Posted by Lex, on July 1, 2010
The US military has, after 9 years of grueling combat, finally found a living soldier * worthy of nomination for the country’s highest award for valor:
The Pentagon has recommended that the White House consider awarding the Medal of Honor to a living soldier for the first time since the Vietnam War, according to U.S. officials.
The soldier, whose nomination must be reviewed by the White House, ran through a wall of enemy fire in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley in fall 2007 in an attempt to push back Taliban fighters who were close to overrunning his squad. U.S. military officials said his actions saved the lives of about half a dozen men…
The nomination comes after several years of complaints from lawmakers, military officers and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that the Pentagon had become so cautious that only troops whose bravery resulted in death were being considered for the Medal of Honor. Gates “finds it impossible to believe that there is no one who has performed a valorous act deserving of the Medal of Honor who has lived to tell about it,” said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, who declined to comment on specific nominations…
Obama presented a posthumous Medal of Honor in September to the family of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti for his heroism in exposing himself to enemy fire to retrieve a wounded comrade. But honoring a living soldier with the nation’s highest award for valor would give the president an opportunity to ease some of the military’s feelings of estrangement from the rest of U.S. society.
Such a ceremony also would allow the president to honor military heroism and virtue, sentiments that Republicans say Obama does not celebrate frequently enough.
It’s Washington of course, so the WaPo has to find a political angle.
Which is a damned shame.
* Link changed 04-11-18 – Ed.