Private First Class Bruce Carter, who jumped on a grenade for his comrades in the Vietnam War, will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Private First Class Bruce W. Carter of the United States Marine Corps was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in August 1969. Pfc. Carter was originally buried in Miami, Florida, but his remains have been relocated to Virginia to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on November 4.
Arlington National Cemetery has the strictest eligibility requirements of any national cemetery. As a Medal of Honor recipient, Pfc. Carter qualifies for in-ground burial with a casket. When Pfc. Carter's family requested his remains be moved to Arlington National Cemetery, the request was approved.
American Airlines flew Pfc. Carter's remains from Miami to Washington, D.C., and said they were proud to provide the transportation to his final resting place.
An Honor for Distinguished Service
Bruce Wayne Carter was born in New York, raised in Texas and Louisiana, and graduated from school and enlisted with the Marines in Florida. After receiving training in North and South Carolina and California, Carter was ordered to Vietnam in 1969 where he served as a radio operator with Company H, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division.
On August 7, 1969, Pfc. Carter's unit came under fire from a North Vietnamese force that outnumbered their own. The main squad was separated from its leadership when a brush fire broke out. Carter and his fellow soldiers were pinned down by crossfire. As Carter's medal commendation reads, that's "when, with complete disregard for his own safety, he stood in full view of the North Vietnamese Army soldiers to deliver a devastating volume of fire at their positions." This attack caused the enemy to retreat from the immediate area. Carter shouted out orders and began to lead his comrades out of the path of the rapidly expanding bush-fire—and then he noticed a hostile grenade land between him and his fellows. "Fully aware of the probable consequences of his action, but determined to protect the men following him, he unhesitatingly threw himself over the grenade, absorbing the full effects of its detonation with his own body," reads the commendation.
Pfc. Carter was killed by the grenade and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He now receives a final honor in joining others who served their country in Arlington National Cemetery.
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