Military's top honor bestowed on Brevard County man
Sergeant 1st Class Melvin Morris didn't know what to think when he got a call last may from the United States Army telling him to be by the phone at 12:30 the next day because a high-ranking government official needed to speak with him.
"I said, 'Well what have I done.' Because I had no clue," said Morris.
When the phone rang at 12:30 the next day, President Barack Obama was on the other end. Morris said his wife had to hold him up because he immediately fell to his knees.
"President Obama said, 'I'm President Obama and I want to apologize to you for not receiving the congressional Medal of Honor,'" Morris told Local 6.
The year was 1969. Sergeant 1st Class Melvin Morris was commanding a strike force mission in South Vietnam when his special forces group came under attack. His fellow commander was shot dead by Vietnamese soldiers and two other troops in his platoon were wounded.
"I knew right away that they had to be medavac'd out and I had to recover my comrades body," said Morris.
Despite massive gunfire hitting him three times, Morris made his way towards an enemy bunker to retrieve the fallen soldier.
After receiving nearly every military award and decoration for his courageous acts in the line of duty, 44 years later he will be awarded the nation's highest honor, a Medal of Honor.
"The soldier that gave the ultimate hero. He's the one that should have the Medal of Honor," Morris said.
Morris will be awarded his Medal of Honor next month in Washington D.C.