CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (Lance Cpl Steven Fox) – Two Medal of Honor recipients visited U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) at Stone Bay, Jan. 20 to speak with Marines and sailors.
Col. Harvey Barnum Jr., USMC (Ret.), and Maj. Drew Dix, U.S. Army (Ret.), both having received Medals of Honor for their heroic actions during the Vietnam War, spoke about bravery and sacrifice, but touched on a myriad of other themes and topics as well.
Barnum and Dix are actively involved in working with wounded warriors and service members suffering from depression. Consequently, both men spoke passionately about suicide prevention and urged the attending Marines and sailors to communicate and seek help when under distress.
“I feel very bad, as a Marine, when we lose a Marine in combat,” said Barnum. “But to lose a Marine through suicide is incomprehensible to me. It’s unacceptable.”
Barnum and Dix spent the bulk of their time at MARSOC Headquarters answering the questions of individuals in the audience. Marines and sailors sat in rapture as they listened to the honorees’ stories, career advice and life lessons.
One Marine in the crowd, Cpl. Dylan M. Cancel, a Marine Special Operations Regimental administrative clerk, described the event as a great experience.
“It was extremely insightful,” said Cancel. “It put into perspective the similarities between the military from then and now.”
Though Barnum and Dix are no longer in the military, Barnum explained they still feel it is their duty to meet with service members regularly to advise, encourage and thank them.
“Many think the proudest moment of my life was when I received the Medal of Honor,” said Dix. “Certainly, that was a highlight of my life, but the proudest moments are when I get invited to personally thank those who continue to serve this country.”
After the assembly concluded, Barnum and Dix took the time to individually meet the Marines and sailors who were in attendance before departing from the MARSOC compound.