Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hotel of Heroes - The Medal of Honor Recipients

I’m on business in New York this week, and the whole time I’ve been out here I’ve been seeing these older gentlemen running around with medals around their necks. Being a military buff, the medals to me looked very similar to the Medal of Honor, but given the amount of men in the hotel with them, I thought it just couldn’t be. You see, since WWII, 855 Medal of Honors have been awarded; 529 posthumously.  Even those who lived beyond their ordeal had now aged to the point where they were dying.

An extrovert buddy I was with couldn’t help himself, and walked up to one of the old soldiers and asked. They were, indeed, Medal of Honor recipients.

Sliding into the conversation, I shook the gentleman’s hand, thanking him for his service. I stated, “I’ve never met a Medal of Honor award winner before.” He quickly corrected me, “I’m a recipient, not a winner.” I kicked myself for this lack of sensitivity.

So what did these guys do to become bestowed with the award? I ask that you check out their stories here. Many days when I have a bad day at work, I bring up this site and read the stories of these heroes. Their sacrifice and focus on duty puts a lot of things in perspective for me.

I walked into the bar, and found these four gentlemen and their wives relaxing from their previous evening engagement. I called their waiter over and bought their round, and then slipped out before it was delivered - I did not want my meager gift to be recognized and preferred that it come from anonymous citizen that simply recognized them and was appreciative for their service.

That’s the best $150 bucks I’ve ever spent in my life.

God bless these heroes.

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