It had been almost two years since the death of Staff Sgt. Clifford Chester Sims in Vietnam , when his family in Port St. Joe was presented with his Congressional Medal of Honor on Dec. 12, 1969.
He had earned it giving his life to save his company in the Hue. Sims, serving as the company’s squad leader, had just led the troops to safety after helping them escape an explosion caused by ammunition set aflame. It was then they heard the unmistakable sound of a concealed booby trap being triggered.
Sims warned his comrades about the danger, then without hesitation, hurled himself on the trap, absorbing the blow and fatally wounding himself, while protecting his fellow soldiers.
Retired Army Major Cleo Hogan Jr., Sims’ commander and one of the soldiers spared by his act of heroism, wants to make sure Sims’ legacy is honored, even decades after his death.
The Gulf District Schools will host Hogan on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m. ET in the R. Marion Craig Coliseum at the Port St. Joe Junior – Senior High School. The program will be open to the public.
“He’s going to make Clifford Sims’ story whole for you,” said Gulf District Schools Superintendent Jim Norton. “Most people who are from here know part of it or have heard it before, but this is probably one of his last times being able to come here and tell it.
“Our program isn’t about a retired major. Our program is about the company commander of Clifford Sims on that day – the last day of his life.”
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