07.28.17

Ahead of White House Medal of Honor Ceremony, Peters, Stabenow, Upton Congratulate Vietnam Veteran James McCloughan on Receiving Our Nation’s Highest Military Honor

Lawmakers passed legislation last year to make then-Private First Class McCloughan eligible for the Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of Monday’s Medal of Honor Ceremony at the White House, U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) congratulated Vietnam Veteran James McCloughan for receiving our nation’s highest military honor.  Then-Private First Class McCloughan, a native and current resident of South Haven, served as a medic and saved the lives of 10 members of his platoon who were wounded during the Battle of Nui Yon Hill on May 13-15, 1969.  

This follows legislation passed by Senators Stabenow and Peters and Congressman Upton to make then-Private First Class McCloughan eligible for our nation’s highest military honor.  Their legislation passed the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act and was signed into law by President Obama in December of 2016.  President Trump announced he would award the Medal of Honor to McCloughan on July 31, 2017.  

“Then-Private First Class McCloughan put his life on the line to rescue his fellow servicemembers, and later went on to inspire future generations of leaders as an educator in Michigan,” said Senator Peters, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “We as a nation are eternally grateful for his service, his valor and his courage. With today’s Medal of Honor ceremony, James McCloughan has finally received the recognition he earned for his service to our country." 

“Specialist James McCloughan served our country honorably and courageously, saving the lives of 10 members of his platoon in Vietnam,” said Senator Stabenow.  “We are proud to have played a part in ensuring this American hero finally receives the recognition he deserves.”

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be joining American hero James McCloughan, the president, and other distinguished guests at the Medal of Honor ceremony Monday at the White House,” said Congressman Upton. “Those who give their all in service of their country and fellow man deserve just praise and due credit. For decades, that never came for James McCloughan. On Monday he will finally receive the public gratitude and recognition he duly earned all those years ago on the battlefield when he went above-and-beyond to risk his life for his country.”    

Medal of Honor recipients must be honored within five years of the act of heroism justifying the award.  The legislation passed by Senators Stabenow and Peters and Congressman Upton waived the five-year requirement and made it possible for the President to award the Medal of Honor to McCloughan.

Then-Private First Class McCloughan was highly decorated, receiving the Combat Medical Badge, two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars with “V” device for valor, The U. S. Army Valorous Unit Citation, The National Defense Medal, The Good Conduct Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal with three battle stars, The Vietnam Campaign Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palms and one oak leaf cluster and the M16 Expert Rifle Badge. McCloughan was discharged with the rank of Specialist (SP5).