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Vietnam MoH recipient Nick Bacon, 64, dies
The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jul 19, 2010 14:54:12 EDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Medal of Honor recipient and former director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs Nick Bacon has died, the department said Saturday.
Bacon, 64, died Saturday morning after suffering from cancer, according to a release from the department. He served in the Army from 1963-88 and received the Medal of Honor for his actions during a 1968 battle in Vietnam.
Gov. Mike Beebe called Bacon an American hero.
He never wanted anything for himself, but always wanted to protect other people in uniform. Arkansas will miss him, Beebe told reporters Saturday.
According to the Armys website, Bacon, a staff sergeant, took command of two platoons after the leaders of each were wounded during a battle near Tam Ky, Vietnam, on Aug. 26, 1968.
Bacon, using grenades, destroyed an enemy bunker before single-handedly killing an enemy gun crew and disabling an anti-tank weapon. He then helped rescue several wounded and trapped soldiers, according to the websites account.
He served as director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs from 1993 to 2005.
Bacon was born Nov. 25, 1945, in Caraway in northeast Arkansas and moved with his family as a child to Arizona, where he joined the Army.
He returned to Arkansas in 1990 and most recently lived in Rose Bud, about 65 miles north of Little Rock.
Funeral services are planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock.
Biography - Nick D. Bacon
Mr. Nick Bacon is President and CEO of DVC Construction, Inc of Little Rock Arkansas. Prior to launching his business in 2005, Mr. Bacon had distinguished himself in various public service leadership positions during his civilian and military career. He served at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Phoenix where he co-originated the Med-Vet Healthcare Program. He later became the City Manager of Surprise Arizona serving for a period of three years and then returned to Arkansas where he was born. Nick was the State Director of Veterans Affairs for Arkansas from 1993-2005.
He has been awarded the George Washington Award from the State of Arizona, the FBI Civilian Academy Award, and the Statesman Award from the American Academy of Medical Administrators, the Minuteman Award earned the 82nd Airborne Iron Mike Award and the Omar Bradley Award of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Mr. Bacon is extraordinarily active in civic and government affairs. He serves on the President's National Hire Veterans Committee, the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission and is a member of the American College of Forensic Examiners. Nick is also a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign War and the Military Order of the Purple.
Retiring as First Sergeant with twenty years of service in the U.S. Army 1988, Mr Bacon is recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct, Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry, V.N. Service Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Army Service ribbon and four overseas campaign ribbons.
Nick was born in Caraway Arkansas. He and his wife Tamara Ann have five children and four grandchildren.
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company B, 4th Battalion
Division: 21st Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade
Born: 25 November 1945, Caraway, Ark.
Entered Service At: Phoenix, Ariz.
Place / Date: West of Tam Ky, Republic of Vietnam, 26 August 1968
CITATION For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Bacon distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with the 1st Platoon, Company B, during an operation west of Tam Ky. When Company B came under fire from an enemy bunker line to the front, S/Sgt. Bacon quickly organized his men and led them forward in an assault. He advanced on a hostile bunker and destroyed it with grenades. As he did so, several fellow soldiers including the 1st Platoon leader, were struck by machine gun fire and fell wounded in an exposed position forward of the rest of the platoon. S/Sgt. Bacon immediately assumed command of the platoon and assaulted the hostile gun position, finally killing the enemy gun crew in a single-handed effort. When the 3d Platoon moved to S/Sgt. Bacon's location, its leader was also wounded. Without hesitation S/Sgt. Bacon took charge of the additional platoon and continued the fight. In the ensuing action he personally killed 4 more enemy soldiers and silenced an antitank weapon. Under his leadership and example, the members of both platoons accepted his authority without question. Continuing to ignore the intense hostile fire, he climbed up on the exposed deck of a tank and directed fire into the enemy position while several wounded men were evacuated. As a result of S/Sgt. Bacon's extraordinary efforts, his company was able to move forward, eliminate the enemy positions, and rescue the men trapped to the front. S/Sgt. Bacon's bravery at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.