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Character Education: Interview with Medal of Honor Recipient John Baca (Vietnam)
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
Hosted by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
Sponsored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
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Plan for your class to watch the on-demand recording with Medal of Honor Recipient John Baca. Baca performed the actions for which he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor during a night ambush mission in Vietnam, when he led his team through enemy fire to aide another platoon. As they prepared to engage the enemy, a fragmentation grenade was thrown into their midst. Baca covered the grenade with his steel helmet and fell on it as the grenade exploded, absorbing the lethal fragments and concussion with his body. Baca’s gallant action and total disregard for his personal well-being directly saved eight men from certain serious injury or death.
This edWebinar, presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, is an inspiring learning opportunity for middle and high school students to hear directly from 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 viewing the edWebinar, we encourage teachers to review Baca’s story. Student viewers must view the program with their teacher.
Medal of Honor Recipient John Baca Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Baca, Company D, distinguished himself while serving on a recoilless-rifle team during a night ambush mission. A platoon from his company was sent to investigate the detonation of an automatic ambush device forward of his unit’s main position and soon came under intense enemy fire from concealed positions along the trail. Hearing the heavy firing from the platoon position and realizing that his recoilless-rifle team could assist the members of the besieged patrol, Sp4c. Baca led his team through the hail of enemy fire to a firing position within the patrol’s defensive perimeter. As they prepared to engage the enemy, a fragmentation grenade was thrown into the midst of the patrol. Fully aware of the danger to his comrades, Sp4c. Baca unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own safety, covered the grenade with his steel helmet and fell on it as the grenade exploded, thereby absorbing the lethal fragments and concussion with his body. His gallant action and total disregard for his personal well-being directly saved eight men from certain serious injury or death. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Sp4c. Baca, at the risk of his life, are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
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.
Join The Medal of Honor Character Development Program community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.
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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