I know I’ve shared this story with you before, but I had it come up in conversation recently so I’ll share it again.
I was talking to a foreign veteran, and he brought up the Purple Heart.
There is this debate about the Purple Heart. Some say that it is the only medal that means anything. That it shows you were in the fight. Others would say that it is the worst medal to have, as it shows that you fucked up, and did not perform as well as you should have. That the enemy did better than they should have that day.
As a purple heart recipient, I lean towards the second answer. We often joked that the Purple Heart was the “Enemy Marksmanship Medal” or the “I ducked when I should have weaved medal”.
Here is an abridged version of how I got mine. I’ve shared this store before, and I’ll share it again, but for the sake of this discussion, here is what happend.
April 2006, we are doing a presence patrol in Kendari, west of Abu Ghraib Prision, moving towardwards on the mainstreet/market street. I am in the middle of the formation, comms have been bad so the full 10 foot antenna is extended. It is like a giant “please shoot me” sign. Someone takes me up on the offer.
Shortly after that, when I’m back with my squad, some of them joke about how I got shot because I wasn’t watching my sector of fire.
I point that I was shot from behind. NO ONE got shot from my sector of fire. I asked who was suppose to be watching my back.
Never got an answer to that. No one ever joked about that or touched that subject again.
I’m pretty annoyed since I spend about 2 hours here trying to find a photo I was going to end this story with. I’m going to be rather mad if I don’t have it any more.
Take care all.