NM Vet Honored

Las Cruces – A Vietnam War veteran from New Mexico and the other surviving members of Alpha Troop, First Squadron, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, have been honored with the Presidential Unit Citation.

The award was presented by President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.

Juan Vargas, an Albuquerque native, and the others were recognized for their "extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry" in a fight almost 40 years ago in which the unit rescued scores of fellow soldiers who were pinned down by a large enemy force.

The 60-year-old Vargas said the unit was only doing its job that day and couldn't let the other soldiers down.

He said he was excited about visiting the White House and reuniting with his unit.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.