Expert Leadership: Interview with Medal of Honor Recipient Jay Vargas
Medal of Honor Recipient Jay Vargas told his personal story during this special webinar presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation (CMOHF). This interview is an exciting learning opportunity for students. We encourage teachers and their classes, 5th grade and up, to watch Mr. Vargas recount his experiences growing up as part of an immigrant family and share his thoughts on courage and commitment.
Of his many accomplishments as a Marine Officer, the most widely publicized was achieved in combat. In the spring of 1968, while serving in the Republic of Vietnam, Vargas’ company engaged in fierce combat with the enemy at the village of Dai Do. During the battle, he was able to free one of his platoons, pinned down by heavy fire, by personally destroying three enemy machine gun positions. Vargas then carried to safety his seriously wounded battalion commander and saved seven other Marines. His actions left 15 of the enemy dead and caused him to sustain wounds at three different times. He refused to leave the field of battle until his injuries compelled him to do so. It was for his actions at Dai Do that, in a May 1970 ceremony at the White House, President Richard M. Nixon presented then Major Vargas with our nation’s highest decoration for military valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
During this webinar, Mr. Vargas discussed what the Medal of Honor means to him and how it has affected his life, adding his unique perspective on the values celebrated by the CMOHF Character Development Program. Cathy Metcalf, Vice President of Education for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, moderated the program.