By March 1968, the United States was already three years into the Vietnam War. George Lang was drafted into the Army and headed to boot camp.
Headed To Vietnam
After he graduated, Lang was sent to advanced infantry training. From there, Lang went to Vietnam.
About a year later, he was getting ready to head out on leave when they were alerted to the enemy moving in on their position. Lang did not even hesitate to put off his leave and geared up for the mission.
He and his fellow soldiers got into their boats and headed down the river. They went down the water canals to Kien Hoa Province, landing onshore.
Finding the Enemy
They walked in about 50- meters before hitting a set of bunkers connected via communication wires. Lang took point and saw five armed guards, who he quickly fired upon.
The enemy was not the only one who was attacking the squad. Red ants also went after the men. They tore off toward a pond to rinse off the ants while still taking on enemy fire.
Once they were free of their tiny attackers, the men went back to find the VC troops. But, just as they found the bodies of those they were fighting with before the ant incident, they came under additional fire from a bunker.
Several Americans died as bullets reigned down, but Lang ran toward the bunkers, rifle, and grenades in hand. He took out three weapon-filled bunkers.
As Lang headed back toward his squad, a rocket went off, launching shrapnel into his back, harming his spinal cord. Lang could no longer move his legs and was in an immense amount of pain.
However, Lang stayed in charge of his men and coordinated their movements and medical evacuations for hours. Eventually, Lang was transported to safety and treated. Richard Nixon awarded George Lang with the Medal of Honor on March 2, 1971.