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‘Men more than soldiers’

All eyes were on Medal of Honor recipient Brian Miles Thacker on Nov. 8. Weber State University students, staff and members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps came to Lindquist Hall to meet the WSU alum honored by the President of the United States of America for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity for the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.

With complete disregard for his own safety, Thacker called for friendly fire on his position to give his soldiers a chance to retreat to safety after their Fire Base 6 had come under attack.

Brian Thacker shaking hands with Waldo Wildcat as he is recognized with the Medal of Honor. (Nicole Dorber / The Signpost). Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

“I was by myself, but I was never alone,” Thacker said of his eight days spent trapped, wounded and unable to escape the area. It was during this time Thacker thought to himself while lying in a bamboo thicket with his M-16 rifle, how long can they hold out before they wear down? How long can I hold out before I wear down?

By the time friendly forces took control back over the firebase, Thacker was severely dehydrated and had to undergo a rehydration process, a process he references as quite the ordeal.

Thacker would not go back and change any of the events that occurred on Fire Base 6 that night because he believes if he could go back and change the outcome, then surely the enemy would want to change the outcome too.

That said, he does have one regret: not all his men made it home from Vietnam. “It’s a promise I didn’t fulfill,” Thacker said. “Nobody is forgettable.” His men were more than his soldiers; they were a part of his family.

WSU alumni, Medal of Honor recipient, Mr. Brian Thacker, saluting the audience after being recognized for his honorable work in the military. Nikki Dorber / The Signpost Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

Master Sergeant Michael Byars and Sergeant 1st. Class Marty Clayton knows what it means to be a part of such a family, both having served in the U.S. Army for 17 years.

Byars and Clayton were among those in the audience who considered it a privilege to meet a Medal of Honor recipient.

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