This photo of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was taken on November 11, 2023. Members of NDQSA gather every year in Washington D.C. on Veterans Day to take part in the Annual Veterans Day Observation at the Wall and its wreath laying ceremony. Sergeant Mitchell W. Stout’s name is in the upper third of the picture. There were two small flags left by other visitors. Their reflection highlights the honor we pay to his memory.
• This hallowed place and these wonderful monuments also honor the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who today stand ready to defend our nations and her national interest, whenever and wherever they may be called.
• Today’s soldiers draw inspiration and example from the soldiers whose names adorn these monuments.
• The reason why young soldiers continue to serve is because communities and ordinary citizens like you have imparted the strong values all soldiers take pride in: courage, competence, commitment, candor and integrity.
• You, ladies and gentlemen, are the reason we serve our great nation. and we are proud of you and grateful you have chosen to remember our fallen brothers in this special manner.
• When asked why he was returning to Vietnam for his second tour by Buddy White, Sergeant Mitchell Stout replied, “Maybe I can help somebody.”
• Today is about the love, sacrifice, and heroism of a warrior, not only the love and sacrifice of Mitch Stout but also about those who sat and waited.
• Today is about decisive actions – Sergeants are about action. They take the bit in their teeth and make things happen – whatever it takes. Stout had less than five seconds to decide: to do nothing … to throw his body on the grenade … or get it out and throw it back! So today is about decisiveness and action.
• So never let us forget Mitchell William Stout … Tennessean … Volunteer … Sergeant, United States Army … Soldier … Warrior … Lifesaver and Hero.
• During the Mexican War, Tennessee was asked for 3,000 volunteers. Thirty thousand volunteered, thus giving us the name Volunteers of Tennessee. Mitchell Stout was a volunteer. He volunteered for the Army in 1967 at the age of 17; in 1968 he volunteered for Vietnam, then volunteered to go back.
• After hearing that he was going back, and while he was home on leave, I tried to discourage him from going back and asked him one question: “Why?” His reply was, “Maybe I can help someone.”
• Everyone was touched by this war in one way or another. In a few minutes you will hear the names of 117 men from Knox and Loudon counties. When you hear it took 56 hours to read the names on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., at its dedication service, you can visualize the vastness of the casualties.
• I started this memorial from reading in the paper about the problems Richard O’Brian was having trying to get Mitchell recognized in his own community. No one seemed to know and, in some cases, didn’t even care about him or 58,000-plus others who died or the other Vietnam veterans who lived to come home. I hope that this token of appreciation and gratitude to them is accepted, and that Mitch and all the Vietnam veterans will accept our apologizes for being so late to recognize them.
On April 19, 2013, state of Tennessee senate bill 64 was passed into law declaring:
The bridge spanning Tennessee River on Interstate 75 in Loudon County is designated the “Sgt. Mitchell W. Stout Memorial Bridge” in recognition of the life of valor and death in combat of Sgt. Mitchell W. Stout, who made the ultimate sacrifice on March 12, 1970, while courageously protecting his fellow soldiers from a grenade blast at Khe Gio Bridge during the Vietnam War.
The East Tennessee Veterans Memorial is a public plaza in downtown Knoxville, TN with a formal arrangement of granite pillars bearing the names of 6316 fallen heroes from 35 East Tennessee counties who died in military service during named conflicts since World War I. It was dedicated and officially unveiled on November 15, 2008.
The names of the 14 Medal of Honor recipients from East Tennessee are inscribed and honored on the reverse side of the pillars. Quotations related to the wars and national service offer an occasion for reflection and meditation.
Of special interest to historians is a picture of a newspaper clipping added by a visitor entitled The stories of a boxer and a soldier. An archived transcription of the article is offered under the Remembered section of this page. It has the only know photo of Mitchell Stout’s mother receiving his posthumous award from then Vice President Ford.
Another interesting item for historians is the Stout monument’s association with the foreground pillar.
The poem is titled “If You Are Able” and was written by Major Michael Davis O’Donnell on January 1, 1970 at Dak To, Vietnam.
The rest of the story: On March 24, 1970, Major O’Donnell was the aircraft commander aboard a UH-1H Iroquois on a mission to extract a Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) team which was in contact with the enemy inside Cambodia. The aircraft picked up the recon team and was beginning its ascent when it was struck by ground fire and suffered an explosion that caused it to crash. Heavy enemy presence in the area prevented ground investigations of the UH-1H’s crash site at the time. He and all aboard were listed as MIA. In April 1995, a U.S. search team recovered remains associated with the loss of MAJ O’Donnell’s helicopter. In 2001, advances in forensic techniques allowed for some of the recovered remains to be identified as those of MAJ O’Donnell.
Representatives of the National Dusters, Quads & Searchlights Association, Inc. visited the Sergeant Mitchell W. Stout Medal of Honor Memorial located next to the Virtue Cemetery, Farragut, Tennessee on 11 July 1998.
They planted a tree in his honor and laid a stone marker dedicated to his memory.
Most of this imagery was obtained from a Google 360-degree mapping camera tower that was set up at the Sergeant Stout memorial. Your webmaster manipulated the raw data to get these screen shots. For technique explanation and public interest, we have included one screen capture of the Google employee reflected in the Sgt. Stout Medal of Honor memorial itself with the camera tower behind him.
There is still a mystery to this story. The building in the photo is probably not today’s Stout Hall. The 31st Bde was reactivated on April 1, 1988 at Fort Hood Texas and aligned with III Corps. In February 1996, the brigade moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The 1/44 Bn was at Fort Lewis, Washington from 1988 through 1994 when it was inactivated, to be later reactivated in 1996 at Fort Hood but it would not be given a brigade headquarters building. The 69th ADA Bde did not relocate from Wurzburg, Germany and uncase its colors at Fort Cavazos, formally Fort Hood, until 16 Sep 2008. It and its subordinate battalions are in new construction specifically build for their operations. So where is the marker?
The 4th Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (M-SHORAD) was reactivated at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on March 4, 2022. Lieutenant Colonel Alex Corby took command of the unit. Fourteen NDQSA members who served with the 4/60th in Vietnam attended the ceremony and then participated in other events with the new unit later in the month. One of those events was a fire pit evening at Lt. Col. Corby’s quarters with the 4/60th battery command teams and NDQSA members; smoking cigars, building bonds, and sharing stories with their Vietnam teammates. At one point Rick Liebendorfer pointed out to Lt. Col. Corby that his house was on Stout Avenue. Until then he had not even realized that his address honored Sergeant Mitchell W. Stout and was in tribute to the Medal of Honor recipient.
Sergeant Mitchell W. Stout’s gravesite is in the Virtue Presbyterian Cemetery, Farragut, Tennessee. Just outside the cemetery itself is the Sgt. Mitchell W. Stout Medal of Honor Memorial. Address for both is 12420 Evans Road, Knoxville, TN 37934.
Photos by Kate Clabough _A Hero in our Midst
Upper Left: Stout Virtue Cemetary Memorial _Kate Clabough photo
Upper Right: Medal of Honor memorial stone _Kate Clabough photo
Lower Left: Mitchell Stout grave site _Kate Clabough photo
This 1979 article exists only as an archived document. The picture above is not associated with the article but is one of the last photographs of Sergeant Stout sent home to his mother. Together they provide historians with a very personal look into Mitchell Stout, the son who became a soldier.
This 1998 ADA Journal article exists only as an archived document.
(short extracts below with link to the archived ADA Journal article)
Sergeant Mitchell W. Stout is Air Defense Artillery’s only Medal of Honor recipient but, for decades after Vietnam, he had also been something of a mystery. “We get frequent requests for information about Sergeant Stout,” said Air Defense Artillery historian Patricia Rhodes. ” I was surprised to discover how little the branch actually knows about him. Fort Bliss named the Sergeant Mitchell W. Stout Physical Fitness Center, one of the installation’s most prominent structures, after him, but there’s nothing in the files except a blurry photograph and the Medal of Honor citation. Perhaps, earlier historians thought the citation was sufficient. Mitchell Stout, the soldier, has been obscured by the aura that surrounds the Medal of Honor. In a sense, he’s been Air Defense Artillery’s ‘Unknown Soldier.’ “
The U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School asked the Vietnam Duster, Quad 50, Searchlight and Hawk Association to help fill in the blanks. The association furnished the name of James R. (Buddy) White, a friend of Mitchell Stout’s since high school days. Thanks to Buddy White, the Sergeant Mitchell W. Stout file at Fort Bliss is no longer an almost empty folder. The source documents and information about Mitchell Stout that White provided reveal that Sergeant Mitchell Stout’s Medal of Honor was no fluke. A typical American youth, Mitchell Stout became an outstanding soldier who exemplified the Army’s Core Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.
Annual MCL Detachment 924, Young Marines ceremony honors area hero, local businessman, and all fallen servicemembers in war.
The late Buddy White, a Farragut businessman who was a friend of Mitchell Stout, would not let his bravery go unrewarded or be forgotten. A book about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. gave him the idea to build a memorial to Mitchell Stout. His daughter quoted him to say, ‘I figured if no one else was going to do it, I’d do it myself.’
News Article Farragutpress June 3, 2021 by Alan Sloan
The Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Marine Corps League Detachment No. 924 and the Young Marines of Greater Knoxville hosted a ceremony to honor U.S. Army Sgt. Mitchell Stout on Monday May 29, 2023. KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Television report