Editor, Daily Nexus,
I suppose it’s redundant to call Loren Williams’ column in the Nexus flip, glib and sophomoric, but I will. While there are plenty of things to make fun of in this or any presidential campaign, it does no service to Nexus readers. To question whether someone kills an enemy in combat comes down to a personality trait, and then somehow equate Purple Hearts to lollipops brings no credit to Williams as a writer.
They don’t give Purple Hearts for booboos. They give them because you were wounded in combat severely enough to require medical treatment. Basically, you get them because someone was shooting at your young ass and hit it. Every coffin that comes home draped in a flag includes a Purple Heart.
John Kerry received three Purple Hearts because three times he either had metal dug out of his body or had to be stitched up from shrapnel fire. The last time he received a Purple Heart he also received the Bronze Star. They pass those out for a couple of reasons – including valor in combat. He got his while risking his life, after he was wounded, to pull a Green Beret out of the water while people were still shooting at them.
But that’s ancient history for those too young to have lived through it. Right now they’re passing out Purple Hearts again. The people who are getting them are mostly college-age or a little older. Every one of them has been shot at and hit to a greater or lesser degree. Some of them are dead, some of them are missing a limb or an eye, some are facing years of plastic surgery to recover from burns.
And most of them had to make a terrible decision at some point while they were being shot at. Do I kill, or be killed?
Yeah, lots of things about this presidential election are silly, cynical and laughable. But the recipients of Purple Hearts aren’t one of them. Ask your friends or relatives who are in Iraq how funny it is to wonder if they’re going to be the next one to receive one.