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Medal of Honor convention plans underway to honor 'Bravest of the brave'

Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall, Medal of Honor recipient. [Photo U.S. Army](Charleston, S.C.)—Recipients of The Medal of Honor will be up front and center Sept. 29-Oct. 3, 2010 when the Medal of Honor Society holds a national convention in Charleston, South Carolina. The Society website says there are less than 100 living recipients of the medal often described as going to the ‘bravest of the brave.’ Convention Information Committee chairman Maj. W. Thomas Smith, Jr., heads a committee comprised of members of the military, government leaders and media. Committee member Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely said, “Because of where we are in America, honoring our heroes and warriors and paying a great tribute to them is very important—the sacrifice of men and women—the families of these heroes and warriors sometimes go unsung. We need to show that the American people back our armed forces. We do that by paying tribute whenever we can.”

Medal recipients who will attend the convention fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. All who have received the award for actions since Vietnam have received it posthumously. Case in point, U.S. Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham made the ultimate selfless sacrifice when he shielded a group of fellow Marines from a grenade, covering it with his helmet and jumping on top of it. Dunham served in Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines in Iraq.

Information committee members will assist in public education and increasing awareness about the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat. Among those serving in addition to Vallely are:

•Kathleen Parker, nationally syndicated columnist
•Jed Babbin, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and editor of Human Events
•Carol Taber, president of Family Security Matters and former publisher of Success Magazine
•Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, author, military analyst and former assistant vice chief of staff, U.S. Air Force
•Rita Cosby, author, radio host and special correspondent for Inside Edition
•Rebecca Pepin, author and editor of Faces of Freedom and news anchor at Fox News Affiliate WCYB
•Hannah Horne, WIS TV (Columbia, S.C.) news anchor
•Clare Lopez, vice-president of The Intelligence Summit and professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies
•Capt. Lou Colbus, former commander of Destroyer Squadron Two and former chief of staff for Carrier Battle Group Eight
•John Temple Ligon, radio host, business editor and former U.S. Army Ranger and artillery officer
•Capt. Gene Retske (SCSG), author and telecommunications expert.

Smith said, “Much more than just a national convention, the Medal of Honor 2010 Convention is a national cause. I believe far too many Americans—who perhaps have never worn the uniform of our country—assume that America wins all of its wars because we have resources, money and technological superiority. Those things count to be sure. But it is our military prowess that wins battles. Military tradition is the lifeblood of that prowess and our living recipients of the Medal of Honor are the greatest living pillars of that tradition which in turn fuels the prowess."

Details about the convention will be featured on theMedal of Honor Conventionwebsite designed by Chris Carter, radio host and U.S. Air Force veteran who also serves on the information committee.


Disclosure: I am also serving on the Information Committee.--Kay B. Day

Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, at Camp Taji, Iraq, pay tribute to Medal of Honor recipient retired Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall during a live broadcast of the ceremony Feb. 26, 2007. Crandall helped begin the implementation of air assaults in combat, which are still carried out today. [Photo U.S. Army.]

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