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    HomeNewsValor Beyond the Battlefield: Honoring Medal of Honor Recipient Clarence Sasser

    Valor Beyond the Battlefield: Honoring Medal of Honor Recipient Clarence Sasser

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    Clarence Sasser, who passed away on May 13, 2024, in Sugar Land, Texas, at the age of 76, became a symbol of bravery and selflessness, his actions going down in history to be remembered and honored by generations to come.

    Born on September 12, 1947, in Chenango, Texas, a small community south of Houston, Sasser distinguished himself in combat during the Vietnam War.

    Clarence Sasser, Medal of Honor recipient, speaks at the Living Legends Banquet Museum at the Community Center Feb. 19. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Litteken)

    He was among the elite group of only eight Texas A&M University alumni to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration in the United States. Sasser holds the distinction of being the sole former student of Texas A&M to earn this prestigious award during the Vietnam conflict.

    His remarkable valor makes him the most recent Aggie recipient of the Medal of Honor and, until his passing on May 13, the last surviving honoree from that era. His name is honored in the Memorial Student Center’s Medal of Honor Hall of Honor on the Texas A&M campus, where he is remembered alongside seven other Aggies who served heroically during World War II.

    In 2013, during his Hall of Honor recognition ceremony, Sasser expressed, “I’m an Aggie at heart — always have been and always will be.”

    In Vietnam, Sasser served as a medical aidman in the Army’s 60th Infantry Regiment. Despite his tour of duty lasting only 51 days, his actions on January 10, 1968, in Dinh Tuong Province remain etched in military history.

    When his unit came under heavy attack, with more than 30 casualties in the initial minutes, Sasser fearlessly dashed across an open rice field to tend to the wounded. Even after sustaining a left shoulder wound from a mortar strike, he continued aiding his comrades.

    His Medal of Honor Citation recounts his remarkable bravery: “Despite 2 additional wounds immobilizing his legs, he dragged himself through the mud toward another soldier 100 meters away. Although in agonizing pain and faint from loss of blood, Sp5c. Sasser reached the man, treated him and proceeded on to encourage another group of soldiers to crawl 200 meters to relative safety. There, he attended their wounds for 5 hours until they were evacuated.”

    A year later, President Richard Nixon presented him with the Medal of Honor. Additionally, Texas A&M University’s president and fellow Army veteran, Gen. James Earl Rudder ’32, personally offered him a scholarship.

    Choosing to pursue his studies in chemistry, Sasser enrolled at Texas A&M in August 1969. He married Ethel Morant shortly after and embarked on a career, initially in a Houston-area oil refinery, before dedicating himself to the Department of Veterans Affairs until his retirement.

    Sasser was among the 249 service members recognized with the Medal of Honor for their valor in Vietnam. In 2014, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University, and the university conferred upon him an honorary Doctorate of Letters. Additionally, he received the Core Values Coin Award from The Association of Former Students.

    In Brazoria County, March 27, 1969, was designated as Clarence Sasser Day, commemorating his bravery. In 2010, a statue of Sasser was unveiled as part of a larger veterans’ memorial in front of the Brazoria County Courthouse. As of 2021, a portrait of Sasser hangs in the Texas State Capitol, symbolizing his enduring legacy.

    A replica of Sasser’s Medal of Honor is displayed for public viewing as part of his Hall of Honor exhibit at Texas A&M’s Memorial Student Center. Furthermore, a scholarship at the Texas A&M Health Science Center has been established in his honor, perpetuating his legacy of service and sacrifice.

    “Clarence Sasser will always be an American hero,” remarked Texas A&M President Gen. (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III.

    “This great Aggie repeatedly showed unwavering bravery in the face of danger as a combat medic in Vietnam, especially on the day he courageously removed wounded soldiers from a helicopter crash under intense enemy fire. He put the lives of his fellow soldiers before his own and saved them despite being wounded in the process. His legacy will continue to inspire patriotic Americans for generations to come, and his name is permanently woven into the fabric of this remarkable university. Aggies will celebrate him forever, not just because he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, but because he represented it so proudly with a life of honor, integrity and service. Rest in peace, Soldier … and thank you.”

    Relevant articles:
    Medal Of Honor Recipient, Former Student Dies At 76, Texas A&M College of Arts and Sciences
    Clarence Sasser: The Medic Who Ran Through Enemy Fire and Disregarded His Own Injuries to Save His Comrades, War History Online
    Medal of Honor Monday: Army Spc. 5th Class Clarence Sasser, defense.gov
    Clarence Sasser (1947–2024), Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient, Legacy.com

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