Good news fellas (for me anyhow)...after two year tours in Iraq I am finally leaving for good. I will be out of this country in less than 48 hours to be part of the Advanced Party to support our redeployment back in the states and to push our replacements up north. I will still be spending another month or so in Kuwait but the sense of relief that this provides my loved ones can't be described. I am sure many of you can relate.
I was awarded the Bronze Star for my service. I was presented this award yesterday. I wish I could say I was proud of such an award but sadly feel they are making a mockery of the current wartime award system. Though I worked hard this past deployment it is an embarrassment compared to my first tour in 2004-2005. Again, many of you with multiple tours under your belt (as many as 3, 4, and 5) can appreciate this statement as "wartime" is becoming infiltrated with garrison, politics, and dollar signs (all the while the real fight and dangers are going on). There was nothing "heroic" about my time here and my description of service falls way short to receive such an honor. It takes away from the value for those who have earned it through heroic action. I can't accept this award for myself.
I'd like to dedicate this award to those who fought, fell, or served as the true heroes of this country from the American Revolution to today's modern combat. Some of you may be on this site; some may be your family in previous generations like my grandfather (WWII) who never saw such honors; in any event, no matter what the news reports say, what controversies are being debated, it is important we recognize these service members.
At the end of the day, it is not always about the big picture fight. It is about your brothers fighting to your left and your right. Fighting with them and for them is where the true heroes are born.
thank you for taking the time out to acknowledge the people who never got anything when they put all their blood sweat and tears on the line... i did a tour in afghanistan 200 miles south of kabul. we were a self sustaining platoon sized element doing patrols out of a UN compound with no running water what so ever. we dealt with ambushes, small arms fire, rocket attacks, ieds etc... but nobody felt that we deserved any awards... not one person on the squad level received any awards. there were no AAM's no ARRCOM's nothing. but meanwhile platoon sgts and platton leaders, OIC's and battalion personal were all getting Bronze stars. for doing what...
all in all i feel we did a good job... sustained minimal casulties and injuries. so at least i know in my mind that we did a outstanding job weather others think so or not...
also didnt mean to rant in ur thread... it just hit me close to home. thanks again and congrats on ur bronze star... :beer:
I agree with you complely on the awards/medal system now days.
I was awarded my purple heart and bronze star during my 1st tour over there during one of the largest ambushes noted in the Iraq war. Back then it ment something and had meaning.
But now that Im back from my 2nd deployment as well, it hardly means anything anymore. All E7s (PLT Sgts) were awarded bronze stars due to their rank as the lower enlisted (e5-below) were awarded ARCOM (Army Commendation Medal).
This just outraged me so bad during our award ceremony. I mean come on, I was out on the front lines engauging the enemy where I was shot in the arm->chest. Now you can sit behind a desk and do paperwork and get the same award as me? REALLY!?
this goes back to the Purple Heart. Someone that recieved a BRUISE on their wrist from a vehicle wreck that was caused by an IED was awarded the same award (Purple Heart) as me as to where I was critically wounded with a gunshot wound to the arm which entered my chest and hit my lung.
Seriously, this award system has gone to the dump.
But anyways, sorry to rant.
Congrats on the Bronze Star and glad you made it through your 2nd tour safely.
thats what im talking about... wow... ^^^ that kind of things piss me off... aghhh..
when leadership gets awards just for their rank... i think my OIC's got their bronze stars for "WARTIME EFFORTS" haha but i think every one over there put in some hard wartime effort...