25 February, 2002
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing this letter in support of Captain Jon E. Swanson, United States Army, to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
I can attest first hand of Jon's courage. In May of 1967 we shared the same bullet that wounded both of us as we supported the infantry from the air with an unarmed OH-23G helicopter. I was the pilot and Jon was acting as my observer using an automatic rifle and M-79 grenade launcher to provide suppressing fire until the airborne infantry, gunships or artillery could arrive.
I was very badly wounded and still had to fly the helicopter. Jon was very helpful to me in this situation as I tried to fly and put a tourniquet on my leg at the same time. When I finally got things under control, I finally had the sense to ask Jon if he was alright. He said:"I got shot in the butt, but don't worry about me."
I do not know the exact circumstance as how Jon lost his life almost four years later except I saw his coolness under fire, his dedication to his country and his ability to put his circumstance secondary to help a fellow soldier all in a few minutes in the Delta of Viet Nam that day in May 1967.
Kent D. Converse