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Old 05-31-2010, 02:41 PM   #44
machievelli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf View Post
I'd say that esp given the man's rank and knowledge about the effects of a GBU38, it wasn't heroics on display, but prudence. As to what constitutes a heroic display, that is likely something of a judgement call. It many times involves putting oneself in dire circumstances specifically to try to save fellow soldiers (dropping on a grenade, drawing enemy fire to take pressure off fellow soldiers, rescuing a comrade under fire, etc..) In the case of someone like Sgt York in WW1, flanking and successfully capturing many enemy troops all/mostly by himself. It's likely that for every man that gets a medal (Bronze Star and up) for courageous acts in a combat zone, there are likely several/many more who don't for any number of reasons.
Every man who has ever one the more valorous medals, Medal of honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Victoria Cross, all say pretty much the same thing. "It had to be done, so I did'. One man who was graced with the CMO was also deined something even simpler. Rodger Young, a National guardsman from Ohio who served during WWII, had requested a demotion from sergeant to private. He had poor eye sight and his request was because he did not feel it would be safe for his men if they depended on him reacting in an emergency.

On New Georgia after being wounded by machinegun fire, he signaled his platoon to wait, and crawled toward it until able to engage with hand grenades. He was wounded according to witnesses four more times, the last time being killed.

Yet this man was denied a posthumous promotion back to Sergeant because he had to have been busted to private for some offense. A backhanded slap at a hero.


The other thing most medal winners will never explain is what was going through their minds.


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