This Is Why We Stand: Joe Hooper's Miraculous Medal of Honor
We owe a debt that can never fully be repaid to those who served in the conflicts that shaped our world. Sadly, gratitude has not always been shown to those most deserving of it. There is no greater example of this then the treatment of returning American service members during and after the Vietnam War. While the heroes of that conflict may not have received the praise they deserved then, we can ensure that they are honored now. Joe Hooper was one of the many brave Americans who fought in a war far away from American shores in a place called Vietnam. Hooper would go on to become one of the most decorated soldiers in American history. His story would culminate in receiving the Medal of Honor and is that of truly epic proportions. On February 21, 1968, Hooper and his men were assaulting a heavily defended position along a riverbank. His squad came under intense fire immediately. Leading by example, Hooper and his men charged across the river and overran several enemy bunkers. This gallantry inspired the rest of his company and they soon joined in the attack. Hooper constantly exposed himself to enemy fire to pull wounded soldiers to safety. He had been seriously wounded in doing so, but refused medical aid in order to stay with his men. The American attack seemed to be bogged down by relentless enemy fire. Hooper then single handedly stormed and destroyed 3 enemy bunkers. In the next push forward, Hooper’s men received heavy fire from a house to the front. Hooper proceeded to the house alone and killed all the occupants with his rifle and grenades. His wounds and loss of blood had reached critical levels during the fighting, but Hooper continued to lead his men. In the final path of enemy resistance, Hooper took it upon himself to destroy multiple enemy bunkers. He then raced across an open field of fire to rescue a wounded man trapped in a trench. Upon rescuing the man, Hooper reorganized his men and did not accept treatment or evacuation until the mission had been accomplished the following morning. We stand for Joe Hooper and we fulfill our mission to him by remembering his story forever.