Highest Honors For An American Hero
HAWTHORNE- 3,400 people have received the highest service honor in our country. Only about 80 of them are still living. The Medal of Honor is the highest military recognition awarded by our country. The award is presented by the president of the United States in the name of congress. I sat down and spoke to one of the recipients from hawthorne who shared his story with us about his time during the Korean war.
Duane E. Dewey was part of the Marine Corp for a year and a half during the Korean War. Four out of those months were spent in hospitals. Dewey served as a gunner in a machine gun platoon that was attacked by enemies. "A second one went off, I know it was a hand grenade so i told him to get the rest of the squad up and I got on a machine gun and then all hell broke loose," he said.
He vividly remembers a battalion of about 600 Chinese attacked a platoon of 80 marines. You can say Dewey caught a grenade for his brothers. Dewey said, "I didn't want to throw it against my own men. So I scooped it underneath pulled a corp man on too of me and I said hit the dirt bag i got it in my pocket."
In 1952 he received a Medal of Honor. Dewey was the first to receive the medal from president Eisenhower at the time. He says his time in the military was a life lesson. "Being in the marine corp and going through what i did, that gave me the courage to go ahead and do what i wanted to do, and I did," he added.
If he had the power to go back in time and do something differently, he told me he wouldn't change a thing. "Anybody in my position would have done the same thing. Because you become brothers, especially in combat," Dewey said.
He was acknowledged for his bravery Saturday at the American Legion Post in Gainesville. The event is put together every year in March. Dick Davis the commander for the Korean War Veterans Association, said at the event, "I've never heard of a Medal of Honor recipient that did what Duane Dewey did."
Dewey has been married for 62 years now with his wife, Bertha who waited for him while he was at war. She says he is her American hero. She also adds, "You have to work together to get that way and it hasn't all been a bed of roses either, you have your ups and downs." She says they're shooting for 75 years together as they've already overcome the worst.
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