Presidential Unit Citation recognizes ‘Wolfhound’ gallantry in Vietnam

| July 14, 2011 | 1 Comment
Retired Lt. Col. Howard Lavy (center), Co. A, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, ties the PUC to the guidon during a ceremony held at Schofield Barracks, July 8.

Retired Lt. Col. Howard Lavy (center), Co. A, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, ties the PUC to the guidon during a ceremony held at Schofield Barracks, July 8.

Story and Photos by
Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — “Forty-five years ago, Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, endured a tough battle,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Leonard Letoto, a former first sergeant for the company. “We entered an area (of Vietnam) called Ho Bo Woods with 92 guys.  … We left with 32 wounded, and sustained 56 casualties. … It was one of the toughest days, I ever had to serve.”

Soldiers of Co. A, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., “Wolfhounds,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, were finally able to close an unrecognized chapter in their history when they received the Presidential Unit Citation award and placed the PUC streamer on for the company guidon in a ceremony, here, July 8.

The award recognizes the actions of the company and honors the veterans who endured through the battle near Ho Bo Woods.

“This award honors all the unrecognized Wolfhound Soldiers who took part in that battle for Co. A in Vietnam,” Letoto said. “Many Soldiers ignored their wounds and continued to fight the enemy that day.”

Retired Lt. Col. Howard Lavy was among the nine veterans in attendance and helped lead the drive to recognize the unit for its actions on the battlefield.

“We are finally able to recognize the valor and gallantry of the unit, and that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s not me or anyone else; it’s the unit and we all fought together. … Many of us died together, (were) wounded together, (so we) banded together and were able to endure.”

Soldiers from Co. A, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, stand at ease during the PUC ceremony. They listened to veterans retelling the story about the battle at Ho Bo Woods, Vietnam, fought July 19, 1966.

Soldiers from Co. A, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, stand at ease during the PUC ceremony. They listened to veterans retelling the story about the battle at Ho Bo Woods, Vietnam, fought July 19, 1966.

Retired Col. Walter Kaneakua, of Sen. Daniel Inouye’s Office, presented the award, almost 45 years to the day of the initial battle fought July 19, 1966.

“It was originally a search and destroy mission,” Letoto said. “Once we moved into the area and sent in the first platoon, things quickly picked up and it became a tough battle.”

Present day Soldiers taking part in the ceremony see the recognition of their past brothers-in-arms.

“It’s a real honor to be in a ceremony that recognized our past Wolfhound brothers,” said Staff Sgt. Lucas Collins, squad leader, Co. A. “Those guys went above and beyond what was asked of them in Vietnam, and it’s rewarding to see them get recognized. … It really makes me proud to be here today.”

 

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