Wednesday, September 21, 2005

In the Sandbox...

Awards Given Like Candy
"I, too, feel as if the Army has lost sight of what true honor and dedication are (“Bronze Star Medal tainted,” letter, Sept. 1). I see awards handed out as if they were candy with no regard to what they mean or what they stand for.

Wearing the uniform of a soldier used to reflect the Army values and the warrior ethos, but I do not see that reflected in today’s Army.

What happened to selfless service? I see the noncommissioned officer creed trodden under foot every day. What used to be “I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety” has turned into “Serve me, private! Because I am an NCO and you are my slave.”

What of honor? Lying on a form to get an award, or embellishing what you have done to justify getting that award throws honor right out the window and discredits those who have actually earned it.

The Army is losing the backbone that made it so strong. With each new set of privates, there are fewer who salute the flag; fewer who are here to serve; fewer willing to go to battle and lay down their lives for America. Just showing up in a foreign country breathing and sober does not constitute a medal.

For me, it is still an honor to wear the uniform and I am sure there are still many who feel the same. I salute those who have gone before me and died and have earned the right to wear the medals of the U.S. Army.

If you were put on the stand in a court of law for serving your country, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Let us return to the days of earning our medals for more than just something else to put on our dress uniform."

-Staff Sgt. Peter K. Towse
Forward Operating Base Danger, Iraq (Stars & Stripes: Letters to the Editor

...girls of the US Armed Forces...
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

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