President to present West Michigan Vietnam veteran with Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor to Vietnam veteran

WASHINGTON - President Trump will present one West Michigan Vietnam veteran with the highest military honor come Monday. 

James McCloughan, of South Haven, will be awarded the first Medal of Honor by President Trump on Monday. In May of 1969, McCloughan saved the lives of 10 members of his platoon, who were wounded in battle. 

Typically, a Medal of Honor is given within five years of the act of heroism, however, thanks to legislation passed by senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and Congressman Fred Upton, McCloughan is eligible for the honor. 

“Specialist James McCloughan served our country honorably and courageously, saving the lives of 10 members of his platoon in Vietnam,” said Senator Stabenow.  “We are proud to have played a part in ensuring this American hero finally receives the recognition he deserves."

Senator Peters also expressed deep gratitude towards McCloughan, who was a Private First Class when he put his life on the line for fellow service members, "We as a nation are eternally grateful for his service, his valor and his courage."

McCloughan was highly decorated, receiving the Combat Medical Badge, two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars with “V” device for valor. He also received the U. S. Army Valorous Unit Citation, the National Defense Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with three battle stars, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palms and one oak leaf cluster and the M16 Expert Rifle Badge. 

McCloughan was discharged with the rank of Specialist (SP5).  

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