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Old 09-12-2010, 10:56 AM   #1
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Medals For Soldiers

First a kudos, then a shame:

Wow:
Salvatore Giunta To Get Medal Of Honor, 1st Living Afghan War Veteran Receiving One

If you get the chance to read the historical accounts of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, do it. I've read most of the ones from Vietnam, and they are compelling, amazing and heartbreaking.
Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta will become the first living veteran of either the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq to receive the honor. The other seven Medals were awarded posthumously.

Just amazing and deserving.


Shame:
NPR-ProPublica Investigation: Purple Hearts Elusive For Traumatic Brain Injuries : NPR
Army commanders routinely have denied Purple Hearts to soldiers who have sustained concussions in Iraq, despite regulations that make such wounds eligible for the medal, an investigation by NPR and ProPublica has found.

This makes getting medical treatment and benefits extremely difficult.
This needs to change.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
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Applause to those soldiers who've fought bravely and who've earned such awards. It's nice to see a fellow Iowan getting such an honor-congratulations to him, and congratulations to those who accepted the award on behalf of the others who weren't alive to receive it. It's a shame so many of these are posthumous recognitions. I honestly don't know where the courage comes from with these people, but I greatly admire them for putting their lives on the line for others without question.

As for the Purple Heart issue...yeah, that's just disgraceful.

Quote:
The denials of Purple Hearts reflect a broader skepticism within the military over the severity of mild traumatic brain injury, often described as one of the signature wounds of the conflicts, according to interviews, documents and internal emails obtained by NPR and ProPublica.

High-level medical officials in the Army debated whether head traumas that are difficult to detect — often leaving no visible signs of damage — warrant the award, the emails show. Most people who sustain such blows, also known as concussions, recover on their own, but studies show 5 percent to 15 percent may have long-term impairments.
Uh, duh? I don't understand the military's skepticism here. Haven't we learned by now that just because an injury in war-related circumstances isn't visible, that doesn't mean that it doesn't carry any problems with it? Hell, that can be proven in non-military situations, too (Natasha Richardson, anyone?). The chances of anyone leaving the military free of any physical or mental problems is fairly slim, I'd think. I hated the bit about how the military thinks you're some sort of "wimp" or "pussy" if you dare to mention an injury. Yes, I understand the whole wanting to be tough and strong thing, but these soldiers are also human, and they're experiencing pains that they've likely never had to deal with before. Pardon some people for being a bit bothered by that, especially when their military days are over and they want to get back to a normal life. And even if they can tough it out, it can be scary for their loved ones when they get back home. Would their family and friends be wimps for being upset by the injuries?

And besides that, this

Quote:
But for many soldiers, the Purple Heart is, first and foremost, a badge of courage: A tangible recognition of service, honor, and bravery.
should pretty much end the debate right there. If you've delievered your time and energy to the military and done your duty right, and you've endangered yourself for others, you deserve the proper treatment for such sacrifices. I sincerely hope they do change this policy.

Angela
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kramwest1 View Post
He's receiving it today, I think right now

He says he's a "mediocre" soldier, and I think that's what makes him great. He doesn't think he deserves anything because some of his fellow soldiers didn't make in in spite of what he did.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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WASHINGTON - President Obama hailed the first living soldier to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War Tuesday as a modern Audie Murphy for heroically storming a Taliban ambush to save his trapped rifle team.

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, 25, of Iowa, is the first living service member to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan to be given the nation’s highest honor.

"I'm going to go off script here for a second and just say, I really like this guy," Obama said at a White House ceremony honoring Giunta attended by family, friends, members of his unit and past recipients of the Medal of Honor.

"It was his mother, after all, who apparently taught him as a young boy in small-town Iowa how to remove the screen from his bedroom window in case of fire," Obama said with a chuckle.

"What she didn't know was that, by teaching Sal how to jump from his bedroom and sneaking off in the dead of night, she was unleashing a future paratrooper who would one day fight in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, 7,000 miles away."

Giunta, a paratrooper and rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Airborne Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, saved at least two pals during combat Oct. 25, 2007, in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan.

An insurgent ambush split Giunta's squad, and he went into the open to pull one comrade to safety and then fought to free a dying pal who was being dragged away by Taliban fighters.

Obama compared Giunta to World War II hero Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of World War II.

Seven heroes who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

After the ceremony, an emotional Giunta told reporters he would gladly give his hard-earned medal back if it would bring his two fallen comrades back to life.



CNN

Giunta was a specialist serving with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when his unit was attacked on the night of October 25, 2007. According to Defense Department documents, Giunta and his fellow soldiers were walking back to base along the top of a mountain ridge when the enemy attacked from their front and their left. Taliban fighters barraged the Americans with AK-47s, rocket propelled grenades and Soviet-era large machine guns.

Giunta saw several of his fellow soldiers go down. He ran forward, throwing grenades and returning enemy fire, to help one soldier who had been shot but was still fighting, the documents say. Then he noticed one of the wounded soldiers was missing.

Searching for his wounded friend Sgt. Josh Brennan, Giunta ran over a hill where moments before Taliban fighters had been shooting at him. Now he was alone, out of sight of his fellow soldiers, in an area that the Taliban had controlled just moments before.

Giunta saw two Taliban fighters dragging Brennan away. He ran after them, killing one and wounding the other, who ran off.

Giunta instantly started providing first aid to Brennan, who had been shot at least six times, the documents say. Eventually a medic arrived and a helicopter was called in to take Brennan to a hospital, but he later died of his wounds.

Giunta's action, however, meant that Brennan was not at the mercy of the Taliban, and his parents would be able to give him a proper burial instead of wondering what became of him.

Giunta's quick response to the Taliban attack also helped his unit repulse the enemy fighters before they could cause more casualties, the Defense Department documents note.

Giunta was shot twice, with one round hitting his body armor and the second destroying a weapon slung over his back. He was not seriously hurt.

Giunta has said he is determined to make the medal, at least symbolically, belong to others.

"It is a great thing," Giunta told CNN after learning he would receive the medal. "But it is a great thing that has come at a personal loss to myself and so many other families."

Giunta said when he first learned he would receive the Medal of Honor, "I felt lost. I felt kind of angry ... just because, you know, this is so big. This is, it came at such a price. It came at the price of a good buddy of mine, not just Brennan. But Mendoza. Mendoza died that night as well."

The squadron's medic, Hugo Mendoza of El Paso, Texas, was caught with the rest of the group.

"These two men on that day made the biggest sacrifice anyone can ever make. And it's not for a paycheck."
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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60 Minutes has a segment on this
I watched it, you can watch it here:

Staff Sgt. Giunta's Medal of Honor - 60 Minutes - CBS News
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:41 PM   #6
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Sounds like a fascinating, amazing individual-his bravery is admirable. Congratulations to him on his award .

Angela
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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I just wanted to say that CNN Headline News' Robin Meade is an ass for completely messing up the name of the award AND the soldier's name this morning.

CNNHL and Meade go on and on about supporting the troops and such, but for god's sake pre-read your copy and get it right, the man deserves it.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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I heard his name mangled by many different news people.

They can't be bothered-too busy talking about Bristol Palin on DWTS
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:39 AM   #9
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Awesome. It's definitely worth looking up the video of the ceremony too.


On May 26, 2008, pinned down in a firefight in Afghanistan's Paktia Province, Army Staff Sgt. Leroy Petry had only moments to act.

He and fellow Rangers had flown into a Taliban lair on a helicopter raid. An enemy fighter opened fire at close range, shooting Petry through both legs and wounding a teammate.

With a third soldier, they took cover behind a chicken coop. A grenade landed nearby, exploded and wounded Petry's two comrades. Then another grenade landed and rolled their way.

Petry lunged, grabbed and hurled the explosive. It detonated as he let go.

He saved his fellow Rangers, but his right hand was obliterated. Then, after stanching his bleeding with a tourniquet, he radioed for help.

Petry, 31, of Santa Fe, N.M., is married and has four children. He served eight deployments and, now a sergeant 1st class, remains in the Army, helping wounded vets who have returned home.

Fittingly, President Obama awarded him the Medal of Honor. In making Petry the second living recipient since the Vietnam War of the nation's highest accolade, the President said: "This is the stuff of which heroes are made."


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Old 07-14-2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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I don't want to use any smilie that might be misinterpreted. Just wow.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:57 AM   #11
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The video has been taken down on You Tube, maybe some of the sickos there made nasty comments. You can still see it on the link.

President Obama honors Rancho Cucamonga Marine with Purple Heart | abc7.com



BETHESDA, Md. (KABC) -- A Marine from Rancho Cucamonga was honored with the Purple Heart award by President Barack Obama on Monday.

Cpl. Justin Crabbe, 22, has gotten used to being surrounded by family and friends in his National Naval Medical Center hospital room in Maryland.

Crabbe's family posted a video on YouTube of the commander in chief in hospital scrubs presenting him the award.

It's rare for the president to make such a presentation in person.

"This is a testimony to the high regard and honor the entire country feels towards you and your service," Obama said.

Kathie Conaway, a long-time family friend, said it was a special moment for the family.

"I think Justin was kind of in disbelief," Conaway said.

Shortly after graduating from Los Osos High School, Crabbe followed in his grandfather's footsteps and became one of the few and the proud.

The Marine recently headed for Afghanistan. But on Aug. 26, everything changed for Crabbe and his unit.

"They were out on patrol, looking for IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and he ran into one," Conaway said.

Crabbe lost parts of both legs and several fingers.

"It was devastating," Conaway said. "I was in disbelief the whole time."

Justin's family has been by his side ever since, as have his buddies.

The president says the country will remain by his side as well.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:22 PM   #12
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Impressive!

...but, why is his family fundraising to pay for his care?!?
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:38 PM   #13
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Maybe for things he needs that the govt won't pay for. I certainly hope it's not for his care.
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