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Mon, November 18 2019, 6:35:04Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 123456[7]89 ]

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Date Posted: Wed, January 11 2006, 20:23:05
Author: Jeff Northridge
Author Host/IP: dialup- /
In reply to: Dawne 's message, "VIETNAM SERVICE MEDALS" on Wed, January 11 2006, 10:38:38

Howdy Dawn;

That is a complicated topic. Prior to the Civil War, the U.S. did not issue medals to anybody because it was seen as an "European thing" except for the Purple Heart which was established by GEN George Washington on 8/7/1782 for wounds received in action and other things. Originally, the PH was not a medal, but rather, a cloth patch. Pres. Abraham Lincoln established the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, but because it was the only medal for valor, it was bestowed somewhat indescrimately. In fact, the only female recipient of the MOH was a civilian doctor who had her medal revoked (along with 1600 others) by an act of Congress in 1917. Her MOH was later restored (posthumously) by Pres. Jimmy Carter.

After the Civil War, the Spanish-American War saw the emergence of medals for service. During WW I and shortly thereafter, a whole hierarchy of medals developed for both service and combat. Today, if you know what the ribbons and attached devices mean, you can practically read the military history of the individual right off of his/her "chest salad".

Personally, I hold a few medals for both combat and service, but the one that I'm the proudest of is not a medal at all. It is a badge--the Combat Infantymans' Badge (CIB). The only way that you can get one of those is to have been in the Army with an infantry MOS and to have been engaged in combat with an armed hostile force. Still, that doesn't compare to the Combat Medics' Badge (CMB). If I see one of those, I will stand at attention and salute the individual who wears it.

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