"In men like Bruce Crandall, we really see the best of America," Bush said. "He
and his fellow soldiers were brave, brave folks. They were as noble and selfless
as any who have worn our nation's uniform."
Crandall, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who lives in Manchester, Wash., wore a uniform and a black cavalry Stetson, the trademark of those who served in the 7th Cavalry, in his case the air cavalry.
If anyone has read the book We Were Soldiers Once... And Young or the movie starring Mel Gibson, then you know most of the story. Crandall flew in three different UH-1 Hueys during those desperate hours to keep the men of the 7th Cav supplied and evacuate the wounded. Why three? Because they kept getting shot up by the North VietNamese.
What makes me truly proud there are men like Crandall is later in the story. Lt. Marm had already won the Medal of Honor in 1967 for his daring flying into the Ia Drang Valley to support the 7th Cav. In 2001, after Congress dropped the two year time limit to award the Medal of Honor, another Huey pilot at Ia Drang received the Medal. That was Capt. Ed Freeman. Crandall withdrew his application for the Medal so that Freeman could receive it. Crandall did not think one battle should provide three Medals of Honor. Well I guess others felt differently so now 74 year old Bruce Crandall wears the Medal of Honor. Bruce Crandall is a true hero in all the best ways.