From the Washington Post:

The Pentagon has recommended that the White House consider awarding the the Medal of Honor to a living soldier for the first time since the Vietnam War, according to U.S. officials.

The soldier, whose nomination must be reviewed by the White House, ran through a wall of enemy fire in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley in fall 2007 in an attempt to push back Taliban fighters who were close to overrunning his squad. U.S. military officials said his actions saved the lives of about half a dozen men.

It is possible that the White House could honor the soldier’s heroism with a decoration other than the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor. Nominations for the Medal of Honor typically include detailed accounts from witnesses and can run hundreds, if not thousands, of pages. The review has been conducted so discreetly that the soldier’s family does not know that it has reached the White House, according to U.S. officials who discussed the nomination on condition of anonymity because a final decision is pending.

Pentagon officials requested that The Washington Post not name the soldier to avoid influencing the White House review. Administration officials declined to comment on the nomination.

This is a great mystery. There is something about having to die to be given the Medal of Honor that just isn’t right. If the White House agrees to the Pentagon request, would that make the tradition permanent? Who sets up the guidelines?

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5 Thoughts to “Pentagon wants to present Medal of Honor to living recipient”

  1. Wolverine

    Well, this one certainly grabs me by surprise. I was totally unaware that there have been no living recipients of the Medal of Honor since Vietnam. I can hardly believe that such a situation actually exists.

  2. I didn’t know either. Totally surprised here.

    I also didn’t realize that it took thousands of pages of documentation. Something needs fixing it sounds like.

  3. Second-Alamo

    Everybody wants tons of documentation except for …………………………..

  4. George S. Harris

    Very interesting. I wonder if anyone can explain why we have upped the ante on the MOH. An intresting set of numbers from Wikipedia: “During this conflict (WWII) 464 United States military personnel received the Medal of Honor, 266 of them posthumously. Additionally, the only recipient for the United States Coast Guard received the Medal for his actions during this war.” And the Korean War–“133 Medals of Honor were presented for bravery in action, 95 of them posthumously.” Finally, Vietnam: “During the Vietnam War, 246 Medals of Honor were received, 154 of them posthumously.”

    Two or three weeks ago, there was a special “Stars and Stripes” insert in the WaPo regarding heores of our present conflicts. When you read through the stories associated with this group of folks, you wonder why all of them haven’t gotten the MOH.

    Another interesting point involves Army Medics and Navy Hospital Corpsmen. Their numbers or density in a combat unit are low–perhaps 4 to 6 in an infantry company–but in numbers per 1000, they often win more MOH’s than other groups–most posthumously and most are for caring for a casualty and more often than not shielding that casualty with their own body or carrying on despite their own wounds, which sometimes cost them their own lives. And these folks are supposed to be non-combatants or at least, their primary job is not the prosecution of the fight. That has changed in recent years and most are armed up just like their infantry partners plus carrying “stuff” to take of casualties.

    For whatever reason, the bar has been raised–there was a rumor during the Vietnam War that the Navy Medical Department attempted to minimize the awarding of the MOH to Hospital Corpsmen. It was never proven, but it was an ugly rumor and the schism it created between the “Blue” and the “Green” side of the Navy Medical Department was wider and deeper than the Grand Canyon. The “Green” side are those folks serving with the Marines who have no physicians, dentists, chaplain or enlisted Hospital Corpsmen, which is a whole ‘nother story.

    I hope this individual gets the MOH–it will be deserved there is no doubt.

  5. SA, you crack me up. I don’t care what topic is up here…you can slide your pet peeve in. I admit it, you are slicker than I am. 🙄

    You listening to the Prez?

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