Originally published in CNN.
…”In 2014, one of Canley’s fellow servicemembers contacted Rep. Julia Brownley, the California Democrat who represents Canley’s home district, to request that Canley’s Navy Cross, two Bronze Stars and Purple Heart be upgraded to the nations’ highest military honor.
Brownley told CNN she read testimonials from many of his fellow Marines.
“I was very, very moved by it all and we went to work and didn’t give up and I’m delighted that we did,” she said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
That set in motion a multi-year process with the Marine Corps and the Defense Department that ultimately required the House of Representatives to pass legislation to waive the five-year time limit on awarding the Medal of Honor on Canley’s behalf. The bill passed in January with bipartisan support.
“Sergeant Major Canley and his heroism brought Congress together in a way that we don’t always see in these hyper-partisan times,” Brownley said. “It does represent the best of all of us — the best of our country and our patriotism.”
Brownley credits Canley’s fellow servicemembers with their persistence in helping the honor come to fruition. But Canley, she said, would “say it’s not about him, but it is about the Marines that he served with.”
“We all know there’s a somewhat dark place in our history when men and women returned from Vietnam. They returned to an ungrateful nation. And I think Sergeant Major Canley will say this award is so important because the Marines I served with are so deserving of this recognition,” she said. “This will go down in the history books and hopefully correct a piece of that.””