RANGER AGAINST WAR: Relative Worth, Revisited <

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Relative Worth, Revisited

[Re-post: In his 16 December 2011 piece, The Medal of Honor and Messenger, Ranger suggested his associate MSG Benny Adkins receive the Medal of Honor (MOH) for his action in 1966; subsequently Adkins was belatedly awarded the MOH in October 2013.

In his 20 December 2010 piece, Relative Worth, Ranger wrote that Stephen Sanford should also receive the MOH, especially in light of the recent upgrades to medals received by veterans of the Vietnam War. We hope Mr. Sanford does not have to wait that long.

 
  Cpl. Stephen Sanford received DSC (2007)

And I believe we need heroes,

I believe we need certain people

who we can measure our own shortcomings by

--Richard Attenborough


The ultimate measure of a man is not

where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,

but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy

--Martin Luther King, Jr.


Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one

--Baltasar Gracian

__________________

In continued consideration of the Medal of Honor, let's compare Staff Sgt Salvatore Guinta's recent MOH (the first living MOH recipient since the Vietnam War) to the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) awarded to Private First Class Stephen C. Sanford.


[See SSG Guinta's MOH citation HERE; PFC Sanford's DSC HERE. Note, 7, AUG 2014: Two additional MOH's have been awarded, both to 2/503/173 members.] 


The short and sweet question is, why did Guinta receive a MOH when Sanford received only a DSC? What differentiates their actions? Even patriotic site BLACKFIVE posed the following question regarding the dearth of coverage on the actions of PFC Sanford: "Read this and ask why this story hasn't been all over the media. It was released more than 8 weeks ago...only the Army has information on it. I found no media services have picked this up at all..."

Sanford was wounded in the initial burst of fire, yet he elected to continue the assault. He repeatedly assaulted into the face of the enemy though wounded, receiving two "potentially fatal" gunshot wounds in the service of saving and protecting other soldiers. He administered combat life-saving while under direct fire, sustaining two additional solid hit wounds while so doing.


Objectively reading the citations, it is clear that Sanford exceeded the requirements for the MOH, and in fact, his actions exceeded the valorous acts of SSG Guinta.


Of the eight MOH's awarded in the Phony War on Terror (
PWOT ©), three have gone to Special Operations Forces - Special Operations Command assets and five to the rest of the entire military. That is a heavily weighted fact. Is the SOCOM more valorous than regular line soldiers?

Some painful questions arise from this comparison. Would Stephen Sanford have received the MOH if he were to have been killed? Would Sanford have received it if he were an SOF asset?
If so, why?

This is not a criticism of SSG Guinta, who is a fine soldier and an MOH-worthy recipient. The sole purpose is to question the apparent bias in the conference of this prestigious award. If Guinta deserves the MOH, then so, too, does Pvt. Sanford. That is as clear as a front sight on an M4 carbine.

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