Celebrating Patriots, Purple Hearts
Wednesday - June 23, 2010
On July 1, Hawaii Foodbank will honor Hawaii’s Vietnam War Purple Heart holders at its Patriots Celebration in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom.
I’ll be there as emcee. I have the scars and the embedded mortar fragments, but got them as a civilian in the war.
If you buy a dinner seat, you’re supporting the food bank at a critical time. Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Hank Stackpole is the speaker. He’s been “in the bush” - Commanded Company I, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines; he has a purple heart with gold star.
George Washington started that medal in 1782 for his Continental Army soldiers. We have about 115,000 of them in stock because half a million of them were made near the end of World War II. We expected that many casualties had a land invasion of Japan been necessary.
Nobody’s got a firm count on total number of medals awarded. During the Vietnam War there was a general policy that, if you were wounded twice, you were pulled out of the bush, and three times got you back to a noncombat-area assignment.
Not all POWs have been eligible for the award. They are if their captors hurt them in a way that’s contrary to the Geneva Convention. And the seriousness of the injury or wound is not a consideration. And yes, a soldier in a combat zone who is hit by friendly fire or accidentally shoots himself is eligible. Purple Hearts in Vietnam did not go to officers who were “fragged” (grenaded) or shot by their own troops who were mad at them. Why? Because that wound was a result of a criminal act.
I’m happy to note that we now have a federal law making it a criminal offense to claim to have a Purple Heart if you’ve not been awarded one. Good. I have zero sympathy for those who falsely claim military awards and military service.
On July 1 the Coral Ballroom will be heavy with authorized wearers.
I had an orthopedic X-ray recently, and my doc asked, “Are you aware you have some metal fragments in you?”
Yep, there’s a whole brotherhood of Vietnam-era folks with scars and bullet holes, doc.
See you a week from this Thursday.
P.S. Next March 30 I’m leading a by-road tour of the farthest northwest boon-docks of Vietnam and the Laos Plain of Jars - areas not known to many Americans except some sneaky-operations types who parachuted in from our sneakiest outpost at Gia Vuc.
That appointment of Democrat and Mufi-supporter Lee Donohue, the former chief of police, to fill Charles Djou’s City Council seat should trouble every voter of that district.
Djou was a known Republican, anti-tax, originally anti-rail and often anti-Hannemann on policy. Donohue is the mirror opposite.
Don’t you think the district deserved a Djou-like successor for the six month, maybe Djou’s recommended friend, the fiscal-conservative lawyer Jonathan Lai?
I do. I like Donohue, but fair is fair, and that appointment was not in any way fair.
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