The date is April 4, 1970. Sgt. 1st Class Gary Littrell is leading a battalion of 473 S. Vietnamese rangers through the Kontum province near the Laos border. Their mission is to seek out enemy combatants targeting U.S. special-forces camps in the region.
Then all hell breaks loose.
Sgt. Littrell’s unit is ambushed by 5,000 enemy troops who unleash a torrent of mortar fire. “During the ensuing 4 days, Sfc. Littrell exhibited near superhuman endurance as he single-handedly bolstered the besieged battalion,” his Medal of Honor citation would later read. History reveals that Sgt. Littrell and 41 wounded rangers would survive the onslaught, having inflicted far greater casualties on the enemy.
Nearly 60,000 Americans lost their lives in Vietnam. Today, five times that number may have died awaiting medical care from the Veterans Administration (VA).
Yes, you read that right.
More than 300,000 veterans may have died waiting for health care from the U.S. government, according to a recent VA inspector general’s report. That’s the equivalent of 100 Sept. 11 attacks on our nation’s homeland.