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IRAQ: Congressman wonders why all Medal of Honor awards were posthumous

January 30, 2009 |  5:04 pm
Hunter

One of the mysteries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan involves the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest commendation for bravery.

Why have there been so few awards (four for Iraq and one for Afghanistan)? And why have all five been posthumous? In World War II, the posthumous figure for Medals of Honor was 57% and in Vietnam 38%.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine officer, sent a letter this week to President Obama asking for a "thorough examination" of the Medal of Honor selection process.

"I am concerned that either knowingly or inadvertently, the Medal of Honor awards process is becoming biased to only acts of valor that result in the death of the service member," Hunter wrote.

". . . The selflessness and combat heroism that is represented by the Medal of Honor must be preserved for future generations."

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Marine Capt. Duncan Hunter in Iraq. Credit: Hunter family

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