The Medal of Honor: Too Few and Too Late?

medals-of-honor

I have always been in awe of the incredible acts of valor and selfless sacrifice our military are capable of.

More recently, I have been puzzled—and have questioned—why there have been so few Medals of Honor awarded to our heroes who have continued to “distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty” in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Furthermore, all six Medals of Honor awarded for heroism in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have, sadly, been awarded posthumously.

Yesterday, President Obama presented only the sixth Medal of Honor for valor in Iraq and Afghanistan to Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti—posthumously.

Several possible reasons have been advanced for such dearth of recognition, including:

** Changes in warfare and combat tactics, and technological advances. For example, the suggestion that precision-guided stand-off weapons allow our forces to engage and destroy the enemy with reduced risks to themselves.

** Related to this, the reduction in face-to-face engagements, because the enemy uses tactics such as remotely detonated roadside bombs (IEDs), rockets, mortar and sniper attacks and other unconventional means—like suicide bombers.

** A backlash against the proliferation of medals awarded in other conflicts, including the 1991 Gulf War.

** More stringent criteria and a review process that has become too rigorous, too exacting and too long. For example, during the Clinton administration it took a little over six months to posthumously award Medals of Honor to Army Master Sgt. Gary Gordon and Army Sgt. 1st Class Randall Shughart for heroic action in Somalia. On the other hand, during the Bush administration, the speediest Medal of Honor approval took 18 months and one took as long as three years.

** There are some who claim that the process has become too “politicized,” or even that the military awards system “is broken.”

Subscribing to the latter is former Marine Joseph Kinney, a Vietnam veteran who has advocated for greater recognition of heroism in combat.

According to the Air Force Times, Kinney testified before the House Armed Services Committee in 2006, urging the Pentagon to be more consistent in applying award criteria and to speed the review process for Medal of Honor nominees, and said: “The system has failed because of this inordinate fear that somebody is going to get the Medal of Honor [and] be an embarrassment…They decided that the Medal of Honor should go not only to people who are brave, but pure.”

** Finally, even the possibility of “inadvertent subjective bias amongst commanders.” This has been suggested by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine combat veteran who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

Hunter has been aggressively pressing Congress and the Department of Defense to take a close look at the entire Medals of Honor issue, not just the meager number of nominations, but also why the only six Medal of Honor awarded have been to heroes who died during their acts of valor.

Duncan also dismisses many of the arguments that have been advanced to justify both phenomena.

The Congressman has support from the troops on the ground:

In recent letters to Military Times, officers and enlisted members have vented about the fact that so few of the 1.8 million troops who have deployed since 2001 have received the military’s most coveted medal:

“Nobody can honestly tell me that as this war goes into its eighth year, there are only five men deserving Medals of Honor, and all of them died,” wrote Army Master Sgt. Eric Schaffer. “In hundreds of thousands of hours of combat, hundreds of thousands of firefights, battles and actions of all sorts, there have been … only five instances where a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine has demonstrated incredible valor?”

Hopefully things are about to change.

Rep. Hunter has convinced the House Armed Services Committee to order a full review of the criteria used for awarding the Medal of Honor, including why no Medal of Honor has been awarded to a living service member since Vietnam.

Hunter’s call for a review has been approved by the House of Representatives as part of its version of the 2010 defense authorization bill.

It looks like Hunter received some very high level support yesterday, at least on the issue of living Medal of Honor recipients.

According to the Army/Navy Times, on the same day that President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Jared Monti, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said reviews are underway that may result in the nation’s top military honor being presented to a living recipient of the current wars.

When asked at a Pentagon news conference: “Has no one [in the two wars] performed an act of courage worthy of the Medal of Honor and lived through it?” Gates responded “This has been a source of real concern to me…We are looking at this. Without getting into any detail … there are some [award recommendations] in process.”

“It is, as everybody knows, a very time-intensive, thorough process. But I would say that I’ve been told there are some living potential recipients that have been put forward.”

Gates also said “I think it was one of President Bush’s real regrets, that he did not have the opportunity to honor” a living Medal of Honor recipient.

Well, Mr. Gates and the new President now have not only that opportunity, but also the opportunity to recognize more of our troops who have distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Next, the continuing saga of Medal of Honor nominee Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta.

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

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32 Comments

  1. An interesting side note.

    Arguably, a living Medal of Honor winner would be the only person who President Obama (or any President) would be required to salute. Protocol holds that all military officers regardless of rank are required to salute a MOH winner, even if the winner is a private and he meets the Commander in Chief.

  2. I don't know if I agree with the premise of this article. If too many medals are given out, it cheapens them.

    Used to be silver stars were very unusual up until Vietnam. Don't forget that 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam which wasn't even close to the 400,000 that died in WWII.

    The Navy was (and I got out in ~1990) pretty darn stingy with medals and ribbons, not to mention promotions. Not like the Air Force that gave out a ribbon for finishing Basic Training. A vietnam vet I knew said that the Army gave out medals because they weren't allowed to increase pay. Now, apparently, in the Army, to be an E-3 is to be unusual, where that used to be the most common rank. So now they can promote rather than hand out medals like popcorn.

  3. No civilian “has to” salute anyone or anyting ever, no matter what.

    The President is indeed the commander and chief whom is a civilian always and forever and always and forever will civilian authority rule over the military.

    Period.

  4. You are correct. No civilian has to salute anyone.
    However, Patrick E was correct (sort of) through protocol.
    Tradition dictates that all, including the President, salute a MoH recipient. The President returns the salutes of the Marines upon disembarking from Marine-1. He does this as tradition dictates, although I know of no President who has refused to comply.

    The article and Rep.Hunter are correct that the military awards system is broken.
    The stringent requirements for the MoH are too politicized within the military. Anyone who “distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty” deserves the MoH. It's almost becoming a “given” that one must first die to receive this award.
    That simply should not be the case.

    To lessen that requirement would not “cheapen” the award.
    The only way that would happen is if you see folks receiving a Medal of Honor after having superbly cleaning the latrine. As long as landmarks are given for each award (bronze star, silver star, navy cross, MoH, etc), then there would be a standard by which all receive medals. Currently, there are no such concrete standards. They change with every awards board that convene.

  5. “Currently, there are no such concrete standards.”

    And probably shouldn't be. Unless you were there when the bullets were flying, you really don't know and neither does any board. So better to give them some leeway and let the board decide rather than “Received 9 bullet wounds” when 10 was needed for the next one up.

  6. You are incorrect.

    Tradition does not “dictate” that any President should salute anyone. The civilian authority gives the MOH decoration not the military. The military is always and forever subservient to the civilian authority and WILL render appropriate respects regardless of any decorations to their civilian superiors.

    It used to be considered inappropriate for anyone not in uniform to salute in any manor other than hand over heart. Actually it was considered rather stupid looking for someone in civilian clothes to salute to the eyebrow like uniformed people do.

    The is no law and there is nothing in any military protocol that requires any civilian to render any respect to the military in any form and there never will be in a free country. The military simply has no authority over civilians unless temporarily given that authority by their civilian governmental superiors.

  7. As a civilian, I would feel rather awkward saluting anyone. Them days are gone.

    In fact, I rather like smiling and greeting a General or an Admiral if I pass one on the sidewalk, rather than cowering in fear that I would commit some slight that would get me into trouble.

  8. That's not what I meant. I didn't say that.

    “distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty”
    There's your concrete standard right there.

    The point: Most boards inappropriately add a silent, “and dying in the process” to their definition above.

    And to Father Time:
    Tradition does INDEED dictate that very thing. Not law, but tradition.
    That's why I included the example of Presidents saluting upon leaving Air Force 1 or Marine 1.
    Tradition.

  9. '”distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty”

    There's your concrete standard right there.'

    You call that concrete? I would say that just about anyone that doesn't turn and run when the bullets start flying distinguishes themselves conspicuously. Conspicuous, because they are still there rather than doing the intelligent thing like running and hiding.

  10. Well I don't salute anybody. I don't call anybody “sir” either. If people call me “sir”, I assume it is because I am older, which I accept. If someone in uniform calls me “sir”, I assume it is because I am a civilian and I accept it, but then I introduce myself and ask them to call me by my name from that point on. If they continue to call me “sir” after I have introduced myself, I consider it intentionally offensive and end my business with whomever it may be.

    I served four years honorably, but there is no way in hell I will ever call a military officer “sir” again. Nor anyone I don’t wish too for that matter. That is exactly the freedom I fought for and that is exactly the freedom our forefathers fought for. I consider it patriotic.

  11. –[Tradition does INDEED dictate]–

    Post a reference.

    You have none. There is none.

  12. That's as concrete as you need, so a board can thoroughly and readily render the honor, instead of dragging it out years. First you said you didn't want “9 versus 10 bullets required”, now you say it's too vague. ???

    As far as conspicuous duty, dodging a bullet and sticking around when they do, does not qualify.

    “doing the intelligent thing like running and hiding”…
    You must have been in the French military.
    LOL

    It's their JOB to put themselves in harms way. Our warriors freely choose to do so. God bless them for it.
    That is conspicuous by civilian terms, but just another day at the office for those in the military.

  13. “I served four years honorably, but there is no way in hell I will ever call a military officer “sir” again. Nor anyone I don’t wish too for that matter. That is exactly the freedom I fought for and that is exactly the freedom our forefathers fought for. I consider it patriotic.'

    What he said. I'm a proud to be a civilian.

  14. Have you ever watched a President disembark from a plane or helicopter?
    Have you ever watched a President leave the Whitehouse and approach a podium?

    I would presume, “yes” on all counts.

    Since you have seen those events (countless times), you undoubtedly saw many of them salute the Marine serving as his guard after the Marine salutes him.
    It happens all the time. Thus, making it TRADITION.

    There is no writing code that says to do it, thus making it tradition.

    “where's my references”? Come on. Just watch TV. There it is in your face almost daily.

  15. '”doing the intelligent thing like running and hiding”…
    You must have been in the French military.
    LOL

    It's their JOB to put themselves in harms way. Our warriors freely choose to do so. God bless them for it.
    That is conspicuous by civilian terms, but just another day at the office for those in the military.'

    uh, huh. I see. Tell me, how many have you dodged?

    There is a darned good reason that officers in the civil war lead from the rear and carried side arms. They were there to shoot the deserters when they tried to run away.
    Caught between getting shot either way they went, most soldiers went forward rather than back since the man in the back was closer.

    Need I mention again what the Silver Star “winner” told me? From the mouth of a hero, no less. Did I mention he was walking with a gimp? Probably not because it wasn't germain.

  16. I was HOPING you'd go there!!!!

    I've been in THREE wars, sweetheart.
    I've dodged many bullets. Not once did I earn a MoH. It was my job.
    I've fought communists, the republican guard, Al Quaida, and the Taliban.
    Dont you DARE sit there on a high horse with me.
    I'm quite certain I've earned a bit more respect than that.

    Your comment above was pompus and arrogant.
    Easy to spout remarks from the safety of your air conditioned home, isn't it.

    Heck. I'm surprise Obama hasn't asked you to head up the Iranian contingency yet.
    You'd qualify.

  17. “I've been in THREE wars, sweetheart.”

    That's swell. Then you, of all people, ought to know that there isn't anything concrete when it comes to the military. So why you want to insist there is, is beyond me.

    Me, I served in peace time. Nobody shot at me and I didn't shoot at anybody. I'm not ashamed of it, but I also don't salute anyone anymore. If you want to salute people, be my guest.

    If you want to complain that I was pompus, then fine. But to say that it is someone's job to get shot at is rather pompous as well. Nobody deserves that “job.”

  18. Thanks for your “swell” nod of approval.

    1. Honor, courage, and commitment are concrete for most int he military. With everything else, you improvise.
    2. I'd never look down upon anyone who serves – in peacetime or in war. Thank you for your service.
    3. I don't salute people either. However, I do salute at the National Anthem now that Congress made it so.
    4. “and how many have you dodged?” is the epitimy of pompus. Sorry.
    5. It's not a warriors job to get shot. It's their job to kill the enemy while abiding by the law of armed conflict and the code of conduct.

    I don't typically advertise my service as I did. Just hit a nerve.

  19. I have just now been able to read the comments on my post.

    It appears that we have gotten somewhat off-topic discussing who should salute whom and whether a civilian will call an officer “Sir” ever again. Although readers have every right to do so,

    I was hoping we would get a little more discussion on the lack or no lack of Medals of Honor awards and on the number of posthumous awards of our nation's highest military honor.

    A couple have touched upon the issue of whether there are or are not “concrete standards” for the award of the Medal of Honor—which IMHO there certainly are.

    If there is interest in this aspect, I will post or comment some tomorrow. In the meantime, thank you for your comments

    Dorian

  20. Since I “did my time” during peace time, and because I was 27 and had 12 years of full-time work experience behind me when I enlisted, I thought I would adjust rather quickly back to civilian life.

    I was wrong. It took quite a while before I adjusted fully to civilian life. More than 10 years, i think. It will take some time, but you will adjust, too. I know that sounds pompous and arrogant, but it isn't meant to be. I carried a rather large chip on my shoulder for a long time which has only recently gone away.

  21. Also, in a different post, you mentioned that young people sign up so they can get a college degree and you asked “Does that mean they are dying for a college education?”

    The answer to that question is yes and let me tell you how wrong-headed this is:
    My mother graduated with a Regent's Diploma in New York State in 1942. She had more education by the 12th grade than people that graduate from southern universities with Bachelors degrees get today. She didn't have to pay for it and she didn't have to enlist to get that education. When she began studying for her BS, she didn't take English, or Math or Sociology classes, the things called basic studies” because she had been educated in those things before she got there. Rather, from day one, she took classes in her major area and continued to do so for 4 years. Now, they require 5 years of study (a five year 4 year degree) to do what she did in 3 plus then she learned what they now teach for a masters degree.

    We are being cheated. Worse, they actually charge cash money for what used to be provided for free.

  22. sorry jeffie davis, most vets have never met a REAL soldier who served who disrespects other soldiers, calls names like you do. You were never in battle. I'd bet one of my hashmarks.

  23. Very poor reference JD. In fact, not a reference at all, just your assumption based on what you saw on TV. Maybe I am older than you, but I remember back to Eisenhower. The last few presidents have decided to salute for public reasons, not “tradition”. There is NO such tradition or there would be a written reference. There is no reference and no president must salute, by any reference, an MOH award holder. You do realize what the first three letters of “assume” spells do you not? Much wiser to be an “unassuming” person. Before Reagan, presidents did the hand over heart thing and really didn’t return salutes to their honor guards.

    Republican talk radio grabbed onto this “sir” business a decade or so ago. Now all these neocons salute each other and call each other “sir” out of some political self identification persona.. Much like black people used to “dap”. It’s a fad and like all fads, they die away.

    If the point of your posts are to show respect for the military and people in military uniform, then just say it.

    I will say it: I respect the military. I respect those that serve in the military and I am thankful for those that have sacrificed for our nation, military or not. It doesn’t require a change of life style to show respect and it absolutely does NOT require a Republican voter registration card.

  24. Yes of course. My apologies Mr. Rodriguez.

    As you already know, regarding this subject, I am of an opinion that you do not agree with. I believe that if people publicly advocate for more medal of honor recipients, more minority recipients, more any singled out group recipients, then the medal becomes politicized by the public advocacy. One group complains then another group complains and a politician says he/she supports more MOH recipients, so vote for me. The Honor then becomes ruined.

    I believe that the more public affect on the decisions making process, the less objective and independent the process decision becomes. I believe that Medal of Honor recommendations need to be left up to a little known office in the back of the pentagon, not the public. In fact, I do not believe that public opinion has a place in this at all.

    Besides, the medal is for all of us that served in combat, worn by one who’s exploits fortunately can be distinguished and recorded. Especially worn for those who’s actions will never be known. Can you imagine the burden of being a Medal of Honor winner?

    “Oh that drunken Ira Hays, he won’t answer anymore, not the whisky drinking Indian, or the Marine that went to war“….God bless Ira Hays, he carried the burden for many.

  25. “As you already know, regarding this subject, I am of an opinion that you do not agree with. I believe that if people publicly advocate for more medal of honor recipients, more minority recipients, more any singled out group recipients, then the medal becomes politicized by the public advocacy. One group complains then another group complains and a politician says he/she supports more MOH recipients, so vote for me. The Honor then becomes ruined”

    Thanks for your comment, FT.

    Yes, I totally disagree with your implication that I, or others, want to politicize or insert public opinion into the Medal of Honor nomination, selection and award process.

    Especially I disagree with your implication that I, or others, are advocationg for “more minority recipients, more any singled out group recipients.”

    I believe you are referring to the single case that I have been writing about: Marine Sgt Rafael Peralta, who gave his life to save his Marine buddies and who happens to be of Mexican descent.

    While some may feel that his Mexican descent may have been a factor in him not being awarded the Medal of Honor, I have consistently—and will continue to do so—supported the award of the Medal of Honor to this hero based on what he did, and not on who he was (i.e. “minority recipient”)

    If you find people writing about this issue and about the general dearth of Medals of Honor for the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts “publicly advocating” for the award of Medals of Honor, then we'll just have to continue to disagree, as I will continue to write on this issue. But, please, feel free to express your opinions on this issue, too. I may not agree with them, but I do respect them

  26. Ok fair enough.

    I must ask you these sincere questions:

    Have you reviewed all the CMH recommendations submitted by commanders in the field to the pentagon? Have you reviewed all CMH recommendations submitted to congress by the pentagon?
    Do you personally know of, and, understand the CMH investigative and selection process?
    Why do you feel, or anybody writing about a, “public CMH promotion”, that you have the unique qualifications for deciding whom should receive our nation’s highest military decoration?
    Have you personally weighed this man’s actions against others? Against historical documentation?

    A person’s national origin should be irrelevant when making such a decision. A quick search of CMH awards will reveal several awards to those of Spanish surnames. The man’s ethnicity or national origin is irrelevant to me, but is it to you? Are you unbiased?

    What is your motivation for this particular individual?
    Why have you chosen this person above all others?

    I think these are fair questions concerning the gravity of your promotion.

  27. I believe we have gone over this several times, but let me try once more.

    I don't have any “unique qualifications for deciding whom should received our nation's highest decoration,” but I have ever right to express my opinions about it. If we all had to be experts to debate an issue, I believe there would be very little debate.

    I notice you express your opinions often about, for example, health care reform. What are your “unique qualifications” for doing that, and have you read every word of the proposed legislation? Have you reviewed all related legislation and documentation? Do you personally know of and understand every aspect of the health care legislation process? If you do, my hat off to you. However, I believe most reasonable people would agree that such knowledge is not necessary to participate in the debate.

    Yes, I have considered Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta's actions against those of other Medal of Honor recipients, and I have read historical documents, but even if hadn't I can still express my opinion, one that you are free to reject and ridicule. That's your right.

    I have never said that a person’s national origin should be relevant when making decisions for the MOH. Actually I have expressed my opinion that it should be irrelevant, that it is not the hero's national origin that should matter, but what the hero did (just look at my last comment).

    Thus, I find your insinuation “The man’s ethnicity or national origin is irrelevant to me, but is it to you? Are you unbiased?” unjustified and offensive.

    “What is your motivation for this particular individual?
    Why have you chosen this person above all others?”

    If you go back and read all my writings about the medal of Honor, you will see that I support, honor all MOH recipients, and equally support every brave American who meets the criteria for the MOH to be considered and nominated for it.

    “I think these are fair questions concerning the gravity of your promotion.”

    I hope I have answered your questions, again. Using the word “promotion” for writing about this issue is just plain disingenuous.

    Let me just conclude by asking you:

    There are literally hundreds of reasonable articles written by very reputable people (I may not be one of them), discussing, debating this very same issue.

    Do you read them all? Do you write your concerns to all those authors?

    Finally, again, I disagree with your opinions, I respect them, but forgive me if I don't continue to go over every old tired accusation and address every new insinuation you make.

  28. I am sensing that you are a bit over defensive at this point. I thought I had diffused this, but apparently I'm not good enough a written communicator to do so. Know that it was my intent. I realize it may be difficult to spend the time giving answers to someone that you consider your adversary. Thank you for taking the time to answer in greater detail.

    One final question: Do you believe that Congressional Medal of Honor award decisions should be subject to public opinion as part of the process?

  29. Mr. Father Time:

    This is getting to be like groundhog day, again and again. But out of respect to you, Father Time, I will address your questions and concerns one more, final time, and in excruciating detail.

    1. “I am sensing that you are a bit over defensive at this point.” No at all, I have nothing to be defensive about. I do not write anything that I don't firmly believe in–that I have to be defensive about.

    2. “I thought I had diffused this…”

    We are not in some kind of military battle, there are no ticking time bombs, we are just debating issues (at least, that's what I am doing), and there is nothing to defuse.

    3. “…but apparently I'm not good enough a written communicator to do so.”

    You are an excellent communicator. You may just want to give matters a little more thought, and read posts and comments a little more thoroughly before communicating.

    4. “I realize it may be difficult to spend the time giving answers…”

    I believe that I have spent more time trying to explain things to you–as I am doing now–and answering your questions–as I did in my previous comments–than I normally do with other commenters. Talking about answering question, let me point out that you have not answered any of the questions I posed to you in my previous comment. Debate is a two-way street…

    5. “to someone that you consider your adversary.”

    To consider someone an “adversary,” I believe that one would have to know that person first. I don't know anything about you (and I am not asking for you to divulge any personal matters), except that you have served in the military (for which I have thanked you), and that you considered me a “jackass,” and the inferences one can derive from such a comment.

    6. “Thank you for taking the time to answer in greater detail.”

    You are very welcome

    7 “One final question: Do you believe that Congressional Medal of Honor award decisions should be subject to public opinion as part of the process?”

    I thought I had answered this one several times in the past. But, let me try again:

    No! The award of the Medal of Honor should not be subject to public opinion. The military has manuals, regulations, procedures, panels, etc., etc. to review and process such recommendations. However, and here is where you and I apparently have our biggest difference: the public has every right to express its opinion on such matters, as on any governmental or military matters (Something about the government serves and is responsible to the people, and something about our taxes).

    Everyone in the chain of processing for the Medal of Honor (or of any decoration, or of any other human resources action), up to and including the Secretary of Defense is a human being. Human beings make mistakes. If somehow a mistake, a travesty of justice occurs, people have the right, no, the obligation ,to point such out, discuss it and demand redress.

    Let me try to give an example.

    Taking our country to war is a decision equally solemn as, and more grave than, the award of the Medal of Honor. Many people would say, like you, such a decision should not be subject to public opinion. Should it be? A small group of humans made the decision to take our country to war against Iraq. Have you expressed your opinion against it? Or Afghanistan? Did that small group of people who took us to war make mistakes? Should the public remain quiet? If the American people oppose it, write and speak about their opposition, is that making war “subject to public opinion”? When you oppose our involvement in Afghanistan or crticize our national strategy there, would it possible be because you think that someone made a mistake, is making mistakes? Is that meddling in the conduct of war?

    If you have an opinion on those two wars, let me paraphrase one of your questions:

    “Prior to expressing your opinion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have you reviewed all the factors and all the recommendations submitted by commanders in the field to the Pentagon? Have you reviewed all recommendations submitted to Congress and the President by the Pentagon, by the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

    Do you personally know of, and, understand every detail of what is involved in a declaration of war and in the conduct of a war?

    Why do you feel, or anybody writing about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that you have the unique qualifications for deciding whether we should go to war or not, or how the war should be conducted?

    Have you personally weighed these wars against other wars? Against historical documentation?”

    Mr. Father Time, I do not expect you to answer any of my questions, but I feel that I have given your same, constant critiques on this subject more than sufficient time and attention, and I don't plan to spend any more time on it.

    But, yes, I do plan to write more about Medal of Honor issues.

    And, yes, feel free to continue to critique me.

    Thank you.

  30. I've disrespected no one. The remark made to me was presumptuous and pompous.
    I highly respect all veterans- period.

    Look at all of my posts, LionAslan. The proof of MY sincerity is in the pudding. It's ironic you call me out for “calling names” when, upon review of your posts, you are consistently disrespectful, unlearned, and rash – a typical “bomb thrower”.

    I know my record, and know my service, and I'm very proud of both. Your approval, belief, or opinion of me or my service is totally disregarded and, quite frankly, is meaningless. And I don't need your hasmark. If got 6 of my own. Besides…. your peace corps hashmark could not be worn on my uniform.
    LOL

  31. Hi there: several comments have been deleted from this thread. Apologies that some of the subsequent comments may not follow precisely in content.

    There are to be no ad hominem attacks at TMV. Read the rules for commenters at the top of the home page if in doubt. Comments attacking other commenters or writers, comments using vulgarities, comments which attempt to hijack the topic, will be deleted.

    If they continue after being warned, the commenter will be banned. (Read the rules regarding such).

    The comments area at TMV is for civil discussion about the topic of the article. (see this page for civil discussion by FatherTime and D.E, Rodriguez, as one example among many at TMV)

    The comment area at TMV is not for making repetitive claims accompanied, or not, with denigrations of other commenters or writers.

    I suggest to the majority of commenters in general, that if a commenter cannot abide by the commenting policies at TMV, and posts attacks or leaves repetitive comments, or moves far off-topic before the editors see them, that you ignore responding to such commenters.

    There are plenty of sites on the web (literally millions of sites) where commenters can attack whatever they like and in whatever terms they like, all day and all night. This is not one of those sites.

    Thanks.

    Dr.E
    Editor TMV

  32. Thanks, dr e.

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