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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » A Disgrace
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Oh come on, things can’t be this bad with the Department of Defense:

Short of Purple Hearts, Navy tells vet to buy own

Korean War veteran Nyles Reed, 75, opened an envelope last week to learn a Purple Heart had been approved for injuries he sustained as a Marine on June 22, 1952.But there was no medal. Just a certificate and a form stating that the medal was “out of stock.”“I can imagine, of course, with what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s a big shortage,” Reed said. “At least, I would imagine so.”The form letter from the Navy Personnel Command told Reed he could wait 90 days and resubmit an application, or buy his own medal.After waiting 55 years, however, Reed decided to pay $42 for his own Purple Heart and accompanying ribbon — plus state sales taxes — at a military surplus store.On the day he was injured, getting a medal was the last thing on his mind. Stationed close to the front lines at Panmunjom, where peace talks were under way, Reed “was a forward observer — the one that’s up on the front line directing the artillery. I had to get to the observation point.”

Reed jumped in a Jeep and had started out when a 76-millimeter shell “comes in and hits right below the Jeep in the mud. And when it went off, it blew the Jeep over and threw me into the windshield, where I busted my cheek — you can see the scar — and I was bleeding like a stuck pig.”

“And I could see this battalion aid station, with Navy corpsmen. So this doc, this surgeon, sewed me up and he says, ‘Do you want a Purple Heart?’ That’s when I said, ‘I haven’t got time! They’re waiting for me up at the front lines,’” Reed recalled. He rushed back to duty.

About three years ago, Reed said, he started thinking that it would be nice to have the Purple Heart to pass on to his two sons or daughter, or to show to his eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

“I thought it was going to be an easy thing. Well, I found out that’s not true,” Reed said. The first response Reed got was that there was nothing in his record about the incident, and that he had to provide witness statements and other verification.

Reed located two Marine Corps buddies, who provided the statements.

“Then I started sending all this information to congressmen, senators, the president, the commandant of the Marine Corps, anybody,” Reed said. “Well, I kept getting turned down.”

“The real support I got was from Sen. (John) Cornyn.”

John Drogan, a spokesman for the Texas Republican, said Thursday that the senator’s office has now arranged for Reed to get an actual medal.

“I have word from Navy folks they have just received additional Purple Heart medals, and we are going to make sure Mr. Reed gets his,” Drogan said, adding that he could not explain why the Navy Department had no medals when the senator’s office contacted it last month.

Maj. J. DeLaRosa, a media affairs officer for the Marines at the Pentagon, couldn’t believe Reed received only the certificate.

“That’s unacceptable. ‘Out of stock’? That’s like saying, ‘We’re out of ammo.’ That’s like saying ‘The Marines are going to close tomorrow.’ It just seems a bit weird,” DeLaRosa said. “There have been a lot of guys wounded, but not to the point that we’re out of medals.”

The Department of Defense estimates that 29,098 troops have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan through Thursday.

For his part, Reed is simply happy he finally received recognition for what happened to him that day. “That’s why I am so grateful to Sen. Cornyn.”

I just sent Mr. Reed a check for $42.00 because there is no excusable reason why this man – after waiting 55 years just to be awarded this medal — should have to pay for it out of his own pocket or wait another minute for the government to get their shit together.  (Okay, that is going to take longer than a minute.)

I have heard of this happening before.  I have been a volunteer at the VA here in Seattle for fifteen years. I have seen this kind of thing about twenty times.  It is disgraceful.

27 Responses to “A Disgrace”
  1. L.C. Mope, Imperial Offsetter Comment by L.C. Mope, Imperial Offsetter

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    …Just like a liberal…. Deej, you’re gunna let that Marine pay the State sales tax?

    :em99:

    No, really, it is a disgrace. I’ll chip in, DJ.

  2. maxxdog Comment by maxxdog

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    It’s unacceptable!

  3. Radical Redneck Comment by Radical Redneck

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    You’ll have to send Kerry $126! :em72:

  4. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Yer right, it’s disgraceful, but I’d hate to think that the $42.00 was what you had budgeted to buy a title for this post. . . .

    NastyGrams en route to various Congress Critters at this time. Thanks for the alert, Dave.

  5. B.C., Imperial Torturer™ Comment by B.C., Imperial Torturer™

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I have been a volunteer at the VA here in Seattle for fifteen years.

    Absolutely awesome, Dave. :em69:

    I have seen this kind of thing about twenty times. It is disgraceful.

    So Slick Willie let it happen, too? Disgraceful. :em41: (It’s disgraceful no matter who’s in charge.)

    I’m sure he’ll be getting his government-issued Purple Heart, sans payment, quite shortly.

  6. DJ Allyn,  ITW Comment by DJ Allyn, ITW

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    No, really, it is a disgrace. I’ll chip in, DJ.

    I don’t want to post his address but you can find it here

    …Just like a liberal…. Deej, you’re gunna let that Marine pay the State sales tax?

    Is there a sales tax in Texas?

    Yer right, it’s disgraceful, but I’d hate to think that the $42.00 was what you had budgeted to buy a title for this post. . . .

    No, I was just mad enough that I forgot. Besides, I was multi-tasking by writing an electronic check through my bank to send to him.

  7. L.C. Mope, Imperial Offsetter Comment by L.C. Mope, Imperial Offsetter

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Is there a sales tax in Texas?

    That’s what the story said:

    Reed decided to pay $42 for his own Purple Heart and accompanying ribbon — plus state sales taxes — at a military surplus store.

    Nowhere in the story does it say he was from Texas, only that he was helped by a Texas Senator. I trust Misha will forward my little donation.

  8. LC Draco Comment by LC Draco

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I wish this story woulda popped up BEFORE he bought is own. The story being posted from Pearland (south of Houston), one can MAKE the assumption he is from that area. The sad part is that had I heard about this earlier, I coulda hit Ellington AFB, or Ft Hood and probably got it a lot less expensive.

    Since I KNOW Ft Hood has some because I was checking prices for my brother (minor gunshot wound in Baghdad), and $42 seems a little steep from what I remember.

    RLTW

  9. evilned Comment by evilned

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I agree that forcing somoene to pay for their own purple heart is a disgrace, but I have a question.

    I heard somewhere that in WW2 prior to Operation Downfall the Pentagon ordered a huge numberof purple hearts in expectation of the high casualties the Invasion of Japan would bring.

    The order was fulfilled, and since the decorations were not needed they were put in storage and the Pentagon has been using this supply ever since.

    If I’m mistaken I’m sure someone will let me know. I only ask that you make it quick and painless. :em94:

  10. LC RobertHuntingdon Comment by LC RobertHuntingdon

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    Texas does not have sales tax on FOOD, but other than that they have sales tax on pretty much everything else under the sun…

    Of course it depends on where you are in the state — I’m pretty sure some counties also have local sales taxes — but you can bet on 8% as a likely minimum.

    RH

  11. Unregistered Comment by mindy1

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    That is on eof the most pathetics things I have ever heard of. First, having to wait that long for his medal, and secon having to buy your own? :em08: They should have sent him a check immediately to cover the cost.

  12. Unregistered Comment by mindy1

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I mean one of the most pathetic and second. :em41:

  13. Ten-Ten Comment by Ten-Ten

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    DJ, Your act of generosity is truly outstanding.

  14. MCPO Airdale Comment by MCPO Airdale

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    My BS meter just went off! I was in BuPers at the start of the Gulf War. We had an entire room of Purple Hearts next to the Casualty Affairs set-up in anticipation of thousands of dead and wounded in the re-taking of Kuwait.

    Now, if they are depending on the Navy Exchange. . . maybe but, I highly doubt it.

  15. DJ Allyn,  ITW Comment by DJ Allyn, ITW

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    DJ, Your act of generosity is truly outstanding.

    I might be a Liberal, but I am not anti-military. We owe this man, and every other person who has served a great debt, regardless of what we think of the policy of war.

    Somehow I think the difference is lost on many people.

  16. Ten-Ten Comment by Ten-Ten

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    Agreed.

  17. Ten-Ten Comment by Ten-Ten

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    Damn sorry ’bout that - last two posts were meant for the open thread :em98:

  18. DJ Allyn,  ITW Comment by DJ Allyn, ITW

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Damn sorry ’bout that - last two posts were meant for the open thread

    That’s alright, I moved it for you.

  19. psychochick Comment by psychochick

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Then there are really STUPID people that misplace military medals. I’m not sure where my grandfather’s Iron Cross is (WW1–NOT 2). I hope it’s in the safety deposit box (also we never finished unpacking). It’s precious, because it’s a family heirloom, but I wonder if they are valuable? I also don’t know if there are different kinds of Iron Crosses.

    I guess I should google. (That still sounds kind of obscene.)

  20. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    evilned, you are 100% correct. The Pentagon ordered 1,000,000 Purple Hearts and we have been using that supply ever since. There are still hundreds of thousand of PH’s in inventory. Sounds more like a communication error or something. I know of some vets who received late medals who were told in lieu of waiting for the issue medal to arrive they could purchase their own. $42 sounds about right from a civilian supplier like Medals of America, they would be a lot less at a PX.

    The documentation process sounds about right though. If done by the BAS at the time he was wounded, he would have probably received it in theater. Post hostilities or incident, it can take quite a bit to cut through the red tape.

  21. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    PC, if you find that WWI RitterKreuz of your grandfathers, it’s worth a few bucks, especially depending on the class. I don’t know for sure if the Imperial German Army had different degrees of Iron Cross or not, or if that was just a Third Reich deal, but Iron Cross 2nd Classes were handed out like candy during WWII. 1st class and Knights Crosses are a lot more rare. WWI Crosses are pretty rare too IIRC.

  22. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    BTW Deej, real nice gesture buddy :em69:

  23. DJ Allyn,  ITW Comment by DJ Allyn, ITW

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    BTW Deej, real nice gesture buddy

    It’s no big deal — it just needed to be done.

  24. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    I don’t know for sure if the Imperial German Army had different degrees of Iron Cross or not, or if that was just a Third Reich deal.

    They did. Like the Third Reich, they had the 2nd and 1st class, but what they didn’t have was the Ritterkreuz. That one was invented by Hitler to replace the Pour le Merite.

    The frequency with which the various grades were distributed were roughly equal during WWI and WWII, by the way, so the actual value of PC’s cross would depend on the grade. Regardless, I’d say that the sentimental value would far outweigh any monetary value.

  25. LC MoMinuteMan Comment by LC MoMinuteMan

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    I vonder vhy Misha vould know zo much about ze Chermans???

  26. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    LC MoMinuteMan

    I vonder vhy Misha vould know zo much about ze Chermans???

    It pays to keep up with them, particularly when you grow up in a country that has them for neighbors, you know ;)

    Plus, I was a geeky kid into military history since the age of 12. On a first name basis with every librarian at the local university. I think they adopted me as sort of a mascot, there not being very many youngsters around buried day and night in the military history section, but the public libraries just didn’t have the original books and documents.

  27. SoCalOilMan, LC Comment by SoCalOilMan, LC

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    As always, I’ll start out…

    I’ve never been military, but this just sounds like a REMF that was going to lunch and didn’t “have time” to check the records.

    If I was his CO. I’d make sure the rest of his duty was served mowing Nyles Reed’s yard, whether it needed it or not. Along with reduction of rank etc.