Marine veteran, 80, receives Medal of Honor for Vietnam bravery | Fox News

| October 18, 2018

Marine veteran John Canley, now 80 and a retired sergeant major, received the nation’s highest military honor Wednesday for his “conspicuous gallantry” during the Vietnam War 50 years ago.

President Trump bestowed the award for valorous action at The White House, beginning the ceremony, saying: “I like brave people, and you meet them right here.”

Trump noted the utmost respect Canley’s fellow warriors have for him, quoting John Ligato, a Marine and FBI agent, who attended the ceremony: “‘We followed him because he was a true leader, he was totally fearless. He loved his Marines, and we loved him back.’”

Trump said that Canley still goes to the gym, and his fellow Marines call him a Marine Warrior, “who is bigger than life and beyond the reach of death.”


Source: Marine veteran, 80, receives Medal of Honor for Vietnam bravery | Fox News

Category: Historical, Marine Corps, Veterans in the news

Comments (29)

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  1. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Saw this yesterday and just stared at that pic with my mouth open. He’s 80? 80 as in years old? And then there’s that other matter: the Congressional Medal of Honor. Just wow.

  2. Skippy says:

    HOOOAH !!!!!!

  3. Sapper3307 says:

    He used his older brother birth certificate to enlist under age. But it worked out.


  4. AW1Ed says:

    Seems this is an upgrade from his Navy Cross. Citation follows.

    John L. Canley

    Little Rock, Arkansas

    Navy Cross
    DURING Vietnam War
    Service: Marine Corps
    Battalion: 1st Battalion
    Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.) FMF

    Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Gunnery Sergeant John L. Canley (MCSN: 1455946), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Company Gunnery Sergeant of Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 31 January to 6 February 1968. On 31 January, when his company came under a heavy volume of enemy fire near the city of Hue, Gunnery Sergeant Canley rushed across the fire-swept terrain and carried several wounded Marines to safety. Later, with the company commander seriously wounded, Gunnery Sergeant Canley assumed command and immediately reorganized his scattered Marines, moving from one group to another to advise and encourage his men. Although sustaining shrapnel wounds during this period, he nonetheless established a base of fire which subsequently allowed the company to break through the enemy strongpoint. Retaining command of the company for the following three days, Gunnery Sergeant Canley on 4 February led his men into an enemy-occupied building in Hue. Despite fierce enemy resistance, he succeeded in gaining a position immediately above the enemy strongpoint and dropped a large satchel charge into the position, personally accounting for numerous enemy killed, and forcing the others to vacate the building. On 6 February, when his unit sustained numerous casualties while attempting to capture a government building, Gunnery Sergeant Canley lent words of encouragement to his men and exhorted them to greater efforts as they drove the enemy from its fortified emplacement. Although wounded once again during this action, on two occasions he leaped a wall in full view of the enemy, picked up casualties, and carried them to covered positions. By his dynamic leadership, courage, and selfless dedication, Gunnery Sergeant Canley contributed greatly to the accomplishment of his company’s mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

    Military Times Valor Link

  5. AW1Ed says:

    Yep, upgrade.

    Marine Corps Times

    For his heroic actions, Canley was originally awarded the Navy Cross, the nation’s second highest award for combat valor.

    Marines who served under Canley during the Hue City, like former Pfc. John Ligato, pushed a nearly 13 year endeavor to upgrade the gunny’s award.

    “We’d all be dead if it wasn’t for the gunny,” said Ligato, who served under Canley at Hue City.

    Canley took care of his Marines, rarely slept during the battle, and single-handedly repelled multiple attacks “literally charging machine gun positions with law rockets and hand grenades,” Ligato described.

    Semper Fi, Marine.

  6. OWB says:

    Well done, sir. Well done, indeed. And finally properly rewarded.

  7. Jay says:

    Guy is 80 years old, and looks better than some SgtsMaj running around RIGHT NOW. Got DAMN he has some good genes. Congrats SgtMaj, well done and well earned.

    Question for the more educated: Do his Navy Cross get rescinded since it was upgraded?

    • sj says:

      He’s got me by 3 years and I look like shit. Time to lose some weight, not that it would make me look like the bad ass he was and still is.

    • USMC Steve says:

      Knowing how cheap the Marine Corps is, they probably made him turn the Navy Cross before the MOH ceremony began. Cheap bastards they are.

  8. 5th/77th FA says:

    Watched the ceremony myself, and like most of us TAHellcats, was quite impressed (not surprised) by SarMaj’s humbleness; he giving all credit to his Marines. We all know the Hell Hole that was Hue, and have a very rough idea of how it came down. Having seen some of the combat footage from there and the movements the Marines had to make, it is a wonder that The Gunny could move that fast carrying those big brass ones. I guess even Mad Dog Mattis needs a hero/role model. Bravo Zulu Sergeant Major Canley, and a special BZ to all the Former Marines (PFC John Ligato et al) who pushed thru the up graded award. Damn shame it took 50 years.

  9. Sparks says:

    Damned well done Marine!

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    BZ, SMAJ Canley.

    I could wish him the ‘live long and prosper’, but I think he already carries that around in his pocket.

  11. bim says:

    Reporter: “Did you think you were going to die that day?”
    SMAJ Canley: “That never crossed my mind.”


  12. USMC Steve says:

    I find it very interesting that CBS news carried it at all. They are anti anything with Trump in it, and they are still not exactly in the good graces of the Marines for their bullshit reporting during Vietnam.

  13. RGR 4-78 says:

    Well Done. And well deserved.

  14. Twist says:

    If you ever get the chance, read the book “Phase Line Green” by Nicholas Warr.

  15. Aysel says:

    I watched this live, it was very moving, especially his guys that were there.

  16. 100E says:

    If I hear another network anchor use “Congressional Medal of Honor” I’ll scream. It’s “Medal of Honor”, no “Congressional”.

    Congratulations to a true warrior. Hue was a terrible battle, and bothe the Marines fought like hell. The scars of that battle still can be seen on Hue’s Citadel.

    • 100E says:

      Demons grabbed my keyboard! My post should read:
      “Congratulations to a true warrior. Hue was a terrible battle, and the Marines fought like hell. The scars of that battle still can be seen on Hue’s Citadel

  17. Marine 0331 says:

    Semper Fi Devil Dig! Well done Sergeant Major Canley!!!

  18. Marine 0331 says:

    Semper Fi Devil Dog! Well done Sergeant Major Canley!!!

  19. crucible says:

    I’d follow that Marine into hell with a water pistol; I am humbled to have even earned the same uniform as him.

  20. HMC Ret says:

    Hope this isn’t taken the wrong way. I’ve read several stories about this warrior and I don’t for the life of me understand why it took decades for him to be properly recognized. Exactly what criteria was in effect during the Viet of Nam War that would prevent him from being properly recognized at the time for his ball busting heroics? Could race have entered into the equation? There, I said it. It seems there is an upgrade to the MoH every few months. This warrior missed decades of proper recognition for his heroics and only now, 50 years later, are his heroics properly recognized. Had he been properly recognized for his valor in 1968, he would have been able to have the recognition he so deserved. That’s my two cents. Or one cent. Whatever. In any event, he was deserving of the MoH 50 years ago. Now he’s in his 80s and will have far fewer years to be recognized for his outstanding valor.

    • desert says:

      Because it was not a “popular” war, all the pantywaisted, snowflake, snotnoses back here whined when anything positive was put on the communist media!!

  21. Frank says:

    What took the Corps so long?
    Is this evidence of bigotry against Enlisted or dark green Marines?