- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — An airman killed during combat in Laos in 1968 was honored Tuesday with the nation’s highest military award.

President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger. The airman’s three sons joined Mr. Obama in saluting their father’s heroism during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

A native of Hamburg, Pa., Etchberger was an electronics expert without formal combat training when he single-handedly kept the North Vietnamese enemy at bay while helping to evacuate wounded comrades. Etchberger managed to get three of his wounded comrades into rescue slings but was fatally wounded when he was struck by ground fire as a helicopter lifted him to safety.