Vietnam veteran Ronnie Guyer of Chino Hills caught the eye of the President of the United States during a Presidential Citizens Medal ceremony at the White House Nov. 7 when he was introduced with 60 fellow veterans.
Mr. Guyer, who is known locally for his enthusiasm, held up his hands, spun around, gave two thumbs up, and saluted the president long enough for Mr. Trump to point at him and say “Whoa! That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good.”
Mr. Guyer attended the ceremony to honor Lieutenant Rick Rescorla, with whom he served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, for saving 2,684 people in the World Trade Center in New York City when it was destroyed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Rescorla, who was born in the United Kingdom, was head of security for Morgan Stanley and led the evacuation of employees while they were being advised over a loudspeaker to stay in place. He sang patriotic songs of encouragement into a bullhorn while they headed downstairs. An employee took a photo of him on the stairwell.
After leading the employees to safety, Mr. Rescorla returned to the burning building where he was last seen heading upstairs to rescue others.
Mr. Guyer, who earned a Purple Heart for his injury, was in the Battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam in 1965 at the same time Mr. Rescorla was serving as second lieutenant.
Mr. Rescorla, featured in the book “Heart of a Soldier,” performed heroic feats on the battlefield and was known for singing Cornish hymns to his men.
Mrs. Rescorla spoke during the ceremony and thanked the President and 200 attendees for supporting her husband.
The Presidential Citizens Medal is considered the second highest civilian honor after the Medal of Freedom.
Mr. Guyer had been working with Mrs. Rescorla for 18 years to recognize her husband with the Presidential Citrizens Medal.
After briefing the city council Nov. 12 with the story of Mr. Rescorla, Mr. Guyer concluded his speech with the word “finally,” turned to face the audience and gave his “trademark” thumbs up to all.