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Congressman calls for Pentagon review, upgrades to Medal of Honor

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posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:12 AM
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Recent award stokes campaign for more recognition of combat heroism.


The Medal of Honor awarded last month to a young Marine who served in Afghanistan has renewed a campaign by combat veterans who accuse the Pentagon of being too stingy with the decoration. Only 10 service members have been honored with the highest decoration for heroism in Iraq or Afghanistan in the last decade, compared to 248 for action in the Vietnam War and 467 in World War II.


I also feel they need to relax some of these rules. My family has some experience with this.


“Properly recognizing these actions through the awards process is not just important to the individuals involved, but it is also essential to upholding the tradition of the armed forces and inspiring others to step forward.”


This medal is an honor that inspires others.



Douglas Sterner, a Vietnam War Army veteran who tracks military honors, has also called for a comprehensive review of recipients of the Silver Star and above. Late last month he lobbied the secretary of the Army to reconsider the case of Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, a soldier posthumously awarded the Silver Star after he was fatally wounded in Iraq in 2005 pulling six comrades from a burning Humvee. “There is a systematic failure that may have resulted in heroic soldiers receiving so-called lesser awards that should have been properly recognized with the Medal of Honor,” said Sterner, now the curator of the Military Times’ Hall of Valor database, in a letter to the Army secretary.


I don't understand why it has to be so complicated.



The Medal of Honor awarded on Sept. 15 to Dakota Meyer, the first living Marine to receive the distinction since the Vietnam War, also called attention to another man in the battle whose actions in Afghanistan had gone unrecognized. Like Meyer, former Army Capt. William Swenson fought through withering enemy fire to save his American and Afghan comrades and retrieve the bodies of four missing service men during a Taliban ambush in 2009.


There were two heroes in that Humvee. It not fair to only honor one.



Offering his own explanation, Hunter said “the current award submission process for the Medal of Honor is so onerous and intimidating” that it limits the number of recommendations submitted by commanders.


My Uncle was nominated for the award in WW2. The Officer that nominated him died before the request had been fully processed. We all know he was a hero. Too bad the rest of the Nation did not get to hear his story.

I am sure there are many guys just like him. This honor would of meant everything to him.

I know the reason it is so special is so few receive it. However, we could use a few more heroes.

I want to thank all our Veterans for their Service....We could never thank them enough !!!

Story




posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:24 AM
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Being a vet....

The one thing that concerns me is, lowering the bar too much so that it becomes like handing out candy.

This is the highest award possible, and more times than not, it is awarded posthumously.

I have no problems with making changes, but this is the highest award possible, for a reason and should not be made so that everyone could get it.

I tore my meniscus while on active duty during a PT run, we cannot start handing out Purple Hearts like that.

I am just saying....be careful of the changes.
edit on 5-10-2011 by Skewed because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 10:30 AM
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all soldiers deserve the utmost respect who are fighting for our freedoms and should be honored and decorated



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 11:08 AM
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I agree that awards given for valor should be reviewed for possible upgrade. In many cases, the award level is determined by the submitter of the award, which is usually a commander or supervisor in the field and this person may not be privy to all regulations etc needed to properly categorize the award at the time. If clerks or commanders up the chain do not closely review the circumstances of the award, may sign them without considering them for upgrade. Especially if units are moving or being reassigned etc which happens on a daily basis in combat.

Many units (the ones I served with anyway) have strict rules on awards. IE. Only allowed to award a soldier with one award per service period, soldiers with past disciplinary issues were not eligible etc etc. I did not agree with this policy and was not allowed to award soldiers I thought were deserving.

I also had a commander in my chain who would not approve purple hearts for any injury that was not caused directly by enemy shrapnel or bullets and would not approve other awards if you had received a purple heart. The exception was with Soldiers killed in action and were awarded at least a purple heart and a bronze star.

But you also have to be careful not to over do it. I did know units that did not follow these policies and would present awards on a regular basis for "service". So you would have some admin guy walking around with two bronze stars and a combat action badge, and never left a base and only heard a mortar round go off in the distance.


edit on 5-10-2011 by EssenceOfSilence because: spelling



posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 12:42 PM
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reply to post by EssenceOfSilence
 


I agree it should be very difficult to receive this award.

It just should not be impossible.




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