Chandler veteran dedicates Medal of Honor: Vietnam war stamp

A valley Vietnam veteran was honored for his heroism under fire, which earned him the Medal of Honor. Fred Ferguson is one of 48 living recipients featured in the limited edition Vietnam War Forever stamp sheet. FOX 10's Nicole Garcia talked to him about the mission that earned him the military's highest honor. 5/27/15
A valley Vietnam veteran was honored for his heroism under fire, which earned him the Medal of Honor.

Fred Ferguson is one of 48 living recipients featured in the limited edition Vietnam War Forever stamp sheet.

Ferguson was a helicopter pilot in the Army during the war.  48 years ago, he led a group of soldiers into enemy territory to save five of their own.

On Wednesday, he shared his story at a special dedication for the new Vietnam War Forever stamps.
"The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots," he said.

During the war, Ferguson was one of those patriots -- ready to shed his blood for his country.

"On a given day.. January 31, 1968, I was able to save five guys who were in real trouble.  I had three guys with me in my helicopter and 12 young guys and three gun ships who were willing to do it and that's what it means to me," he said.

Ferguson led his crew, taking fire from all sides, all to save five soldiers who were on a helicopter that was shot down.

"Every now and then, I think about the dust.. I couldn't see and how close I came to hitting the flag pole and the building," he said.

Everyone on the rescue mission made it out alive and that act of bravery earned Ferguson the Medal of Honor.  He is the only Arizona veteran featured on the U.S. Postal Service's limited edition Vietnam War Forever stamp collection.

Supporters lined up for his autograph at a dedication ceremony in Chandler, but Ferguson says he dedicates the honor to the men and women currently serving.

"I salute my young folks who are now doing this for me.. to keep me free. Without them, we got nothing," he said.  "When the bad guys start coming through the barbed wire, you're not gonna see a Congressman out there saying, 'please stop,' you're gonna see a really mean, tough son of a [expletive] with a bandana and that's what's gonna save you."

The new Medal of Honor stamps are available for purchase now at local post offices.

Online: uspsstamps.com/stamps/medal-honor-vietnam-war

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