The Ancient Order of the Hibernians will award their highest honor, the JFK Memorial Medal, to Major General Patrick Henry Brady, in New Jersey this week.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians have announced that their highest honor, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Medal, will be awarded to Major General Brady at the closing banquet of the AOH’s National Convention on July 14 in Atlantic City. Major General Brady is a recipient of the nation’s highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
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Brady was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for a series of heroic rescues he made while serving as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Repeatedly, competent advisors warned him that the missions, which began at sunrise and ended after dark, were impossible due to weather, the enemy situation, and mines.
On three different missions and six tasks, Major Brady extracted patients from areas where other aircraft failed. On two different occasions his aircraft was hit by automatic weapons fire. On a third occasion his aircraft was severely damaged by a mine. Major Brady’s aircraft were so severely damaged that three aircraft were required to complete the missions and at the day's end the aircraft he flew had over 400 bullet holes in them. In the process two crewmembers were injured. During the day Major Brady evacuated over 70 patients, many who would have died without expeditious medical care.
In two tours in Vietnam he flew over 2,500 combat missions and rescued over 5,000 wounded. He developed foul weather and tactical techniques for air ambulance rescue never before executed in combat for which he is identified in the Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War and other books as the top helicopter pilot in that war. Some pundits recognize him as the most decorated living veteran.
Major General Brady is the only living Army veteran of the Vietnam War to hold both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross, our Nation’s second highest award. His other awards include two Distinguished Service Medals; the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; six Distinguished Flying Crosses; two Bronze Stars, one for valor; the Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm and Silver Star and 53 Air Medals, one for valor.
He is a member of both the Army Aviation and Dust Off Halls of Fame, and he is the first and only Army Aviator in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. He is also the only Army Aviator to receive the Bob Hoover Freedom of Flight.
He recently co-published a book, "Dead Men Flying," which covers his experiences with the origin and execution of Aero Medical evacuation in Vietnam, called Dust Off, the greatest battlefield lifesaver in history.
General Brady is the former President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Seattle University and an MBA from Notre Dame University. General Brady and his wife Nancy were blessed with six children.