Paul “Buddy” Bucha,
who was awarded the Medal of Honor—the military’s highest award—for
conspicuous gallantry during a vicious three-day battle in Vietnam in 1968,
will deliver the keynote speech on Wednesday, July 12, at the opening
ceremonies of Vietnam Veterans of America’s National Leadership
Conference at the Hilton El Conquistador Hotel and Resort in
Bucha, a West Point graduate, served as a 101st Airborne
Division company commander in Vietnam. He was awarded the Medal of Honor
for his actions March 16-19, 1968, near Phuoc Vinh when he led his men
through an extended battle against a battalion-sized enemy force. Despite
being seriously wounded, Captain Bucha single-handedly crawled through
heavy enemy fire to destroy a machine-gun bunker that had his company
pinned down; directed the medical evacuation of three helicopter-loads
of seriously wounded troops; and led a rescue party to recover the dead
and wounded members of his company.
“During the period of intensive combat, Capt.
Bucha, by his extraordinary heroism, inspirational example, outstanding
leadership and professional competence, led his company in the decimation of
a superior enemy force which left 156 dead on the battlefield,” his Medal of
Honor citation reads. “His bravery and gallantry at the risk of his life
are in the highest traditions of the military service.”
Besides being one of our nation’s most highly
decorated veterans, Bucha is a successful businessman and renowned lecturer
on ethics in business and government. He is the founder of a multi-million
dollar investment corporation that has diverse real estate ventures such as
Sugarloaf USA, a golf and ski resort, and Half Moon Bay, a residential
community on the shores of the Hudson River. Bucha has presented lectures
at Harvard, Princeton, United States Air Force Academy, United States Military
Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, and the United States Coast Guard Academy.
“We are honored that Buddy Bucha will be with us
to kick off the Leadership Conference,” said VVA President John Rowan.
“Buddy is a dynamic speaker, a long-time veterans’ advocate, and a true