Degrading and insulting


I just received my March-April 2013 Purple Heart Magazine and on page 10 was an article in regards to the Department of Defense’s decision to recognize military personnel whose extraordinary achievements may indirectly impact combat operations while they remain safely away from the battlefield with and award whose order of precedence would place it above other awards for heroism on the battlefield, such as the Bronze Star for Valor.

As announced, the Distinguished Warfare Medal would rank even higher than the Purple Heart Medal, which can only be received by a service member who is either wounded, killed in action or dies of wounds by the enemy.

I received a Purple Heart while in Vietnam. My father, his brother and my mother’s brother who were Marines all received Purple Hearts while on Okinawa during World War II. My father’s brother died the day after of his wounds.

To rank what is basically an award for meritorious service higher than any award for heroism is degrading and insulting to myself and the memory of my father and uncles and every American combat soldier, airman, sailor or Marine who risks his or her life and endures the daily rigors of combat in a hostile environment.

I would strongly urge the newly-appointed Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to either reconsider the precedence of the Distinguished Warfare Medal or develop another way of recognizing the achievements of those whose indirect actions contribute greatly to the accomplishment of the mission without diminishing the sacrifice of life and limb by those who confront the enemy firsthand on the battlefield.

Semper Fidelis

Jim Golden

Iron Mountain

USMC 1968-70

Vietnam 1968-69

Marine Corps League, Life Member

Military Order Purple Heart, Life Member

Disabled American Veterans, Life Member

Veteran of Foreign Wars, Life Member