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Medal of Honor recipient remembered for more than Vietnam war heroics

Veteran Jim Kinsman receives the Medal of Honor in 1969 for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Photo: Courtesy of Kinsman family.

War hero Jim Kinsman is best known for receiving the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, but his family will remember him for much more.

“My dad was the most honest man, the most generous man, just a great guy,” said son Reggie Kinsman.

Jim Kinsman died last Monday.

The family held a memorial service for Kinsman Monday. Additional seats had to be set up outside the church in Toledo, Wash.

In 1968, a then-Army Private Kinsman was fighting in Vietnam when the enemy threw a live grenade at him and seven other American soldiers. Kinsman put his helmet over it and used his body to take the impact.

He suffered severe head and chest injuries, but was credited with saving multiple lives.

President Richard Nixon gave Kinsman the medal on the White House lawn.

In 1997 Kinsman donated it to the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis.

He did not like talking about his time overseas, according to Reggie Kinsman.

“He just figured he did what he was supposed to do,” said Kinsman.

The medal was mentioned at the funeral, but the family’s eulogy focused on Jim Kinsman’s history as a logger, a farmer, and a grandfather of 20. A niece noted Kinsman’s homemade pies were always the first ones eaten at family gatherings.

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