WASHINGTON –– President Donald Trump awarded Sergeant Major (Ret.) John L. Canley with the Medal of Honor on Wednesday in a ceremony at the White House.
The Marine, who is now 80, received the military’s highest award for his heroism during the Vietnam war’s Battle of Hue. The 1968 battle is considered one of the longest and bloodiest in the conflict.
Canley was previously awarded the Navy Cross, two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.
The White House provided a summary of Canley’s heroic actions:
While serving as Company Gunnery Sergeant, he fought off multiple enemy attacks as his company moved along a highway toward Hue City to relieve friendly forces who were surrounded. On several occasions, despite his own wounds, he rushed across fire-swept terrain to carry wounded Marines to safety. When his commanding officer was severely wounded, he took command and led his company into Hue City. While in command of the company for three days, he led attacks against multiple enemy-fortified positions while exposing himself to enemy fire to carry wounded Marines to safety. On February 6, at a hospital compound, he twice scaled a wall in full view of the enemy to aid wounded Marines and carry them to safety. Then-Gunnery Sergeant Canley’s heroic actions saved the lives of his teammates.