From Local 3 News: Retired U.S. Army Captain Larry Taylor of Signal Mountain has been awarded the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, the most prestigious decoration any veteran can receive.
Taylor’s heroic actions on June 18, 1968 that saved four lives during the Vietnam War earned him the award.
The big day brought Taylor’s family, friends, and classmates from Saint Elmo Elementary together for the ceremony along with members of The Rocky Top Battalion from UT Knoxville’s ROTC, and the Vietnam Veterans Association.
The long list of guests also included other Medal of Honor recipients, who welcomed Larry Taylor into their fraternity.
The 81-year-old was in high spirits Monday night speaking to fellow veterans he hadn’t seen since Vietnam. And 55 years later, he is still very humble about heroic actions from 1968, but God is here today.
His challenge coin for this occasion bears the motto “Leave No Man Behind”. It’s a fitting slogan for a man who still insists he was just doing his job.
“Well, nobody got killed. So, we managed to pull everybody out and we pulled it off. There were times when I thought, ‘oh God, we’re all going to get killed’. I think I was shot down five times in Vietnam and people said, ‘you’ll get used to it’. They lied. I never got used to it,” Taylor said.
More than 41,000,000 Americans have served in the Armed Forces since 1776, according to the US Census Bureau and only 3,516 of those who served have received the Medal of Honor.
According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, only 65 Medal of Honor recipients are alive today. Taylor is now the 66th.
The ceremony in which President Joe Biden presented the Medal of Honor to Captain Larry Taylor was held in the East Room of the White House, where it ended with Captain Taylor and the President saluting one another.
Captain Taylor will be welcomed home with a parade Monday, which will begin at 11:30am in front of the Read House on MLK Boulevard in Chattanooga.
Local 3’s Greg Glover and Germyah Batey are in Washington, DC to bring you team coverage of the Medal of Honor ceremony.