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Last Thursday, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen visited with families at the Joint Base Charleston and presented three Airmen with the Bronze Star Medals. These medals are a very prestigious honor as they may be awarded for acts of merit, for bravery, or meritorious service. When awarded for bravery, the medal is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the ninth highest military award.
Needless to say it is an honor and one way to recognize exemplary service. Admiral Mullen spent the time praising those serving and took the time to especially recognize the families as they enable those serving to keep focused on the mission by taking care of the home front. It is easy to forget the sacrifices families make but crucial to be reminded that those at home are sacrificing a great deal and their work is no easy feat.
Service members facing multiple, longer deployments is something the average citizen may not put a lot of thought into. It is extremely important that senior leadership, such as Admiral Mullen are recognizing service members by visiting various bases and checking in on those that put themselves and their families second and service first.
While we hear about many hardships or the typical bad news that has its away of making the front pages and inside our living rooms, there has been a great deal of progress made that doesn’t often get highlighted. From training Afghan army and police officials, protecting coalition forces and Afghan civilians, and engaging enemy fighters, the mission in Afghanistan couldn’t be accomplished without the exceptional service of those in the armed services.
In the words of Admrial Mullen, when addressing the Bronze Star Medal recipients, “We are exceptional as a military because of what you do — you and so many others. The three of you represent thousands and thousands and thousands of our military who are serving forward now, members of the best military we’ve ever had.”
As a nation, we are lucky to have men and women that serve with great pride and continue with their mission at hand no matter how difficult or what sacrifice it demands of them.