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Lawrence Joel Biography »
Lawrence Joel (February 22, 1928–February 4, 1984) was a United States Army Sergeant First Class who served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. While serving in Vietnam, as a medic with the rank of Specialist Five assigned to 1st Battalion of the 503rd Infantry Regiment in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Joel received the Silver Star and the Medal of Honor for his heroism in a battle with the Viet Cong that occurred on November 8, 1965. He was the first medic to earn the Medal of Honor during the Viet Nam conflict and the first living black American to receive this medal since the Spanish-American War in 1898.