New generation meets Medal of Honor heroes

| October 16, 2012 | 0 Comments
Retired Lt. Col. Ronald Ray, Medal of Honor recipient, visits Soldiers with 3rd BCT, 25th ID, at Schofield Barracks, Oct. 4, as part of the 2012 Medal of Honor Convention> (Sgt. Hillary Rustine | 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Retired Lt. Col. Ronald Ray, Medal of Honor recipient, visits Soldiers with 3rd BCT, 25th ID, at Schofield Barracks, Oct. 4, as part of the 2012 Medal of Honor Convention> (Sgt. Hillary Rustine | 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Sgt. Hillary Rustine
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The military and Hawaiian communities welcomed 50 of America’s 81 living Medal of Honor recipients for their annual convention at the Hale Koa Hotel, Oct. 1-6, with visits, here, Oct. 3-4.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society meets annually to remember all medal recipients and reunite those still living.

One of the recipients, retired Army Lt. Col. Ronald Ray, served with 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, “Cacti,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Ray received the Medal of Honor for risking his life and going above and beyond the call of duty while in the Ia Drang Valley. There, he cut off North Vietnamese army forces entering Vietnam from Cambodia.

While observing a combat medic obstacle course, here, Ray spoke with several medics about being in the storied unit back then and what it means to be a “Cacti” Soldier.

“It’s always louder than you expect, with people screaming and mortars going off. … It’s just so loud, and we always had to prepare for the unexpected,” Ray said.

Roger Donlon (standing, left) and Sammy Davis (right) speak to the Warrior Transition Battalion in a meet-and-greet at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center, here, Oct. 3. (Stephanie Rush | Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

Roger Donlon (standing, left) and Sammy Davis (right) speak to the Warrior Transition Battalion in a meet-and-greet at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center, here, Oct. 3. (Stephanie Rush | Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

Sgt. Juan Cardenas, combat medic, 2-35th Inf. Regt., said, “It’s great that he still has an interest in the battalion. It’s an honor to show him what we do now and how we uphold the battalion standards.”

Ray left the Soldiers with words of wisdom, encouragement and faith that he hopes Soldiers carry forward as they leave their own legacies.

Fellow Medal of Honor recipients Roger Donlon and Sammy Davis also visited Soldiers, here, Oct. 3, when they spoke to the Warrior Transition Battalion at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center.

During the meet-and-greet session, Soldiers thanked the men for their service and sacrifice. Donlon and Davis received the nation’s highest military honor for their actions during the Vietnam War.

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