THIS is the Medal of Honor

By
Property Manager with AmeriTeam Property Management SL#3200658
https://activerain.com/droplet/Dbg

THIS is the Medal of Honor

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THIS is the Medal of Honor

Or Congressional Medals of Honor, as the case may be.  Commissioned by Congress and presented by our president, this is simply the highest honor members of our armed forces may receive.  It's a unique instance where an award is offered in differing styles based on the recipient's branch of service.

Never seen a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient?  You're not alone.  With only 81 living Americans bearing one right now, it's an award whose recipients are truly special.  Want your children to know a hero?  First, let it be you- and second, let it be a Medal of Honor recipient whose story you've shared with them.

How special are Medal of Honor recipients?  Very.  In one word, very.  A list of those who've worn this award draped around their necks includes the late Admiral James Stockdale- who endured pain unimaginable and torture unthinkable long before any Left-leaning media sought to render him a buffoon as Ross Perot's running mate in 1992.

Why the Medal of Honor talk today?  That's an easy one- thank you for asking.  In the lesser-known yet arguably most despicable decision revealed today, a U.S. Supreme Court led by once-reliable Chief Justice John Roberts has spat in the face of every hero our nation's ever known.

Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were on the losing end of the Court's vote to side with a liar named Xavier Alvarez in overturning America's Stolen Valor Act. This pathetic individual was once a local California water board member- and claimed to have been a Medal of Honor recipient.

In his poetic, yet regretable assent, Justice Kennedy wrote of how our First Amendment "protects the speech we detest as well as the speech we embrace". Whatever.

That's a fine opinion- and one surely embraced by racists like the New Black Panther Party and others. But we've long set "Fire!" in a crowded theater aside from other examples of speech, though- and preserving the integrity of our nation's heroes should be a priority equally high.

As the minority opinion offered, losing the integrity of our nation's highest military honors ends up "inflicting real harm on actual medal recipients and their families".

Stolen Valor, indeed.

THIS is the Medal of Honor

Posted by
 
DENNIS B. BURGESS
Property Manager

Licensed Florida Realtor
 
AmeriTeam Property Management
845 N. Garland Ave., #200
Orlando, FL  32801
 
 
 
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Rainmaker
589,783
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Dennis,

I followed you in the value and integrity of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Did not quite catch what created such vituperation at the end of your post

PHil

Jun 28, 2012 05:40 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,053,050
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Dennis, it's too bad that Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito were the only judges in favor of standing behind the Stolen Valor Act. Alvarez is indeed despicable to lie about being a medal of honor recipient...shame on him.

Leilani

Jun 28, 2012 06:03 PM #2
Rainmaker
354,838
Dale Terry
Yadkinville, NC

My heart says the law is good on its face, but my brain is telling me anything to do with free speech being upheld is better. 

We clearly cannot trust our fellow citizens(Xavier Alvarez?) to do the right thing.  But I trust government even less.

Jun 28, 2012 08:39 PM #3
Rainmaker
576,381
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

I had the privilege of meeting Medal of Honor winner John Levitow many years ago. He was inspiring and humble.  Here's his citation.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Levitow (then A1c.), U.S. Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while assigned as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 aircraft flying a night mission in support of Long Binh Army post. Sgt. Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round. The resulting explosion ripped a hole 2 feet in diameter through the wing and fragments made over 3,500 holes in the fuselage. All occupants of the cargo compartment were wounded and helplessly slammed against the floor and fuselage. The explosion tore an activated flare from the grasp of a crewmember who had been launching flares to provide illumination for Army ground troops engaged in combat. Sgt. Levitow, though stunned by the concussion of the blast and suffering from over 40 fragment wounds in the back and legs, staggered to his feet and turned to assist the man nearest to him who had been knocked down and was bleeding heavily. As he was moving his wounded comrade forward and away from the opened cargo compartment door, he saw the smoking flare ahead of him in the aisle. Realizing the danger involved and completely disregarding his own wounds, Sgt. Levitow started toward the burning flare. The aircraft was partially out of control and the flare was rolling wildly from side to side. Sgt. Levitow struggled forward despite the loss of blood from his many wounds and the partial loss of feeling in his right leg. Unable to grasp the rolling flare with his hands, he threw himself bodily upon the burning flare. Hugging the deadly device to his body, he dragged himself back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled the flare through the open cargo door. At that instant the flare separated and ignited in the air, but clear of the aircraft. Sgt. Levitow, by his selfless and heroic actions, saved the aircraft and its entire crew from certain death and destruction. Sgt. Levitow's gallantry, his profound concern for his fellowmen, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

As for the ruling; we should always err on the side of free speech. If liars get any kind of benefit (financial or otherwise) from falsely portraying themselves as heroes then can be dealt with in other ways, i.e. prosecuted for fraud, etc.

Jun 28, 2012 09:22 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,031,521
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

John Roberts has become a big disappointment.  Not very conservative at all.

Jun 28, 2012 11:15 PM #5
Rainmaker
472,057
Dale Bledsoe
Crown Key Realty - Tracy, CA
Realtor in Tracy, California

Could not agree with you more. If it harms our nation it should be prosecuted not protected. As to Rob Arnolds comment #5, I just keep thinking of the Trojan Horse. You are writing my thoughts.

Jun 29, 2012 01:37 AM #6
Rainmaker
422,445
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Leilani:  Thank you for dropping by, and for your sentiment.  Perhaps the saddest turn of events (not only in this ruling, but in all of this week's rulings) is what can only view as Chief Justice Roberts' betrayal of the Conservative cause.  I hope it's not The Roberts Court's "new normal", but I fear it may very well be.

Jun 29, 2012 02:06 AM #7
Rainmaker
422,445
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Dale:  Thank you for dropping by, and for your comment.  I mis-read you for a minute, though- thinking that you were viewing the striking down of the law as a good thing heart-wise versus the Stolen Valor Act as it (now) formerly existed.  Reading again, we're on the same page.  Heart says we should respect those who have sacrificed at all costs above some dirtbag that wants to claim their glory, but head engaged a good while later says we must do the whole "obey the law" thing even as it applies to conduct reprehensible.

I've heard it said that laws and courts serve to protect the minority- for the majority needs no such protection.  I've beg to differ, now, though- as the majority's voice has been silenced more and more in deference to said minority, regardless of the issue at hand.

Jun 29, 2012 02:23 AM #8
Rainmaker
681,395
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

Ditto,I can't beleive the dishonor they have posed on this well deserved medalion for all those who hold one, thanks- you and for all other service persons  Thanks you for your service to our country as well.  

Jun 29, 2012 04:14 AM #9
Rainmaker
422,445
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Karl:  Thank you for dropping by, and for your contribution.  I think of a number of specific heroes when looking to the CMOH- a unique award which stands alone in our military's respectful world.  It's recipients are alone in that the award entitles them to always be on the receiving end of the hand salute when encountering others.  Whether lowly private or powerful general, all render the initial salute to the CMOH.

When I think of the CMOH (and heroes in general), VADM James Stockdale- the highest ranking man held in Hanoi- is often at the top of the list.  As his story goes, he steadfastly refused to submit to the Viet Cong's version of today's perp walk to serve as propaganda for the enemy.  He first cut his scalp in hopes the blood would keep him off camera- but they placed a hat on his head.  He then took a stool and disfigured himself so badly they could never use him on film.  When they took away his stool, he simply used the nearest wall.  When he continued with his duties toward escaping and helping his men do the same, Viet Cong found some paperwork and wanted him to publicly confess.  Declining, he chose to cut his wrists instead.

At the time of his release, Admiral Stockdale had a shattered leg, broken back and shoulders that had been pulld from their sockets.  Like other heroes, though, he kept on fighting and remained in the Navy for a number of years.  It's a true testament to the American Spirit.

It might seem odd to some, but I also think the greatness and significance of the CMOH is evidenced by the many who didn't receive it.  One great example (and a man I've long called a hero of mine) is Admiral Jeremiah Denton, who hails from my native Alabama.  Held in Hanoi longer than anyone else, he shared time there with Senator John McCain and others- and remains to this day the only man whose ever served as both a military flag officer and U.S. Senator.

Beaten and tortured himself, then-Commander Denton was the one who blinked "T-O-R-T-U-R-E" in Morse Code during a press conference- giving U.S. officials their first word of such treatment.  His story (and our history) was chronicled in his book and movie, "When Hell Was in Session".

Upon being released from captivity and first setting foot once again upon American soil, this American hero who was not awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor said the following:

"We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America."

May God continue to bless Admiral Denton and all of those who have served us gallantly and valiantly.  When sacrifices like his are deemed unworthy of the Medal of Honor, it sheds a bit of light on how truly remarkable those who have received it must be.

This Independence Day week and every week, let's pledge to support those who have placed their lives on the line in defense of our's- and have lived America's verse....

"...who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life"

THAT is the mettle of honor...

Jun 29, 2012 03:16 PM #10
Rainmaker
422,445
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Rob:  Thank you for dropping by, and for your comment.  Amazing.  Truly amazing and almost laughable is the conduct of John Roberts this past week.  I'm all but sure the Democrats are laughing at the turn of events- for though they feigned confidence, the week went better for them than anyone could have truly imagined.

And one person alone can be assigned a great deal of the blame here...Lindsay Graham.  Post on that coming soon....

Jun 30, 2012 04:11 AM #11
Rainmaker
422,445
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Dale:  Thank you for stopping in.  Trojan Horse is a scary, but quite possible accurate analogy here.  Having been on both sides of the political aisle, I know there are folks both good and bad occupying each side.  I'll argue issues with those holding opinions counter to mine, and I'll look to do so with as much civility as possible.  I'll respectfully disagree with anyone on "the other side", and hope they'll do likewise.

The problem, though, is when one that's on "our side" flakes on us.  Folks simply need to profess their thoughts, goals and aims honestly and truthfully- and let political alignment's labels fall where they may. 

More important than any label is the truth.

Jun 30, 2012 04:17 AM #12
Rainmaker
422,445
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Caron:  Thank you for dropping by, and for your comment.  I'm looking forward to seeing a new bill hit Congress' floors, and I urge all to contact their senators and congressmen  to support it.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2011, sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) and it's companion Senate bill introduced by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), will look to once again narrow the scope of law and assign harh criminal penalty to those who choose to (quite literally) steal another's valor.

As many have said or asked- If it's a crime to call oneself "a police officer" when it's untrue, how is it acceptable for one to claim ownership of our nation's highest military honors?  Makes little to no sense.

Jun 30, 2012 04:28 AM #13
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