Medal of Honor recipient visits Knoxville

Medal of Honor recipient visits Knoxville

Posted:
Retired Army Col. Walter "Joe" Marm, 71, spoke to a gathering the Boy Scouts of American Great Smoky Mountains Council at Worlds Fair Park. Retired Army Col. Walter "Joe" Marm, 71, spoke to a gathering the Boy Scouts of American Great Smoky Mountains Council at Worlds Fair Park.
"We continue to volunteer and pay back. I feel I'm paying back, and I wear the medal for all the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces," said retired Army Col. Walter "Joe" Marm. "We continue to volunteer and pay back. I feel I'm paying back, and I wear the medal for all the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces," said retired Army Col. Walter "Joe" Marm.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A recipient of our nation's highest and rarest military honor, the Medal of Honor, paid a visit Wednesday to Knoxville.

Retired Army Col. Walter "Joe" Marm, 71, spoke to a gathering of scouts and scouters from the Boy Scouts of American Great Smoky Mountains Council at Worlds Fair Park.

Marm arrived to Worlds Fair Park in a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, just like one he rode during the Vietnam War.  

"Riding in a Huey like that brings back a lot of memories of my days in Vietnam," Marm said.

Marm  is one of 80 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. He earned the award while fighting in the Battle of La Drang in 1965, when he was shot in the jaw while trying to relieve U.S. troops pinned down by North Vietnamese forces.

On December 19, 1966, Marm received the Medal of Honor for his actions.

The book and eventual 2002 film "We Were Soldiers" centers on that battle.

"It's one of the most famous battles of Vietnam," he said..

Marm was the only infantry man to receive the medal that day.

"Two helicopter pilots received it decades later," said Joe Thompson, co-chair of the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention.

Marm told area Boy Scouts he was lucky to live through that battle.

An Eagle Scout himself, Marm also stressed the importance of community service to the number of Boy Scout troops in attendance.

"I feel honored just being able to talk to someone who was in the war, and who risked his life to save others," said Austin Naab, a member of Boy Scout Troop 20.

Marm was also drumming up support the Medal of Honor Society Convention, which will meet in Knoxville in September 2014.

"It's a really big deal for the Knoxville community. We'll be bringing all the living Medal of Honor recipients. We'll be honoring veterans, we'll be honoring the community," said Thompson.

The event typically includes school visits and other public and private events.

The Knoxville Medal of Honor host committee estimates the economic impact to the region may exceed $2 million.

Marm visited Sevier County High School Tuesday to celebrate the school's participation in the Medal of Honor Character Development Program.

He also spoke at the Episcopal School of Knoxville Wednesday morning.

"We continue to volunteer and pay back. I feel I'm paying back, and I wear the medal for all the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces," said Marm. 

The program educates youth about applying values embodied in the Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor has been awarded 3,460 times since its creation.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.