PHOTOS: President Biden awards retired Col. Ralph Puckett Jr. Medal of Honor

Photo Galleries

(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.

US President Joe Biden speaks before presenting the Medal of Honor to 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden (R) speaks before presenting the Medal of Honor to 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., (L), for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden stands on stage before presenting the Medal of Honor to 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr waits on stage to receive the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr waits on stage to receive the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden (R) stands next to 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., before presenting him with the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in speaks during the Medal of Honor ceremony for 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in speaks during the Medal of Honor ceremony for 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr. listens to South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in speak during a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr. arrives at a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden presents the Medal of Honor to 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden presents the Medal of Honor to 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden and 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., stand on stage during a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden applauds after presenting the Medal of Honor to 94-year-old retired Army colonel Ralph Pukett, Jr., for conspicuous gallantry while serving during the Korean War, in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Video

Now Trending on KRQE.com

Statewide Hourly Forecasts ⟶

Albuquerque Hourly Forecast

Don't Miss

MORE IN DON'T MISS

Photo Galleries

MORE PHOTO GALLERIES

News Resources - Maps

MORE NEWS RESOURCES