy.

For 3 1/2 hours 1st Lt. Howard's small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all were aboard safely.

1st Lt. Howard's gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Howard went on to retire as a full colonel in 1992 after 36 years of service to his country.

Learn more about this true American hero at the Robert L. Howard Tribute Web Site.

1 posted on 12/23/2009 8:13:02 PM PST by BobMcCartyWrites
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

He was a handsome rascal too.

I was visiting my neighbor who I knew had served in the army in Vietnam. Although I had known him for most of my life, he only recently had moved into the neighborhood.

I happened to notice a framed medal and citation on his wall. It was a Silver star. Not a medal of honor but still a distinguished award. I am glad that I told him how much I appreciated what he went through for our country.

Being nominated three times for the Medal of Honor is pretty amazing.


2 posted on 12/23/2009 8:20:58 PM PST by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

Had the pleasure of hearing Col. Howard speak on more than one occasion. A great patriot, hero and a fine Christian gentleman as well.

RIP Your work is done.


3 posted on 12/23/2009 8:21:32 PM PST by smokingfrog (Don't mess with the mocking bird! - http://tiny.cc/freepthis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites; Kathy in Alaska

I can’t begin to say how humbled I am by this true American Hero.

Rest well, Soldier, for those who know of you do now and will revere your memory.

Kathy: cross post?


4 posted on 12/23/2009 8:25:08 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: BobMcCartyWrites

My word! Look at those decorations and badges! Rip after a job well done!


6 posted on 12/23/2009 8:36:21 PM PST by higgmeister ( From the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

God Bless, May he rest in Peace.


7 posted on 12/23/2009 8:48:57 PM PST by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freedumb2003; StarCMC; HiJinx; beachn4fun; laurenmarlowe; HopeandGlory; AZamericonnie; LUV W; ...

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient goes home.


8 posted on 12/23/2009 8:51:29 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska

God rest his soul!


9 posted on 12/23/2009 8:52:20 PM PST by LUV W (Obama, the job-killer, has presided over the loss of 4.6 million jobs...and counting! RL)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska

You rock :)

Merry Christmas, darlin’ — I am on the road so I may not be able to say so later


10 posted on 12/23/2009 8:54:44 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: higgmeister

Rest in Peace, Sir. You were a giant among men.


11 posted on 12/23/2009 8:55:00 PM PST by quikdrw (Life is tough....it's even tougher if you are stupid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2414138/posts
America’s Most-Decorated Soldier Dies In Waco
KWTX Television ^ | December 23, 2009
Also here,

What a great American hero.


12 posted on 12/23/2009 8:57:57 PM PST by MEG33 (God Bless Our Military Men and Women)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites; freedumb2003

TAPS

RIP COL (SFC) Robert L Howard


Amazing Grace

13 posted on 12/23/2009 8:58:06 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freedumb2003

Be safe out there! Rained on snow today here. ICK!


14 posted on 12/23/2009 8:59:28 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska

SALUTE!

Rest in peace.


15 posted on 12/23/2009 9:03:29 PM PST by amom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MEG33

Thanks, Meg.


16 posted on 12/23/2009 9:05:27 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska; ConorMacNessa; All

Rest in peace COL (SFC) Robert L Howard.
Thank you for your service, Sir!

17 posted on 12/23/2009 9:05:35 PM PST by MS.BEHAVIN (Women who behave rarely make history)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

RIP and Thank You!


18 posted on 12/23/2009 9:08:27 PM PST by Godwin1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

Prayers of thanksgiving for his service, and for blessing America with such men. God bless and comfort his loved ones.


19 posted on 12/23/2009 9:17:54 PM PST by LucyJo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

Welcome home faithful servant.


20 posted on 12/23/2009 9:50:53 PM PST by TASMANIANRED
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

He earned the Medal of Honor.


21 posted on 12/23/2009 10:04:03 PM PST by opbuzz (Right way, wrong way, Marine way)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska; ConorMacNessa

Thank you, God, for heroes like these!


22 posted on 12/23/2009 10:13:06 PM PST by StarCMC (Sometimes you need a Jimmy Carter to get a Ronald Reagan.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

When I read about men like Col. Howard, I don’t even feel worthy to comment.

Prayers offered for the repose of his soul, and the Lord’s comfort for his family and friends.


23 posted on 12/23/2009 10:35:34 PM PST by EDINVA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

RIP Col Howard and thank you for your exemplary service.


24 posted on 12/23/2009 11:42:54 PM PST by Badray
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska

BTTT


25 posted on 12/24/2009 2:58:29 AM PST by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska

Our loss is Heaven’s gain. We were fortunate to borrow him for a while. Rest in peace, Robert Howard.


26 posted on 12/24/2009 3:48:01 AM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kathy in Alaska

Thanks Kathy. RIP Robert L. Howard.


27 posted on 12/24/2009 5:07:51 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (I am tired of being PC. It's time for torches, pitchforks, tar, feathers and GUNS.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

Day is done
Gone the sun
From the hill, from the field, from the sky
Rest in Peace Soldier brave, God is nigh.


28 posted on 12/24/2009 5:18:23 AM PST by calex59
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobMcCartyWrites

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2414138/posts

My comments from that thread:

I first met Bob Howard in the fall of 1970 at Fort Sherman, Canal Zone. We were both First Lieutenants and were sent to Panama to go through the Jungle Operations School. All infantry officers enroute to their first tour in Vietnam were required to attend this course. Of course, Bob had already served multiple tours in Vietnam, spending most of his time with MACVSOG doing strategic recon across the borders. The Army deemed that this didn’t count, so Bob tagged along with us rookies.

He was then assigned to Command and Control Central in Kontum and I was assigned to an aviation unit in Pleiku. Our aircraft supported CCC as well as the border SF/ARVN Ranger camps along the border and my recon platoon ran missions on the Vietnam side of the border. I would get to Kontum from time to time and pay Bob a visit. He only served four months on that tour when he was called back to Washington to receive the Medal of Honor. The Army would not let him come back to Vietnam, so his combat days were over.

When I met Bob, he was wearing plain jane jungle fatigues. I knew that he had multiple tours as a NCO, but that was not that big a deal. He never mentioned what he had done, except to say it was “recon stuff”. We had to wear Class B’s for graduation and Bob showed up wearing all his decorations including two Distinguished Service Crosses (one was an interim award for the MOH), multiple Silver Stars and Purple Hearts. In Vietnam he soldiered hard and partied hard, and was respected by all who served with him.


29 posted on 12/24/2009 8:09:35 AM PST by centurion316
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson