How far would you go in the name of camaraderie? Rather than answering through words, Medal of Honor recipient Pfc Milton Lee Olive has shown it through his action—by literally throwing himself into a grenade if it meant for his comrades to live through another day.

A Young Veteran

Olive was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, in mid-fall 1946. He’d spend a couple of years with his grandparents in Lexington, Mississippi, before returning to his hometown, where he’d enlist in the US Army in 1964 at the height of the Vietnam War.

He was deployed overseas under the 173d Airborne Brigade, the first major combat unit to arrive on the hostile grounds of Ho Chi Minh, and immediately became a hardened soldier way before turning 18.

As the Army’s only combat-ready unit in the Pacific at the time, it was only a matter of weeks before the 173rd’s “Sky Soldiers” came face to face with the enemy. Soldiers were trying to secure and secure the 60-square-mile area known as War Zone D, but Viet Congs kept pouring in, infiltrating the parameter again and again.