Posts tagged ‘Medal of Honor’

February 27, 2014

Hope for Return of Stolen Medal of Honor Watch

by lewwaters

Few people have been prouder of their Father than Vancouver’s Penny Ross. And she has every right to be proud of her Dad, retired Navy Lieutenant Commander Donald K. Ross.

Most of us of the baby boomer generation grew up with fathers that served in World War Two and performed heroically and are also proud of their sacrifices.

But Penny’s father went well above and beyond on December 7, 1941, not just surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, but becoming the very first recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War Two for his actions aboard the U.S.S. Nevada.

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March 14, 2013

Troutdale Teen Among Heroes to be Honored by the Medal of Honor Society

by lewwaters

medal-of-honorMost of us know what the Medal of Honor is and why only a few receive it. Unfortunately, many receive it posthumously, having sacrificed their life to save others. Recipients still alive are few in number and like real heroes, wish to honor others who deserve recognition for heroics.

This blog was among many that posted last year of the Medal of Honor Society search for others in civilian life who have bravely risked their own lives to save or benefit others. Hundreds of heroes were recommended, but only a few selected as semi-finalists and now, four have been selected to receive the Citizen Service Before Self Honor from the Medal of Honor Society.

Amongst finalist is 15 year-old Marcos Ugarte of Troutdale, Oregon who risked his own life to rescue a smaller boy from the second floor of a burning home last year.

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November 28, 2012

Our Greatest Heroes Looking For Unsung Heroes

by lewwaters

It takes ordinary people doing extraordinary things in order to be a recipient of the nation’s highest honor for bravery, the Medal of Honor. Millions of men and women have served in our wars and performed heroically, but out of those millions, only 3,471 have received the nation’s highest honor.

Of that number, less than 100 are alive today. Ordinary people who, when it really counted, ignored the dangers and placed their own lives in jeopardy, heroically saving others.

We look upon these Military men with awe, many of us wondering if we would act as they did in the same situation. Most of them look upon themselves as the lucky ones, the ones that survived the battles, many thinking others are more deserving of the honor.

But heroes are not restricted to the Military in battle nor are all heroes only men. We pass heroes every day in our cities, most often not seeing a hero, but a Fire Fighter, a Police Officer or just a friendly neighbor who responded to calls for help, ran into a neighbor’s home on fire to get people out before First responders arrive.

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June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Dishonors Veterans: Upholds Stolen Valor Act as Unconstitutional

by lewwaters

As if the Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare as constitutional, mandating America citizens be forced to purchase health insurance, they slapped the honor of Veterans who have fought for and defended the freedoms and liberties of American citizens since our founding.

In yet another stunningly surprise ruling, the court ruled in a 6 to 3 decision that “the government does not have the power to punish people for making false claims regarding military service or honors.”

The government has the right to force Americans to purchase expensive health insurance or be fined, but cannot prosecute those who lie and steal the valor of honorable Veterans by falsely claiming receiving Medals of Valor awarded to Heroes for conspicuous gallantry in battle?

Free speech advocates are praising the decision, but since when does free speech give anyone a right to steal the valor of true Heroes?

We have long acknowledged that free speech has its limits, such as yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.

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June 22, 2011

I Should Be Entitled to a Congressional Medal of Honor!

by lewwaters

The Congressional Medal of Honor is America’s highest award for bravery and few receive it, even less that is still alive. Currently, less than 100 Veterans who are recipients of the medal are still living. That’s less than 100 men out of approximately 24 Million Veterans.

I didn’t receive a Congressional Medal of Honor because I never performed any act of bravery that rose to the level of sacrifice that would merit one. But, why should that matter? I served a little over 8 years active duty in the U.S. Army, spent 18 months in Vietnam, was shot at, mortared, subjected to rocket attacks and sapper attacks, just like many others.

But, without performing that act of “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of my life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States,” I am not a recipient.

So, what makes me think I should receive one now?

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December 23, 2010

Shouldn’t Real Heroes Receive Honor Too?

by lewwaters

Once again we are approaching the end of another year. As usual, we are treated to a remembrance of so-called celebrities who have passed away during the year. Celebrities that produced movies, acted in or starred in them, singers, songwriters, book authors, and the whole gamut of those who entertain us or otherwise make millions of dollars creating fantasies for us to lose ourselves in.

The Seattle PI gives us 40 Celebrity Deaths for 2010, containing such names as, Teddy Pendergrass, Jean Simmons, J.D. Salinger, Peter Graves, Robert Culp, Lynn Redgrave, Lena Horne, Art Linkletter, Patricia Neal, Tony Curtis and many more.

Most all of us have viewed, read or listened to these celebrities and have enjoyed their work over the years and their passing is no doubt sad.

Yet, looking over the list, I noticed some names not listed. Names like Melvin E. Biddle, David H. McNerney, David C. Dolby, Nick Bacon, Vernon Baker and John William Finn. These names don’t actually merit the listing as celebrities, even though each one did more for all of us than all of the celebrities in the world. Who are the men behind these names?

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November 19, 2010


by lewwaters

UPDATE: For those arguing it is improper for Obama to Salute, here are two links to video of him saluting as he enters Marine One.


A moment of national pride took place recently in the White House when an American soldier, Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, received the Medal of Honor for bravery above and beyond the call of duty in combat in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Giunta became the first living American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He is now one of only eighty-eight (88) living holders of the Medal of Honor.

As modest and self-effacing as he is brave, Sgt. Giunta brought further honor to himself by his humility in receiving the nation’s highest medal of valor. While he made no comment in the ceremony, Giunta said before the ceremony that he was “not at peace” with being “singled out” for the honor as so many other soldiers did so much. And after the ceremony, he said he would trade the honor in a moment if he could bring back those whose lives he attempted to save under enemy fire but was unable to save. He definitely showed that he was an American in whom America could be proud.

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February 8, 2010

A Note To Rep. Chris Van Hollen

by lewwaters

Representative Van Hollen, while I am not one of your constituents, I do appreciate the frequent updates I receive from you pertaining to requests for donations to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

I received one such email from you just today, February 8, 2010 concerning the passing of Pennsylvania’s Representative John Murtha. My condolences to his family.

In your email you claimed, “America has lost a patriotic veteran” and “Congressman Murtha worked to ensure that our men and women in uniform and their families had the support and resources they deserve.”

Did you forget when Rep. Murtha accused a squad of United States Marines of “cold blooded murder” in the Haditha case?

The last I heard, 7 of the 8 accused have been acquitted with the 8th still waiting for trial. Is that what you classify as “ensuring that our men and women in uniform and their families have the support and resources they deserve?”

He refused to even apologize to them as it was seen how wrong he was.

Did you somehow forget, or just ignore, Rep. Murtha’s involvement in the ABSCAM Bribery Scandal?

Through his lengthy congressional career, Murtha found political controversy easy to come by.

I can understand you grieving the loss of a friend and fellow Democrat. Although I imagine he left his family well off, I do extend my condolences to them and feel they too have a right to grieve the loss of a loved one.

What bothers me most, Representative Van Hollen is that we saw some very brave men pass on this past year. We saw Ed Freeman, Robert Howard, Lewis Millet, James Swett, George Wahlen, Russell Dunham and I’m sure more that didn’t make the news, much less any extensions of condolence from either the leadership of the Democratic party or the Republican Party.

What is truly the saddest part is that I seriously doubt neither you nor the average American could name what is significant about any one of the men listed without looking them up.

Representative Van Hollen, go ahead and grieve for losing a friend. Send out an email to draw sympathy and maybe even donations for your party. Dance on his grave if you please to gain support for legislation you favor.

But please, extend some recognition for those who have served their country in ways neither you, nor Jack Murtha and very few Americans can even imagine, recipients of the Medal of Honor, our highest Military Award for bravery above and beyond the call of duty.

These men are the bravest of the brave. John Murtha was just an elected official.

The heroes listed were true American heroes deserving of much more than any elected official receives.

Their sacrifices are more deserving than any made by Jack Murtha and yet, you could not bring yourself to send out any notice declaring, “America has lost a patriotic Veteran” at any of their passing.

December 8, 2009

WH: MoH Recipient Should Have Flagpole

by lewwaters

Giving credit where credit is due, Robert Gibbs, propaganda spokesperson for the Obama administration said Monday that it is “silly to think that a 90-year-old Medal of Honor recipient is being asked to remove a flagpole from his front yard.”

“Retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, a World War II veteran, is fighting to keep the 21-foot pole at his suburban Richmond, Va., home. His homeowners association said the pole violates the neighborhood’s aesthetic guidelines.”

Gibbs said he hasn’t spoken to Obama on the matter, but I cannot imagine Obama publicly saying anything different, although I doubt he will weigh in on it. Virginia Democrats Sens. Mark R. Warner and Jim Webb have also expressed support for Col. Barfoot.


Virginia Republican Eric Cantor introduced a resolution, H. Res. 952, allowing Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to properly display the United States flag on their property at all times.

Our country has gotten to a sad state when a 90 year-old Medal of Honor recipient, the highest award we have for valor, is prevented from or threatened for flying the flag of the nation he fought for long ago.

UPDATE: Virginia Veteran Wins Battle to Keep His Flagpole in Yard