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Old 05-31-2010, 02:09 AM   #41
urluckyday
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
Sounds less heroic when you break down it down to a gamble. The guy could have still dropped the bomb on orders, and being that he took orders the ones that may get the brunt of the trouble would be the ones who gave that order, not counting the occasional corrupt superior who'd move blame.
In this case they weren't disobeying orders; rather, they denied a request by an allied officer who they did not answer to directly. I feel like it's almost more heroic because they put the faith in their ability to stop the enemy by using a maneuver that requires more precision and concentration than just pressing a button to drop a bomb. By doing so, they also saved a school and possibly civilian lives.

This might beg the question, though...what makes a hero? Aren't heroes made when they take a gamble?



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Old 05-31-2010, 04:13 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by urluckyday View Post
Aren't heroes made when they take a gamble?
You still need to "win" the gamble. You can gamble a hundred dollars at a casino, but you don't get a medal if you lose it all in a game of poker. As Tommy said, you mess up on a judgment call and there is plenty waiting for you back at base if you survive.

Last edited by True_Avery; 05-31-2010 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:54 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urluckyday View Post
In this case they weren't disobeying orders; rather, they denied a request by an allied officer who they did not answer to directly. I feel like it's almost more heroic because they put the faith in their ability to stop the enemy by using a maneuver that requires more precision and concentration than just pressing a button to drop a bomb. By doing so, they also saved a school and possibly civilian lives.

This might beg the question, though...what makes a hero? Aren't heroes made when they take a gamble?
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.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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Old 05-31-2010, 01:41 PM   #44
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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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Old 05-31-2010, 04:05 PM   #45
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Didn't realize the guy had been a sergeant. Saw a pic of him at that rank, but thought he'd only been a private (ie, never higher than). Interesting sidebar.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:16 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli View Post
"It had to be done, so I did'.
I think this is exactly what this pilot would say.

Quote:
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.
I don't discern between the two. If we're taking Avery's approach...he was putting a lot on the line (his reputation, possibly rank, and most importantly the lives of others). I highly doubt anyone would question his integrity if he had dropped the bomb and ended up destroying the school because he accomplished the mission by killing or diverting the insurgents thus saving the ground troops. I think in this sense, he is most definitely a "hero." He not only accomplished his mission by helping the troops, but he also ensured the safety of school/students/teachers.

I do think that you have to gamble to be a hero because there's no going back after you make the decision to risk it all...and I think that this pilot did risk everything but his own life (which isn't always a necessary quality in my mind).

I mean...I consider most people in the military "heroes" just because of what they stand for, but that's me.



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Old 05-31-2010, 09:44 PM   #47
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By putting their lives on the line, most people in the military (esp the combat arms) are heroes in a generic sense. Many "heroes" (ie medal winners) are often somewhat disdainful of their medals (ie, their motivation was NOT to win a medal, but to do their job as best as possible). I think the Colonel showed good judgement under the circumstances, but he would likely say that his actions didn't merit special recognition. He acted honorably. Had there been heavy enemy fire coming from the school, he very likely would have delivered the ordinance on target.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:50 AM   #48
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Lets face it, what makes a person a hero isn't the medals. It's in the knowledge that they did right. A hero doesn't need recognition for what they did. Generally a "Thank you" is all they need.

On that note: A hearty Thank you to all those who are serving and have served to protect liberty.


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:26 AM   #49
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A hearty Thank you to all those who are serving and have served to protect liberty.
Amen.



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Old 06-01-2010, 10:45 AM   #50
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The last paragraph of the article is pretty much why I think this medal has been issued:

Quote:
According to the United Nations, more than 2,400 civilians were killed last year, although estimates vary widely. From March 21 to April 21, 173 civilians were killed in Afghanistan a 33 percent increase over the same period the previous year according to the Associated Press, citing Afghan Interior Ministry figures.
To me, they're doing whatever is possible to minimize those nefarious statistics.


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Old 06-01-2010, 03:26 PM   #51
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^Sure makes sense to me. I missed that stat the first time, but I think you're spot on.



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