Monday, September 21, 2009

Uncommon Valor

Paul Rieckhoff of IAVA has posted a story on the latest, tragically posthumous, awarding of the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, 10th Mountain Division. Please take a few moments to view the video and acknowledge the more than sixty other male members of the 10th, the two women soldiers and the US Air Force airman who died in Afghanistan in 2006. I knew a woman Army doctor from the 10th who died in 2007. Hell of an outfit the 10th.

From Paul's write-up:
Courage, sacrifice, hero—three words thrown around carelessly these days. Politicians that cross party lines to force compromise on the divisive issues of our day are labeled “courageous.” A professional athlete that makes a bold play, leading his team to victory is deemed “heroic.” An actor who forgoes a big paycheck for the summer blockbuster to work on a small budget documentary is seen as making a “sacrifice.” Don’t get me wrong, these acts are worthy of admiration. But for a nation at war, using these terms irresponsibly does a big disservice to those that serve. [read the rest...]


rangeragainstwar said...

We as a nation and the military as an institution should require that the MOH be awarded to deserving live personnel. Why do we no longer award this honor to live soldiers- is it that we don't want recipients that can talk and discuss the wars?
jim hruska

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Jim, I couldn't agree with you more about the posthumous award of the MOH being an implicit 'hush up' order by the military, but insofar as not awarding it to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, seems to less than honor those deaths by individuals who exhibited extraordinary valor.

What needs to change I think, is the military/industrial/congressional complex that has changed the mentality of military service from an honor and duty to your country and its citizens, to a video-game-come-to-life for some, the privatization of the military and outrageous profiteering, and the American people being so far removed and distant from what goes on in the military. I could write reams on that topic alone.

As always, thank you for your thoughtful and always interesting commentary.

FDChief said...

Hope, Jim: I think - and we've had this discussion before, Jim, over at RAW - that the problem with MOH's for soldiers who DON'T die in the process is that you basically get the decoration for killing a lot of enemies, breaking up attacks or leading those of our own.

And the problem with giving medals for that is that it reminds the suckers...sorry, "civilians"...that the people we're fighting are the military equivalent of Jack Smack and the local band of rag-pickers, when they're not actually some sort of Afghan Francis Marion-types who just hate the foreign fighters and Hessians who are propping up the corrupt quisling government they hate.

So the "safe" medals are the "falling-on-a-grenade" sort of medals, where you get the decoration for the things you do for other Americans instead of TO Iraqis or Afghans.

Smedley Butler would have understood.

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Gen. Butler would have certainly understood Chief. The worst part of this entire debacle is that of course we have lost another true American hero. Politics aside, there is not a single death that I hear of that I do not shed tears. The gameboy soldiers, the true believers doesn't matter they all deserve to be honored. Thank you both for comments that always touch me.