The wildest reasons Texas soldiers have received the Medal of Honor

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Published 8:14 pm, Monday, July 10, 2017

This week marks 155 years of U.S. soldiers receiving the Medal of Honor, the nation’s most prestigious military decoration. 

On July 12, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law the creation of the award. At the time, the nation was still divided by the Civil War and as a result the first Medal of Honor was given to six members of the Union Army. 

So far, 76 Texans have received the coveted military distinction, according to Home of Heroes, a website that tracks Medal of Honor recipients.

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The first Texan to receive the Medal of Honor was in 1870 during the American Indian War. The description for Cpl. John Connor‘s award was only three words: “Gallantry in action.”

As time went on, the description for a recipient’s actions got longer. Likewise, the criteria for receiving the medal grew more rigorous. Nearly 40 percent of all the Medals of Honor ever handed out were done within the first five years of its creation.

Similarly, until World War II, the Medal of Honor could be awarded to peacetime soldiers. In 1884, William H. Belpitt received the Medal of Honor for rescuing a drowning man whose canoe had capsized. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh received the Medal of Honor for flying across the Atlantic Ocean without stopping.

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In total, 193 men have been awarded the Medal of Honor for brave actions not relating to war.

The most recent American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor was Capt. Forent Groberg of Maryland. In 2012 while in Afghanistan, Groberg spotted a suicide bomber and grabbed him, “physically driving him” away from his fellow soldiers and to the ground where the bomber’s vest exploded. Groberg escaped with his life, but sustained damage to his left calf muscle and received a mild traumatic brain injury. 

Click through above to see some of the wildest reasons Texans have received the Medal of Honor.

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