Today is Veteran’s Day – 11 November – I pay tribute to all veterans wherever they are and just so you know among US veterans there are those of Croatian descent among them!
Ronald Lawrence Kovic, was paralyzed in Vietnam War. Author of book “Born on the Fourth of July” which was made into Oliver Stone’s film, Tom Cruise portrayed Ron Kovic. Kovic received the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay on January 20, 1990, exactly 22 years to the day that he was wounded in Vietnam. His father was Croatian and his mother Irish.
Paul William Bucha is an American Vietnam War veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor. His paternal grandfather immigrated to the United States from the Croatian town of Nasice.
Louis Cukela was a United States Marine numbered among the nineteen two-time recipients of the Medal of Honor. Cukela was awarded the Medal by both the US Army and the US Navy for the same action during the Battle of Soissons in World War I. Louis Cukela was born Vjekoslav Lujo Čukela in Split, Croatia – he immigrated to US in 1913.
Leonard P. Matlovich was a Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. Born in US, was a gay rights activist of note.
Michael J. Novosel, Sr. served in the United States military in three wars: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He flew the B-29 Superfortress bomber in World War II. In order to serve in the Vietnam War, he gave up the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve to become a chief warrant officer in the Army. For his bravery in conducting a medical evacuation under fire in this conflict, he was awarded the United States’ highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. Also awarded: Distingushed Flying Croaa, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.