Marines drag casualty from street fighting for control of southern bridge, head across street to an ambulance in Hue, Vietnam, Feb. 4, 1968. (Associated Press)
At the end of January in 1968, the Viet Cong launched an offensive that turned the tide of the Vietnam War.
The Tet Offensive began on January 30 as the North Vietnamese occupied the city of Hue. U.S. Marines spent nearly a month fighting a brutal urban battle to retake the city — which was 80% destroyed by the battle's end, according to H.D.S. Greenway, a photographer embedded with the Marines during the war.
An estimated 1,800 Americans lost their lives during the battle.
But in the midst of the chaos, five men who faced harrowing circumstances risked their lives to save those of their comrades — and earned the nation's highest award for courage in combat, the Medal of Honor.
I was going to start this post off with a rundown of the different ways Nathan Phillips — the Native American activist involved in a scuffle between Catholic high school students in Washington, D.C. — has described his past service with the Marine Corps.
I was going to bring up his troublesome claims of being a "recon ranger" — which he was not. I was going to reflect on his claim that he was a "Vietnam-times veteran" who came home and was "spit on" and "called a baby killer," despite his service record keeping him in the United States, and it being unclear where he was claiming to have come home from.
The claims would have been questioned, but his overall story of being just a "Vietnam-times veteran" would have been outside the realm of stolen valor.
When discussing societal ills, people start talking about mandatory national service as a solution. A lot of this comes from the usual crowd of misanthropic veterans who think all of today’s lazy and entitled Millennials and Gen Zers need military service to whip them into shape.