Medic 'secretly' in Laos could be next Vietnam War vet to receive Medal of Honor
Sgt. Gary Rose was the lone medic for a group of Special Forces soldiers sent deep into Laos as part of a secret mission in 1970
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A U.S. Army medic may soon become the next Vietnam War veteran to receive the Medal of Honor.
Sgt. Gary Rose, who was the lone medic for a group of Special Forces soldiers sent deep into Laos as part of a secret mission in 1970, was nominated for the nation's highest honor more than 40 years ago.
Since President Nixon was denying troops were in Laos, Rose's nomination was shelved. In the late 1990s, Rose and the others were also wrongly accused of taking part in war crimes after Operation Tailwind was declassified and reported on publicly for the first time by CNN and Time magazine.
This year, he may finally be recognized for his efforts in caring for 51 wounded soldiers and ensuring everyone returned home safely, reports the New York Times.
Congress has authorized the medal for Rose, which could make him the first to be recognized as one of the soldiers in the "Secret War in Laos." Rose was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1971.
Whether he receives the medal depends on President Obama's signature.
Rose, who lives in Alabama and volunteers with poor and disabled people, said he rarely thinks about Operation Tailwind.