Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
Published: July 14, 2016
Gary Michael Rose receives the Distinguished Service Cross from Gen. Creighton Abrams, the U.S. commander in Vietnam, for heroism during Operation Tailwind.
COURTESY OF TED WICOREK
“God knows how many times he risked his life to make sure as many guys as possible came out alive,” Retired Maj. John Plaster.WASHINGTON — The story of Green Beret Gary Michael Rose’s heroism is an epic of classified warfare and a stinging media scandal, but it might soon end with a Medal of Honor.
In 1970, Rose was the lone medic for a company of Special Forces soldiers and indigenous Vietnamese fighters during a risky, four-day assault deep into Laos. The badly injured Rose helped bring all the soldiers back alive and received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military honor, during a ceremony at the time in Vietnam.
“He is not a gung-ho person, he is very thoughtful, but he was a hell of a medic and I trusted him with my life,” said Keith Plancich, 66, who was a Special Forces squad leader on the mission.
But Rose and the other men were wrongly accused of taking part in war crimes in 1998 after the mission, called Operation Tailwind, was declassified and unearthed for the first time by CNN and its partner Time magazine.
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