News Icon

News: Medal of Honor recipient bonds with 3/5

Story by Cpl. Paul BascianoSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Medal of Honor recipient bonds with 3/5 Cpl. Paul Basciano

Medal of Honor recipient and retired Col. Jay Vargas answers a question about his experiences during his time in the Vietnam War. Vargas came to the San Mateo area of Camp Pendleton to visit 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Jan. 27.

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment’s brushed shoulders with a living legend, when Medal of Honor recipient and retired Col. Jay Vargas came to the San Mateo area of Camp Pendleton to talk with 3/5 Marines, Jan. 27.

Vargas earned the nation’s highest honor in 1968 at Dai Do, Vietnam. His citation cited after suffering wounds during the previous day’s battle, Vargas was able to consolidate forces and lead an attack on the fortified village of Dai Do. He was wounded a second time, refused aid and continued to lead, setting up a strong defense outside the city.

Enemy forces counterattacked all through the night, but Vargas and his Marines renewed their assault, attacking through Dai Do and the village of Dinh, fighting off vicious counterattacks with hand to hand combat. During combat, Vargas, who sustained a third wound, saw his battalion commander seriously wounded. Vargas disregarded his own wounds and took the injured battalion commander to safety and resumed command of his men.

Being a former 5th Marine Regiment man and hearing about 3/5 fighting in one of the toughest areas of operation in southern Afghanistan, Vargas wanted to help.

“You might think that [the Marines of 3/5] are proud to have me here, but I am more proud to be here with you,” Vargas said.

Lance Cpl. Jared Pinkerton, a rifleman with 3/5, was inspired from the meeting.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Pinkerton. “It makes me want to keep serving.”

Other Marines were surprised how they could bond with a Vietnam veteran like Vargas.

“I like the way he came and connected with guys over 40 years later,” said Lance Cpl. Cody Goebel, a machine gunner with 3/5. “He can relate to what I’ve been through.”

After talking with the Marines about his experiences and answering a few questions, Vargas went through the crowd of Marines shaking their hands and chatted with them individually.

At the end of the day, the Marines of 3/5 left motivated and Vargas left proud to be a part of “Fighting Fifth” history.


Connected Media
ImagesMedal of Honor...
Medal of Honor recipient and retired Col. Jay Vargas...
ImagesMedal of Honor...
Medal of Honor recipient and retired Col. Jay Vargas...
ImagesMedal of Honor...
Medal of Honor recipient and retired Col. Jay Vargas...


Web Views
273
Downloads
2

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, Medal of Honor recipient bonds with 3/5, by Cpl Paul Basciano, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:01.27.2011

Date Posted:02.01.2011 14:56

Location:CAMP PENDLETON, CA, USGlobe

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr