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Biden awards four Vietnamese veterans with the Medal of Honor

(CNN)On Tuesday, President Joe Bidenbecame four Army veterans who fought. Awarded the Medal of Honor. Vietnam War, upgrade the previous honor they received for brave deeds.

The most prestigious decoration medals in the U.S. military were received by Sergeant Edward N. Kaneshiro, Five Dwight W. Birdwell Specialist, and Five Dennis M. Fujii Specialist, who retired. did. Major John J. Duffy.

"They disturb danger, put everything at risk, and protect our country and our values," Biden said at a ceremony at the White House. "But not all military personnel have received the full recognition they deserve. Today we are breaking records. The four who performed incredible heroic acts during the Vietnam War. We are upgrading the soldiers' awards. ”

The President said it was a long journey of more than 50 years for veterans and their families. "But time did not diminish their amazing courage, selflessness to prioritize the lives of others over themselves, and the gratitude we owe them as a nation," he added.

In 1966, Kinjo and his platoon members were attacked by the North Vietnamese when they entered the village in a search and destroy operation. According to the White House, "Kinjo destroyed one enemy group with a rifle and two other groups with a grenade, which allowed the platoon to escape and reorganize in an orderly manner. Finally, he succeeded in withdrawing from the village. ”Kinjo, who died three months after the awarded incident, is awarded after his death.

"Your family has made many sacrifices for our country," Biden told Kinjo's family. "I know that awards cannot make up for the fact that your father wasn't there as he died and grew up, but today his courage finally gives him the full recognition it deserves. I hope I can be proud and comforted to know that I am receiving it. "

Kaneshiro's son, before winning the award on his behalf, his father's story was his own. He told CNN that he had an impact on his military career.

"Imagine. Imagine him just selfless and jumping into the fire like that. Inspiring me to do what he did. I did, "said John Kaneshiro.

Former Cherokee National Supreme Court judge Birdwell received a medal for his actions in January 1968.

On the first day of becoming known as Tet, offensive at an air force base near Saigon, Birdwell and his troops were attacked by North Vietnamese. According to the White House, he moved the tank commander to a safe place and fired tank weapons at enemy forces during the attack. When the tank's weapons were exhausted, he disembarked and moved to a downed helicopter to retrieve ammunition and machine guns with his comrades. Birdwell's machine gun exploded when hit by an enemy bullet, andinjured his face and torso,refused to evacuate and led a small group to confuse the attackers. He then helped evacuate his injured until he was ordered to pay attention to his injury.

"I did a trained job. I felt I had to do this. It was a matter of duty. And I fulfilled my duty as much as I could." Birdwell said. "I wondered thousands of times why I survived and why some others didn't, but when I make a decision, if I have the courage to ask God that question."

{37 Biden explained that "it took decades" for Birdwell's commander, General Glen Otis, to realize that he had "not received the full honor he had earned." However, retired Biden said, "General Otis has revised his records to fully document Birdwell's actions to make this day possible."

Fujii received a medal for his actions during the rescue of helicopter ambulances in Laos and Vietnam for four days in February 1971.

While on a mission to evacuate seriously injured Vietnamese soldiers, a helicopter was used to destroy the land, according to the White House, when the aircraft was attacked by an enemy. The injured Fujii was the only American left on the battlefield, shaking off another helicopter. He was repeatedly exposed to enemy fire and called for a US helicopter gunship to provide first aid to his allies and repel enemy attacks.

Duffy won the award for his actions in Vietnam in April 1972.

Duffy refused to evacuate after the battalion commander was injured at the destroyed command post of the murdered South Vietnamese battalion. According to the U.S. military, he "led a two-day defense of the enclosed FSB against battalion-sized enemy forces." He exposed himself to the enemy to call for airstrikes and was injured again when hit by rifle debris. However, Duffy stayed and directed the helicopter's gunship to enemy anti-aircraft and artillery positions. He then personally guaranteed that the injured army would move safely and distribute ammunition. And during the ground attack by the enemy army, Duffy moved several times to find the target. Later, he led more injured troops to evacuate "while being continuously pursued by the enemy," Armysaid

Biden also said. As the airship was preparing to depart, one of Duffy's Vietnamese allies was shot in the foot and "dropped him backwards from the helicopter."

"Major Duffy captured him, dragged him onto the ship, and saved another life along the way," he continued.

Duffy, now 84, has been sent to Vietnam four times to win 64 awards and decorations, including 29 Courage, 4 Bronze Stars, 8 Purple Hearts and 7 Air Medals. ..

"You are bound to honor to fulfill your obligations, no risks or dangers. You are there to do. And as long as you do it, you You can control it, "Duffy said before being awarded the Medal of Honor.

Tuesday's ceremony will take place a week after Herschel W. "Woody" Williams, who was last awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II, died at the age of 98. United States Capitol.