Cheers for First Living Medal of Honor Nominee in Decades

An opportunity to change America's relationship with its military?

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The Washington Post reports today that, for the first time since the Vietnam War, the Pentagon is recommending a living soldier for the Medal of Honor. They withhold the name of the soldier--currently under White House consideration--but note that

The nomination comes after several years of complaints from lawmakers, military officers and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that the Pentagon had become so cautious that only troops whose bravery resulted in death were being considered for the Medal of Honor.

The award, the Post points out, could also draw more positive attention to the military. Many bloggers responding to the article concur.

  • Important for Our War Coverage "Homefront war coverage in our time," writes blogger and daytime Boston Herald editor Jules Crittenden, "has focused heavily on death, PTSD, and the poor treatment of soldiers by their own government, while the actual war front coverage has been largely about despair and failure, even when we win." Despite talk of supporting troops, "there has been very little effort to understand and appreciate those who chose this life ... Honoring a live American hero, not least one who stood up in selflessly what is now being deemed a failed effort, could be a good start."
  • Military Men, Medals, and Death  John Cole at Balloon Juice, who supports awarding the medal to a live soldier, says he and his military friends "used to joke (morbidly) that the CMH didn't stand for Congressional Medal of Honor, but for 'coffin with metal handles.'" A reader reminds him that the official title is not the Congressional Medal of Honor but rather Medal of Honor, and Cole, amused, remarks: "apparently I have been calling the Medal of Honor by the wrong name for decades (as were a bunch of my NCO's)."
  • 'I Think They Should Go for It,' declares self-described former Marine Corps officer and Vietnam War communications officer Merv Benson. "It would be a moral boost for the troops and the US in general. They have been for too stingy with this medal in recent years."
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