Austin Honors Medal of Honor Recipients, Part 1
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III recognizes four Vietnam War soldiers who were presented with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. The Army veterans are retired Maj. John Duffy, former Spc. 5 Dwight Birdwell, former Spc. 5 Dennis Fujii and Staff Sgt. Edward Kaneshiro, who received the medal posthumously. Kaneshiro was killed in Vietnam a few months after his heroic actions.
Retired Col. Ralph Puckett Jr. and Sgt. Maj. Thomas P. Payne are also being recognized at the event. Puckett was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2021 for actions during the Korean War; Payne received the award in 2020 for actions during Operation Inherent Resolve. Neither was inducted into the Hall of Heroes at the time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.