Medal of Honor Recipients Visit Hawaii
(May 1, 2010)
|PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Three Medal of Honor recipients spent
a three-day visit in Hawaii to speak to troops and promote a
book about Medal of Honor recipients as part of a Military
Appreciation annual tour, April 25 to 27. |
Sponsored by the Navy Exchange, Retired Army Col. Donald E.
Ballard, retired Army Sgt. Maj. Kenneth E. Stumpf and
retired Marine Sgt. Maj. Allen J. Kellogg toured military
facilities such as the Army Tripler Medical Hospital, the
Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
|PEARL HARBOR (April 26, 2010) Ensign Ray Miller IV gives a tour to Medal of Honor recipients aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Crommelin (FFG 37). Medal of Honor recipients Sgt. Maj. Kenneth E. Stumpf, Sgt. Maj. Allen J. Kellogg and Col. Donald E. Ballard are touring the western Pacific Region to talk to troops and to promote the book that reveals stories of many of the Medal of Honor recipients.
"Everywhere I go, I'm so impressed with the troops," said
Stumpf. "To me they're the greatest, all volunteers. I can
tell you the country really appreciates what they have done
and what they keep on doing." |
The recipients met with several Sailors and other service
members during the three-day visit. They had dinner with
Individual Augmentees at the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel. They had
breakfast with Sailors at the Silver Dolphin Bistro on JBPHH.
"I enjoy meeting with the troops because they're America,"
said Ballard. "They are now carrying the torch that we used
to carry, and we're grateful that we have such a strong
Stephanie Lau, the customer relations manager of Pearl
Harbor Navy Exchange said she felt honored to meet the three
"We've heard their story at the galley this morning at the
breakfast," said Lau. "To hear it from them, what they've
been through, is really above and beyond, I'd say. It gives
more of a respect to all our service members and what they
are going through."
During their visit at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange, they
signed autographs and promoted their book to service members
The book, "Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the
Call," is a group portrait of most of the living recipients
of the Medal of Honor. It includes entries from each
recipient, including a photo portrait at the time of the
award, a summary of the medal-winning action and
biographical information about their later career.
With or without the book, service members and families were
given free autographs from each of the recipients. Army Lt.
Col. Allen Thiessen received his own copies of their
autographs which he plans to take with him to his team in Al
"I do this to motivate our guys, to let my guys know that
these [Medal of Honor recipients] are the guys that set the
example for us," said Thiessen, whose team is responsible
for training Iraqi Federal Police during the transition in
Toward the end of the tour, the recipients met with more
than 50 Hospital Corpsmen and officers, including Purple
Heart recipients at the Makalapa Clinic on JBPHH.
Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF) Stewart Butler received the
Purple Heart from Operation Iraqi Freedom and was also
honored to speak with the recipients.
"It's nice to meet someone who has been there before you and
has experienced along the same lines, to share the common
bond, camaraderie, being in the field," said Butler.
During a question-and-answer portion, Butler asked the
recipients for their wisdom when it came to their coping
"To get the different points of views from everyone on how
to cope for certain things that come up in life. Hopefully
with everything that was said today, the junior Sailors will
take it to heart and go forward in a way that will inspire
them to be good Sailors, good parents, good friends."
Ballard, Stumpf and Kellogg served during the Vietnam War
where they each earned their Medal of Honor.
On May 16, 1968, Ballard, a Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class at
the time, was treating two Marines suffering from heat
exhaustion when his company was attacked by the North
Vietnamese Army. While under fire, Ballard directed aid to
other wounded Marines. When a grenade landed nearby, he lay
on top of it to protect the injured. The grenade failed to
explode, and Ballard was able to throw it away to explode
harmlessly. He later returned to his comrades and continued
to treat the wounded.
On April 25, 1967, then Staff Sgt. Stumpf and his company
approached a village that had a well-fortified bunker
complex and was occupied by a North Vietnamese rifle
company. During the initial contact, three men were injured,
and Stumpf rescued his three wounded comrades despite heavy
fire. He then organized his squad and led an assault against
several enemy bunkers. He and his squad successfully
eliminated two of the bunker positions, and then after, he
single-handedly disabled the remaining bunker.
On March 11, 1970, Gunnery Sgt. Kellogg led a small unit
while evacuating a fallen comrade when his unit came under
fire by a well-concealed, numerically-superior enemy. During
the engagement, an enemy soldier hurled a grenade into the
unit's midst, which glanced off the chest of Kellogg. Quick
to act, he forced the grenade into the mud where he stood
and threw himself over the weapon and absorbed the full
effects of its detonation with his body thereby preventing
serious injury or possible death to several of his fellow
Marines. Although suffering multiple injuries to his chest
and his right shoulder and arm, Kellogg continued to direct
the efforts of his men until all were able to maneuver to
the relative safety of the company perimeter.
Article and photo by Navy MCS 2nd Class Mark Logico
Navy Office of Community Outreach
Navy News Service
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