US President Joe Biden has awarded the first Presidential Medal of Honor of his term to a Korean war veteran retired Colonel Ralph Puckett Jr. for his "conspicuous gallantry" in the Korean war. Biden presented the country's highest military honour in a ceremony on Friday alongside South Korea's President Moon Jae-in.
Puckett "distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, while serving as the Commander, 8th U.S. Army Ranger Company during the period of November 25, and 26, 1950, in Korea," A White House statement was quoted by CBS News as saying.
"President Moon, it's a real honor to have you here participating in this ceremony today. The strength of the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea was born out of the courage, determination and sacrifice of the Korean troops fighting shoulder to shoulder with American troops. And having you here today is an important recognition of all that our nation has achieved together, both of them, in the decades since," CBS quoted President Biden.
Puckett,94, was a first lieutenant during the war. He had received a Distinguished Service Cross for his command of the Eighth US Army Ranger Company in 1950. But a campaign by a retired army officer persuaded the authorities into considering Puckett for the nation’s highest military honour.