President Joe Biden and President Moon Jae-in, the leader of South Korea, commended the actions Friday of Col. Ralph Puckett Jr., a Korean War veteran who was awarded the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House.
Before awarding Puckett the medal Friday, Biden described him as “true American hero” for whom the recognition was long overdue.
“Korea is sometimes called the forgotten war, but those men who were there under then-lieutenant Puckett’s command never forgot his bravery,” Biden said. “They never forgot he was right by their side every minute of it.”
Puckett, 94, earned the medal for actions he took more than 70 years ago, in November 1950. As a young first lieutenant in the Korean War, Puckett commanded the Eighth Army Ranger Company during a mission to seize “Hill 205” and defend it against a series of assaults by the Chinese. He risked his life multiple times to draw enemy fire, call for artillery strikes, check the perimeter and deliver ammunition to his soldiers.