Medal of Honor Events in Gainesville - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Medal of Honor Events in Gainesville

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GAINESVILLE -- The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded for acts of heroism and going beyond the call of duty.

Gainesville is the nation's host city for the medal of honor program and this weekend dozens of medal of honor recipient's are in town for a number of events.  

James Taylor has a planted oak tree with many other Medal of Honor recipients along the Gainesville's Home Grown Hero Walking Trail.

Taylor is a Vietnam veteran. His troop's mission was to search and destroy the enemy.

"My troop was ambushed. We had 250 people with us plus our support elements helicopters and gun ship," say Taylor.

Throughout a 9 hour battle, Taylor saved the lives of many of his fellow comrades earning him the Medal of Honor.  

The gun-ship that offered support to many Vietnam veterans, like Taylor, is in Gainesville as well.

The airplane known as Spooky is a replica of the primary gun ship used in the Vietnam war.

"It's an exact duplicate with the paint gun down to the mini gun so it had three mini guns on this side fired by the pilot. It flew mostly at night, night missions and that why its called Spooky," says Dan Pulliam, a member of the American Flight Museum.

The plane may be a mock AC-47 but it is a real war bird and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

Many Vietnam veterans know Spooky as the gun ship that saved their lives.  

"No hamlet was ever overrun when one of these Spookys were called in on a mission to save it," says Pulliam.

"Whenever we needed them, we call them and if they were in the area then they would come and provide ground support for us," says Taylor.

The airplane was a vital weapon in the Vietnam war.

"It fired 7.622 mm bullets and could fire up to 15 thousand rounds a minute. They didn't always do that but they had these running through the guns and so it was a real potent gun ship," says Pulliam.

Taylor is very happy to be back in Gainesville celebrating the Medal of Honor program.

"Its quite an honor for the city and its citizenship. It shows their dedication towards honoring our veterans."