- Posted December 27, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The George H.W. Bush years: Your take
My close boyhood friend and fellow Marine, 1st Lt. Lee Roy Herron died heroically in Vietnam. He came close to receiving the Medal of Honor, but due to a lack of eyewitnesses (most were killed in the battle), he received the second highest honor, the Navy Cross. I have done three major things to honor Lee Roy: spearheaded efforts to (1)set up a scholarship in his name at Texas Tech's Vietnam Center (now valued at just over $250,000), (2) hold a ceremony to honor him and have the mayor of Lubbock declare March 3, 2001 "Lee Roy Herron Day," and (3) co-author a book about Lee Roy (I gave a copy to David Fitzpatrick and he will deliver another to Drew Griffin). Lee Roy's mother got to witness and be a part of all three events. She passed away last July at the age of 94, but one of her most prized possessions was a letter I had asked President Bush to send her. I can email you a copy of it. The letter is written on presidential stationery and contains a heartfelt message from President Bush. He wrote the letter shortly after the March 3, 2001 ceremony to honor Lee Roy and give the scholarship to Texas Tech. At that ceremony the keynote speaker was retired Marine Colonel Wes Fox, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the same battle in which Lee Roy was killed. Fox said in his speech (and had previously said in writing) that he had wanted Lee Roy to receive the Medal of Honor, but there were not the required two live witnesses. But Colonel Fox and President Bush both helped Lee Roy's mother to realize that her only son's death in Vietnam was not in vain. He had saved many other Marine lives. President Bush is a real hero to Lee Roy's mother and to me. Also, I have a photo of me with President Bush and Barbara, which both have autographed. I am quite proud, especially since I understand that Barbara rarely autographs photos. I can email that photo if you wish.