Raleigh Vietnam vet honored for heroism

Posted October 15, 2011 10:57 p.m. EDT

— A Vietnam veteran from Raleigh was honored on Saturday for risking his life to save others following a helicopter crash more than 40 years ago.

Rep. Brad Miller awarded retired Capt. Lyle Parker with the Soldier's Medal at a ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of History.

Parker was a doctor with the Army's 154th Medical Detachment.

In 1968, while under mortar and rocket attack, Parker rescued four soldiers from the debris of a helicopter crash.

Parker said he never set out to be a hero.

“A hero is a guy at the wrong place at the wrong time with witnesses. I think, just about anybody who was sitting there would not have said no to this situation (and) would have responded as I did,” he said.

Parker narrowly escaped before the chopper's damaged engine exploded into a ball of fire.

The Soldier's Medal is the highest military honor for non-combat heroism.