Originally posted by Renegade55d
But, it seems that it was a PR move, and there were injured Marines where the President was. So, whammo, hang a medal on anyone convenient.
I reiterate. This assertion is completely without merit and is indicative of ignorance and irresponsibility.
You are right on the money with the rest of your assessment. It was the brass that screwed up and, in fact, the Corps is doing the right thing.
Let me describe my own incident, which while similar is not identical. On my DD214, a clerk at LFTCLant, NAB, Little Creek, VA, assigned the wrong
medal to me, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. What he should have written was Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with frame and palm. It was an
innocent mistake, but it did not mean that I had earned the award. Actually, it took some some 15 years for me to notice it myself, as I knew what
the clerk was referring to, even though the error was not apparent to me. A VA official pointed it out to me, but I was able to clarify the error
immediately because I had requested a DD215 to update awards that weren't in my Service Record at the time of my separation from active duty. On
that document, the unit award which I was entitled to had been renamed to something less confusing and more descriptive.
In some cases, deserving men have waited decades for award they were never issued. An acquaintance of mine was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat
"V," some 15 years after the event for which it was awarded. It's not often you see a grown man break down and sob, but that's what he did,
because he was one of only a few who survived the action. He deserved that medal and I'm sure he was glad to finally get it, but it came with a
price by opening some very deep psychological wounds.
Think about it. Men put their lives on the line and suffer and die and what do they get in return? They get a piece of cloth with some metal and
enamel attached. That's why it is important to protect the meaning and integrity of these awards. If they don't stand for something very specific,
then soon they will come to stand for nothing. The Marine Corps is so stingy with its awards that when you see a Bronze Star on a Marine, it always
has a Combat "V" device, because that is the only condition under which the Bronze Star is awarded. In the Army, the Bronze Star can be awarded to
a highly competent mail clerk who has never seen any more action than a bar brawl.
When you see a Marine with awards, you can bet your behind that that Marine earned them. And I hope it always stays that way, even if a few Marines
have to live with disappointment. It's for the good of the Corps, which is to say every Marine who has ever served, every Marine who is currently
serving and every Marine who will ever serve. If you can't comprehend that then I think you need to speak with more veterans, or if you're
eligible, sign up and serve.
[edit on 05/2/10 by GradyPhilpott]