Hall of Honor to include first African-American veteran
Clarence Sasser, Vietnam vet, to be inducted into MSC Medal of Honor Hall on Nov. 7
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 10:10
The Medal of Honor Hall, the solemn MSC walkway, will have a new addition this November — the halls’ first African-American inductee, Clarence Sasser.
Sasser received the Medal of Honor in 1968 for his service in the Vietnam War. While serving as an Army medic in 1968, Sasser helped evacuate soldiers wounded in a helicopter crash in a Vietnamese flooded rice paddy. He performed this rescue under enemy fire and was wounded in both legs.
In August 1969, following this conflict, Sasser enrolled at Texas A&M as a chemistry major with a scholarship from then-President James Earl Rudder, but did not graduate.
According to a University press release, University officials said though he did not graduate, Sasser “embodies all that the Hall of Honor represents.”
Willie E.B. Blackmon, Class of 1973 and recipient of the University’s distinguished alumnus award, and Lt. Gen. Joe Weber, University vice president and Class of 1972, were at the forefront of the effort to honor Sasser.
Weber said the University was long overdue to recognize Sasser for his courage and sacrifice.
“The inclusion and acceptance of Clarence [Sasser] and his Medal of Honor into our Medal of Honor Hall of Honor is fitting, proper and long overdue,” Weber said in the press release.
Expressing a similar sentiment, University president, R. Bowen Loftin said Sasser deserves Aggie gratitude.
“On behalf of the entire Aggie community, I welcome Clarence Sasser back to campus to give us this opportunity to honor him for his heroic service to our nation — and for all of us, particularly our students, to be able to personally say ‘thank you,’” Loftin said in the same press release.
According to the press release, a recognition ceremony will take place on Nov. 7 in the MSC Bethancourt Ballroom during a week-long campus celebration to honor all veterans and the University’s semester-long 50 years of inclusion program.
Student Body President Reid Joseph said he is excited about this news.
“This has been kind of a long time in the making, and he is extremely deserving of this,” Joseph said. “I think this is another display of Aggie heroism and just a tremendous act of valor.”