Home » A Black man who served as a Green Beret will receive the Medal of Honor after a nearly six-decade wait

A Black man who served as a Green Beret will receive the Medal of Honor after a nearly six-decade wait

by The Grio

A Vietnam War veteran will finally receive the nation’s highest combat decoration for his heroism after nearly six decades.

On Monday, Col. Paris Davis received a phone call from President Joe Biden, who informed him that he would receive the Medal of Honor “for his remarkable heroism during the Vietnam War,” according to a White House statement, CBS News reports. 

The military lost his Medal of Honor paperwork in 1965, amid the height of the civil rights movement. In Vietnam, Davis distinguished himself on the battlefield. As a captain, when his troops were wounded in an ambush in 1965, he disobeyed orders and rescued them. He later described the gunfight as “like being in the Fourth of July.” 

As a result of Davis’ leadership, four Green Beret teammates were safely rescued over the course of a 14-hour battle. He was nominated immediately for the Medal of Honor for his actions during that 1965 ambush, but his paperwork mysteriously vanished in Vietnam that same year.

There was a second nomination made by Davis’ fellow Green Berets that also disappeared in the Pentagon’s bureaucracy.

“I know race was a factor,” Davis told CBS two years ago in a rare interview. A mere 8% of Medal of Honor recipients from the Vietnam era are Black, according to the news outlet. 

According to military historian Doug Sterner, Davis’ case is unusual. 

“The military is redundant in paperwork, if nothing else. And so it’s very rare for that to occur,” Sterner said, according to CBS.

Davis retired from the Army as a colonel. In recent years, veterans and other supporters have called for political leaders to revisit his case. In January 2021, then-acting defense secretary Christopher Miller ordered a review of Davis’ case, according to the BBC.

The Medal of Honor reportedly will be bestowed upon him…

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