What Makes A Hero

Veteran: Michael Red Cloud Jr. 
Artist: Michael Koulermos
Writer: Bob Schulman

Nobody starts out to become a hero.

The eldest son of Mitchell and Lillian Red Cloud enlisted in the Marine Corp, as many did, at the onset of World War II.

At Guadalcanal he contacted malaria, lost nearly 80 pounds and was offered a medical discharge. But he refused, recovering in time to see heavy action in Okinawa.

In 1948 he re-enlisted in the peacetime Army — never suspecting he would be on a hill two years later near Chonghyon, North Pyongan Province, North Korea — the first to spot the advancing enemy. 

It was there he made a split second decision that defined heroism:

“…with utter fearlessness he maintained his firing position until severely wounded by enemy fire. Refusing assistance he pulled himself to his feet and wrapping his arm around a tree continued his deadly fire again…”

He did everything he could to engage the enemy, so the wounded could be removed and his own E Company could live to fight another day.

In doing so, he sacrificed his own life for the good of others.

Awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in April 1951 for Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty.”

Mitchell Red Cloud Jr.

Rest in Peace.