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Heroic Action by Elmer Soldier

Those who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States are all heroes in this author’s mind. Their willingness to put their lives at risk so the rest of us can enjoy the freedom and lifestyle available in this country deserves the highest respect from their countrymen.  I salute them all. Occasionally, though, actions by an individual goes well above the call of duty. Such was the case of Jerry Hall, who risked his life in order to provide safety for his comrades in battle. The following is a reprint of an article reported in the Army Reporter.

Silver Star and Two Purple Hearts for Brave Elmer Soldier

Sgt. Jerry R. Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Hall of Elmer, is the recipient of the Silver Star, the third highest award the United States gives for bravery. He was also awarded two purple hearts and was promoted from Spec. 4 to Sergeant as the result of gallantry in action on December 27 in the Republic of Vietnam.

Col. Peter Urban, commanding officer of the 38th Army Brigade (AD), pinned the medal on Hall before an honor guard made up of his buddies from the brigade H. Battery. The presentation was made in Korea in August and Hall received his discharge from the Army this month and is now at the home of his parents.

Hall served in Vietnam with HHC, 3rd Bn. 8th Inf., 4th Inf. Division and went to Korea after a short tour in a hospital in Japan. He has been in the army for two years.

The General Orders announcing the award of the Silver Star to Hall reads as follows:

“Specialist Four Hall distinguished himself by heroic action as point man on a reconnaissance patrol in the Republic of Vietnam. Upon detecting voices on the trail in front of him, Specialist Hall informed his platoon leader and proceeded forward alone while the rest of the platoon deployed to flank the suspected enemy. Upon moving 15 to 20 meters to his front, Specialist Hall was confronted by an armed North Vietnamese soldier, killing him instantly. Immediately afterwards, the entire patrol was taken under heavy fire, pinning them down and wounding Hall in the head.

“The fire soon increased to a point where it was impossible for the patrol to move without taking further casualties. Spec. Hall, realizing this, jumped to his feet and fired at the enemy causing them to cease fire. He then attempted to move back to cover, but sustained a foot wound when the enemy’s automatic weapons began firing again. Alternating between firing and crawling, he managed to reach a covered position where he passed out.

“As the fire fight progressed, the patrol began expending their supply of ammunition when one of the patrol members threw some ammunition to the squad leader, which fell short. Spec. Hall, regaining consciousness and realizing the situation, retrieved the ammunition and crawled back under heavy fire to the squad leader. Upon reaching the Sergeant, he once again returned fire until an enemy round struck his weapon and rendered it useless. After several minutes passed, the patrol was able to disengage the enemy and returned to a secure location where Spec. Hall’s wounds were dressed.“Specialist Hall’s unimpeachable valor in close combat against superior enemy forces was in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service and reflects great courage.”