Birdies for the Brave
Every September, Redpoint Resolutions takes part in the nation’s largest “Birdies for the Brave” golf tournament, in Half Moon Bay, CA. “Birdies for the Brave” is a national outreach event that raises funds for numerous charities serving combat veterans, and the Half Moon Bay edition specifically benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation.
This week, Redpoint Vice President Ted Muhlner had the opportunity to share the links with Medal of Honor recipient Michael Thornton. The Medal of Honor is the most prestigious decoration for U.S. military service members who distinguish themselves by acts of valor, and Thornton’s actions during the final years of the Vietnam War were nothing short of heroic.
As described on Thornton’s Wikipedia page:
On October 31, , Thornton participated in a mission to capture prisoners and gather intelligence from the Cửa Việt Base near the coast of Quảng Trị Province, just south of the Demilitarized Zone. In addition to Thornton, the mission team consisted of another SEAL, Lieutenant Thomas R. Norris, and three men from the LDNN, the South Vietnamese Special Forces. Approaching by sea, the group was transported by junk until sunset, then paddled a rubber boat to within a mile of shore and swam the remaining distance. Moving inland past numerous North Vietnamese encampments, the group reconnoitered through the night.
When morning dawned, the five-man group realized that they had landed too far north and were actually in North Vietnam. They made their way toward the coast but were spotted by a group of 50 soldiers, beginning an intense five-hour battle. When the group’s commander, Lieutenant Norris, was severely wounded, Thornton ran through heavy fire to rescue him. He then carried the unconscious Norris into the water and began swimming out to sea. When one of the LDNNs was wounded, Thornton supported him in the water as well. He swam with the two injured men for more than two hours before being picked up by the same junk which had dropped them off the night before.
For these actions, Thornton was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Muhlner serves on the Board of the Navy SEAL Foundation, which is dedicated to building a strong and resilient Naval Special Warfare community, and ensuring our service members know that they and their families are well cared for.
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