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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Doubt. Question. Suspend Judgment.

Those are three things you can do when you see negative stories in the press about our men and women in uniform.

This was sort of my informal New Year’s resolution. Not that I didn’t do it before, but it seemed as if it was becoming more important.

When I first joined Soldiers’ Angels, I often felt that my role was partially to reassure someone who had volunteered to wear one of our nation’s uniforms that someone, like me, who hasn’t volunteered for that job, is still steadfast in my support of the job they have offered and trained to do.

Does my resolution seem a little over the top? Maybe giving too much benefit of the doubt? Maybe. But just maybe, our men and women in uniform and all those that have served before them are due a little more than the average benefit of the doubt. More questioning of stereotypes. More presumption of innocence.

Anyone deserves it. They have done plenty more to earn it. We, as a nation, have let them down in the past, so I think going a little overboard is okay. Especially as many others are still singing the same baseless tune that condemned or diminished our Vietnam vets for decades.

So, I will follow the lead of Mrs.G over at Mudville and offer you some contrast to any shock story you might see…

Master Sergeant Woodrow W. Keeble, USA
Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, USN
Major Bruce P. Crandall, USA
Corporal Jason Dunham, USMC (and here)
Corporal Tibor Rubin, USA
Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith, USA

Those are the six most recent recipients of our nation’s Medal of Honor. Three received the award based on actions in our current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans of Korea and Vietnam received the other three. Read the citations. Visit the Jason Dunham memorial website.

As a reminder, Mrs G. does you a favor on a routine basis by doing her “Dawn Patrol” round-up of web/blog reporting on the military and the GWOT. Check it out.

Want to read more? Go back and read here, here, or here.

Remember, bad apples aside, we should never be anything less than proud to call them “ours”.

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