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Imprisoned War Hero Stripped Of Silver Star


JPL
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Here is another interesting article regarding the Silver Star.

The Silver Star is only given to service members who have shown incredible heroism during combat. It was an award given to Vietnam veteran Wade Sanders in 1992. But now, that award has been taken away from the San Diego resident and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus revoked the award last August but it only became public recently. Mabus wouldn't give a specific reason for the revocation, only saying that he "had subsequently determined facts and evidence surrounding both the incident for which the award was made and processing of the award itself been known to the Navy in 1992, those facts would have prevented the award of the Silver Star." In 2009, Sanders was convicted and sent to prison for possessing child pornography.

Read the entire article: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/126302193.html

Jean-Paul

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It may be an old dead horse to flog but.....

"Retired Marine Lt. Col. Thomas Richards says the timing is suspicious and hopes the Navy didn't take away the award because of Sanders' conviction.

"If a person's legitimately a hero, then I don't think anything else in his life should affect that," Richards said."

Taking my "Hero" bar..... this guy gave up the title "Hero".... he is no longer a Hero.... he is simply a Scumbag who once did a brave thing.

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Taking my "Hero" bar..... this guy gave up the title "Hero".... he is no longer a Hero.... he is simply a Scumbag who once did a brave thing.

There are different definitions of hero... but if and when an award rewards a particular combat action, whether the guy is a scumbag or not does not diminish the bravery of the action itself.

Of course, we are unaware of the full facts of the case.

Notwithstanding all, its a pity that any man, who was once a hero, no longer remains a person that can be looked up to.

Jim

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Despite the thread title, which isn't JPL's but is from the linked article, the basic question is not whether he stopped being a hero when he did something infamous later. The issue is whether he ever was a "hero". The Navy's statement is that after review if found that his award was not justified in the first place. It is speculation by various parties that the Navy is lying. I can speculate just as easily, given that the award came over 20 years after the fact and given the recipient's connections to an ambitious politician, that the Navy is telling the truth and the award was wrongly given in the first place.

My own speculation, which is just that, is that the reason the Navy revoked the award but is also reluctant to talk about why, is that it might be embarrassing for Senator Kerry. He may have exerted undue influence on Navy authorities to make the retroactive award to his former colleague and political supporter, influence that he now regrets.

Also, for what it is worth, I do not believe it is U.S. government policy to revoke decorations actually earned because of later transgressions by the recipient. As far as I know, Randy "Duke" Cunningham still has his Navy Cross and two Silver Stars despite his conviction for bribery and tax evasion. And former Army Spec. John Stebbins still has his Silver Star from Somalia despite his court-martial conviction for sexually assaulting his daughter.

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Dave Danner is correct. There is no US policy, law, or regulation which permits revocation of military medals as a result of subsequent acts. They can be revoked only if investigation reveals they were not justified or correctly awarded in the first place. Doc

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Hi Doc,

The main reason I posted this article is that I had never seen a reference to a medal being revoked in the US. In Canada, there is such regulation and this does happen occasionally for a number of reasons. Would be interested in hearing from other forum members to see if regulations regarding the revocation of military medals in their particular country are in place or not.

Jean-Paul

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Many of the Congressional medals of Honor given for Civil War actions were later reviewed and revoked.

From: http://ngeorgia.com/history/mohm.html

"Three medals, awarded to Daniel Sickles, Henry Tremain, and Daniel Butterworth (the so-called "Sickles' Circle) forced the review of the process in 1897 .Because these high-ranking individuals had gained medals in questionable ways, and because of other abuses of the Civil War era medal nominations, the process of applying for a Medal of Honor was revised. In addition to standardizing the nomination process, eyewitness testimony was required so that the committee could reduce the number of inappropriate medals awarded.

The Purge of 1917

Perhaps the single most famous event associated with the Medal of Honor is the Purge of 1917. Originally convened in 1916 by Nelson Miles, himself a MOH awardee, the commission reviewed each of the Army medals awarded. Their report, presented in February, 1917, revoked the medals presented to 911 people including 864 medals awarded to the 27th Maine for re-enlisting and President Lincoln's funeral guard. Six medals awarded to civilians were revoked as well. Included in this group were Mary Walker, the only female awardee, and Buffalo Bill Cody, a scout and technically not a soldier during the Indian Wars.

moh_moderen.jpgFor sixty years the revocation of the medals stood. Dr. Walker, who refused to return the medal as requested by the U. S. Army, proudly wearing it every day until she died. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter re-instated the award to Walker. It would be another 13 years before President George Bush re-instated the medals for Cody and five other scouts."

I have heard of several other US medals being revoked, when it was determined that they had not really been appropriately earned (or that the medal was only granted through political influence). Doc

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Hello readers:

I am referring to the French website www.france-phaleristique.com which is not an official government website but relies on the Journal Officiel. To see two more recent exclusions and radiations, go to Ban and select Legion d'Honneur with date of 30 Juillet 2010. (Award originally to civilian).

Then to Medaille Militaire with date of 30 Juillet 2007.

These revocations appear to be rather rare this writer having followed these threads for some years now.

Bernhard H. Holst

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