Friday, September 12, 2008

Real Hero

Want a heroic role model for your children?  Read about the real life drama and instant decision making of 23 year old Michael Thornton.  
Petty Officer Michael Thornton, then just 23, was part of a patrol that included three South Vietnamese SEALS and his commanding officer, Lt. Tom Norris. During what was to become their final patrol, the five men swam from a small boat about a mile offshore to reach land. They quickly realized they had overshot their target destination and were in North Vietnam when they came under heavy fire. More than 50 enemy soldiers closed to within five yards of the men in a firefight that last five hours.
What does one do when the bullets are still flying and your commanding officer has been killed? If you're Mike Thornton, you head straight into those bullets and get your man. Thornton ran through 500 yards of open terrain, killed two enemy soldiers who were standing over Norris' body, lifted Norris -- his skull shattered and barely alive -- and ran back toward the beach.
Both men were blown into the air by incoming fire from the USS Newport News. Again, Thornton lifted Norris from the ground and ran another 300 yards to the open sea. Once in the water, he lashed his life vest to Norris, and then grabbed one of the other SEALS, who had been wounded in the hip and couldn't swim. Buoying his two wounded comrades, Thornton swam for more than two hours before the three were rescued by the same junk that had dropped them off 16 hours earlier.

 Yes, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, and is still alive and well.   MORE....


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