HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Retired Captain Michael Rose is known to America as its most recent Medal of Honor recipient. He is known across the Tennessee Valley as the special operations medic who risked his life multiple times during a particular combat operation.
But, Capt. Rose is known for something else by the people he loves most. "The biggest benefit that the Army has given me has been the love and the friendship of a lot of people," Capt. Rose said. He says it's not the awards, but rather the soldiers he's served with, and his family, who mean the most.
"The only reason I'm standing here today is because of her," Capt. Rose said of his wife, Margaret. "I have met lifelong friends, men that I have now 40 to 50 year friendships with. And, I'm not talking about the occasional Christmas card, I'm talking about the phone calls. We call each other up to see how we're doing, especially now. I'm the kid and I'm 70."
Capt. Rose tended wounded soldiers in a four-day operation behind enemy lines in the Vietnam War. He even used his own body to shield his comrades. If you ask him, Capt. Rose said he's no more a hero than the men and women in uniform who never saw combat.
"If they go to Kansas and they spend 30 years in Kansas at a logistics center, and they go from private to sergeant major and never leave that same post, but they have consistently done their job; if its like making sure fuel gets someplace, in the right configuration, in the right amount, in the right time consistently, they are just as much an American Hero to me as the guy who is on the front line," Capt. Rose explained.
Capt. Rose will enter the Madison County Hall of Heroes this Friday during a special ceremony at the Von Braun Center.
"I'm just proud to be able to stand next to anybody who is in uniform and has served," Capt. Rose said.