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Pfc. James Monroe

Date of Award: Unknown
Conflict: Vietnam War
Branch: U.S. Army

PFC James Monroe portraitIn a 2008 issue of a National Veteran’s magazine, soldiers like Pfc. James Monroe were particularly highlighted to show the immense difference draftees have made in serving our country. More than 17.7 million draftees have served the nation in times of war, and dozens have received the Medal of Honor, the most distinguished honor in the military.

Monroe was born in Aurora, Ill., and graduated from high school in 1962. After finishing college, he was drafted in the winter of 1966 for duty in Vietnam. By February of 1967, Monroe, a medic with 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), had sacrificed his life to save the lives of the men under hostile fire, and subsequently shielded a enemy grenade that had fallen within feet of their location. Monroe's family accepted the Medal of Honor at the Pentagon in October, 1968. Monroe Middle School, in Wheaton, Ill., was named in his honor, and currently has his medal on display.

Citation: “Pfc. Monroe began treating the wounded man when he saw a live grenade fall directly in front of the position. He shouted a warning to all those nearby, pushed the wounded radio operator and the platoon sergeant to one side, and lunged forward to smother the grenade's blast with his body. Through his valorous actions, performed in a flash of inspired selflessness, Pfc. Monroe saved the lives of two of his comrades.”

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