(KRQE/AP)- President Joe Biden awarded his first Medal of Honor on Friday, May 21, 2021, to retired Col. Ralph Puckett Jr. for acts of bravery during the Korean War. The Associated Press reports that Puckett held Hill 205, a strategic position near Unsan, over two days in November 1950 while fighting off numerous attacks during the battle and suffered multiple wounds.
Ninety-four-year-old Puckett lives in Columbus, Georgia, and was a first lieutenant and commander of the 8th U.S. Army Ranger Company during those two days in 1950. According to AP, Puckett was seriously wounded when mortar rounds landed in his foxhole which limited his mobility and while he ordered his men to evacuate and leave him behind, they refused.
As he was under enemy fire, the Rangers reportedly retrieved Puckett from the foxhole and brought him to the bottom of the hill where he handled operations against the enemy. Puckett also spent about a year in combat in Vietnam as a member of the 101st Airborne Division and in 1992, he was an inaugural inductee into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame.
Puckett lives with his wife of 68-years, Jean. South Korean President Moon Jae-in also attended the ceremony as he was in Washington for a summit with Biden at the White House.