Richard Pittman, a Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War, has been pronounced dead at 71. This Marine was awarded the Medal of Honor on May 14, 1968 for bravely trading in his rifle for a machine gun, charging head-first into small arms fire, and single-handedly mowing down nearly three dozen enemy troops to save wounded Marines trapped in Viet Cong controlled territory.
The thought of losing his life never even crossed Pittman’s mind. He was focused on one thing; saving his fellow service members. He told reporters:
“I didn’t have any other goal in mind, other than to just, you know, help my fellow Marines, and, in retrospect, fortunately, I was able to do that.”
Pittman had one of the most impressive military careers that almost never happened. Pittman was turned down by both the Army and Navy after John F. Kennedy’s infamous “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” inaugural address inspired him to serve his country. Despite being legally blind in one eye the Marine Corps Reserve accepted him into their ranks, after he was turned down by both the Army and Navy. He would later transition into the regular Marine Corps.
Listen to Pittman tell the story of his bloody battle in his own words below: