October 6, 2010 |
President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor on Wednesday to Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller, who died in Afghanistan after exposing himself to enemy fire and saving the lives of more than 20 U.S. and Afghan troops. Obama presented the award ? the nation's highest military recognition ? to Miller's parents during a somber ceremony in the East Room of the White House. More than 100 of Miller's friends and family attended the ceremony. "You gave your oldest son to America, and America is forever in your debt," Obama told Miller's parents, Phil and Maureen Miller.
October 4, 2010 |
Even after President Obama approved Medal of Honor awards last month for two soldiers who fought in Afghanistan, the number of such honorees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is far lower than for previous conflicts. Military veterans and at least one member of Congress have challenged the Pentagon to explain the discrepancy, and some critics have accused the military of politicizing the awards process. A study last year by the Army Times newspaper found that from World War I through World War II, Korea and Vietnam, the number of Medal of Honor recipients ranged from 23 to 29 per million troops.
September 21, 2010 |
During a secret mission in Laos 42 years ago, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard L. Etchberger repeatedly braved hostile fire as he helped three wounded airmen onto a helicopter after their radar station was surrounded by North Vietnamese soldiers. Etchberger was the last to climb into the helicopter, but he was killed by ground fire as it took off. Etchberger's heroic acts were kept secret until details about the Vietnam-era secret mission were released more than two decades later.
September 10, 2010 |
The first living soldier to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in a conflict since the Vietnam War will receive the award from President Obama in a White House ceremony, the White House announced Friday. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, 25, will receive the nation's highest award for valor for rushing directly into enemy fire during a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan on Oct. 25, 2007, and pulling three wounded soldiers to safety, according to a Pentagon account. Giunta had been knocked down by a bullet that slammed into a thick plate of his body armor, but recovered in time to fire his automatic rifle and hurl a grenade at the attackers.
September 9, 2010 |
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller will be posthumously honored with the rare Medal of Honor on Oct. 6 for sacrificing himself to save the lives of his teammates and 15 Afghan National Army soldiers, the White House announced Thursday. The announcement said Miller "displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor" when he died during a firefight in Afghanistan on Jan. 25, 2008. The Medal of Honor, first awarded in 1863, is the government's highest military honor. Miller's mother, Maureen Miller of Oviedo, Fla., said the entire family is proud of Robert's courage and his achievements from his time spent in the Special Forces program.
August 25, 2010
Pretending to have received a military honor is despicable, but not every despicable lie should be a crime. That's the sensible conclusion reached last week by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in striking down a law used against a California public official. In 2007, Xavier Alvarez, a new board member of the Three Valleys Municipal Water District in Claremont, introduced himself this way: "I'm a retired Marine of 25 years. I retired in the year 2001. Back in 1987, I was awarded the congressional Medal of Honor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2010 |
Vernon Baker, a black U.S. soldier who belatedly received the Medal of Honor for his World War II battlefield valor after a study concluded that he had been wrongly denied the military's top award because of his race, died at his home near St. Maries, Idaho. He was 90. Baker died Tuesday of complications from brain cancer, said Ron Hodge, owner of Hodge Funeral Home in St. Maries. In 1997, Baker was the lone survivor among just seven black soldiers selected to receive the nation's highest award for battlefield valor 52 years after the war ended.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2010
A funeral service for Medal of Honor recipient John Finn, who died Thursday in Chula Vista at age 100, is set for 10 a.m. Thursday at El Cajon-Lakeside-Santee Mortuary and Cremation Service, 684 S. Mollison Ave. in El Cajon. A viewing is scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the same location. Burial will be in the Campo Indian Reservation cemetery.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2010 |
Retired Navy officer John Finn, who received the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Japanese attack on military installations in Hawaii that plunged the United States into World War II, died Thursday at the Veterans Home of California in Chula Vista. At 100, Finn was the oldest surviving recipient of the nation's highest medal for valor and the only recipient still alive among those who received the medal for actions during the attack of Dec. 7, 1941. As his health declined, Finn had moved recently to the veterans facility from his longtime home in Live Oak Springs in rural eastern San Diego County.
May 3, 2010 |
(Sunday's episode of "The Pacific" — the eighth of the 10-part HBO miniseries — depicted the death of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone during the first day of fighting on Iwo Jima. William Lansford, a Marine and Angeleno, also fought that day in Iwo Jima and recalls his friendship with the famous Marine gunnery sergeant and his last day.) In late 1944, after two years in the Pacific as a Marine with Carlson's Raiders, I rotated stateside and received a 30-day furlough.