Steelers to honor Medal of Honor recipient at Sunday’s game

The Steelers and U.S. Steel will honor the only living recipient of the Medal of Honor from Pennsylvania at Sunday’s game.

Col. Walter “Joe” Marm is a Washington native and remembers his early years in Pittsburgh fondly.

“As a long-time Steeler fan in the 50s and 60s when I was able to see them in person with my dad and other family members,” Marm said.

He graduated from Duquesne University in 1964 and enlisted in the Army five days later. The following year, he was on a ship to Vietnam.

“It was a very moving experience to be with young soldiers, and many of them had been training, testing helicopters,” he explained.

In the 1/7th Cavalry, First Cavalry Division, Marm and his fellow soldiers deployed the Army’s first airmobile troops. They were also the first to utilize helicopters to insert troops into combat.

On Nov. 14, 1965, they found themselves at the center of the Battle of Ia Drang.

“We went in with 450 soldiers and after three days of intense fighting, we lost 79 of our soldiers that were killed in action and 121 that were wounded in action.”

Marm was among those injured. He was shot in the jaw as he took out an enemy machine gun.

For his bravery that day, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1966.

“It’s just an awesome responsibility,” he said. “I wear the medal for all the brave men that I served with in that action.”

Now 81 years old and living in North Carolina, Marm will be back in Pittsburgh this weekend. The Steelers will honor him at Sunday’s game as one of their military heroes.

“It’s just going to be an awesome day for me, and I’m very humbled to be there and to be participating in the ceremony,” he said.

A grateful city will thank one of its own as the nation honors its veterans.

“We’re the greatest country in the world because of our veterans that have served and sacrificed so much for this great country,” Marm said.

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