The Truman Foundation will award the Philip Pistilli Silver Veteran’s Medal to Terry Buckler at the 67th Annual Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation Luncheon.
Sergeant Terry Buckler was the youngest member of the 1970 mission of the U.S. Army Special Forces to rescue American POWs from the Son Tay prison camp during the Vietnam War. He was one of 56 Green Berets who boarded three helicopters for a mission that would take them over the most heavily defended area of North Vietnam.
Their mission was to rescue an estimated 70 POWs being held in the Son Tay camp near Hanoi. Although no prisoners were rescued because they had been moved to another camp, the operation was successfully executed and all Americans returned safely. The Son Tay Raid demonstrated the ability of the U.S. military to deploy a combat force only miles from Hanoi. The raid ranks as one of the most daring missions in special operations history and was a model for the 2011 raid that led to the capture of Osama Bin Laden.
Sergeant Buckler was awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third highest military decoration. He also earned the Combat Infantry Badge and the Parachute Badge. He is president of the Kansas City Chapter of the Special Forces Association and a member of the Son Tay Raiders Association.
Terry Buckler grew up on a small farm near Clark, Missouri, which is also the hometown of World War II General of the Army Omar Bradley, the Foundation’s 1979 honoree. After his Army service, he attended Moberly Junior College and graduated from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in business. He is the founder and president of Delta Systems, Inc., a Kansas City-based software development company. He and his wife Marsha have been married 35 years and have two children and two grandchildren.