Valor Finally Rewarded

It’s been almost 60 years since US Army Special Forces colonel (then captain) Paris Davis was nominated for America’s highest military honor. Last Friday, he finally got what he had earned so many years ago in the jungles of Vietnam. President Biden awarded Davis the Medal of Honor Friday in a traditional White House ceremony. Mr. Biden commented that the act might mark the “most consequential day” of his presidency as he remarked to Davis that he was a “true hero” for his actions in Vietnam.

Col. Davis redies his uniform for the Medal of Honor ceremony. Screenshot from YouTube and CBS News.

The White House contacted the retired Special Forces officer earlier in February of this year to inform him that his bravery would finally be recognized. Davis, one of the first Black Special Forces officers, was initially submitted for the award in 1965, but the Army somehow kept “misplacing” the application repeatedly. As years passed, frustrated teammates kept lobbying the Army for Davis’s medal, but no real action was ever taken.

Green Berets never quit, and after 55 years of trying, acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller ordered an expedited review of the long overdue nomination. The Army, as a matter of policy, declined to comment on the matter, citing their policy not to comment on any awards until final decisions are rendered.

Davis, who retired from the service in 1985, downplayed the ongoing situation in typical SF fashion. He said regarding the delay, “… all this stuff, medals, and all that…people need to keep on keepin’ on. We’ve got to make this a better world. That’s how I feel.” Roger that, sir.