1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
C Company Medic Receives Bronze Star 44 Years Later
Defense Information School Commandant
Army Col. Jeremy Martin, left, looks on after Army veteran and
former Spc. 4 Charles Shyab
was presented the Bronze Star medal for valor by U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski during a formal ceremony at DINFOS, Nov. 9, 2012.
The ceremony was attended by roughly 250 family members, community leaders, DINFOS staff and students.
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joseph Joynt.
Veterans Awarded Overdue Bronze Star Medals
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
FORT MEADE, Md., Nov. 9, 2012
As the nation approaches Veterans Day, observed Nov. 11,
two former service members
one from World War II, the other from the Vietnam War were awarded their long-awaited Bronze Star medals in a ceremony
at the Defense Information School here today.
Keynote speaker U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland had worked to ensure that former Army doctor Capt. Charles E. Rath Jr.
and former Army medic Spc. 4 Charles Shyab received their medals.
Mikulski presented the awards to the veterans, along with flags that had flown over the U.S. Capitol, at the ceremony.
Misplaced paperwork was the cause of Rath waiting 67 years and Shyab 44 years for their medals.
Shyabs Bronze Star for valor was authorized in 1968 after he saved many American soldiers lives and was wounded
on Chu Moor Mountain in Vietnam near Ho Chi Minh Trail.
This Veterans Day and every day, we are thankful for the service and sacrifice of all our veterans and their families, Mikulski said.
Our veterans who fought for our freedom shouldnt have to fight for the recognition they have earned. I went to work
to cut through the red tape and break through the bureaucracy to give these two heroes the long-overdue honor they deserve.
Here at the Defense Information School, she continued, were demonstrating that a grateful nation never forgets.
Mikulski described the ceremony as very poignant and well-deserved.
Shyab and Rath, she added, deserve these medals, but also our gratitude.
Shyab, 68, said he was in one of three companies ordered to ascend Chu Moor Mountain, where Vietnam, Laos
and Cambodia meet. They faced a battalion of enemy forces.
We were in [the
enemys] backyard, he said of the fight that April day
in 1968. Once they found out we were there,
they started mortaring us and when our planes went over to drop a 500-pounder, they used that noise to mortar us
and thats when I got wounded. Shyab said the soldier who got him safely to a helicopter for evacuation never made it back to his foxhole.
Thirty men were killed in action
during that firefight, Shyab said, another 70 were wounded and 15
were evacuated off the mountain.
Shyab said he doesnt recall how many lives he saved that day.
The men we lost will always be remembered, he said during the ceremony.
SP4 Charlie "Doc" Shyab in Vietnam
Photo by Sam Drake
Certificate for the Bronze Star Medal for Valor for Charles Shyab
Page prepared under the direction of Fred Childs
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