The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
SILVER STAR MEDAL to
Sgt LAURENCE E. BELKO
United States Marine Corps
For service as set forth in the following
"The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant Laurence Eugene Belko United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the afternoon of 26 May 1968, Sergeant Belko's platoon launched an assault on enemy positions in a tree line northwest of Dong Ha and immediately came under a heavy volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire which pinned down the platoon and wounded several Marines. Directed to break contact, Sergeant Belko skillfully began maneuvering his men to more advantageous terrain while directing the evacuation of casualties. Completely disregarding his own safety, he unhesitatingly moved about the hazardous area and repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to assist the injured to covered positions. Although seriously wounded in the arm, he refused medical evacuation and, after applying a battle dressing, continued his determined efforts. Subsequently, under cover of darkness, he organized a recovery team and, for five hours, led a thorough search of the area, frequently advancing to within fifteen meters of the hostile positions to evacuate casualties. Ignoring his painful injury, he remained with his men to encourage them and ensure the treatment of the wounded until he was medically evacuated the following morning. By his courage, bold initiative and unfaltering devotion to duty at great personal risk, Sergeant Belko saved the lives of numerous fellow Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."