SGT JOE S. HUSTON
Joe Stephen ‘Steve’ Huston was born January 4, 1949, grew up in Garland and later lived in Plano. In May of 1967, he joined the Army, and because he excelled in Basic Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, he was selected for NCO School at Fort Benning, Georgia. On completion, he was promoted to sergeant and sent to Vietnam. On July 2, exactly two months after receiving his sergeant stripes, he began his new duties as a leader of combat infantrymen in Vietnam. He became a member of the Americal Division, A Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, nicknamed the ‘Chargers,’ whose area of operation was in the Central Highlands in Quang Tin Province. The brigade headquarters was located at LZ West, some nineteen miles west of the city of Tam Ky, the provincial capital of Quang Tin, on a mountain known to the Vietnamese as the Mountain of Leeches. On Wednesday, March 19, 1969, Steve’s squad was moving in the point position, as Alpha Company made its way through the heavily wooded area near the small village of Tien Phuoc, in the section of Quang Tin province along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Suddenly, without warning, all hell broke loose as the enemy, well concealed in fortified bunker complexes, opened up with a heavy barrage of machine guns, RPG’s, mortars, grenades, and rifle fire. Three of his men went down immediately. Steve quickly surveyed the situation and had his men get into position to return fire. In complete disregard for his life, and without hesitation, he went to the aid of his wounded men who were lying in an open area completely exposed to the enemy gunners. He picked up one of those men and started carrying him back to a position of relative safety and first aid. He didn’t make it. An enemy machine gun cut him down as he hurried back toward his company’s position. Joe Steve Huston was 20 years old when he died. Joe S. Huston is buried at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas. His name can be found on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, at Panel 29W, Row 79.
COMBAT INFANTRYMAN'S BADGE
VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL
VIETNAM CAMPAIGN RIBBON
GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
NATIONAL DEFENSE RIBBON
MILITARY MERIT MEDAL
GALLANTRY CROSS with PALM
HEADQUARTERS, AMERICAL DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96374
General Orders 23 April 1969
AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.
HUSTON, JOE S.
RA15807186 (SSAN 467-82-3501), SERGEANT, Headquarters and Headquarters
company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th
Infantry Brigade APO 96256
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.
For The Commander:
JAMES R. RALPH, JR.
PURPLE HEART MEDAL
By direction of the President, the Purple Heart is awarded posthumously to Sergeant Joe S. Huston for wounds received in military operations in Vietnam, against hostile foreign forces, which resulted in his death on March 19th.
This award, first established by General George Washington in 1782, is presented to you as a tangible expression of your nation’s gratitude and everlasting appreciation for your husband’s gallantry and devotion in the service of his country.
Joe stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have given their lives that our nation’s goal of freedom and peace may be maintained. I hope that this award and the knowledge of your husband’s invaluable contributions will serve to comfort you in the days that lie ahead.
|196th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam||Pictures from LZ Center|
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