Vietnam veteran to be awarded Medal of Honor

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Then-Maj. Charles Kettles, U.S. Army, in front of a 121st Aviation Company UH-1H in 1969. (Photo courtesy of Charles Kettles)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will award the nation's highest military honor for valor to a Vietnam War veteran credited with saving the lives of more than 40 soldiers nearly five decades ago.

The White House says Obama will award now-retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles the Medal of Honor for actions taken near Duc Pho on May 15, 1967.

The White House says Kettles led his platoon on several trips to a landing zone where wounded soldiers were being evacuated. He returned without aerial support to rescue soldiers pinned down by enemy fire.

Kettles retired from the Army in 1978. Department of Defense officials say next month's White House ceremony is the culmination of an effort that began in 2012 and included letters from fellow soldiers validating his heroic actions.