Still, I don't think what I've written above will be surprising to anyone who reads this and is pretty par for the course around here, so I figured I'd pose an alternative "sign of the times" and catch some opinions on the matter.
I recently read this article.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter will personally hang the Purple Heart around the neck of Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, the Carmichael, Calif., native hailed as a hero for having helped thwart a gunman’s rampage on a French train last month.This is interesting, I thought, why would this person be getting a Purple Heart? Sure he's in the military, and yes he stopped a gunman and was injured, but I don't think that France is a warzone?
The 2015 Defense Authorization Act expanded Purple Heart eligibility to include service members killed or wounded in attacks by foreign terrorist organizations.Ah... so now being injured in an attack by foreign terrorists is grounds for Purple Hearts. Traumatic Brain Injury is still a murky area but at least we can get this airman free license plates for his life.
Also from the article is this:
Hasan’s August 2013 court martial, which sentences him to death, revealed his jihadist ties. The Pentagon initially classified his crime as an act of workplace violence, but under pressure from members of Congress and families of the victims, the military members who were wounded or killed by Hasan later received Purple Hearts.So not actually foreign terrorists but foreign terrorist inspired or something.
Honestly, I don't know how I should feel about this. All awards are political and I can imagine that getting a Purple Heart is a great way for our nation to show gratitude for sacrifice and for a politician to show he cares about those who serve. I know mom was happy about this. I'm sure everyone involved felt pretty good about getting this airman a medal in addition to whatever France gave him.
So I think I understand the positive. I think the downside to giving out the first purple heart earned in France since the Nazis were around is that we're now transporting the war zone closer and closer to home for sentimental feel-good reasons. But when is transporting a war zone closer to home ever a good idea?
Thoughts? Am I just raining on this guys parade or am I justified in being creeped out by these political decisions? Or both?