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A Warrior Passes in Texas

Retired Army Col. Robert L. Howard, a Medal of Honor recipient for combat action in Vietnam in 1968 and one of the America’s most highly decorated Soldiers, died Dec. 23 in Waco, Texas.

The 70-year-old Howard died in a hospice in Waco, according to a report in the San Antonio Express News today. The paper, quoting a longtime friend of Howard’s, retired Sgt. Maj. Benito Guerrero, said Howard had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Howard began his Army career as an enlisted man. During one 13-month tour in Vietnam he was nominated for the Medal of Honor three times, but in the first instance the award was downgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross. Several biographies say that downgrade, as well as another — to the Silver Star — was to avoid the problem of noting in the Medal of Honor citation specifics of the combat operations, which were covert.

But one nomination did result in the awarding of the MoH. It was presented to him by President Richard Nixon during a White House ceremony in 1971. – [source]

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