Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Marine, and former deputy commandant for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Col. Wesley L. Fox died Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was 86.
Fox grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and enlisted with the U.S. Marines in 1950 at the start of the Korean War. Months later, he was deployed to Korea as a rifleman and began a 43-year career in the military. He spent the first 16 years as a noncommissioned officer, and in addition to his combat assignments, he worked as a drill instructor, a recruiter, and a military police officer. In 1966, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant.
On Feb. 22, 1969, while serving as the commanding officer of Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division in A Shau Valley, Vietnam, Fox’s unit was attacked. Despite injury, Fox led his men as they advanced through heavy fire. They eventually forced the North Vietnamese troops to retreat. Wounded again in a final assault, Fox continued to refuse medical attention and instead ensured that other wounded Marines were tended to and evacuated.