Monday November 5, 2007

Honoring Service

U.S. Army Col. Gordon Roberts, a University of Dayton graduate and the youngest and only Medal of Honor recipient on active duty, headlines a Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 9.

U.S. Army Col. Gordon Roberts will speak about service to the country during times of war, the impact of war on military families and the need to honor servicemen and women of the past at a Veterans Day ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel.

Roberts is both the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient and the only one on active duty. He is also a 1974 graduate of the University of Dayton with a fascinating story of how he chose UD and managed to keep his Vietnam War heroics quiet while he earned a degree in sociology.

President Richard Nixon awarded Roberts the military's highest honor for charging and silencing four enemy bunkers while under intense fire. He saved two pinned-down platoons and helped evacuate wounded soldiers from an exposed hill.

He left the Army in 1971 but rejoined in 1988. He spent much of 2005 based at Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, leading a battalion that escorted convoys. He is currently a student at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania.

In addition to Roberts' address, the Veterans Day program will include the singing of "God Bless America," roll call for UD ROTC graduates killed in war and the laying of a memorial wreath.

The ceremony is free and open to the public.