John Poindexter, owner of J. B Poindexter LLC, parent of Truck Accessories Group, the company behind LEER, Century, Raider and Pace Edwards truck accessory products, ended a long campaign to earn recognition for the heroism demonstrated by his fellow soldiers over 40 years ago, as his company, Troop A, 1st Squadron of the 11th Armored Combat Regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation by President Obama in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on Oct. 20, according to a news release.
Citing official records of the battle, Obama recalled the extraordinary bravery exhibited by the unit describing the daring rescue of fellow soldiers as Troop A fought to defend its position and evacuate the wounded while under attack. The Presidential Unit Citation is the highest unit award in the military, and the equivalent of the Distinguished Service Cross for every man in the unit.
On March 26, 1970, Alpha Troop heard that another unit of about 100 men had stumbled onto a massive underground enemy bunker of North Vietnamese forces. They were “outnumbered and outgunned” by about 400 enemy fighters, so the nearly 200 men of Alpha Troop set out to smash a path through the jungle, risking ambush and land mines, to rescue their colleagues, Obama said.
Though “the fog of war makes a full accounting impossible,” Obama said about 20 Alpha Troop members were wounded in the rescue and at least two died.
“These soldiers define the meaning of bravery and heroism,” the president said.
But their bravery in what came to be known as “The Anonymous Battle” went largely unnoticed and unrewarded until years of work by the leader of the unit, ex-Army Capt. John Poindexter of Houston, captured the attention of military leaders and the Commander in Chief. Poindexter was joined by dozens of veterans of his Troop for the Rose Garden ceremony, along with several of the men saved that day almost 40 years ago.
Poindexter is owner of J. B. Poindexter & Co. LLC, a group of largely transportation-related manufacturing firms, including Truck Accessories Group LLC, (TAG) manufacturer of LEER, Century and Raider Truck Caps and Tonneaus, Pace Edwards Retractable Bed Covers and State Wide Aluminum window and door systems. More information about TAG and its member companies is available at www.truckgroup.com.