a genuine hero

The place for off-topic threads, games and socializing. Stop in for a visit!
michaels
Super Member
Posts: 251
Joined: 16 Apr 2011, 05:11

a genuine hero

Postby michaels » 17 Dec 2016, 10:59

In 1963, while with the US Army in Vietnam, Lawrence Colburn interrupted the massacre of Vietnamese civilians by American troops and saved some civilian lives. In order to accomplish this, he was obliged to order his helicopter gunner to aim the weapon at American infantry, including a lieutenant who outranked him and who was leading the massacre on orders from his captain.

While Colburn received a medal for his actions shortly after these events, the US Army fabricated its account of the incident in order to cover up the massacre, and even forged Colburn's signature on an eyewitness report.

It wasn't until the late 1980s that Colburn was awarded further medals for the true reasons he deserved them. He also got to meet the civilians he had saved, and it was big news.

Lawrence Colburn died of age-related diseases a few days ago. He represented a bygone time, when you had to commit truly heroic actions in order to be called a hero, as opposed to, today, being called a "hero" just because you happened to die and people are maudlin and silly.

User avatar
KAGU143
Administrator
Posts: 1254
Joined: 05 Jan 2008, 10:09

Re: a genuine hero

Postby KAGU143 » 18 Dec 2016, 06:00

Strange, but I don't think I have ever heard about this.
'63 would have been before I was old enough to pay attention to news stories, and I guess it just didn't register when he received his additional medals.

It sounds like we've lost one of the good guys.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

michaels
Super Member
Posts: 251
Joined: 16 Apr 2011, 05:11

Re: a genuine hero

Postby michaels » 18 Dec 2016, 15:06

It's widely called "The My Lai Massacre" and was one of the foci of the antiwar movement.

Colburn himself later lectured officer cadets in military academies and told them that something "primal" can take over when you are in a kill-or-be-killed situation with your buddies dying around you, and that their task as officers was to control that within their troops. Although apparently a decent human being, he was never anti-war or anti-military.


Return to “General Discussions and Fun”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest