WASHINGTON D.C. – The heroics of one soldier might achieve him an incredible award!
Medals of Honor are the military’s highest distinction. They just aren’t given out for anything and a solider awarded the medal usually has passed away due to his heroics or has defied the odds and lived to tell his tale. The Pentagon is preparing to nominate a living soldier for the Medal of Honor for the first time since the Vietnam War.
The Pentagon has not released the nominee’s name while the award is under consideration. The Army soldier ran through a hail of enemy fire to repel Taliban fighters in a 2007 battle, saving the lives of a half-dozen other men, two officials said Wednesday.
While the nomination is great, there is concern for the proceedings. Officials have said that early disclosure could place political pressure on President Barack Obama to approve the medal or could cause embarrassment for the soldier if it’s not approved.
According to the Washington Post, only eight Medals of Honor have been awarded for wars since Vietnam: two in Somalia and six in the current Afghanistan and Iraq wars. All of them were posthumous.
Veteran groups have protested both the far lower volume of Medal of Honor awards in the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts and the practice of awarding them only posthumously. Several lawmakers have taken up that cause.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates “finds it impossible to believe that there is no one who has performed a valorous act deserving of the Medal of Honor who has lived to tell about it,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told the Post.