Recognizing Valor and Praying for Peace
Written by
Julie Jeffs
October 2010
Written by
Julie Jeffs
October 2010
On Wednesday while sitting at my desk and writing, I would sneak quick looks at Tweetdeck to see what was going on. Just one more way to procrastinate. There was a link to the White House to watch President Obama present the Congressional Medal of Honor (posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller of the United States Army. What a sobering event. If you have never watched such a ceremony or read about the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients I urge you to do so. In fact I highly recommend a book, Medal of Honor by Allen Mikaelian and Mike Wallace. It provides a fascinating history of the Medal of Honor and some of it's receipients and Wallace provides commentary about the wars the recipients fought in.

One, the CMH is the highest military honor that can be bestowed upon a military member. They aren’t given lightly or very often. In fact, since the first which was awarded in 1863 to a Civil War Private, just under 3,470 have been awarded. Only eight medals of honor have been awarded since the end of the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, far too often, they are given posthumously. The story of Staff Sgt. Miller was inspiring. It was for actions in Afghanistan in 2008. Here is a link to the full story. I was once again reminded of how long we have already been in Afghanistan at war, and, sadly, how long we will likely still be there. I wondered about Robert’s parents and siblings, all there for the presentation. In fact one of Robert’s brothers was so inspired by Robert’s actions that he has enlisted in the army and is also attempting to be a Green Beret like his brother. Miller sounds like an exemplary human being, a great son, a great brother, a wonderful friend and an outstanding soldier, leader and teammate. It must have been gratifying for his parents to hear such high praise for their son, but certainly at what cost. Such a great honor, but like so many other recipients Robert made the ultimate sacrifice. Possibly this event touched me even more, as my son Brendan is now back in San Diego at Camp Pendleton as he prepares to once again be deployed. He knows he is going to Afghanistan, he isn’t sure where in Afghanistan. He is scheduled to leave about November 11th, Veteran’s Day. Ironic isn’t it? I hate it -- the war -- that he is going there. I am proud of him. He too is a great son and brother and I know he is a good leader and a good Marine, recently promoted to Corporal. I just have to try and believe that he will remain safe and return home safely in 8 months with all the members of his company. I don't want him or any of his fellow marines to have to attend such a ceremony. No matter what you think of the war, the military, the President or anything else, please keep those serving in your thoughts and if prayer is part of your life, this is a good reason for one.

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