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Character Education: Interview with Medal of Honor Recipient Robert Modrzejewski (Vietnam)
Thursday November 15, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
Hosted by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
Sponsored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
Plan for your class to watch the on-demand recording with Medal of Honor Recipient Robert Modrzejewski. Modrzejewski performed the actions for which he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor while serving with the Marines in Vietnam in 1966. Although exposed to enemy fire and despite painful wounds, Maj. Modrzejewski crawled 200 meters to provide critically needed ammunition to an exposed element of his command and was constantly present wherever the fighting was heaviest. Despite numerous casualties, a dwindling supply of ammunition, and the knowledge that they were surrounded, he skillfully directed artillery fire to within a few meters of his position and courageously inspired the efforts of his company in repelling the aggressive enemy attack. His unparalleled personal heroism and indomitable leadership inspired his men to a significant victory over the enemy force and reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.
This edWebinar, presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, is an inspiring learning opportunity for middle and high school students to connect directly with an American hero. Interviews with Medal of Honor Recipients are part of the Medal of Honor Character Development Program, a free program that helps students build character and promotes responsible citizenship through a deeper understanding of stories of courage and sacrifice.
Before the edWebinar, we encourage teachers to review Modrzejewski’s story with their class. Student viewers must view the program with their teacher.
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert Modrzejewski Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 15 July, during Operation HASTINGS, Company K was landed in an enemy-infested jungle area to establish a blocking position at a major enemy trail network. Shortly after landing, the company encountered a reinforced enemy platoon in a well-organized, defensive position. Maj. Modrzejewski led his men in the successful seizure of the enemy redoubt, which contained large quantities of ammunition and supplies. That evening, a numerically superior enemy force counterattacked in an effort to retake the vital supply area, thus setting the pattern of activity for the next 2 1/2 days. In the first series of attacks, the enemy assaulted repeatedly in overwhelming numbers but each time was repulsed by the gallant marines. The second night, the enemy struck in battalion strength, and Maj. Modrzejewski was wounded in this intensive action which was fought at close quarters. Although exposed to enemy fire, and despite his painful wounds, he crawled 200 meters to provide critically needed ammunition to an exposed element of his command and was constantly present wherever the fighting was heaviest, despite numerous casualties, a dwindling supply of ammunition and the knowledge that they were surrounded, he skillfully directed artillery fire to within a few meters of his position and courageously inspired the efforts of his company in repelling the aggressive enemy attack. On 18 July, Company K was attacked by a regimental-size enemy force. Although his unit was vastly outnumbered and weakened by the previous fighting, Maj. Modrzejewski reorganized his men and calmly moved among them to encourage and direct their efforts to heroic limits as they fought to overcome the vicious enemy onslaught. Again he called in air and artillery strikes at close range with devastating effect on the enemy, which together with the bold and determined fighting of the men of Company K, repulsed the fanatical attack of the larger North Vietnamese force. His unparalleled personal heroism and indomitable leadership inspired his men to a significant victory over the enemy force and reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.
Host and Interviewer
Cathy Ehlers Metcalf joined the Medal of Honor Character Development Program as Vice President of Education in 2015 after serving as a Regional Curriculum Trainer. Cathy taught college-level writing for over 33 years in Southern California. Cathy’s father was a World War II Medal of Honor Recipient. Those experiences gave Cathy a great respect for both the Medal of Honor and a passion for service to our Nation’s Veterans.
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The Medal of Honor Character Development Program is a free resource that teaches character through stories of the Medal of Honor recipients. The CDP is a cross-curriculum supplement and complies with National/State Common Core standards. The Medal of Honor Character Development Program incorporates the ideals of courage and selfless service into the middle and high school curriculum to build character and promote responsible citizenship. The program is FREE and includes 50+ lesson plans supported by over 100 video vignettes of the Medal of Honor Recipients themselves, as well as videos of hometown heroes selected by the Medal of Honor Recipients as “Citizen Heroes.”
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