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McKinney, Texas Resident To Receive Forgotten Bronze Medal

Clint Pruett received the award for his time in Vietnam 53 years ago

Clint Pruett, a resident of McKinney, will be presented the Bronze Star by Congressman Keith Self for bravery in action in Vietnam in 1970. 

The medal was awarded to Pruett, a 1965 Longview High School graduate, but never presented after being honorably discharged from the Army. He recently discovered the award on his updated discharge papers when he applied for Veterans benefits. 

Pruett served as a Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) and piloted the AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter within C Troop, 2/17 Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division in South Vietnam. A seasoned aircraft commander, Pruett was chosen to lead a covert night mission aimed at field-testing the recently introduced infrared sighting system, a technology widely employed in today's military operations.

During this time, Pruett led a team of three helicopters into the Ashua Valley on the border with Laos. The Ho Chi Minh Trail traversed the middle of that valley and saw heavy enemy use at night. The team made three 2-hour foray into the valley that night, destroying a large number of trucks and attacking hundreds of enemy personnel. On his third sortie, he encountered heavy enemy fire but was able to destroy additional trucks, a Russian T-34 tank and disable an anti-aircraft position. 

Pruett was recommended for an award for his actions in Vietnam and, after 53 years, it will finally be presented. The medal ceremony will take place on Feb. 18, 2024, during the 10:30 a.m. worship service at Stepping Stones Church of McKinney located at 6828 County Road 202, McKinney.

After the war, Pruett graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and went to work with his father, Les Pruett, at Gans & Smith Insurance Agency for over 13 years. He later became a partner and opened his own agency in the Dallas area. Pruett and his wife Connie now live in McKinney and attend Stepping Stones Church.