The Medal of Honor, the nations highest military award. So few actually live to be able to receive it and yet those who manage to survive where determination, skill and daring all played a key role in not only their survival but that of the lives of others is testament of their courage under fire. When they display such heroic actions they must be bestowed the nations most honorable award for valor and bravery above and beyond the call of duty. It is this medal that is awarded by the President in the name of Congress to military personal only. But with such an honor one would expect more accolades, tributes and other awards that would be befitting a soldier or any military personal who puts their life on the line to save lives. It is said that these individual soldiers whatever branch of service when they act without regard to their own personal safety in realizing that their comrades are in direct harms way and proceed to intervened and prevent a major catastrophe under the worst case scenarios that only occurs during War this country ought to be more reverent to these Medal Of Honor recipients.
The most recent recipient of the Medal Of honor a Captain William William Swenson who through gallantry and heroic action in the line of fire at the battle of Ganjgal is one of just a few individuals who exemplified the merit of the Medal Of Honor. At the heat of battle in Afghanistan Captain Swenson made repeated trips in what the military calls Kills Zones to save many in his battalion. His exceptional leadership and stout resistance against the enemy during six hours of continuous fighting rallied his teammates and effectively disrupted the enemy's assault. Captain William D. Swenson's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself. His gallantry and heroic actions even when 10 of his comrades were killed in action really justified the awarding of the Medal Of Honor.
There are currently 79 living recipients of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor. But what comes with this most distinguished award? And, what effects since receiving this most prestigious of all military honors have on ones ability to start a life outside of the military? For Captain Swenson since leaving the military he has been unable to land a job. He does have a college degree, and yet can't land a job. In accordance with military protocol and the Department of Veterans Affairs every Medal Of Honor recipient receives a monthly pension of just a little over $1200 per month. That's it. There are other very small perks but overall when you think of our Olympic athletes when they win a bronze, silver or gold medal each one comes with an instant monetary perk and endorsements. Gold Medals are worth an instant $50,000 and numerous endorsements that equate to millions of dollars.
Here we have in this day and age Medal of Honor recipients that are unemployed or underemployed who have sacrificed so much for "God and Country." And, yet we value athletes more in ways that just isn't right. Men and women that put on uniforms for this nation and fight to preserve our freedoms so that these athletes can showcase their physical skills in games and athletic events. Games or sporting events that really are just a form of entertainment. But it is our military personal who put their lives on the line each and every day just so the rest of us can be entertained. Somehow, somewhere along the way our priorities and our values have withered on that vine of lost opportunities that only continues to grow.
A very sad commentary about our priorities as a nation to say the least. There has to be a move by all congressional members that when it comes to our military personal we must give them the resources that are needed to preserve their dignity and reward their service for they are the ones that preserve and protect the freedoms that each and every American enjoy today. That includes when someone is nominated and receives not only the Medal Of Honor but other medals for acts of selflessness for which they contribute to the preservation of not only our military men and women but, America as well, when engaged in armed conflict with enemies of the United States it is our obligation to make sure that they receive the best that America can give. They must be assured that the United States will honor every military personal with the full measures of financial and economic support befitting the ones that courageously put on that uniform to protect and preserve all Americas freedoms. Something that is very sadly lacking today.