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Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Medals They Carried


A reader writes

You observed that so many journalists stand in the presence of men like Petraeus with “open jaws and worshiping eyes.” That brings to mind the military’s cultural shift in its medals, ribbons, and badges.

Consider these portraits of Generals Petraeus and Eisenhower. Petraeus is wearing over 30 ribbons and badges on his uniform. I’m sure he earned each of them. But of that 30, how many civilians will notice that only one item was for heroism (Bronze Star with “V”)? Eisenhower earned only ten U.S. decorations (plus countless foreign ones), and – as was the custom of the day – typically wore only three or four at a time.

So few of us have military experience. We see a solider decked out with all kinds of razz-mataz and we assume he’s a modern Audie Murphy, a Rambo ten times over. But the truth is, … READ MORE


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