Gone are Robert E. Bush, USN-WWII (Nov. 8); Joe Rodriguez, USA-Korea (Nov. 1), and Reginald Myers, USMC-Korea (Oct. 23). That brings to 12 the number of deaths in 2005... the highest lost rate since 1979.
Both Col. Rodriguez and Col. Myers (shown at far right with fellow Recipient Col. Lew Millet), attended the Society's gathering in Phoenix last. Former Navy corpsman Bush, just 18 when his Medal of Honor action occurred, was unable to attend due to the cancer that eventually took is life.
The surviving Recipients now number 118.
The oldest of those survivors, Lt. John Finn, USN, was honored last week in San Diego where an office complex was named for him. The irascible Finn, 96, was the first Recipient of World War II, cited for his heroism during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
As we honor and respect the service and heroism of these great and good men, we remember that a new generation of young patriots is making those same sacrifices today in the name of freedom. One of those happens to be a young friend of mine, Army Spc. Stephanie Browning, 20, of Bakersfield, Calif. That's her shown below with her mom, Peggy, who has been at her side since soon after Steph was medevaced after suffering combat wounds in Iraq.
An MP, Steph was hit Oct. 23 when the Humvee she was driving was attacked with a command detonated booby-trap. (I refuse to participate in the Pentagonese IED claptrap).
Iraq to Kuwait to Germany to Texas and now home.... it's been a long road, but she's got a long haul ahead of her. The bones in her right leg have been shattered, tendons and an artery in her arm were severed and she suffered burns.
She's had nine operations already; makes me feel like a piker with a measly four. I talked with her the other night on the phone and assured her that there is a cadre of old war horses who have circled the wagons and that all she has to do is ask for what she needs.
What happened to us after Vietnam will not happen to this soldier.
So... let's show this young hard charger that in a nation filled with seditionists, cindysheehans, those who loathe the military, and politicians who would turn fifth-column for a color TV set, do not represent America.
Spc. Stephanie Browning, USA
c/o Steve and Peggy Browning
8502 Sun Harbor DriveBakersfield, CA 93312-4928