Secret Military Awards for Our Secret Heroes
“Private award” ceremonies have been the venue for nearly 20% of the highest honors for our nations military since 9-11, according to USA Today. They are secret ceremonies for secret heroes of classified missions.
According to the article, one in five military awards are given in secret. The military is currently reviewing over 1,000 awards to see if they should be upgraded, including the secret ones. USA Today received documents that were redacted from the Navy that revealed extraordinary heroism.
Heroes in secret
The Marine Corps Times reported,
Two Navy Crosses, second only to the Medal of Honor, are among the Navy documents. The first, on Aug. 9, 2009, a Navy SEAL, his name blacked out like others in the report, was leading a small unit when their base came “under an intense coordinated attack” in Afghanistan. A sniper wounded the unit’s medic, and the SEAL braved direct gunfire to drag the man to safety.
At the same time, a rocket-propelled grenade smashed through the wall of the unit’s arsenal, sparking a major fire. “With a catastrophic explosion imminent,” the SEAL evacuated the base. He then ran repeatedly into the arsenal to haul out crates of explosives to uncover the “smoldering and undetonated warhead, which he removed with his bare hands.” He left the compound, making several trips to dump explosives in a nearby river, all the while being shot at.
“His repeated heroic actions and decisive leadership, under fire, saved the lives of United States soldiers and several Afghan elders and prevented the sole hardened structure in the village from being breached,” the citation reads.
For those who have died saving the lives of their fellow servicemen, or those who live to tell the story, medals are a small price to pay for their sacrifices. Whether they are issued with fanfare in a public ceremony attended by big-wigs or in secret, it is important to honor them.
We are thankful for all of our military and the price they have paid.