TODAY   |  December 31, 2013

Learn the stories of 4 Medal of Honor recipients

Matt Lauer introduces the stories of valiant acts of courage that resulted in four U.S. soldiers being awarded the highest military honors.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> on this past year, we pause to remember the sacrifice made by the men and women in the u.s. armed forces . today there are only 78 living recipients of the nation's highest military honor. the medal of honor . i had the privilege to sit down with four of them. we'll hear from them in a moment but first their heroic acts taken from the official citations.

>> these medal of honor recipients went above and beyond the call of duty , putting themselves in harms way to save lives. leroy a.petry staff sergeant u.s. army . from his citation, he unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, picked up the grenade and threw it from his fellow rangers. as he was releasing it it detonated. it saved his fellow ranger from being severely wounded or killed. ty m. carter specialist, u.s. army afghanistan. at the risk of course his own life, above and beyond the call of duty , specialist carter awakened to an attack of an estimated 300 enemy fighters and in spite of his own wounds, he ran through a hail of enemy rocket propelled grenade and machine gunfire to rescue a critically wounded soldier.

>> staff sergeant, u.s. army , afghanistan. specialist exposed himself to witherring enemy fire . he engaged the enemy before prepping and throwing grenades. he observed two insurgents carrying away an american soldier . he immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other. jack jacobs , first lieutenant, u.s. army , republic of vietnam . despite profuse bleeding from his head wounds which impaired his vision, captain jacobs returned under intense fire to evacuate a seriously wounded advisor to safety. his gallant actions and extraordinary her richl saved the lives of one u.s. advisor and 13 allied soldiers. by his gallantry and bravery in actions has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the u.s. army .