Anthony & I attended a Wounded Warrior Project conference not too long ago and the highlight of our entire weekend by far was the speech given by Medal of Honor Recipient, 2 time POW survivor as well as Purple Heart recipient Rubin Tibor. His biography on the page was enough to make everyone who’d read it prior to him even getting up on stage stand out of respect and reverence for his service. The stories he told were of dedication in the face of discrimination and disrespect, commitment in the face of defeat and despair and love of country even when it could be looked at as if his country had forgotten about him. It was just so incredible to see such passion from a man of 85 years. He could emotionally stir a room and make them laugh hysterically within a few sentences. His daughter even spoke a little bit and just said he wants other generations to know that basically with everything that you fight for there will be more obstacles but keeping your head high and a sense of humor helped him tremendously. He wants to tell his story so that others who face injuries and adversity could maybe learn something and be inspired to know that Mr. Tibor still has the same commitment to his country now than ever before and wants to share his experiences so that others may be inspired as well. I hope very soon that we’ll have a chance to hear him speak again since he is such an exceptional gentleman.
The Army citation for the Medal of Honor reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Corporal Tibor Rubin distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period from July 23, 1950, to April 20, 1953, while serving as a rifleman with Company I, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in the Republic of Korea. While his unit was retreating to the Pusan Perimeter, Corporal Rubin was assigned to stay behind to keep open the vital Taegu-Pusan Road link used by his withdrawing unit. During the ensuing battle, overwhelming numbers of North Korean troops assaulted a hill defended solely by Corporal Rubin. He inflicted a staggering number of casualties on the attacking force during his personal 24-hour battle, single-handedly slowing the enemy advance and allowing the 8th Cavalry Regiment to complete its withdrawal successfully. Following the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, the 8th Cavalry Regiment proceeded northward and advanced into North Korea. During the advance, he helped capture several hundred North Korean soldiers. On October 30, 1950, Chinese forces attacked his unit at Unsan, North Korea, during a massive nighttime assault. That night and throughout the next day, he manned a .30 caliber machine gun at the south end of the unit’s line after three previous gunners became casualties. He continued to man his machine gun until his ammunition was exhausted. His determined stand slowed the pace of the enemy advance in his sector, permitting the remnants of his unit to retreat southward. As the battle raged, Corporal Rubin was severely wounded and captured by the Chinese. Choosing to remain in the prison camp despite offers from the Chinese to return him to his native Hungary, Corporal Rubin disregarded his own personal safety and immediately began sneaking out of the camp at night in search of food for his comrades. Breaking into enemy food storehouses and gardens, he risked certain torture or death if caught. Corporal Rubin provided not only food to the starving Soldiers, but also desperately needed medical care and moral support for the sick and wounded of the POW camp. His brave, selfless efforts were directly attributed to saving the lives of as many as forty of his fellow prisoners.
So as you can see he is definitely our hero and we couldn’t thank him enough for coming out to do the seminar and share his stories with us. Complete bad ass?! I think so! This man inspired me to look into our own backyard and see what hidden gems are within our own family tree. I found quite a bit and now and going to tirelessly work on crafting another blog dedicated to our families military history and anything they have to say from the past and for the future generations to pass on their knowledge so that it is not lost through time.