Monday, August 06, 2012

Not that hard to win

I just want say a couple of things about this "decorated Army veteran" thing:
Page received numerous medals and decorations during his service, Garcia said, including the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Those three are probably his best. But he's not a decorated war hero: one of them is meaningless, and the other two are specifically not for combat. And a guy who serves six years and gets out isn't army material (I know; I did the same thing after nearly ten).

The National Defense Service Medal is the "everybody button". You're in the military at the right time, you get this one no matter what. I got it for being in the army when the Vietnam War was going on - not for being in the war, note, for being in the army.

The other two - the Army Commendation Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal - are more legit, though they're for "acts of noncombatant-related heroism" and "meritorious direct participation in a Department of Defense (DOD) or Department of the Army (DA) approved significant military act, or operation of a humanitarian nature." If I had to guess, since this guy never went overseas, he did good things in a natural disaster.

I don't mean to denigrate medal winners, but let's face it: not every medal the military hands out is really for Heroism, as most people imagine from the phrase "decorated veteran". "Decorated" isn't a hard thing to be in the army. It's just not.



At 8:41 AM, August 07, 2012 Anonymous Mark had this to say...

I think the Air Force got into trouble for handing out Bronze Stars (or the AF equivalent) like Mardi Gras trinkets. It happened during the Eastern Europe troubles back in Clinton's administration.


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