Thomas W. Bennett was a Vietnam vet who won the ultimate award of service, the medal of honor. Bennett was a small guy from West Virginia who made it clear he was against the war. Being a student at West Virginia he wasn’t sure what he was going to do when he got drafted. When reviewing his options, he came across something he had not realized was an option. He applied to become a conscientious objector who was willing to serve. This gave him the power to train as a medic and was not forced to do gun training. He was deployed in south Vietnam on January 1st, 1969 and was assigned to Bravo company and entered Vietnam. He mainly just patrolled until February 9th of the same year. They stumbled upon another platoon in danger and before they knew it they were being ambushed from all sides. Many men were shot and helpless and the ones who weren’t shot started to retreat, But not Thomas Bennett. He ignored the men firing at him and was able to patch up 3 wounded men and carry them through gunfire to the nearest safe place. He wasn’t done he continued to go back and help any man that needed it even if they were in the middle of the battlefield, then carry them to safety. The enemy finally pulled back and Bennett continued to help those who were wounded through the night. The wounded men insisted to the captain that he would put Tom in for the silver star for what he did. Throughout the war there were many more stories about Thomas’ bravery and his refusal to give up on a fellow soldier even if it put him in danger. One day he did just that and helped a man nearly dead who had just been sniped. He too when aiding the man was shot and killed on the battlefield. On April 7th, 1970, which was Toms birthday, his mother and stepfather accepted the medal of honor from Richard Nixon on Thomas Bennett’s behalf. Thomas became the only conscientious objector to win the medal of honor.
The other medal of honor recipient I chose to write about is William E. Adams. William was a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War. On May 25th, 1971 Adams volunteered himself to fly a helicopter to save 3 seriously wounded soldiers from a base which was heavily under attack. When he made his decision he understood the risks. The enemy had aircraft weapons stationed outside the base just waiting to shoot something down. But, Adams decided that those fellow Americans lives were just as important as his and he would go anyways. Adams was fired upon on his way into the base and miraculously made it in with only minimal damage to his helicopter. After loading the injured men he took flight again. His helicopter was seriously hit and he used tremendous skill to keep it in the air. In an attempt at an emergency landing his helicopter crashed and exploded killing him and the wounded men. He gave his life in an attempt to save others.