Obama honors local Vietnam vet

October 20, 2009 12:49:02 PM PDT
A Houstonian who commanded a squadron responsible for fellow American soldiers during Vietnam was honored by President Barack Obama Tuesday.John Poindexter was among the 86 veterans in attendance on Tuesday. He captained Army's Troop A, First Squadron, 11th Armored Combat Regiment during Vietnam. On March 26, 1970, the unit rescued about 100 members of an American infantry company that had stumbled onto a massive underground enemy bunker of North Vietnamese forces.

"These soldiers define the meaning of bravery and heroism," Obama said.

Though their battle may not have changed the course of the war, and may not have made the newspapers back home, Obama said the troop's efforts are "a proud chapter in the story of the American soldier."

The president credited the unit's leader, Capt. John Poindexter, for his efforts to ensure that his soldiers were ultimately rewarded for their service.

Obama said the unit is a reminder of America's obligation to honor its veterans and their families, and only send troops into harm's way when it's absolutely necessary.

The Presidential Unit Citation is awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and allies for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after December 7, 1941.

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