Local Vietnam Vet to Receive Medal of Honor Posthumously
It’s been a long time coming, but a Pennsylvania man, who was killed while rescuing three men during the Vietnam War, is receiving the Medal of Honor.
KYW’s Jim Melwert reports Chief Master Sergeant Richard Etchberger died in 1968, when his top-secret radar facility in Laos was over-run by the North Vietnamese.
Etchberger helped hold off the attack, called in an airstrike, and loaded three injured men into a helicopter:
“And as the helicopter was flying away, the Vietnamese shot six armor piercing rounds into the bottom, only one of them hit anything and that was my dad.”
His son, Cory Etchberger, who now lives in Schwenksville, says his dad was recommended for the Medal of Honor, but the politics of the war got in the way:
“That is, the publicity that would come about of awarding the Medal of Honor to a man who was killed in a country, that we weren’t supposed to be in.”
Instead, Etchberger was awarded the Air Force Cross in a secret ceremony, with plans to upgrade it to the Medal of Honor. But those plans were lost for decades.
But Cory says, on July 7th, he got a phone call from President Obama, informing him his father would get the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House later this month.
Listen to extended interview: