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40 years later, war hero gets his due

By Staff | May 19, 2009

It was November 17, 1965, when then-Staff Sergeant Keith Maynard volunteered to jump on a helicopter to deliver medical supplies to besieged troops at the Landing Zone Albany in Vietnam.
Maynard, a helicopter maintenance sergeant, flew as chief gunner into the embattled area to evacuate the wounded, all while under enemy fire from the North Vietnamese. While his aircraft landed in the dark with only a flashlight to guide the way, he provided suppressive machine gun fire. Surrounded by North Vietnamese regular army troops and under heavy fire, Maynard left the helicopter to rescue wounded soldiers on the battlefield. After pulling the wounded soldiers aboard the helicopter and delivering them to safety, Maynard rejoined his crew and returned to the battlefield once again to evacuate more of the wounded.
Now, more than 40 years later, Maynard will finally get his due when he is awarded with the prestigious Silver Star for gallantry in action in connection with military operations against a hostile force. On Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Fort Myers, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson will bestow Maynard with the nation’s third highest military honor designated solely for heroism in combat.
For Maynard’s part, he says he is receiving this award on behalf of his platoon.
“Mr. Maynard may not consider himself a hero, but he saved others when his own life was in dire jeopardy. In my book, that is the greatest kind of heroism,” said Nelson.

Source: Sen. Bill Nelson