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TO COMMEND THE EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM OF STAFF SERGEANT JOE R. HOOPER WHO WAS AWARDED THE MEDAL OF HONOR FOR HIS VALOR IN COMBAT, WHICH IS THE HIGHEST AWARD THAT CAN BE BESTOWED UPON A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES.
Whereas, throughout our nation's history, men and women in all eras from Concord and Lexington to Falleujah have gone in harm's way to protect and secure our country's freedom and way of life; and
Whereas, to recognize extraordinary heroism the Congress of the United States established the Medal of Honor which represents the highest award for valor in combat that can be bestowed upon a member of the armed forces of the United States; and
Whereas, there have been more than three thousand four hundred recipients but fewer than one hundred forty remain with us today; and
Whereas, most recipients of the medal are ordinary Americans from ordinary backgrounds who, under extraordinary circumstances and at great risk to their own lives, performed an incredible act or a series of acts of conspicuous valor that clearly sets them apart from their comrades; and
Whereas, thirty-seven citizens with South Carolina roots have received the Medal of Honor since its inception; and
Whereas, Staff Sergeant Joe R. Hooper is one of these South Carolinians who has demonstrated conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty; and
Whereas, Staff Sergeant Hooper, while serving as a squad leader with the United States Army, Company D, distinguished himself when he led an attack on the Vietnamese that inspired the rest of his company to follow. Staff Sergeant Hooper was wounded during the attack, and with utter disregard for his own safety, he valiantly reentered the intense fire to pull back the wounded and move them to safety; and
Whereas, it was during this time that Staff Sergeant Hooper was seriously wounded, but he refused medical care and returned to single-handedly storm three enemy bunkers, destroying them with hand grenade and rifle fire, and shot two enemy soldiers who had attacked and wounded the Chaplain; and
Whereas, despite his multiple wounds and massive blood loss, Staff Sergeant Hooper persevered to established a final line and reorganized his men. His supreme valor, inspiring leadership, and heroic self-sacrifice were directly responsible for the company's success and provide a lasting example in personal courage for every man in the field; and
Whereas, the members of the General Assembly, by this resolution, would like to publicly recognize and honor Staff Sergeant Joe R. Hooper, this brave and courageous American, for his extraordinary heroism in the defense of our country and her ideals which epitomizes the very best of what America stands for. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the General Assembly commend the extraordinary heroism of Staff Sergeant Joe R. Hooper who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor in combat, which is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a member of the armed forces of the United States.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Staff Sergeant Joe R. Hooper.
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