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Biden awards Medal of Honor to Korean War veteran Ralph Puckett

President Joe Biden, Ralph Puckett
Posted at 1:11 PM, May 21, 2021

President Joe Biden honored Army Colonel Ralph Puckett with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House on Friday, the first time he's awarded the military's highest honor during his presidency.

"Korea is sometimes called the forgotten war. But those men who were on Hill 205 will never forget. Col. Puckett's leadership," Biden said.

Puckett was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroics in holding the U.S.'s strategic position on Hill 205 during the Korean War in November 1950.

According to Biden's remarks, Puckett put his life at risk three times in order for the U.S. to take the hill. He then continued to command his troops despite being out-manned 10 to 1 and suffering several injuries.

Biden said that Puckett took grenade shrapnel in his thigh, suffered a second wound to his shoulder and then continued to command troops after he suffered injuries to his legs and feet when mortar rounds landed in his foxhole.

Biden said that Puckett continued to serve after the Korean War, earning a Distinguished Service Medal in Vietnam and earning five Purple Hearts during his time in the military.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was in attendance at the ceremony on Friday, calling it a "great honor and pleasure to be invited."

"Col. Puckett is a true hero of the Korean War," Moon said, adding that without the efforts of men like Puckett, Korea wouldn't have the freedom and democracy it has today.

Following the ceremony, Moon will hold a summit with Biden and participate in a joint press conference.