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Warrant Officer Louis Rocco

Date of Award: December 12, 1974
Conflict: Vietnam War
Branch: U.S. Army

Warrant Officer Louis Rocco portraitIn Vietnam, Warrant Officer Louis Rocco proved to be a rare breed of hero, putting the safety of others before his own. On May 24, 1979, he volunteered to accompany a medevac team to evacuate eight wounded Vietnamese soldiers, but as the helicopter began to land, it took on heavy fire. After a crash landing, Rocco extracted the survivors from the wreckage and carried each man through exposed terrain to safety, despite a fractured wrist and hip. Rocco returned home and went on to establish the Vietnam Veterans of New Mexico as well as a veterans peer counseling center, homeless shelter and nursing home. His dedication to country was reignited during Operation Desert Storm when he returned to active duty at Ft. Sam to recruit medical personnel.

Citation: “His bravery under fire and intense devotion to duty were directly responsible for saving three of his fellow soldiers from certain death. His unparalleled bravery in the face of enemy fire, his complete disregard for his own pain and injuries, and his performance were far above and beyond the call of duty and were in keeping with the highest traditions of self-sacrifice and courage of the military service.”

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