The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL posthumously to

 

SERGEANT JOHN B. VALDEZ

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

 

For service as set forth in the following

 

CITATION:

 

          For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 19 June 1969, Company I was conducting a search and destroy operation eight miles east of An Hoa. When the point man discovered and enemy base camp, the enemy immediately opened fire with a machine gun and wounded him. Quickly moving to a position fifty feet from the casualty, Sergeant Valdez threw several smoke grenades to screen his actions and advanced through the intense enemy fire to the wounded manís side. Placing his comrade on his shoulder, he then carried him to a relatively safe area where medical assistance could be provided. Although wounded twice during this selfless mission, he ignored the pain of his injuries as he aided the platoon commander in leading the unit through dense jungle and precipitous terrain to envelop the hostile position. When the platoon successfully maneuvered into position behind the enemy, Sergeant Valdez, although in intense pain, joined an assault through the enemy position which resulted in three North Vietnamese soldiers killed and the capture of several weapons, including two submachine guns. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and steadfast devotion to duty at great personal risk, Sergeant Valdez inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

 

For the President,

 

 

L. F. CHAPMAN, JR.

COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS