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MOH Recipient Jon Cavaiani-y'all owe it yourselves to read this story

Discussion in 'Balboa Park' started by BFISA, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    There are Medals and There are Medals.....Profile on Columbia Medal of Honor Recipient, Jon Cavaiani~by Victor Claveau

    In my opinion, the award winning movie, Saving Private Ryan was an extraordinarily realistic portrayal of the ravages of war. Saving Private Ryan was not simply a movie, a work of fiction set in a time of tremendous international turmoil; it was a tour-de-force. The movie showed most graphically the cost of war in maimed bodies and lost lives. No one who goes into combat returns home the same person; each carries physical and/or psychological scars for the rest of their lives. Taking the life of another human being, no matter how justifiable, is a most traumatic experience, resulting in a permanent searing of the memory. Time may dull, but the memory can never be completely erased.

    Saving Private Ryan was the story of the costly rescue and subsequent return home of one of four Ryan brothers who left their Iowa farm to fight those who sought to enslave the world during the early 1940s.

    As the story unfolds, a clerk-typist in the War Department realizes that three of the letters informing a recipient that a loved one was killed in the war, were to be sent to the same family. Upon further research it is determined that there is a fourth Ryan fighting somewhere in Europe.

    The loss of a loved one in war is overwhelming to say the least; but to lose three of four sons would be beyond endurance. In Saving Private Ryan, General George C. Marshall of the War Department orders that the last surviving Ryan be found and returned home to his grieving parents. A platoon of soldiers is sent to accomplish the task and along the way most of them are killed.

    The most poignant scene in Saving Private Ryan comes at the end of the movie when an older, mature Ryan is standing before the headstone of the Platoon Leader who helped make it possible for him to return home; live a normal life, marry and raise a family. With his eyes brimming with tears, Ryan stands before his wife and says, “Tell me that I have lived a good life; tell me that I am a good man.” A day had not gone by that he did not remember that many good men died in order that he might live. Being characterized as “a good man” is a most worthy accolade, and he hoped that living an honorable life, would, in some small measure, repay the debt owed to the ordinary heroism of the men that made his full-life possible.

    Many good men and women go off to war to defend our nation’s freedoms and end up seriously injured; tens of thousands have made the ultimate sacrifice. One way we can honor their heroism is to live worthwhile lives. We must cherish and safeguard the freedoms they so valiantly protected and endeavor to instill a sense of pride and patriotism in our nation’s youth.

    Every person who dons a military uniform to serve this nation is a hero in one fashion or another. Down deep, they all know that they may be asked to risk their lives in defense of our freedoms; perhaps never to return home, to lie forever in some foreign land and are willing and ready to do so.

    Occasionally, some worthwhile act is witnessed, recorded, and recognized. Small tokens, (i.e., certificates, commendations, or medals), are awarded by one’s Commanding Officer in order to show appreciation for a job well done. More rarely, in cases of heroism, medals are awarded by a grateful nation: the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, The Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Air Force Cross, and the highest award, the Medal of Honor.


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