Pubdate: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
Date: 11/11/1999
Source: Altamont Enterprise (NY)
Author: Walter F. Wouk

On April 1, 1970, Specialist 4th Class Peter C. Lemon was serving as
an assistant machine gunner with the U.S. Army at Fire Support Base
Illingworth, in Tay Ninh Province, South Vietnam when the base came
under heavy enemy attack.

Specialist Lemon fought off a numerically superior enemy with machine
gun and rifle fire from his defensive position until both weapons
malfunctioned. He then used hand grenades to fend off the intensified
enemy attack launched in his direction.  After eliminating all but one
of the enemy soldiers in the immediate vicinity, he pursued and
disposed of the remaining soldier in hand-to-hand combat.

Despite fragment wounds from an exploding grenade, Specialist Lemon
regained his position, carried a more seriously wounded comrade to an
aid station, and, as he returned, was wounded a second time by enemy
fire. Disregarding his personal injuries, he moved to his position
through a hail of small arms and grenade fire and was wounded a third
time, but his determined efforts successfully drove the enemy from the

Securing an operable machine gun, Sgt. Lemon stood atop an embankment
fully exposed to enemy fire, and fired upon the enemy until he
collapsed from his multiple wounds and exhaustion.  After regaining
consciousness at the aid station, he refused medical evacuation until
his more seriously wounded comrades had been evacuated.

Peter Lemon was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his
actions at Fire Base Illingworth.   After receiving this nation's
highest honor he told reporters that he was stoned on marijuana the
night of the battle.*

I don't know if Mr. Lemon still uses marijuana  but if he does, he
should be aware that the Republican Party wants to put him in jail.
The Republican Party's national platform on drugs states that "We
support strong penalties for drug-related crimes."  That includes
engaging in the moderate use of marijuana -- and that includes Vietnam
veterans like Peter Lemon.

Walter F. Wouk