Awarding Six Medals To The Three Released

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Awarding Six Medals To The Three Released P.O.W.S Essay, Research Paper The military has lost its mind by awarding six medals to the three released P.O.W.s. I do not mean to rag on the three troops — although one did write a “Thank You” note to his prison guards for his swell Motel 6 treatment, but more to the point is the damage such giveaway policies do to our military awards programs. Remember what Napoleon said about awards: “Give me enough ribbon and I will conquer the world.” So that all of you have a complete list of the awards the three “heroes” got, I will list them for you: Purple Heart Army Commendation Medal P.O.W. Medal Armed Forces Medal United Nations Medal NATO Medal The Purple Heart is awarded for wounds suffered while in armed combat with an

opposing force, for wounds received while in combat “operations” in a combat zone or for wounds received from terrorist acts while in the military. It is also awarded to the next of kin when someone is KIA or dies as the result of wounds received. How can the Pentagon give out Purple Hearts for injuries received that are no worse than those received in a H.S. football game? Yes, they were soldiers; yes, they were on a mission and yes, they were “treated roughly” — broken noses, cracked ribs, chipped teeth, cuts and abrasions. Is the Army telling me that the same award for being killed, maimed or shot-up in a firefight is the same award for taking a fist to the chops — “treated roughly”? I propose a new award — the “Black & Blue Device.” It would resemble

the old W.W.II ruptured duck or just be a plain Red Cross on a white background the International Sign for First Aid. And by the way, it was the President himself who referred to them as detainees and stated that they “weren’t in a war zone.” Now they’re hailed as conquering heroes and given combat awards for sterling performance in a war zone. The Army Commendation Medal, also known as the “Green Weenie,” is awarded for “meritorious achievement” or for “valor in combat.” It’s meant to be a slap on the back for a job well done. What was meritorious or valorous about these three soldiers conduct? No weapons were fired except by the Serbs and the Pentagon’s three latest heroes — remember Capt. Scott O’Grady (Bosnia) and Warrant Officer Michael Durant

(Somalia) who received similar heroes’ welcomes when their actions were also on the “flakey-side” — didn’t successfully evade the “enemy.” All the latest poster-boys did was surrender. That kind of violation of the “Code of Conduct” gets rewarded? Article II of the Code states: “I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.” The purpose of awards is to inspire and recognize troops when they have stood tall in battle, fought the good fight and displayed valor “in the face of the enemy.” That could entail returning fire upon a superior force and shooting holes in some bad guys. Put simply, a fighting force needs to inspire and recognize FIGHTING, RESISTING, and COMBATING

the enemy. What is referred to as FIGHTING SPIRIT! As Hack pointed out to me, “They give a medal out now for just being a P.O.W.” Yes, I do believe that surviving as a P.O.W. is an accomplishment that requires, in most every case, heroic efforts just to survive, but giving an award for it seems trite, condescending and demeans all the past P.O.W. heroes such as Vice Admiral James Stockdale and Colonel George “Bud” Day. In nearly three and a half years in a combat theater, Audie Murphy received 13 decorations and a battlefield commission. During his hitch with the 3rd Infantry Division, he fought from North Africa to Sicily to Italy to France and right on through Germany and into Czechoslovakia. All his time was spent in rifle companies and the number of days he spent in