Private first class Andrew Kach of the United States Army received a ceremony in Brighton Township recently, during which he was given the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Vietnam. Michigan native Kach suffered wounds when mortars caused him forcible removal from his guard tower, yet he still managed to save the life of a fellow soldier.
In PhanThiet, Vietnam, at Landing Zone Sherry, Kach was forced to return machine gun fire when enemy forces began launching mortars at his unit’s position. Managing to carry another injured soldier safely to the medic, Kachthen went back to his post, from which he did not move until the sun was up.
Kach was given his medal by United States Representative Mike Rogers. At the ceremony, Kach recalled that none of the men in his detail from Vietnam escaped without scars of war. The brave men of his unit, B-Battery Fifth of the 27th Artillery (nicknamed both The Bulls and The Professionals), faced battle with courage and never ran from the fray despite consistently meeting attacks from the enemy, the Livingston Daily reports.
Approximately nine members of The Bulls attended the medal ceremony to honor not only Kach, but their fallen brothers as well. The private acknowledged his unit’s camaraderie, stating that the medal was theirs as much as it was his. Among those in attendance were Kach’s captain from Vietnam, Henry Parker, who had to commute from Idaho to attend. Since service has to be properly verified prior to receipt of accolades by the Army, the medal was over three years in the making.
While there were 120 men in the brigade, Kach especially remembers those who, like him, hailed from Michigan. One member by the name of Groves believed the private has deserved this medal for a long time, but feels that Americans did not treat their Vietnam veterans fairly upon their return. He does not hold a grudge over this, however, as he recognizes that many do not understand the lives of men who are required to make sacrifices for their achievements. As he puts it, medals are not given or won, but earned.
Many soldiers of Vietnam had to be brave not only in the face of battle but also in the face of circumstances that took them away from family. Kach’s family, however, has been brought together by military service. His son, United States Air Force Technical Sergeant Jeffrey Kach, has seen service for eight tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was present for his father’s medal ceremony.