The Purple Heart, which is awarded to a service member killed or wounded as a result of enemy or terrorist action, has never been presented to those killed and wounded that night. They have, so far, been denied this simple but important display of respect our nation gives to those who have sacrificed so much in its service.
Three years after the attack, the wounded soldiers and family members of the deceased are being denied this seemingly small, but emotionally important symbol by a military bureaucracy that cannot see past definitions. The Pentagon claims that Akbar--who was convicted of murder in a military trial last April and now awaits execution at Fort Leavenworth--was just a criminal and not an enemy. During Akbar's trial, I could understand that calling him a terrorist would probably unnecessarily complicate the prosecution. When the trial ended, though, I and many family members assumed the awards would be forthcoming. But when I inquired further, I was told that the incident was not deemed a terrorist attack and therefore the Purple Hearts could not be awarded.
Hey, whenever a soldier reverts and become a traitor of the United States in order to join the enemy’s cause is by definition an enemy of the state. He is simply THE ENEMY! It was certainly a terrorist attack as opposed to the Pentagon’s own warped opinion who believed otherwise.
It is an insult to US soldiers who received “non-combat injuries” and not get their Purple Hearts when their injuries were just as bad, if not worse, than those who were injured in hostile combat situtions such as getting shot at, having RPGs thrown at them and collecting fragments from exploding IEDs. All of them in combat zones.
Major Gregory Stone showed great heroism in getting the medics to work on other men that were wounded in the grenade attack despite being mortally wounded.
He may not have known how badly wounded he was, because he began to push the medics away, and though I could not hear what he was saying, I could hear the medics reply: "No, sir we have to take care of you" and "Everyone is being taken care of. Let us work on you." It was clear he was trying to get the medics to go help the other wounded men.But why hasn’t the Pentagon awarded posthumously the Purple Hearts to the two officers killed in the attack where Army Capt. Christopher Seifert, 27, who was shot in the back, and Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone, 40, who suffered 83 shrapnel wounds? And also to the 14 other soldiers who survived the attack that night?
According to requirements regarding the awarding of the Purple Heart, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 11016 on April 25, 1962:
1. The Secretary of a military department, or the Secretary of the Treasury with regard to the Coast Guard when not operating as a service in the Navy, shall, in the name of the President of the United States, award the Purple Heart, with suitable ribbons and appurtenances, to any member of an armed force under the jurisdiction of that department and any civilian national of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with an armed force of that department, has been, or may hereafter be, wounded—
(a) in any action against an enemy of the United States;
(b) in any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the armed forces of the United States are or have been engaged;
(c) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party;
(d) as the result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed force; or
(e) as the result of an act of any hostile foreign force.
It’s time that this guideline on the awarding of the Purple Heart be changed to reflect the changes on the current tactics used by terrorists against soldiers in both combat and non-combat situations. U.S. soldiers deserve much better respect than this.
Here’s a petition site to the US Congress to revise the guidelines pertaining how the awarding of the Purple Heart ought to be carried out. It's time to revise the Purple Heart requirements.
Other past blogs on Major Gregory Stone:
Rob McGovern and Chris Muir
Trial for Murder of Maj. Gregory Stone
The Plannned Murder of AF Maj. Gregory Stone and His Troop
Justice for Maj. Gregory Stone
Please visit Hero Bracelet
The Murder of Maj. Gregory Stone
In tribute of Maj. Gregory Stone
UPDATE: The Anchoress, thank you.