You know I honestly don't go looking for these things. And in this case, I could be persuaded that the author of the objectionable line below just said it poorly and didn't mean it the way it came out. But it still struck me as an almost casual defamation of the many heroes that the war in Iraq has produced.
In a less puckish moment on the same tour, he jumped out of his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in the middle of a firefight to rescue an Iraqi woman on a bridge near the Euphrates.
That event was captured by an embedded Associated Press reporter and broadcast around the world, putting Carter in the uncomfortable position of being an early hero in a war with few heroes.
The story, on the whole, is a positive story. It's about Army MAJ Chris Carter and his third deployment to Iraq. And like I say, perhaps the author, Bo Emerson, meant something else - like Carter was an early hero in a war which had not recognized many heroes at that time. But that's not how it sounds - at least to me.
Of course we all know that we've had scores of heroes in that war - 4 Medal of Honor recipients, probably 20 or so Airforce, Navy and Distinguished Service Cross recipients, and well over 200 Silver Stars awarded. Additionally hundreds of Bronze Stars with "V" device have been awarded as well.
Now I don't mean to rain on MAJ Carter's parade. He's a hero in anyone's parlance and deserving of the accolades. I wish him an uneventful and successful third tour with my profound thanks for his service and his family's sacrifice.
But I can't let the line about "few heroes" pass without remark. If it was a mistake and Mr. Emerson meant there were few heroes evident early in the war, then he needs to clarify that. However, if, as I read it, he meant there are few heroes in that war at all, then he's simply wrong and needs to be called on it.
The problem isn't that there are few heroes in that war. The problem is that the many heroes of that war have gotten little media coverage. We certainly know that, because for years we have been coveringthoseheroes and telling their stories when the media didn't. However the media's lack of coverage has created a "conventional wisdom" within the press that Iraq is a war with "few heroes".
They're wrong, they need to understand they're wrong and they also need to be called on it every time they trot this canard out there. If you're inclined to let Mr. Emerson know his remark is unfounded, please be polite and use facts. Like I said, his, for the most part, is a positive article, and those are always appreciated. His email address is at the end of the article.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.