“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on TV. They don’t fight for Mom, apple pie, the American flag. They fight for one another.”
Harold “Hal” Moore, commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, led outnumbered troops to victory in Ia Drang Valley in 1965 -- the first major battle of the Vietnam War.
His understanding of what motivates members of the military is reflected throughout the 2016 Stars and Stripes edition of Heroes, which began in 2005 as a tribute to valor for the war on terrorism.
Since then, the focus has expanded to include medals awarded years late – Medal of Honor recipient Charles Kettles, whose daring helicopter rescue amid heavy enemy fire came in 1967 in Vietnam – and medals delayed by missing paperwork, like the Silver Stars awarded to former Sgt. Eric Robert II and retired Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Brodeur for efforts in Cambodia in 1969. All were presented this year.
Some medals were earned outside the battlefield. Staff Sgt. Joshua Schneiderman’s Soldier’s Medal came from saving a fellow fisherman in the Copper River in Alaska.
Sadly, some medals mark the ultimate sacrifice. Sgt. 1st Class Matthew McClintock was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for selfless efforts in Marjah, Afghanistan, on Jan. 5.
“The only part that makes you able to breathe and go on is that he did it heroically,” his mother Joyce Montoya-Helgesed said. “He did it for others.”
That fits anyone’s definition of a hero.
— Tina Croley,
Managing Editor for Content
“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on TV. They don’t fight for Mom, apple pie, the American flag.They fight for one another,” said Harold “Hal” Moore who commanded troops in the first major battle of the Vietnam War.
His understanding of what motivates members of the military is reflected throughout the 2016 Stars and Stripes edition of Heroes.
‘It sounds like a Volkswagen Beetle flying over your head’
‘Every tear I cried, he wiped away. He was the most amazing man’
‘We weren’t out there looking for awards’
‘Everybody was alive to play the next day’
‘It is about all the guys that fought in Vietnam’
‘I was doing what I was trained to do’
People lauded for heroic deeds often deflect the praise by saying they had no choice but to act as they did.