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Category Archives: Military News
Often those who have sacrificed much and more for our freedom and country are forgotten. It is sad and unfair that appreciation for our veterans is not shown enough, but companies like Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are out fighting for the rights and honors of our veterans. Recently, VFW offered considerable aid to a veteran who had been wounded in combat several times. VFW helped Michael Burns through financial means to secure his and his family’s futures.
Michael Burns was injured several times over multiple tours of duty in Iraq. He demonstrated incredible bravery and dedication as he returned to action each time, once only a month after injuries. It is this kind of hero that a nation can respect and be grateful for. However Michael Burns returned to the United States after his services to discover that he was not able to work in most jobs due to his injuries. In a time of severe financial struggle, the VFW’s Unmet Needs program offered their aid after Michael’s case had been presented.
Recently the Secretary of Defense announced the authorization of a new United States military medal. The Distinguished Warfare Medal is now among the ranks of every other prestigious award that has ever been offered to the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country. The medal is dedicated to recognizing military efforts that surpass the requirements of the Bronze Star medal. It is also specific to only those who have served since September 11th 2001.
Below is a transcript of the official announcement. You can also download the PDF version here.
SUBJECT: Distinguished Warfare Medal
It gives me great pleasure to announce the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medals (DWM). The DWM provides distinct Department of Defense (DOD)-wide recognition for extraordinary achievement, not involving acts of valor, directly impacting combat operations or other military operations, such as operations authorized by a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Execute Order, as approved by me.
Service: All Services
Instituted: 16 January 1969
Criteria: Outstanding noncombat meritorious achievement or service to the United States
Devices: Army & Air Force: Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf Cluster; Navy & Marine Corps: Gold, Silver Star; Coast Guard: Silver Letter “O”, Gold, Silver Star
Meritorious Service Medal – Overview
Authorized on January 16, 1969 and awarded to members of the Armed Forces for noncombat meritorious achievement or meritorious service after that date. The Meritorious Service Medal evolved from an initial recommendation in 1918 by General John J. Pershing, the Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. He suggested that an award for meritorious service be created to provide special recognition to deserving individuals by the U.S. government. Although the request by General Pershing was disapproved, it was revisited several more times during World War II and afterwards. During the Vietnam War the proposal to create the military medal received significant attention and was eventually approved when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the executive order on January 16, 1969. The Meritorious Service Medal cannot be awarded for service in a combat theater. It has often been the decoration of choice for both end of tour and retirement recognition for field grade officers and senior enlisted personnel.
Each year I visit the local cemetery on Memorial day. Doesn’t take but 10-15 minutes. I put usually a small note of thanks or sometimes a flower out of my garden on the grave of a fallen hero. The hero I have visited for the last 4-5 years is an Army Bronze Star hero from Iraq. I don’t spend a lot of money, but I take my children with me. I want them to know that beyond a shadow of a doubt someone died for their freedom. I don’t really know if the fallen hero knows that I’m there? I hope that in some small way when their family visits the grave site that they will be comforted by the fact that we appreciate their personal loss.
Scott – Medals of America
The front line in combat is no longer men only. In 1994, the U.S. Military banned women from serving on the front lines in combat roles. Today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is set to formally announce the end of this combat exclusion policy and begin to open job and rank advancement opportunities to qualified military women. This decision comes after a federal lawsuit against the Defense Department by four servicewomen represented by the ACLU last November. These women served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, where combat necessities, blurred battlefield lines and insurgent attacks have placed women into combat despite the exclusion policy. The women pursuing the lawsuit include Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar, who was forced to engage in combat after the helicopter she piloted was gunned down during her crews mission to rescue wounded soldiers. Hegar was awarded the Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for exhibiting bravery while enduring combat wounds. Despite her service awards and exceptional performance in battle, Hegar was excluded from pursuing certain advancements in combat leadership. She represents one of many women personally affected by this decision to begin the process of equal opportunity for women in the military. While this decision is met with praise and criticism, it is reflective of the current conditions of warfare and the increasing volume of active women in the military. The stringent physical requirements of military positions will not change and women will be held to the same standards as the men in these positions. Finally and for the first time in history, the women who can meet these standards will be given the right to compete and the respect they deserve.