Edward Lee Gilliard, Specialist Four, United States Army, was born in Tennessee on September 14, 1947, and enlisted in the Army while living in Heidelberg, Mississippi. Gilliard began his tour in Vietnam on September 3, 1968, as a Medical NCO serving with HHC, 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry, Americal Division. On March 2, 1969, at the young age of 21, Gilliard died of wounds from an explosive device during a hostile event on February 23, 1969, in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam.
Gilliard was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam for distinguishing himself on February 23, 1969, when his company was conducting a search and clear operation near the village of Liem Quang. While maneuvering through the area, an anti-personnel mine detonated, which wounded three soldiers. Although seriously injured, Specialist Gilliard realized that his fellow soldiers needed immediate medical attention. Unable to move because of his injuries, he directed one of his comrades to treating the wounded. Through his timely actions, he contributed greatly to the success of the evacuation and undoubtedly saved the lives of two of his comrades.
Specialist Fourth Class Gilliard’s personal heroism, professional competence, and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself.
Gilliard was also awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. He is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. on Panel W30, Line 11.