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Commisioning ceremony hosts guest speaker

Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Crandall

PULLMAN – In a commissioning ceremony at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 9 in Kimbrough room 110, sixteen men and women will be commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

The guest speaker is retired Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Crandall, a recipient of the Medal of Honor and a hometown hero from Olympia, Washington.  He received the highest award for valor for his actions in the Battle of Ia Drang, Vietnam in 1966.  He was a member of A Company, 1st of the 229th Air Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile).
While his name isn’t well- known outside of the Department of Defense, he was immortalized in the movie “We Were Soldiers Once, and Young” starring Mel Gibson.
LTC Crandall and Major Ed Freeman were helicopter pilots and both received the Medal of Honor for landing helicopters in landing zone (LZ) x-ray.  In the movie, there were several scenes in which LTC Crandall and MAJ Freeman flew to the LZ and provided ammunition and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) to wounded soldiers.  In reality, they flew over 20 missions that day and saved the lives of 70 soldiers.  In a sad note, MAJ Freeman died last week in Boise, Idaho. 


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