News > Press Releases
Jul 03, 2013
JENNINGS – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal awarded Louisiana veterans with the Louisiana Veterans’ Honor Medal at the Southwest Louisiana War Veterans Home. Governor Jindal was joined by Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Secretary David LaCerte to honor our nation’s service men and women and to celebrate the Fourth of July and the freedoms that our veterans fought tirelessly to protect.
Governor Jindal said, “We don’t have to wait for occasions like the Fourth of July to honor our veterans, but as we get ready to celebrate our nation’s independence this week, I am honored and humbled to be here with some of the best and brightest our state and our country have ever seen. Each and every Louisiana veteran who receives one of these medals is a hero to our country and to our state. Today’s recipients—and those who’ve preceded them—have earned our respect, appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices they have made to defend and protect our freedom and our way of life.”
Governor Jindal signed legislation in 2008 to create the Veterans’ Honor Medal Program in order to recognize and honor all of Louisiana’s veterans. The program is managed by LDVA.
The Veterans’ Honor Medal is gold-plated and comes with a blue ribbon. One side shows the state of Louisiana with “United States” embossed above and “Armed Forces” below. The other side bears the words, “Louisiana appreciates your service to our country.”
Veterans who sustained a wound in battle will receive an honor medal designated by a silver star and a purple ribbon. Families of veterans who were killed in action will receive a honor medal designated by a gold star and a gold ribbon.
While awarding the medals, Governor Jindal told stories of recipients to highlight the heroic acts of Louisiana’s veterans.
Timothy McNally was born in April 1947 in Clyde Park, Montana to a family of cattle ranchers.
Timothy's family had a long history of serving our nation. His grandfather served during World War I, where he met his grandmother who was working as a Red Cross nurse -- and that story always made a big impression on Timothy's life.
Timothy decided that he too would answer the call and join the U.S. Army to serve his country. He wanted to carry on the family military tradition and play a role in providing medical care to U.S. soldiers on the ground in Vietnam.
Timothy was shipped overseas where he served as a member of a medical paratroop brigade in the Highlands of Vietnam. While in the Highlands, Timothy frequently went on air rescues where he and his men would land a helicopter on the battlefield to quickly triage wounded soldiers and evacuate them to medical hospitals before getting shot down by enemy fire.
On one particular mission, Timothy was ordered to evacuate two American soldier casualties who had been injured in battle. Once his helicopter located the soldiers, he jumped from the helicopter, putting his own safety aside for the well-being of his men.
He landed on the battlefield and saw the two men were still alive. He performed a blood transfusion on one of the wounded soldiers while quickly field-dressing the other soldier's wounds sustained from an enemy explosion. Timothy was able to stabilize the two men and load them onto a Red Cross helicopter with the help of fellow soldiers on the ground.
After his time in Vietnam, Timothy was honorably discharged from the Army. He received many awards and commendations for his service, including a Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, the Parachutist Badge and the Army Commendation Medal.
After returning to the United States, Timothy continued his work in health care and trained medical professionals. He lived in Montana and California before moving to Louisiana where he has lived for 25 years.
Today he lives right here in the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home and says the warmer Louisiana climate fits him much better than the bitter cold winters that he remembers as a young cattle rancher in Montana.