In my opinion, this is the type of heroic story that has been missing from the mainstream media's coverage of the War on Terror -- and it is precisely the type of story that the American people need to hear. Being the one who had the opportunity to write about it and to bring it to the public's attention -- something which was only possible because I, like the very small number of my colleagues who do this, was willing to go to a place (and take a risk) that others will not -- was an amazing and humbling experience.
Having interviewed all participants -- repeatedly -- and having gone over the situation that they faced, in the place that they faced it, so as to better understand those events, there is no doubt in my mind that the young men featured herein are deserving of the highest award that their country can possibly offer them: the Medal of Honor.
As it is, though - due to the military's built-in bias against the awarding of high honors to junior enlisted soldiers, and against awarding the Medal of Honor in any other way than posthumously - they were put in for Distinguished Service Crosses (the second highest award that the military offers) -- and they may not even get those, due again to the military's bias against junior enlisted awards.
It is not only important that this story be seen by everybody that it can possibly be spread to -- it is also, in my opinion (again, as the person who has been there with the people in question), of the utmost importance that those who, upon reading the story, agree with me that these young men deserve the highest honor their nation can give them, call their Representatives and tell them that.
-- Jeff Emanuel
- At 3:42 PM, Outlaw 13 said...
I hear you brother!
I am near the end of my 2nd tour here in Iraq.
It is confounding to me, why my leaders can't recognize appropriately the courage and sacrifice that their soldiers display on a daily basis.
As an Army Aviator, I am humbled and feel extremely grateful to be able to support soldiers like the ones you described. We try our damnedest to be there for them every time. ATTACK!
- At 4:11 PM, Guy said...
Thanks for the great work in bringing to life the events in Samarra. What an incredible story. I, like you, feel that it's truly a shame that these guys haven't been awarded the CMH. Perhaps, if enough people become aware of the story and the attendant heroism, the Army (in all it's wisdom) will change its mind.
- At 7:01 PM, Uriah said...
I appreciate all that you do to bring us these stories and know that when a story touches us like this has, it must be like a body blow to you. If you were jaded by it all, you wouldn't be able to convey so much of this.
As to the awards, I tell myself that the sheer volume of heroism being displayed by our men and women in uniform would require that medals being handed would lose their significance. These warriors are beyond anything we have seen. As I read one Iraq war vet(and son of VietNam vet) say, their victories should be seen as vindication for those "true belivers" that have put it all on the table to bring freedom to people around the world that didn't know them and often didn't even appreicate the sacrifice.
- At 7:49 PM, Bos'un said...
Jeff I would like your permission to crosspost the account at my blogs, Freedom is not Free and Rumors of War.
You can email me directly.
- At 12:58 PM, said...
It looks like Sgt. Morley's SSN is shown on his dogtags. If so, please distort it!
- At 5:36 PM, said...
Fantastic story. Unbelievable sacrifice and heroism displayed by these soldiers. The sacrifices made each day by the soldiers in Iraq and across the world are not often enough recognized. Thanks for documenting and sharing your stories with us. They serve as a reminder that our freedom, indeed, is not free.