By lex, on November 21st, 2010
Yobs are street hoodlums, UK style. And like street hoodlums everywhere, they are not knocking about in their anti-social little way whilst on holidays from Oxbridge. They are doing, in other words, about the best that they can.
By lex, on November 16th, 2010
Writing in the WSJ, William McGurn reminds us of the common narrative connecting all of our most recent Medal of Honor awardees, including that of then-Specialist Salvatore Giunta – exceptional courage to save lives, rather than Hollywood-style efforts to kill the foe:
When we think of military heroism, we may think of Rambos decorated for great damage inflicted on the enemy. In fact, the opposite is true. Every Medal of Honor from these wars has been for an effort to save life. Even more telling, each specifically recognizes bravery that cannot be commanded.
Of the eight who have earned it, three—Army Pfc. Ross McGinniss, Navy Petty Officer Michael Monsoor, Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham—threw themselves on grenades to protect their comrades. Navy Lt. Michael Murphy knowingly exposed himself to enemy fire so he could call in help for his team.
Army Staff Sgt. Jared Monti died trying to rescue a fellow soldier. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller was killed while diverting gunfire from Taliban forces so his team could carry their commander to safety. Army Sgt. First Class Paul Ray Smith—the first from these wars to earn the Medal—took on an overwhelming Iraqi force from a machine gun atop a disabled armored personnel carrier, allowing the safe withdrawal of many wounded American soldiers.
On that ridge in Afghanistan, Salvatore Giunta could not save his sergeant. But he did deprive the enemy of its victory—and death of some of its sting.
It’s clear from SSgt Giunta’s television interviews that he is uncomfortable in the role of hero, and that he doesn’t need the Medal of Honor for himself.
But we need it for him. We need it for us, to affirm to ourselves what it is our soldiers fight for, and the values of the civilization that gave them birth.
Back To The Index
I have thought often of how many people have magnificent stories that stay hidden. Since my father died, my mother and I talk more. As a young woman she was in Manhattan during V-E Day – at Times Square. (the famous Alfred Eisenstadt picture Lex referred to was during V-J Day).
My mother was in Washington DC during that day.
Anyway, today I am at the In-N-Out hamburger place and see an elderly man with a 101st Airborne cap. So I have to ask him where he served.
“I jumped into Holland”
At Arnhem?, I asked.
“Then I was at Bastogne in 1944″. It was 11 below zero. ”
He was one to the defenders at the Battle of the Bulge!
He is a true hero…
Right now I’m just sitting at an In N’ Out waiting for my cheeseburger.
I just went for my monthly blood test at our local VA. On my way into the building a young woman was exiting with a leg prothesis. She had lost her leg almost at the hip.
People like her make me very humble about my own military service. Here I ended up traveling over most of Europe when I wasn’t in a radar bunker talking to missile batteries in Germany.
Some gave a lot more than others; some gave all.