Don’t Fire Until You See the R=255 G=255 B=255 of Their Eyes

“The Defense Department is reportedly inventing a new medal designed to reward soliders who fight battles from the safety of their computer consoles. The Associated Press says the Pentagon is creating a new ribbon, called the Distinguished Warfare Medal that will be given for ‘extra achievement’ related to a military operation. That would include drone pilots…” [Atlantic]


I understand you get a gold leaf added if you don’t spill your coffee on the keyboard.

There’s already one that fits. Not sure about the other branches, but there is the Army Commendation Medal.

Read page 3 at that link. But to rank it above the Bronze Star is just atrocious. No REMF should ever get a medal ranked higher than the lowest medal that can be awarded in a combat zone. BTW, I have one BS from Vietnam and and 2 ACMs from stateside tours and it really pisses me off.

Where do I go to throw my Bronze Star back at them?

@BobCens: A Purple Heart if you get a blister on your dominant mouse finger?

@RevZafod: Damn near all of us got a BS in Vietnam. If it had a V, OTH, that was different

@RevZafod: RVN or ARVN on your DD Form 214? The Army does their medals right.

This kind of bogus medal is going to make my life harden than hell. Some PTSD stressors can be verified by campaign medals, so you don’t have to put the vet through hell all over again. If you were boots on ground in Vietnam, the gumbint concedes that you have been exposed to Agent Orange, and certain diseases are presumptive. Thank Nehmer.

The fucked up thing is that you have to have set foot in Vietnam (we can develop claims for Thailand and Cambodia, maybe Laos — I can’t remember right now) or have been in “brown water,” like on a Swift boat.

If you were in “blue water,” you’re fucked until another class action works its way through the courts.

Here’s the problem: the Army was really, really good at documenting that a vet served in Vietnam on separation documents. With other vets, not so much. So we look at medals for not only combat for all forms of PTSD but for proof a vet was in Vietnam (we’ll also take pictures and other lay evidence as proof).

What’s even MORE fun is placing a vet suffering from ionizing radiation issues within the area of a nuclear blast test. Read about Operation Ivy sometime. I worked my ass off to prove a vet was on a ship at the time the ship was near that pretty cloud and everyone was on the deck checking it out. Oh, and dosimeters were on the ship.

Medals help me do my job — like I WAS IN SOME HORRIBLE SHIT medals.

I have three. They’re thecrapmedalseveryonegetsjustcuzanddon’tmeanshit.

The Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal don’t help.

I’m learning a lot about medals.

@JNOV: The mother of my friend Snarky Indian Lawyer Girl (not Jamie, someone else) won a Navy Cross as a nurse in Vietnam. She has never spoken to her daughter about it.

@redmanlaw: I don’t blame her. She might need to one day. It’s become more acceptable for vets to tell family about things…

It’s easier to tell a vet at a VSO first.

Shit. Bootcamp can even fuck you up. It’s not brain washing so much as mind control due to sleep deprivation and ever-changing sleep schedules, and repetitive humiliating bullshit. Sure, you know you’ll be done in x amount of weeks, but it’s when you start to realize that you signed up to be a fucking tool.

Blanket parties are real.

@JNOV: sounds like my washed-out years in med school. I said fuck this and settled for a PA (yup) but I can still sleep for 90 mins at the drop of a hat. But I’m around some good docs who help me with my meds. Curtains have been open for a few weeks now!

@DearPeggy: When I was a corpsman, one of my docs told me she wished she’d gone the PA route. She is an amazing physician, so talented, but she envied her friend who became a PA and worked for a surgeon doing pre- and post-op exams. She had time to live.

I’m so happy to read that you’re feeling better. Now I don’t want to punch all the Valentines Lovers in the face.

@JNOV: Republic of Vietnam. RVN. As in “Hey GI, you stay VeeNam long time?” Arrived 6 May 67, left 5 May 68, after 2.5 years 101st Airborne at Ft Campbell and another 2.5 in 8th Inf Div, Germany.

Went to 25th Inf Div 1/8th FA as liaison officer to Hau Nghia province HQ in the swamps NW of Saigon in Bao Trai. Lived with advisors in same place where there’s a photo of Dan Ellsberg standing on a porch in Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie. Then a few weeks at Duc Hoa south of there. Got trf to 25th Hq in G-3 as div sitrep writer. As Cpt, junior officer in G-3. Every night at 7 I reported in, got a quick aka 2 minute briefing on the situation, and the Majors and above decamped for the General’s Mess for drinks and dinner with the Donut Dollies and nurses, leaving yours truly in charge of a whole fucking infantry division in combat, with instructions not to call them unless something really major happened, which it did 2-3 times in 9 months.

I estimate average 2 hours a night running an infantry division in combat from the DTOC for nine months, I’m owed a bunch of back pay at a Major General’s salary, with interest. [Div Tac Ops Ctr = DTOC]

When we had two of three brigades operating in War Zone C, the HQ moved to Dau Tieng on the edge of the Michelin plantation for 2 months, where in a Brigade-sized base camp, the only area left for Div Hq was on the SE perimeter. It seemed to me that since there were no front lines in Vietnam, normal ‘protect your Hq’ shit didn’t apply.

I lived in a GP tent about 50 feet from a perimeter bunker. One night with incoming mortars, a piece of shrapnel went thu my skeeter net about where my thigh would have been if I didn’t work on the night shift.

Two times I recall getting mein fuhrers back to work are the Battle of Suoi Cut when 2 NVA regiments hit our batallion base in northern War Zone C in early January during the New Years truce, and about a month later during the Tet truce in 1968. I found that very offensive, because they violated the truce. If I could give it a name, I’d call it the Tet Offensive. Mortar and rockets coming in all hours, not just at night, and fucking with my minimal daytime sleep.

So how about it, JNOV, do I qualify? BTW, I always considered my Bronze Star to be the equivalent of my two Army Commendation Medals, which I figured I earned, only an ACM in a combat zone. So yeah, in 6.5 years Regular Army Jun 62 thru Dec 68, I figure I earned 3 ACMs, tho one was called BS; an appropriate abbreviation.

Are you happy now?

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