Medal of Honor recipient laid to rest at Beaufort National Cemet - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Medal of Honor recipient laid to rest at Beaufort National Cemetery

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BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

It was an emotional day in the Lowcountry as more than 100 marines attended the burial service of a decorated war hero.

Capt. John J. McGinty is the second medal of honor recipient to be buried at Beaufort National Cemetery.

He led a life of leadership, courage and honor.

Marines returned the favor by honoring McGinty Thursday. 

"He had some kind of magic within himself, that always, the enlisted troops would flock, just to touch him, just to talk to him," said Retired USMC Col. Jay Vargas.  

"John was the perfect example of a hero," added Retired USMC Maj. Gen. James Livingston.

Those who knew him describe him as a man of high standards with an unwavering Christian faith and a selfless dedication to his fellow Marines.

"A great Marine, a great American, a wonderful husband, father and mentor," said Livingston.  

Born in Boston in 1940, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1957 and joined full time a year later.

McGinty bravely served as a platoon sergeant and commander during the Vietnam War, where he was wounded in battle while trying to save his men.  

"Particularly those in Kilo 3-4 in Vietnam in 1966 during Operation Hastings," said Gen. John Paxton, Asst Commandmant of the Marine Corps.

His actions earned him the Medal of Honor. McGinty later retired from the Marine Corps in 1976.

Following the eulogies and music from the Parris Island Marine Corps band, his son, Michael, received his ceremonial flag.

"It's amazing. It's an honor to have someone of that caliber, that wants to be buried in this cemetery. I don't know if anything that could happen here that could be more important," said Beaufort Mayor Pro-Tem Donnie Beer.

"Most importantly, because of who he was and what he did and what he represents, he will live on forever in our United States Marines Corps," added Paxton.

McGinty also earned the Purple Heart and the Good Conduct Medal with two Bronze Stars. He was 73 years old.

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