It’s a shame that so much emphasis is directed on these heroes when it’s too late at their funeral. Sure, they get some publicity when they are alive, for those that are fortunate enough to be awarded the highest medal the United States has to offer and at the same time be alive since so many are awarded the medal posthumously.
Why are America’s highest decorated heroes only occasionally recognized on Veterans day, at Independence day parades and yes at their funerals? These military heroes are the backbone and DNA of what America is all about. Who distinguish themselves "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.” Can you get any more American than that? These warriors, regardless of military campaign they were involved in WWI,WWII, Iraq…it doesn’t matter. They all have demonstrated the rare characteristics that we only come by once in awhile. Its damn time we give our nations heroes the respect they deserve (especially when they are alive) and not just once a year on a holiday. Not only Medal of Honor (MOH) winners but what about the thousands of other highly decorated servicemembers out there? Sure many are to humble to not make a big deal out of it but trust me, it’s a big deal. I guarantee you there are thousands of heroic stories behind the awards out there that few will ever hear about. America, we need to get back to the day where the heroes of this great nation are respected and served as role models for us to build our country on. If we don’t make them role models, who will?? Do you know a servicemember that has received an award during combat? I bet they haven’t been recognized since the day they were awarded it. Give them the credit they deserve. Hell, I would have them appreciated everyday if I could but since I just have this little blog, why not put what you know about your hero in the comments section. Nothing formal required anything you can tell us about them is better for all of us, regardless of the level of the award. If you need a good gift for any aspiring or current military member, check this out
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is mourning the loss of World War II veteran Barney Hajiro. The Oahu man was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient in America.
"He wants to be remembered as a simple person," said son Glenn Hajiro.
Barney Hajiro, 94, served in the Army's famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He single-handedly destroyed two German machine gun nests during the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" in France. He was shot in the cheek, shoulder and wrist, leaving his left arm paralyzed.
"There were snipers, lot of shooting, and people were saying it's going to be suicide, but he said he had a duty to do," recalled Glenn Hajiro.
More than half a century after the bloody battle, President Bill Clinton presented the Medal of Honor to the Nisei veteran in 2000.
"He said he was a little bit excited and he was proud to receive the medal for the boys. He said, 'It's not for me. It's for the boys.' He would always say that," said Glenn Hajiro.
Glenn Hajiro was by his father's side for the final moments on Friday morning.
"His dream was to be a track star, but he only went to the 8th grade. He never got to do his thing, so I told him, on his death bed, to run," said Hajiro's son.
Funeral services are still pending.
Hajiro, Barney F.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company I, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Place and date: Bruyeres and Biffontain, France, 19, 22 & 29 October, 1944. Born: 16 September 1916, Punene, Maui, Hawaii. Entered service at: Honolulu, Hawaii.
Private Barney F. Hajiro distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 19, 22, and 29 October 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres and Biffontaine, eastern France. Private Hajiro, while acting as a sentry on top of an embankment on 19 October 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres, France, rendered assistance to allied troops attacking a house 200 yards away by exposing himself to enemy fire and directing fire at an enemy strong point. He assisted the unit on his right by firing his automatic rifle and killing or wounding two enemy snipers. On 22 October 1944, he and one comrade took up an outpost security position about 50 yards to the right front of their platoon, concealed themselves, and ambushed an 18-man, heavily armed, enemy patrol, killing two, wounding one, and taking the remainder as prisoners. On 29 October 1944, in a wooded area in the vicinity of Biffontaine, France, Private Hajiro initiated an attack up the slope of a hill referred to as "Suicide Hill" by running forward approximately 100 yards under fire. He then advanced ahead of his comrades about 10 yards, drawing fire and spotting camouflaged machine gun nests. He fearlessly met fire with fire and single-handedly destroyed two machine gun nests and killed two enemy snipers. As a result of Private Hajiro’s heroic actions, the attack was successful. Private Hajiro’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, and the United States Army.