Monday, September 26, 2005

Gathering of Heroes

Hugh Hewitt broadcast today from the annual "Medal of Honor Convention," which hosts the living recipients of the nation's highest honor. It was truly remarkable and inspiring radio. Hugh interviewed several American heroes. I was impressed with every story but for lack of space will report on only one.

The latest recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor is Mr. Tibor (Ted) Rubin who received the Medal of Honor during a White House ceremony on September 23, 2005. Mr. Rubin, born in Hungary in 1929, is a survivor of 14 months in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. Liberated by the U.S. Army, he credits Army medics for saving the lives of survivors.

The personal character of Corporal Rubin and his “call to duty” are exemplified in this very recent quote--

“I always wanted to become a citizen of the United States and when I became a citizen it was one of the happiest days in my life. I think about the United States and I am a lucky person to live here. When I came to America, it was the first time I was free. It was one of the reasons I joined the U.S. Army because I wanted to show my appreciation.”

Ted Rubin's Medal of Honor Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Corporal Tibor Rubin distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period from July 23, 1950, to April 20, 1953, while serving as a rifleman with the 1st Cavalry Division in the Republic of Korea. While his unit was retreating to the Pusan Perimeter, Corporal Rubin was assigned to stay behind to keep open the vital Taegu-Pusan Road link used by his withdrawing unit. During the ensuing battle, overwhelming numbers of North Korean troops assaulted a hill defended solely by Corporal Rubin. He inflicted a staggering number of casualties on the attacking force during his personal 24-hour battle, single-handedly slowing the enemy advance and allowing the 8th Cavalry Regiment to complete its withdrawal successfully.

On October 30, 1950, Chinese forces attacked his unit at Unsan, North Korea, during a massive nighttime assault. That night and throughout the next day, he manned a .30 caliber machine gun at the south end of the unit's line after three previous gunners became casualties. Rubin continued to man his machine gun until the ammunition was exhausted. His determined stand slowed the pace of the enemy advance in his sector, permitting the remnants of his unit to retreat southward. As the battle raged, Corporal Rubin was severely wounded and captured by the Chinese.

Choosing to remain in the prison camp despite offers from the Chinese to return him to his native Hungary, Corporal Rubin disregarded his own personal safety and immediately began sneaking out of the camp at night in search of food for his comrades. Breaking into enemy food storehouses and gardens, he risked certain torture or death if caught. Corporal Rubin provided not only food to the starving Soldiers, but also desperately needed medical care and moral support for the sick and wounded of the POW camp. His brave, selfless efforts were directly attributed to saving the lives of as many as forty of his fellow prisoners.

Corporal Rubin's gallant actions in close contact with the enemy and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

How fortunate we are to live in America where people from all over the world come for a better life and many volunteer to fight for our freedoms. Every American child should know about these heroes and their sacrifices.

We should all buy the book Medal of Honor: Portrait of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty which contains a biography of 117 recipients of the Medal of Honor, including one woman, Captain Mary Walker, a Civil War surgeon. The book is published by the Medal of Honor Foundation. Buy a 2nd book for your child's school.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill,
I will for sure buy this book..


8:54 PM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

Corporal Rubin is truly a hero! Thanks for sharing his story. I will 'order' Medal of Honor: Portrait of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty from the county library system. may be a good Christmas present for my brothers!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

It moves me deeply to read stories such as Corporal Rubin's. America used to be a place where people disered to come for a better way of life and freedom, and doing great things to keep America free for future generations. What happened? When did people start coming here hating this country and wanting to only take from and give nothing to this GREAT and FREE country of ours?


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