A Marine Corps hero died yesterday...over the Memorial Day weekend. After a long battle with various health problems, Raymond Mike Clausen passed away during the evening hours of Sunday, May 30th. Mike's wife, Lois, was at his side. Our condolences go out to Lois at this very difficult time.
Mike was in one of the finest hospitals in the country, Baylor University Medical Center located in Dallas, TX. He was being attended to by the best doctors and nurses available, but unfortunately, there was simply nothing more that could be done to save him. Funeral arrangements are pending, and will be posted as soon as details are available.
As I am sure you are all aware, Mike was the only enlisted Air Wing Marine to receive the Medal of Honor in Vietnam. He flew with HMM-263 as a crewchief and on 31 January 1970 flew the mission for which he received the MOH. His bravery that day is well known by the members of the USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association, and many others...others such as Ross Perot.
The reason that Mike was in Dallas, instead of a VA hospital in Louisiana was due to the fact that when Ross Perot got word of Mike's difficulties, he sent his own personal jet to bring Mike back to Dallas. He then ensured that Mike received the best medical care available. He did this all at his own expense without hesitation. But it goes much further than the tremendous financial costs covered by Ross Perot. It was yet another true act of patriotism and loyalty from one former military man to another who was in need.
Thanks from all of us at the Association for everything that you did for one of our own, Mr. Perot. We "popped a smoke" and you answered the call.
Founder and former President
USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association