Back in episode 530 the story of a Vietnam Veteran who was being belatedly awarded a Silver Star in Vero Beach, Florida was featured. After a nearly 50 year delay, Sylvester McIntosh received a Silver Star for actions in Vietnam. In this episode a story from the TC Palm and Vero Beach Newsweekly titled: Silver looks great on local hero submitted by Fran Foster that tells about the award ceremony is highlighted.
McIntosh served as a corporal in 1st Battalion, 9th Marines – according to his commanding officer Lt. Col. Albert Slater who traveled from San Diego, California to attend the event. That unit had the longest sustained combat and suffered the highest killed in action rate in the Vietnam Era Marine Corps history. It was in one of their worst battles that McIntosh’s actions resulted in the saving of many lives and his unit prevailing in the fight.
The Award Ceremony was held on January 30 at Veterans Memorial Island Riverview Park in Vero Beach, Florida. Hundreds of people including many VIPs from around the country were in attendance to honor this brave Vietnam Veteran Sylvester McIntosh. He was accompanied by his family, including his wife Dorothy, his sons Staff Sgt. Charlie McIntosh and Sylvester McIntosh and daughter Tara Horne.
His medal was pinned on his chest by his former commander Lt. Col. Albert Slater and Master Sgt. Dennis Lee who served with McIntosh. Both individuals attested to the fact that he richly deserved the award. McIntosh said this about his actions that day long ago in Vietnam “I may have been mean and nasty but I had a job to do. I had to make sure my squad was ready, so I put myself in front. I was responsible for them and I’d be the first person killed, if that is what needed to happen.”
Sylvester McIntosh is a tremendous representative of the great Vietnam Veteran Generation. He not only served his country valiantly in Vietnam but also in a lifetime of service to his community.