The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Lance Corporal,
U.S. Marine Corps, Combined Action platoon 1-3-2, 111 Marine Amphibious Force. Place
and date: Quang Ngai province, Republic of Vietnam, 8 May 1970. Entered service
at: Omaha, Nebr. Born: 2 June 1951, San Antonio, Tex.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Combined Action platoon 1-3-2. During
the early morning L/Cpl. Keith was seriously wounded when his platoon was subjected to a
heavy ground attack by a greatly outnumbering enemy force. Despite his painful wounds, he
ran across the fire-swept terrain to check the security of vital defensive positions and
then, while completely exposed to view, proceeded to deliver a hail of devastating
machinegun fire against the enemy. Determined to stop 5 of the enemy soldiers approaching
the command post, he rushed forward, firing as he advanced. He succeeded in disposing of 3
of the attackers and in dispersing the remaining 2. At this point, a grenade detonated
near L/Cpl. Keith, knocking him to the ground and inflicting further severe wounds.
Fighting pain and weakness from loss of blood, he again braved the concentrated hostile
fire to charge an estimated 25 enemy soldiers who were massing to attack. The vigor of his
assault and his well-placed fire eliminated 4 of the enemy soldiers while the remainder
fled for cover. During this valiant effort, he was mortally wounded by an enemy soldier.
By his courageous and inspiring performance in the face of almost overwhelming odds,
L/Cpl. Keith contributed in large measure to the success of his platoon in routing a
numerically superior enemy force, and upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and
of the U.S. Naval Service.