Sgt. First Class (retired) Bryan Cupp was recognized at the Village of New Holland Memorial Day ceremony on Monday.
Cupp, who grew up in New Holland, was a member of Alpha Troop and fought in the Vietnam War. He was a recipient of the Presidential Unit Citation, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.
Sgt. Cupp, who remained in the Army more than 20 years, was introduced to the crowd by the keynote speaker of the ceremony, local historian and educator Paul LaRue.
“Fifty years ago, both fighting and peace were underway in the war in Vietnam,” said LaRue. “When we teach about wars, we usually focus on battles. Battles have names. Battles like Gettysburg or Iwo Jima. The Vietnam War was different in many ways; one being often battles fought had no names.”
LaRue continued, “One such battle occurred March 26, 1970. Deep in the remote jungles of War Zone C, an Army Infantry Unit stumbled on a North Vietnamese Army stronghold. Outnumbered six to one, the fight turned desperate. Two and a half miles away was Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry. They rushed through the jungle to rescue the infantry unit and a pitched battle ensued at a considerable cost.”
Thirty-nine years later, the surviving members of Alpha Troop, including Sgt. Cupp, were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (the highest combat award that can be given to a military unit) at the White House. This battle has become known as the Anonymous Battle.
Three books have been written and a documentary is in the works on the Anonymous Battle.
“Memorial Day is a day to honor and reflect on the service and sacrifice of all of our nation’s veterans, past and present,” said LaRue. “We would like to thank all Vietnam veterans here with us today. Remember 58,000-plus service members that served in Vietnam and made the ultimate sacrifice. We must never forget our service members, past and present. The battle may have been anonymous, but the service members’ service and sacrifice must always be remembered.”
Tom Rea, VFW Post #8041, served as the master of ceremonies at Monday’s New Holland ceremony.