The Medal of Honor is the highest decoration for valor in combat that any member of the armed forces of the United States can be awarded. In the 150 years since the creation of this award, fewer than 3500 officers and enlisted men of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard have been recipients. So extraordinary are their acts of valor, fewer than 100 recipients have survived to be awarded the Medal. We can never repay their sacrifices. We can only honor their deeds and their memories.
One would think that the President of the United States would be cognizant of these facts. After all, the Medal of Honor is (usually) presented by the President on behalf of Congress. And considering that this President has only had the solemn responsibility to present this award 4 times since March 2009, you would think that he coud be bothered to remember the names of which recipients were fallen and which remain with us.
Yesterday President Obama had the opportunity to address the troops of the 10th Mountain Division and this is what he had to say “First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.” (video here)
In fact, SFC Monti was killed in 2006 during the action for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Here is the video of the ceremony at which President Obama made the presentation to the family of SFC Jared C. Monti on September 17, 2009.
On November 16, 2010, President Obama did present the first non-posthumous Medal of Honor recipient of the War on Terror to SSGT Salvatore Augustine Giunta. The video of the ceremony is here.
All veterans deserve our support, recognition, and respect. However, there should be a special solemn significance attached to the actions and sacrifices of those who have earned our nations highest award for valor. A President that would as Commander-in-Chief expect nothing less than all the respect due his office, should do no less than attempt to accurately remember these honored warriors.
This dishonorable conduct requires a personal, public apology from President Obama. At the end of yesterdays political speech announcing the beginning of troop reductions in Afghanistan he had the gall to close saying “Know that your Commander-in-Chief has your back.” Appalling. Disgraceful. Callous.
The Medal of Honor - All 3 Versions
For more information on the Medal of Honor and the heroes that have earned this award, please visit the Congressional Medal Of Honor Society website or the Medal of Honor Museum aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina .
Thanks to Blackfive for the heads up on yesterdays speech. Link to the article.