To the Editor:
I rarely agree with William Hamilton's views or tone, but his March 6 piece on the misplaced precedence of the Defense Department's new Distinguished Warfare Medal (DWM) is spot on.
As an Air Force retiree I appreciate firsthand what technology brings to the battlefield, especially when unmanned airstrikes and non-kinetic effects via cyberspace allow us to not place America's men and women in harm's way. Thus, establishing a medal such as the DWM is appropriate to recognize combat results from those who serve in rear echelons (or within the United States) as it reflects and acknowledges the nature of modern warfare.
But to rank this medal higher than those awarded for actual combat valor or sacrifice is an egregious insult to our combat veterans, especially those wounded in action or those who made the ultimate sacrifice. -H.R. 833, a bill just introduced in the House, would prohibit the Department of Defense from rating the new DWM equal to, or higher than, the Purple Heart. -Echoing Hamilton's point, I encourage all county vets, whether or not they've seen combat, to appeal to their elected representatives to right this wrong and support H.R. 833.