Washington: President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor, America`s most distinguished honor for heroism in combat, to two soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War, one who survived and one who was killed in action.
Obama hung the medal around the neck of 80-year-old Bennie Adkins, of Opelika, Alabama, who as a 32-year-old Green Beret in 1966 braved enemy fire again and again to help fight back an attack by the North Vietnamese on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
The president also awarded the Medal of Honor to the survivors of Army Specialist Donald Sloat, who was killed in 1970 when he used his body to shield fellow squad members from an exploding grenade.
Typically the Medal of Honor must be awarded within a few years of the action, which is why more recently Obama has been honoring veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But as Obama put it to a crowd gathered in the White House East Room in explaining the Vietnam War designees, "sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the fog of war or the passage of time."