Retired Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, 72, died Monday after his lawnmower rolled over an embankment behind his house in Eufaula, Alabama, according to WRBL.
Bargewell’s nearly 40-year military career spanned the wars in Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan.
He enlisted in the military in 1967 and served in the Vietnam War, where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism. According to his award citation, Bargewell placed a deadly volume of machine gun fire that broke an assault by an estimated 75- to 100-man enemy force, despite suffering multiple fragmentation wounds from an exploding B-40 rocket. He again exposed himself to enemy fire during another assault and refused medical treatment to ensure the safe extraction of his team.
He received his officer’s commission in 1973 and went on to command special operations units from team to Special Operations Command level, including as the commanding general of Special Operations Command Europe. His last assignment before retiring was director of strategic operations at HQ’s Multi-National Force-Iraq in Baghdad.
According to the Daily World, Bargewell was the most decorated soldier on active duty at the time of his retirement in 2006.
Source: Army Times