Thursday, December 11, 2008

Of Silver Stars and Ingrates

Warning: Those who deny that women should be serving in the U.S. armed services, don't watch, on danger of being proved wrong...

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Once I read on an infamous blog about an ungrateful male soldier who, after having had his life saved by a female medic -- one who just happened to be awarded the Silver Star for the heroism involved in saving his and another male soldier's life --had the ingratitude and tunnel vision to give as his sole comment for the story "Women have no business being on the front line," I simply had to watch the clip for myself. I hope you will watch it, too...but be sure to watch it all.

Then-Private Monica Brown saved the lives of two fellow soldiers at considerable risk to her own life. We laud male soldiers who shield their fellows with their own bodies and tell of their heroism decades and generations later. Yet one of the two men she saved, seemingly thinks she shouldn't have been there at all. And that, because it supported his misogynistic opinions despite the overwhelming witness of the other parties in the story to the contrary, is the only thing Bayly quoted from the entire story.

I'm not sure I'd trust the opinion of an ungrateful, badly wounded junior soldier over the witness of Private Brown's unit's Sergeant Major and brigade commander; they had somthing very different to say about this woman, who served with conspicuous bravery to save her fellow soldiers' lives. I think he -- actually, the soldier AND Bro. Bayly -- is really showing a highly stubborn, egotistic, sinful attitude: "I'd rather die than be saved by a woman."

Jesus offended many in his parable about the Good Samaritan for precisely that kind of reason. The Samaritan was the hero of the story, and the priest and the Pharisee were revealed for the self-righteous, callous sinners they really were. "Good" Jews would rather have died than be saved by a Samaritan, and for telling that parable, Jesus showed that the "good Jews" among his listeners would rather have died in sin than be saved by a Samaritan-loving Jew like Jesus. (Overly simplistic observation, perhaps, but one worth considering.)

Just who, I wonder, would you or I prefer to die than to be saved by?

Meanwhile, here's an old Army veteran and fellow Texan who wishes she could salute Specialist Monica Brown. I'd say she ought to wear her Silver Star proudly, but she's self-effacing enough that she maintains she was only doing her job. And isn't that the sticking point, really? She WAS doing her job, the job she was trained to do, and going above and beyond it in order to save lives under enemy fire. Despite certain blowhard misogynists' bigoted opinions, I suspect that an awful lot of women can relate to serving other people selflessly and at great personal risk. Perhaps much better than said bigoted blowhards can...

(Classic dogface sound-off here)
Monica Brown, you are indeed a hero. Long may your valor be remembered!

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