Medals of Honor

by Shannen W. Coffin

As a follow on to David French’s post, it bears noting that all six recipients of the Medal of Honor in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and two from the battle in Mogadishu) were awarded the Medal posthumously. Their stories are awe inspiring, and the citations are well worth reading — here and here. But as David notes, surely there are other instances of valor above and beyond the call of duty that merit the award. And wouldn’t it be lovely if we could honor a soldier, sailor, or marine who was fortunate enough to survive? I’m all for recognizing Jason Dunham, Michael Monsoor and the others whose courage was unspeakable and who paid the ultimate price for their country and their comrades. But there must be men or women that made it home are deserving of the same honor. I would hate to think that the Medal of Honor has become something that the military brass thinks only worthy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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