Honoring Thomas Lee Mitchell, Sr.by Representative Todd C. Young
Posted on 2015-12-08
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Mr. YOUNG of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, today we honor Thomas Lee
Mitchell, Sr. for his service to his country and to his community.
Mitchell served with the 27th Marines while in Vietnam from December 1965 through December 1968. While in the employ of his country, Mitchell and his compatriots came under fire by North Vietnamese troops in the early morning of May 5, 1968.
A firefight ensued and, after a barrage of North Vietnamese mortar rounds, an American weapons platoon tent became engulfed in flames. Mitchell stormed into the conflagration amid exploding ammunition and carried a badly wounded Marine, who was trapped in the tent, to safety.
Later that same day, Mitchell's company was ordered to begin an assault on two villages. The platoon embarked on the mission and eventually encountered an open trench--which was riddled with North Vietnamese soldiers. North Vietnamese soldiers lobbed grenades at the American troops from the trench; in response, Mitchell and two of his fellow Marines fired their weapons into the trench, killing the entire line of North Vietnamese soldiers. With the trench cleared of enemy fire, the American platoon was able to proceed with the attack on the villages.
Mitchell was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions. In addition, Mitchell also earned, among others, a Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbons, and a Presidential Unit Commendation Ribbon.
Mitchell coached little league baseball from 1975 until 1985. He is currently a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Charlestown and the VFW.
It is a privilege to award Thomas Lee Mitchell with Congressional Commendation, and ensure his story is preserved for future generations.