Hero’s Bridge honors combat medic on 5K medal. Each year, Hero’s Bridge selects one image to honor our Vietnam Veterans on the 5K medal. This year, we are pleased to present the 2024 Vietnam Veterans Day 5K Medal, honoring the combat medic. Read on to learn more about this image and the other iconic images that preceded it.

2024: The Combat Medic

This year, we are proud to honor the Vietnam Combat Medic for their exemplary bravery in a hostile environment, on our medal.The life expectancy of a combat medic during a firefight was a mere 6 seconds. That of a medevac crew wasn’t much longer at 19 minutes. Medics were shot at regularly by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers. An estimated 1,100 medics were killed in the course of the Vietnam War.


2023: The Huey Helicopter

The UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” Helicopter was nicknamed the “Huey” after the phonetic sound of its original designation, HU-1. The UH-1 “Iroquois” helicopter was the workhorse of the Army during the Vietnam War and relied upon to “do anything a horse could do” and subsequently evolved from a tool for troop and supply transport to include direct combat gun support.

2022: Standard-Issue Helmet

The M1 helmet is a combat helmet that was used by the U.S. military from World War II until 1985 when it was succeeded by the PASGT helmet. The M1 helmet has become an icon of the US military, with its design inspiring other militaries around the world.


2021: Standard-Issue Boots

In the early years of the Vietnam War, some U.S. Army soldiers were issued the ‘M-1945 Tropical Combat Boot’. To help prevent American foot injuries from punji stake traps, the 1966 jungle boots used a stainless steel plate inside the boot’s sole to protect the wearer from enemy punji stake traps and nails.

2020: Dog Tags

The dog tags worn by soldiers in the Vietnam War and other wars throughout the years are a recognizable symbol of the American GI. These bits of metal hold the important responsibility of helping to get fallen soldiers home again should the worst happen while on active duty. Soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War tied the second tag to one boot to help identify cases of catastrophic injury.


2019: Vietnam War Ribbon

The Vietnam Service Medal (VSM) is presented to personnel of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces who performed military service during the Vietnam War and meet specific qualifications laid out by the United States Department of Defense.

Sources: Combat Medic Huey HelicopterHelmetBootsDog TagsRibbon

Understanding the meaning of these iconic images, we hope that you register for the Vietnam Veterans Day 5K and run or walk in honor of these brave men.
If you would like to purchase past year’s medals, we will have them available for sale at the event.
Information and to register