Marine Vietnam Veteran Receives Medal Of Honor At White House

He received the honor 50 years after his heroism following a campaign by his fellow Marines.

Marine Vietnam Veteran Receives Medal Of Honor At White House

Retired Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley received the Medal of Honor award at the White House Wednesday for his valor during the Vietnam War. He's now the 300th Marine to receive the nation's highest military decoration for heroism. 

In 1968 during the Tet Offensive, Canley fended off multiple attacks while leading his fellow Marines in the Battle of Hue. He took over for his commander, who was seriously injured in the fight, and was even injured himself. But he continued to fight, rescuing other wounded Marines and carrying them back to safety. At one point, Canley scaled a wall twice, in full view of the enemy, to help other Marines.


Canley's award process didn't follow the traditional path. Typically, a recipient must receive the Medal of Honor within five years of their accomplishments. But Canley was given the award 50 years after his, thanks to his fellow Marines, who campaigned for him to receive the prestigious honor. 

Before the award ceremony, the 80-year-old Canley said QUOTE: “I can’t think of any place I’d rather die than with my Marines on the battlefield.” 

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN.