Story of a Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient


TROY — KIA is an acronym for Killed in Action, something we all hope will never be the designation for those whom we love and who are serving in the U.S. military. But it happens, and on April 5, at the Miami Valley Veterans Museum in Troy (2245 S. County Road 25 A ) at 9 a.m., attendees will hear the story of Joseph “Guy” LaPointe, Jr. (1948-1969), from his son and widow.

LaPointe was a conscientious objector, and one of only three in military history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. A combat U.S. Army medic, LaPointe died on Hill 376 of the Quang Tin Province in Vietnam as he shielded with his body members of his unit who were under fire.

LaPointe’s son and his widow traveled to that hill in Vietnam in 1999 and again in 2000, and his son-who was five months old at the time of his father’s death-says, “I learned from the men who served with my father that he would patch up little kids who needed medical attention and make friends with the locals. I learned that the Army didn’t shape him; he was already shaped. I joined the Army after high school graduation because I wanted that connection with my dad, wanted to know what the army was like.”

LaPointe’s widow, Cindy, a teenager at the time of her husband’s death, has spent thousands of hours making presentations to groups, serving in a variety of roles at the Dayton VA and the American Veterans Heritage Center. Cindy’s upcoming project is a podcast in which she will be interviewing veterans at St. Leonard’s Assisted Living for the Miami Valley Communications Council.

The meeting at the museum is open to the public, and coffee and doughnuts will be served beginning at 8:30 a.m., courtesy of Miami County Veterans Services.

Note: see the MVVM Facebook page for information on free food and the movie “Hello Girls” on March 24 and 25 at the Museum. Donations appreciated.

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