|Hon. Clifford L. Stanley, Photo Credit: DoD|
In a recent Stars and Stripes article, More living Medal of Honor recipients on the way? Leo Shane III, mentions:
“More than 2 million troops have served in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade, but until now only one living servicemember has been recognized with the Medal of Honor for heroics in those wars. But Defense Department officials hinted this week that could change soon.”
In a prepared statement, the Honorable Clifford L. Stanley, Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) stated before the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee on March 17, 2011:
“The Department continues to work in concert with the Services to appropriately recognize and laud the accomplishments, both valorous and non-valorous, of our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen. In today’s all volunteer force, appropriately recognizing the accomplishments of our Service members, while simultaneously maintaining the time-honored prestige of our most revered military decorations, is fundamental to maintaining esprit-de-corps and a motivated force.
The Department is committed to recognizing the valorous acts of our Service men and women. The President of the United States awarded the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Guinta last November for his conspicuous gallantry during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. The Department is diligently processing additional Medal of Honor nominations for the President’s consideration, including nominations for other living Service members. Additionally, the Department recently completed its review of the Medal of Honor award process as requested by the House Armed Services Committee.
According to Stars and Stripes:
“Last fall, Army Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta became the eighth person honored with the medal for the current wars, but the first living one to receive it. All of the previous seven were awarded to troops for actions that ultimately cost them their lives.”
“Defense officials have been criticized for the lack of medals awarded in the current conflicts. For comparison, 248 Medals of Honor were awarded for heroism during the Vietnam War.”
“Stanley did not offer any timeline or specifics on the future medal recipients to the committee, but did write that the department is committed to recognizing the heroic acts being performed by troops overseas.”
Remember our heroes.
National Medal of Honor Day on March 25th, 2011
Let us honor those who fought bravely and risked their lives to defend our freedom.