Press Releases

Upton, Stabenow, Peters, Announce that President Will Award Medal of Honor to Vietnam War Veteran James C. McCloughan

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Washington, June 13, 2017 | Lynn Turner/Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761/269-385-0039) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today announced that President Trump will award the Medal of Honor to Vietnam War Veteran James C. McCloughan on July 31, 2017. This follows legislation passed by Senators Stabenow and Peters and Congressman Upton to make then-Private First Class McCloughan eligible for our nation’s highest military honor.  Their legislation passed the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act and was signed into law by President Obama in December of 2016. 

“Then-Private First Class James McCloughan is an American hero – there is no doubt about that. During close-combat, when his fellow soldiers were in dire need, PFC McCloughan stepped up. His selfless actions saved lives,” said Congressman Upton. “When he was done serving our country, PFC McCloughan quietly returned home to South Haven where he dedicated his life to helping others, as a coach and teacher at South Haven High School. The Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest military honor and we are so proud and deeply grateful for PFC McCloughan’s service. It’s time he finally receives the recognition he duly earned on the battlefield all those years ago.”

Then-Private First Class McCloughan, a native and current resident of South Haven, served as a medic and saved the lives of 10 members of his platoon who were wounded during the Battle of Nui Yon Hill on May 13-15, 1969.  McCloughan was discharged with the rank of Specialist (SP5).  

“We are forever grateful for then-Private First Class James McCloughan’s service to our country,” said Senator Stabenow.  “Today, we are proud to announce that he is finally getting the recognition he deserves.” 

 “As a Private First Class, James McCloughan risked his life to stay behind in the heat of battle and aid his fellow servicemembers,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a Former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “He exemplified the values of honor, courage and comradery that makes our military the finest in the world. Awarding James McCloughan the Medal of Honor will finally give him the full recognition he has earned for his bravery and service.”

 Medal of Honor recipients must be honored within five years of the act of heroism justifying the award.  The legislation passed by Senators Stabenow and Peters and Congressman Upton waived the five-year requirement and made it possible for the President to award the Medal of Honor to him.

 Then-Private First Class McCloughan was highly decorated, receiving the Combat Medical Badge, two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars with “V” device for valor, The U. S. Army Valorous Unit Citation, The National Defense Medal, The Good Conduct Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal with three battle stars, The Vietnam Campaign Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palms and one oak leaf cluster and the M16 Expert Rifle Badge.

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