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NEWS: Marines Revoking 11 Purple Hearts That Officials Say Were Given Out by Mistake

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posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 07:59 PM
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The U.S. Marines are revoking 11 Purple Heart medals that were given out according to officials by mistake. The head of the Marine Corps., Charles Mugno said that these medals were given out in a rush after the first wave of Marines returned from Iraq and there was confusion as whether they were wounded by hostile action or in a combat zone. One soldier whose medal is being revoked was injured when an American tank rolled over him while he was sleeping in a foxhole.
 



ap.tbo.com
Marine Cpl. Travis Eichelberger received a Purple Heart after he was crushed under a 67-ton Abrams tank in Iraq.
Now, nearly two years later, the honor is being revoked because his injuries weren't caused by hostile or combat action, as required under military rules. Eichelberger is among 11 Marines who were notified recently that their Purple Hearts were awarded by mistake and were being taken away.

"If I really don't deserve it, I don't want it. But the problem is that they decided to give them to us," he said in Wednesday's edition of The Kansas City Star.

Eichelberger suffered a crushed pelvis, shredded internal organs and legs that swelled to twice their normal size. The medal was pinned to Eichelberger's hospital gown at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I can't believe this country sometimes, these men all served our countries and sacrifice more than most of these "officials" ever will, to take these medals away now, after presenting them to these people seems like such a travesty. Does it really hurt anyone that 11 medals were given in error? Why not let these people live with the pride that they have earned.




posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 08:06 PM
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You know what they all got injuries while in the field, they all came back disable or at least most of them.

That it wasn't from enemy fired is one thing but they still got injuries while in the front lines.

To me they are heroes.

[edit on 9-2-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 08:06 PM
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Right...this is a MAJOR peeve with me. My brother was a chopper pilot in Viet Nam. He was awarded medals of distinction for certain missions and acts of bravery - his words "but it was the same thing we did day in and day out. The only difference...there was brass there that day."

My brother was co-pilot of a chopper with four more men (other than himself and the pilot) on the day the chopper went down. Of the six men, my brother was the only one to survive. He was burned over more than 65% of his body, suffered double pneumonia, kidney failure, and actually experienced an NDE. What brought him back??? The incision on the inside of his thigh for the embalming process.

He did not get a purple heart - because he was not on a combat mission at the time.

This kind of crap makes my skin crawl.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 08:07 PM
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That's a disgrace.
They should've let them keep the purple hearts rather than risk
makeing men who served this country feel slighted or undeserve-
ing.
I bet they felt bad haveing to tell their family and friends that the
honor they'd received had been "revoked".



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 08:18 PM
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Well this story sounds very familiar. My father went through this exact thing after serving in Vietnam.

Enemy fire shot an earthmover he was in and it exploded, burning him badly. Broke his jaw in 4 or 5 places, burned his lungs... etc... they took his photo recieving the purple heart, then they took it away.

This has become my life long mission to get it back for him. I have been in contact with our congressman who has sent me to the Army Review Board. I will fight them to the end for this.

A few years ago on his birthday my sisters and I flew a flag over the capital in his honor, then we bought him a purple heart. It wasn't the same, but the sentiment was there.

These men DESERVE that damn medal, and if I were them and their families I would damn well fight for it.

Here's a link if you feel like being patriotic and flying a flag for a loved one.
Fly A Flag Over the Capital

[edit on 9-2-2005 by deeprivergal]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 09:42 PM
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This is not a travesty, no matter how disappointing it may be for those whose medals were revoked. Real Marines don't want medals they don't deserve and the criteria for the Purple Heart are clear. Not only does the military police the Purple Heart awards, but The Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization of Purple Heart recipients, does, as well.

This action in no way reflects on the integrity of the Marines who received the Purple Heart, but it does maintain the integrity of the award. As someone on another site observed, "Now if only someone would grow a pair and revoke a couple hanging in a certain Senator's office (or are they still laying on the White House lawn), I'd be satisfied."

[edit on 05/2/9 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by worldwatcher
I can't believe this country sometimes, these men all served our countries and sacrifice more than most of these "officials" ever will, to take these medals away now, after presenting them to these people seems like such a travesty. Does it really hurt anyone that 11 medals were given in error?

It smears the people who received the medals by meeting the actual requirements. Apparently there are qualifications for receiving the medals and these guys didn't meet them.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 09:52 PM
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Originally posted by deeprivergal

A few years ago on his birthday my sisters and I flew a flag over the capital in his honor, then we bought him a purple heart.


I don't want to take a thing away from your father's sacrifice. By the criteria posted at this link, I would judge that your father does, indeed, deserve the Purple Heart, because the explosion of his machine was caused by enemy fire, or at least, that is the story you provide.

The real travesty is that anyone can buy a medal, but it should be noted that displaying a military decoration as your own which has not been duly awarded is a criminal offense. I hope very much that if your father's burns were caused by enemy projectiles, that his medal is restored. In the meantime, I hope he has the decency not to display the medal that you and your sisters bought for him.

By the way, I am the recipient of the Purple Heart by virtue of burns received from exploding powder increments in my gun-pit, as a result of enemy mortar fire, while in Vietnam. I can very much empathize with your father's situation. By virtue of our having endured burn treatment, we have much in common.

I would add that at the time of my being wounded our battery was in the middle of a fire mission that lasted many hours and involved an assault on our perimeter. There were so many explosions going on at the time that I had no idea what had happened, except that I had very serious and painful burns over 45% of my body. While I was in Japan, a Lieutenant visited me in the hospital to confirm that my burns had been the result of enemy action and that he would return with the medal as soon as the aurthorization process was complete.

Unfortunately, I was shipped back to the States for more extensive treatment before he returned and I didn't hear anymore about it. It wasn't until I arrived at my duty station, after treatment and convelescence, that I sent a letter to HQMC requesting information on the status of my award that I was sent the medal and the certificate. I declined a ceremony for the award, but my First Sergeant shook my hand and thanked me for my sacrifice.

I know it seems like a very fine line for those who have never served, but that line is an important element in the criteria. It would be better to abolish the award than to dilute the criteria for which it is awarded and as long as their are Purple Heart recipients, that won't happen. Ronald Reagan was responsible for awarding the the Purple Heart to civilians. Thank God that was recinded. I have no problem with civilians having an award for being wounded in a terrorist act, but it should not be the Purple Heart.


[edit on 05/2/9 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:17 PM
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I have been buying medals for my dad that he earned in veitnam and really could only afford the stripes at the time. Service medal, purple heart, air medal. etc. Like most VIetnam vets he doesn't talk about what happened much. But i know they mean a lot to him.

As far as giving the medals back. I think this just shows how much propaganda has become a part of the Bush administration. "You got wounded kid? Great we need you for this photo op to help sell war bonds. What you don't deserve it? Nonsense, your a hero, now smile" In thier rush to honor those that serve they forget what happens when they serve



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:20 PM
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The military will replace any lost, damaged or stolen medals for any bona fide recipient. They have done it for me.

To suggest that these men were used by the Administration for propaganda purposes is both ignorant and irresponsible.

[edit on 05/2/9 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:35 PM
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Were three of them given to Kerry?



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
This is not a travesty, no matter how disappointing it may be for those whose medals were revoked. Real Marines don't want medals they don't deserve and the criteria for the Purple Heart are clear. Not only does the military police the Purple Heart awards, but The Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization of Purple Heart recipients, does, as well.


[edit on 05/2/9 by GradyPhilpott]


Apparently these organizations were on leave during Kerry's pinky-owie purple heart then, right?



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by SourGrapes
Were three of them given to Kerry?


Kerry's must've been deserved...they were'nt revoked like these
guy's were.

Anyway why is Senator Kerry involved in this discussion?
I guess this is going to disintegrate into a "lefty" and "righty"
argument?

Carry on then, I'm outta here...



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:57 PM
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Originally posted by elaine
Kerry's must've been deserved...they were'nt revoked like these
guy's were.

Anyway why is Senator Kerry involved in this discussion?
I guess this is going to disintegrate into a "lefty" and "righty"
argument?

Carry on then, I'm outta here...



Just having some fun. Get yourself some humor!



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 11:30 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Apparently these organizations were on leave during Kerry's pinky-owie purple heart then, right?


At the time they were awarded, Kerry's "wounds" met criteria and with so many awards being made, the MOPH would not have had the opportunity to judge each one. Knowing what we know now about Kerry's awards and how he got them, if the MOPH had gotten wind of them, there might have been a stink.

I get a bi-monthly magazine from MOPH, being a life member, but I must admit that I am not an avid reader of the journal. During the campaign, I never once bothered to see how the issue was handled relative to Kerry. I rarely discard my magazines and most of the issues from that period are around here somewhere and if it dawns on me, I might check it out.

The last incident about which I am aware, the MOPH was up-in-arms over the award having been given to a soldier during the invasion of Panama who suffered from heat-stroke after missing his landing zone and having to hike several miles to catch up with his unit. I don't know how this case was resolved. I do know that MOPH was heavily involved with the Reagan-era practice of awarding Purple Hearts to civilians and getting it rescinded and were instrumental of getting Purple Heart recipients priority status at the VA.

Oversight by the MOPH may not be precise, but it is thorough with regard to cases that come to their attention. When I asked the MOPH to handle my VA case, they got a very sticky and convoluted situation resolved forthwith.

I would suggest to deeprivergal that she contact the MOPH for help with her father's case.




Me in my Tulane University baseball cap and my government issue Purple Heart.



[edit on 05/2/9 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 11:35 PM
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Grady,

Congratulations on your Purple Heart! You should be proud.

(Is that a Dell monitor?
)

[edit on 9-2-2005 by SourGrapes]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 11:40 PM
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Thank you, SourGrapes. I really don't think that congratulations are in order for the award of the Purple Heart, but your sentiment is appreciated. The monitor is an HP Pavilion f1703. Good guess, though.


[edit on 05/2/9 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 11:54 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
This is not a travesty, no matter how disappointing it may be for those whose medals were revoked. Real Marines don't want medals they don't deserve.


I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you, GradyP. Those men who were given those medals, whether by mistake on the part of the "High Ranking Officials" - (translate: chickens), or not, were given to them at a time that many of them undoubtly were in severe pain, probably in somewhat of a state of shock, and were in no state of mind to be rejecting them. After all, they had all most likely been permanently maimed in some wayor other, causing their lives to be drastically changed forever, all in the name of "fighting for their country". I wouldn't be surprised that receiving those medals for some of them, may have been the only thing that pulled them through.

"Friendly Fire" (tank) or not, they were still injured while serving their country in an unknown foreign land, away from their families, in constant danger, etc..

Give the medals back! WTF!



[edit on 2/9/2005 by CyberKat]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 11:57 PM
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The point is that you put your life on the line for you government and your country and THEY hand you a metal for it. Is you pain any more allieved because it was not inflicted from enemy combat?

Edited for personal safety, but you can figure it out for yourselves.



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 12:26 AM
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Pain and suffering are immaterial to the matter at hand and I sincerely doubt that anyone's recovery is aided by the awarding of a medal. I recovered well enough without one and when I requested an investigation into my medal, it was based on nothing but the conversation I had with the Lieutenant in Japan. If HQMC had responded otherwise, I would have completed my enlistment just as I did. At the time, Purple Hearts were everywhere and to this day, even I have questions about being awarded a medal for being in the wrong place at the right time.

On the night I was wounded, because of the intensity of the engagement, I had been all over the battery area, cutting charges, dropping rounds, setting fuses, breaking out ammo, and even running to another gun to borrow a fuse wrench. At the time the the powder went up, I had just started cutting charges to help out the powder man. As the Assistant Gunner, all these things were part of my job. If that mortar round had hit, just 30 seconds sooner, I would have been elsewhere and merely a witness.

When I say that real Marines don't want awards they do not rate, I mean that, as a matter of integrity, Marines respect, not only their integrity, but the integrity of the awards. When medals are awarded without stringent criteria, it cheapens all awards for everyone. When you own an award, you are part of a brotherhood of those who also rate that award and having to explain your award is part of the process. No one who respects himself wants other recipients shaking their heads when they hear your story, although there are always a few who feel that their circumstances are superior to all others.

Trust me on this one. A medal is just a medal. Anyone can go out and buy any medal he wants. It's not the medal; it's the circumstances for which the medal was awarded. Cheap medals benefit no one and I think that if Kerry has any integrity, at all, and I doubt that, he now knows this to be true better than anyone.

Regard the case of former Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jeremy Boorda:

www.arlingtoncemetery.net...

www.pbs.org...

www.cnn.com...

www.google.com...



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