Wednesday, October 16, 2013

True Colors

 --Capt. William Swenson receiving the Medal of Honor,
October 15, 2013 

Show me a smile then
Don't be unhappy
Can't remember when
I last saw you laughing 
--True Colors, Cyndi Lauper

Reportage on the on the most recent Medal of Honor recipient from the Wars on Terror -- Army Captain William Swenson -- carries a misstatement:

"The recognition of Swenson for his gallantry marks only the second time in the last 50 years that two American service members have received the Medal of Honor for actions in the same battle.

"In 2011, Dakota Meyer, a Marine sergeant who also is now a civilian, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in that Sept. 8, 2009, battle in Afghanistan" (Obama: Washington can learn from Medal of Honor recipient.)

Ranger presumes the article's "second time" refers to the to the MOH's posthumously awarded to Randall David "Randy" Shughart and Master Sergeant Gary Gordon for their actions in the Battle of Mogadishu in Oct. 1993. 

In fact, however, the Vietnam War Battle of the Ia Drang Valley (LZ X-Ray) in 1965 produced three Medals of Honor recipients, a battle within that 50 year window. Somehow, we still give that war and its participants the short shrift. 

The MOH recipients from the Battle of LZ X-Ray:

--1st LT Walter J. Marm (15 Feb 67)
--Captain Ed Freeman (16 July 2001)
--Major Bruce Crandall (26 Feb 2007)

It is only appropriate that the MOH be awarded to an Infantry U.S. Army Captain. Capt. Swenson did what one would expect from an officer under dire circumstances; he deserves our praise.

But let us not forget Marm, Freeman or Crandall, or any other recipient from recent wars. 

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Blogger no one said...

You are probably aware that Swenson resigned his commission and leveled criticism at the US brass for leaving troops hanging un/under resourced in remote areas - much as you/we have done recently.

Now Swenson is seeking back in. What a quandary for the Army.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 11:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Spud said...

It seems we shall always be getting the short end of the stick...

Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 4:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

No one,
I didn't know that Swenson is seeking re entry to Active duty.
I found his haircut to be amusing. This reminded me of SSG Franklin Doug Miller.
Both wore hair that was/is in excess of regs. Or so it looks to me.
This is a statement also.
I just couldn't imagine all these years of war without an infantry officer achieving this award.

Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 6:48:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...


Yes. The hair is non-reg. and a statement.

I am not a combat vet so I don't know, but what I am seeing in some AARs that I have (somehow) gained access to and from first hand stories of people I trust, I don't see how they decide who receives these awards for valor. Not taking anything away from Swenson or any other MOH recipient. Just saying that there are definitely Os in these recent wars that are demonstrating tremendous courage, leadership and dedication to their men under fire at great personal risk and not so much as a bronze star.

Friday, October 18, 2013 at 4:44:00 PM GMT-5  

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