This is a nice story:
When the White House called Corporal Tibor "Ted" Rubin to tell him he was to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor he thought it was one of his friends playing a joke. President Bush has called the 76-year-old Korean War veteran "one of the greatest Jewish soldiers America has ever known." But Ted is characteristically modest. "I was just a country boy," he told me, "but next week I'll be honored with the country's highest award. This is unbelievable."Mr. Rubin has both a sense of humor and incredible guts:
He was born in Hungary in 1929, and at age 15 was sent to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. His first day there an SS captain told the assembled, "None of you will get out of here alive." Ted turned to the man next to him and said, "Nice fellow."
In one engagement near Chirye, Ted's company was redeploying from one hill to another, and he volunteered to stay behind to keep the enemy guessing until the movement was completed. As Corporal Leonard Hamm relates, "the North Koreans, thinking the hill was still occupied by a whole company, made an all out offensive with all their available troops. PFC Tibor Rubin had stocked each foxhole with grenades, and during the attack the following morning made his way running from foxhole to foxhole, lobbing, one after the other, grenades down upon the enemy, he became almost hysterical in his actions but he held the hill."He also had more than his share of sadness and misfortune.
Ted survived the next 14 brutal months of captivity, but most of his family perished. His father died in Buchenwald. His ten-year-old sister Elonja was sent to the gas chambers at Auschwitz, and his mother Rosa, who was slated for forced labor, chose instead to face death with her daughter.
Ted's immediate superiors recommended him for the Medal of Honor. However, before the paperwork could be processed these officers were killed, and a sergeant who might have sent the papers up refused to do so because Ted was Jewish. "Not on my watch," he said. After the Inchon invasion, the 8th Cavalry Regiment moved north towards the Chinese border, and was at the forward edge of the U.N. offensive when the Chinese Red Army entered the conflict. Ted's battalion was destroyed at the Battle of Unsan in early November 1950, while fighting a delaying action against Chinese forces swarming south from the Yalu. Hundreds of Americans were captured, among them Ted, who had manned a machine gun to hold off the enemy as the rest of the unit attempted to withdraw.Read the entire article, it's quite inspiring...
on September 23, President Bush will give Corporal Ted Rubin long overdue recognition for his many acts of valor in the Korean conflict. Ted will receive, in his own words, "the highest honor of the best country in the world." How does he feel about it? "It still hasn't sunk in," he said. "I'm just a country boy. It's a dream come true."
And long deserved.
Technorati tags: Ted Rubin, Jewish, Hero.