By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
South Haven's James C. McCloughan, a longtime MHSAA wrestling official and coach of multiple sports, will receive the Medal of Honor this afternoon for service in 1969 in Vietnam.
McCloughan, also a retired teacher from South Haven High School, previously received multiple Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts among a number of awards and decorations. During battle May 13-15, 1969, McCloughan risked his life to rescue and treat wounded personnel despite being wounded himself by shrapnel and small-arms fire. A combat medic with the U.S. Army, the 23-year-old McCloughan refused medical evacuation to remain with his comrades.
His rank at the time was private first class. He was discharged from the Army with the rank of specialist.
After his service, McCloughan became a dedicated educator. His bio as a 2008 inductee to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association credits him with 36 years coaching football and coaching 131 teams total from the South Haven athletic program. He also is a member of the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He has served as well 25 years as an MHSAA official and is registered to continue this upcoming wrestling season.
The U.S. Army website produced a tremendous multi-media feature on McCloughan in advance of today's ceremony. To see that feature in full, click here, and watch below the Army's video that details McCloughan's service in receiving this high honor. (The photo above also is taken from the linked feature.)