WASHINGTON - Forty-eight years after his heroic actions in the Vietnam War, 71-year-old James McCloughan received the Medal of Honor Monday.
President Donald Trump presented the nation's highest military honor to the former Army medic in ceremony at the White House. It was the president's first Medal of Honor presentation.
After being drafted into the Army in 1968, McCloughan was eventually sent to Vietnam, and at 23 years old found himself in the heart of the intense Battle of Hui Yon Hill.
According to the White House, he risked his life on "nine separate occasions to rescue wounded and disoriented comrades."
Consequently, he was hit time and again by shrapnel and small fire arms but refused to leave the war zone.
He recalled being wounded so badly that a superior urged him to leave the battlefield for treatment.
"He knew me enough to know that I wasn't going," McCloughan, 71, told The Associated Press.
McCloughan has already received numerous awards, including two Purple Hearts but didn't meet the requirements for a Medal of Honor.
Under normal circumstances, the award must be bestowed within five years of the recipient's actions. However, a bill passed under the Obama administration has since waived this standard.
President Trump thanked McCloughan for what he did for all of America. "Jim's name will stand forever in our history, among others, and in our hearts," Trump said.