Oxnard veteran receives Medal of Honor at White House

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An Oxnard veteran received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, at the White House Wednesday afternoon. (KABC)

An Oxnard veteran hailed as a hero for his efforts in saving lives in a fierce battle during the Vietnam War received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, at the White House Wednesday afternoon.

Retired Sgt. Maj. John Canley served as a Marine for 28 years. Canley's heroism includes twice scaling a hospital wall in view of the enemy to help wounded Marines and carry them to safety.

According to the White House, Canley, a native of Caledonia, Arkansas, who now lives in California, fought off multiple enemy attacks over several days in early 1968 while his company moved toward Hue as part of a counter-offensive to retake the city from the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces.

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Oxnard resident and retired Sgt. Maj. John Canley received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, at the White House Wednesday afternoon.



"He assaulted enemy strongholds, killed enemy fighters and with deadly accuracy did everything you had to do," President Donald Trump said. "He raced into heavy machine gun fire on many occasions - all to save his fellow Marines. In one harrowing engagement after another, John risked his own life to save the lives of those under his command."

In the early days of the Tet Offensive in Hue City, Canley took over command of his unit after his commanding officer was seriously wounded.

Trump called the 80-year-old a "true warrior" for his efforts to take command of his unit.

"Despite sustaining serious injuries, very very serious injuries, he continued to face down the enemy with no thought for his own safety," Trump said. "John waged seven straight days of unrelentling combat, personally saving the lives of more than 20 Marines."

Canley is also credited for saving many American lives and has received the Navy Cross as well as two bronze stars and a Purple Heart.

The president also praised him for helping mentor young Marines in Southern California.

Canley became the 300th Marine to receive the Medal of Honor.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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