WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a speech on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) today honored Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) James Michael Sprayberry of Titus, Ala, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary gallantry during the Vietnam War.
Lt. Col. Sprayberry is one of only 79 living Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest recognition for valor in combat that can awarded to members of the armed forces.
Below is a full transcript of Rep. Roby’s remarks. Video is available here.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Lieutenant Colonel James Michael Sprayberry of the United States Army. Raised in Sylacauga Alabama, he joined the Army in Montgomery Alabama in 1967.
“Lieutenant Colonel Sprayberry was just 21 years old and serving with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam when on April 25, 1968, he engaged in extraordinary acts of heroism for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
“On that day, his company commander and many of his fellow soldiers were wounded and separated from the unit. When a daytime rescue attempt was deterred by entrenched enemy machinegun fire, Lieutenant Colonel Sprayberry organized and led a nighttime patrol to eliminate the enemy fire and rescue his fellow surrounded soldiers. When the rescue patrol came under intense enemy machinegun fire, he singlehandedly conducted multiple attacks against multiple enemy machine gun bunkers and eliminated them one by one with hand grenades.
“After destroying the bunkers, he was able to direct the isolated men to safety. The operation was a resounding success and resulted in the safe return of many fellow soldiers.
“It is for his conspicuous gallantry and indomitable spirit that I am proud to honor the actions of Lieutenant Colonel James Michael Sprayberry.”