In late 2007 Vietnam War
Veteran Andrew Wescott, needing to obtain copies of his medical
records, requested copies of his official military service
records. When they arrived he was surprised to find the citation
for Award of the Silver Star--he never knew he had earned
While phonies abound
because of the lack of an accurate means to refute their claims,
TRUE heroes like Andrew Wescott live humbly unaware of some of our
nation's highest honors.
vet receives long-overdue Silver Star
By Chris Freiberg - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
via The Associated Press
Posted : Saturday Jan 19, 2008 6:48:52 EST
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Nearly 40 years after he earned it for
his actions during the Vietnam War, Andrew Wescott was finally
awarded the Silver Star, the military’s fourth-highest
decoration. The former platoon sergeant was all smiles as Major
Gen. Stephen Layfield, commanding general of U.S. Army Alaska,
presented him with the award Wednesday.
“Just because we find something should be presented earlier
doesn’t mean it’s forgotten,” Layfield said.
Wescott was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on the
afternoon of Oct. 23, 1968, when he and his unit were sent to
Vietnam’s demilitarized zone to assess the effects of recent
bombings. What they didn’t know was that the Viet Cong were
already there, waiting for them. The platoon leader was ahead of
the rest of the unit and died within moments of setting off an
ambush. Wescott rushed into the fray to recover his body, taking
several hits to his right side from small-arms fire in the
process. He says the only thing that kept him going at that point
was pure adrenaline.
As he searched for cover, Wescott was shot in the legs and left
hand, losing two fingers in the process. He finally propped
himself up against a tree where a comrade he only remembers as “Lt.
Brown” brought him blood thickener, likely saving his
Wescott received two standing ovations from the dozens of
friends, family and active military members following the brief
ceremony at Fort Wainwright. “I want to say thanks to the U.S.
Army,” he told the crowd. “It may take them 39 years, but they
get the job done.”
It was only two months ago, when he asked for a copy of his
medical records from the Army, that Wescott discovered the Silver
Star citation. It’s unclear exactly how it went undiscovered for
so long, but the most likely explanation is that the paperwork for
the award went through after he was already discharged and it was
just filed away with the rest of his records.
“I knew I got shot, but I thought that was about it,” he
Wescott’s oldest daughter, Monica, flew up from the Lower 48
to see her father receive the Silver Star. Though he occasionally
told her stories of his time in Vietnam, she was just as surprised
as him to learn about the honor. “I’m just glad everyone else
recognizes how great he is,” she said. “But I already knew