Marine Col. Harvey Barnum served in the military during a very hard time in American History. He performed a temporary stint as a first lieutenant in Vietnam in 1965. He later was an artillery forward observer with the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines.
During that time he was trapped by an onslaught of enemy fire while stationed on an isolated hill. This forced him to take the lead after his commander was brutally wounded and his radio operator was killed.
Barnum courageously took the radio and took over command of the troops under fire. He put together a successful counterattack and helped with the evacuation of the wounded and dead troops from the area.
Col. Barnum received the Medal of Honor for his efforts, which is the highest award for combat valor. But he was one of only two recipients of this award who was denied a ceremony at the White House due to widespread public disapproval of the Vietnam War.