So what’s the big deal about a Purple Heart?


Well, March 5 has come and gone now. Even though it has now been a year, I still can’t believe Mike is gone. But strangely I feel a let down that has nothing to do with the anniversary.

Up to this weekend I have only been able to get a little over 40 signatures for my Purple Heart Petition so Mike can get his Purple Heart. Then whoa…I got a mass run on signatures. I have over 360 signatures right now. The petition was in the Petition on Line top 25 sites over the weekend.

But now the run has died off. I’m still getting signatures. But, the pace has slowed to a trickle. I was talking to someone I respect about this yesterday. I was a little put off by their atitude. They didn’t feel the Purple Heart was a big thing. It is a bit of a joke in that people can get it sometimes when they really don’t earn it.

Then he gave me the example of Senator Kerry. Well, I can’t dispute there is an element of truth here. I just chose not to penalize all who rightfully earned the medal because a few people non deserving slipped through the cracks.

I was asked what the Purple Heart will do for Mike for or any other soldier! Well, from one perspective it won’t do damn thing for Mike. It won’t bring him back. It won’t give his kids back their dad. His wife will still be alone. His mother will still have lost her only child. My mom will still have lost the grandson who was so much more than a grandson. Our family will still have this big gaping whole in it where a part was cruelly snatched away.

Nothing can fill up that whole. Noone or nothing can replace him in the lives of all those who loved him and relied on him. He’s gone for good and none of this will bring him back!!

Well, I know that. I don’t need any reminders. I am already surrounded every day by more reminders than I can handle. We all are. So why is this so important to me. Why does it matter to anyone. Why the hell do we bother to build Memorials or Monuments to our dead?

I can’t speak for anyone but myself on this. The Memorials and Monuments are a way to show respect and honor to those gone. I think these things are especially important when their death was caused by something like the 9/11 attacks or for one giving their life in defense of their country. We must never lose sight of why or how they died.

They are not to hold on to the anger or bitterness of the loss. They are more a tribute and reminder of the sacrifices made in the face of such horrible human acts of violence and cruelty. We must keep reminders so we won’t forget the cost of war. We must have reminders so we don’t forget why we need to pay attention to the fanatics in the world. We need reminders of why it is important that peoples and nations need to come together to put an end to despots, tyranny, famine, and disease!!!

We need reminders for those who follow us so they don’t get complacent in the peace they experience and forget how that peace was brought about. They need to know that freedom often isn’t free. It is often purchased with human lives.

But on a more personal level, it is important to me because Mike earned it. He voluntarily joined the Navy Reserves in case his country needed him. He voluntarily left behind his wife, kids, family, and friends to go do his part in the War on Terror. He didn’t expect anything in return except that his wife and kids be taken care of if anything happened to him. He was an only son and only child. His mom could have gotten him waivered. But he refused.

The Purple is the worlds oldest known medal. It recognizes that a soldier “spilt his life’s blood” in the defense of his country. It was first given by Geroge Washington, though it was known by a different name then and had a different appearance. Whether or not the soldier lives or dies is not the issue. It is supposed to be a way to honor and thank that soldier.

We have over 300 men and women who have been killed in this war outside the arenas of Iraq and Afghanistan. Seldom are their names mentioned. That figure doesn’t even address those injured who survived. Many of these deaths are related to terrorists acts and go unnoticed except for a name and date on a Centcom and DOD report. So why aren’t their deaths important to the nation. After all didn’t they die while serving their country?

I think it’s a crime to ignore these deaths!! I have emails from many parents and soldiers who agree with me. I also have emails from soldiers who tell me there are troops in “combat” that have been injured who also were not given the Purple Heart because “the injury wasn’t serious enough.”

One such email was from a corpsman who treated three such Marines. What the hell does that mean. If a medic, corpsman or doctor treated the wound and it wasn’t self inflicted and was due to direct combat then they deserve the medal. This isn’t a judgement call. Don’t their commanders know the “guidelines?”

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~ by devildog6771 on March 10, 2005.

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