I have to be honest, the title is a small bit deceiving. This blog not about his nephew, the famous Rockstar who celebrates his 58th birthday today, but it is about Leonard M. Kravitz (technically Lenny is short for Leonard).
Leonard Martin Kravitz was an American soldier in the United States Army who served in the Korean War. He is a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor.
Leonard Kravitz ,of Russian Jewish ancestry , was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Jean (Kaufman) and Joseph Kravitz. He was the younger brother of filmmaker and TV producer Sy Kravitz and uncle of musician Lenny Kravitz.
Kravitz is being recognized for his actions in Yangpyong, Korea, March 6-7, 1951. While occupying defensive positions, Kravitz’s unit was overrun by enemy combatants and forced to withdraw. Kravitz voluntarily remained at a machine-gun position to provide suppressive fire for the retreating troops. This forced the enemy to concentrate their attack on his own position. Kravitz ultimately did not survive the attack, but his actions saved his entire platoon.
Kravitz received the Medal of Honor posthumously, on March 18, 2014; Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, United Nations Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
His niece Laurie Wegner was presented the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in the White House on March 18, 2014.
“Medal of Honor Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an assistant machinegunner with Company M, 5th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Yangpyong, Korea on March 6 and 7, 1951. After friendly elements had repulsed two probing attacks, the enemy launched a fanatical banzai charge with heavy supporting fire and, despite staggering losses, pressed the assault with ruthless determination. When the machinegunner was wounded in the initial phase of the action, Private First Class Kravitz immediately seized the weapon and poured devastating fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants. The enemy effected and exploited a breach on the left flank, rendering the friendly positions untenable. Upon order to withdraw, Private First Class Kravitz voluntarily remained to provide protective fire for the retiring elements. Detecting enemy troops moving toward friendly positions, Private First Class Kravitz swept the hostile soldiers with deadly, accurate fire, killing the entire group. His destructive retaliation caused the enemy to concentrate vicious fire on his position and enabled the friendly elements to withdraw. Later, after friendly troops had returned, Private First Class Kravitz was found dead behind the gun he had so heroically manned, surrounded by numerous enemy dead. Private First Class Kravitz’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.”
Ending the blog with one of his nephews songs, with a message which is more needed now then it ever was.
PS Happy Birthday Lenny Kravitz