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Ypsilanti veteran will receive Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor recipient Charles Kettles
Rebecca Kruth

In 1967, helicopter pilot Charles Kettles led a platoon on several trips through enemy fire to rescue wounded soldiers near the district of Duc Pho in Vietnam.

The Ypsilanti native then flew back again, alone, to rescue eight more soldiers who couldn't reach the evacuation helicopters due to the intense enemy fire. 

In recognition of Kettles’ actions nearly 50 years ago, President Barack Obama will present him with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House July 18.

Kettles says the award isn’t his alone. He says it belongs to the entire crew.

"It's a great honor, but nothing will upstage the fact that we got 44 men out of there," he said.

Kettles retired from the Army in 1978 as a lieutenant colonel.

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military honor.