Patrick Henry Brady: A Story of Bravery and Selflessness

Woven into the fabric of American military history, the name Patrick Henry Brady, born on October 1, 1936, echoes with a tale of courage and resolute dedication. As a retired United States Army major general, Brady's distinguished career is marked by the coveted Medal of Honor, the nation's supreme recognition for military valor. Embark with us on an exploration of the extraordinary life and military journey of this revered American hero.

Early Life and Struggles: Brady's journey began at O'Dea High School in Seattle, Washington, an all-boys school where he was active in sports. Despite initial misgivings about the compulsory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program during his college days at Seattle University, Brady realized the inevitability of military service. His reentry into the ROTC program paved the way for a commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps in 1959.

Military Enlistment and Heroics: Brady's military service took him to West Berlin before deploying to Vietnam in 1964. During his first tour, he served as a Dust Off pilot, displaying remarkable leadership after the death of his commanding officer, Major Charles L. Kelly. His second tour, from 1967 to 1968, saw him rise to the rank of major and second in command of the 54th Medical Detachment. Brady's incredible feat of flying over 2,000 combat missions and evacuating more than 5,000 wounded solidified his reputation as an exceptional helicopter pilot.

Defining Moment: The defining moment of Brady's military career occurred on January 6, 1968, near Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam. Volunteering to rescue wounded soldiers in enemy-held territory blanketed by fog, Brady descended through heavy fog and smoke, maneuvering his helicopter with unmatched skill despite close-range enemy fire. His Medal of Honor citation vividly recounts his fearless actions, including rescuing soldiers in a minefield, embodying the highest traditions of military service.

Post-War Life and Career: Brady retired from the United States Army as a major general on September 1, 1993, concluding a distinguished 34-year military career. His post-war life is marked by continued service, exemplified by his role as Chairman of the Citizens Flag Alliance and induction into the Dustoff Association Hall of Fame.

Military Awards and Decorations: Brady's chest adorned with military decorations and awards narrates a tale of bravery and sacrifice. Notable honors include the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star Medal with Valor device, Purple Heart, and the Master Army Aviator Badge.

Conclusion: In the pantheon of American military heroes, Patrick Henry Brady stands tall, a symbol of unwavering courage and selflessness. His extraordinary service in Vietnam, coupled with his numerous awards and honors, cements his legacy as a true American hero. Major General Patrick Brady's story is not just a chapter in history but a testament to the indomitable spirit that defines the brave men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces.

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Dale M Hardie

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