This week we learned that NOT ONE Marine in our current wars has qualified for the Medal of Honor.  Plenty have died.  I have no doubt that witness statements could support up to a dozen by standards from any other war.  Why none for this war?  What are we telling Marines and our other troops?

Medals, ribbons and alike serve no purposed in wartime.  They are for dress uniforms at cocktail parties or for political phonies to wear at rally’s in support of crooked politicans or causes, too often quite undemocratic and unAmerican. 

95% of combat or more is fought by lower ranking troops, and if Vietnam standards hold true today, usually without any officers or senior NCOs within miles.  A minor act in a rear base, such as aiding a victim of a mortar attack is blown out of proportions so that troops who are in daily contact with rear eschelon decision makers are rewarded for their friendly and helpful ways.


Troops facing the daily rigors of combat, witnessed only by fellow PFC’s or the occasional NCO will, during their deployments, any of our wars will apply here, repeatedly EARN medal after medal but generally are overlooked.  I served in a company of Marines at the height of the Vietnam War where no enlisted man received any award other than a Purple Heart.  Even those were seldom given to any but the dead and most severely injured.  A simple "flesh wound" at the front didn’t count.  The joke, of course, is that, in the rear, a "salad fork injury" was all that was needed. 

Every medal given, every Bronze Star, Purple Heart and such has an effect unforseen.  When fighting men die in hand to hand combat against overwhelming odds and receive nothing while clerks, liaison officers and hangers on are festooned like characters out of a 19th century opera, real fighting men are taught to be ashamed.  I have a few enlisted friends with combat awards because they had great officers to serve with.  I have many others who have spent a lifetime feeling cheated and humiliated, having risked and sacrificed so much only to see cowards and phonies strutting around as heroes. 

The current witch hunt for phony heroes, which has caught at least two sad and disturbed individuals has been overpublicized.  We caught one phony hero recently and one US Senator doing things a hundred times worse.  We are going after the phony vet but the phony Senator, I believe Ensign is his name, blowhard "queer bater" and phony Christian, will not be punished though he not only paid off his girlfriend bigtime but her husband too.  Imagine what they talked about on the golf course.

Currently, we have hundreds of ‘heroes’ in the pay of defense contractors and special interests on TV, attacking the Commander in Chief while he is overseas and hiding behind medals we would like to know more about, all for personal gain and to the dishonor of every American fighting man.

A couple of years ago, I was at a symposium at a nearby university.  One of the speakers was a witness to the heroic acts of a former USMC LtCol. known for extremist views who escaped prison on a technicality.

Watching this Marine Vietnam veteran discuss the heroics of his "officer" while describing combat between Komodo Dragons and Tigers was quite revealing.  Our friend with the highly imaginative and utterly fantastic war stories wore medals awarded by our kindly officer/convict/TV/Radio personality.

This same very famous officer, who by all appearances seemed involved in a bizarre "you lie for me, I lie for you" heroics scheme was quick to call John Kerry’s crew liars for standing behind their CO.  This brings every medal into doubt and if we are going to compile needed and important lists of who holds medals, then we need an equally complete process for validating which are real and which are awarded under technically "legal" considerations but fraudulent conditions. 

With the history we have, anyone wearing a medal should also have available the witnesses to their acts.  Maybe we need to start two processes:

1.  Holders of medals need a full audit, not of the awards themselves but a full investigation of the supporting documentation.  If no documentation can be supplied, the medals should be withdrawn.

2.  Any combat veterans who have witnesses (I advocate polygraph for everyone) to heroic acts should be able to apply for their own combat awards much as any other military benefit.

Heroes should no longer be awarded on their ability to get coffee, tell amusing stories or back up the lies of others.  Hard proof and a transparent process will give us real heroes and get rid of the pack of country club phonies and radio/TV hacks exploiting the honor of others.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.gordonduff_400


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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.