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  • I didn`t know this...

    U.S. civilian receives Purple Heart


    By Kevin Dougherty, Stars and Stripes
    European edition, Saturday, January 31, 2004




    WIESBADEN, Germany — It’s right there, in the books, in black and white.

    Army Regulation 600-8-22 states the Purple Heart is given “to any member of the Armed Force or any civilian national of the United States” who, in service to the country, “has been wounded or killed” as a result of hostile action by the enemy.

    On Friday, Don Reed received the Purple Heart for injuries he suffered in November while working in Iraq for the Defense Logistics Agency-Europe. Officials believe Reed is the first DLA civilian to receive the award.

    “I have to admit,” Reed said to his colleagues after accepting the award, “I didn’t know civilians could receive a Purple Heart.”

    It is so rare that the Defense Department on Friday couldn’t say how exceptional it is, though officials were researching the issue.

    “Rare is the best way to describe it,” said Navy Vice Adm. Keith W. Lippert, director of the Defense Logistics Agency, based at Fort Belvoir, Va.

    Lippert was on hand Friday to formally present Reed with the Purple Heart. Reed’s wife, Janice, and scores of colleagues attended the morning ceremony, held at DLA-Europe headquarters in Wiesbaden.

    The logistics agency supplies Defense Department personnel with just about any item they need, from food and fuel to building material and vehicle parts. In fiscal 2003, Lippert said DLA managed more than $25 billion in supplies and services, awarding, on average, 8,200 contracts a day.

    At the ceremony, Lippert seemed as excited as Reed. The admiral said in his 35 years of service he never had the “honor and privilege” of presenting the Purple Heart to somebody.

    Certainly, Reed doesn’t fit the profile of someone on the receiving end of an award that dates to George Washington and the Continental Army.

    Reed, 47, served in the Army for seven years, the first four on active duty. Assigned to the U.S. Army Band, Reed fiddled around more with musical instruments than he did with an M-16 rifle.

    In the last few years, however, he has made up for lost time. After serving a six-month stint in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Reed deployed to Iraq in February as the customer service representative for the 4th Infantry Division. He left Iraq in July, but returned several weeks later in the same capacity for the 1st Armored Division.

    While in his GP-medium tent in the early evening of Nov. 25, a mortar round exploded over his tent, one of eight that Iraqi insurgents fired at the camp. Reed was struck six times by flying shrapnel. The most serious injury was to his left calf, where a pea-size piece cut through his leg. He also was hit in the right leg, chest and head, the latter being a glancing blow.

    “You never know,” Reed said, “when there is a piece of metal with your name on it.”



    © 2003 Stars and Stripes.

  • #2
    You can also win a Medal of Honor in peacetime. I let you cypher it out fer a while.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Igotmilk™
      You can also win a Medal of Honor in peacetime. I let you cypher it out fer a while.
      Hmmm...don`t really know, but I was surprised that a civilian could get a purple heart.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 11B10
        Hmmm...don`t really know, but I was surprised that a civilian could get a purple heart.
        As am I.

        But I thought I would throw the Medal of Honor out there for you to gnw on for a while.

        Hint: It has to do with risking your life above and beyond the call of duty and cannot be won by a civilain, though one group of persons who could earn it works under a civilain agency.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yea, that's a very common question in the 82nd Airborne when it comes to promotion and soldier-of-the-month boards.
          Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Igotmilk™
            As am I.

            But I thought I would throw the Medal of Honor out there for you to gnw on for a while.

            Hint: It has to do with risking your life above and beyond the call of duty and cannot be won by a civilain, though one group of persons who could earn it works under a civilain agency.

            Seabee`s ?

            Comment


            • #7
              Just guessing here but I think a member of the Coast Guard would qualify and I believe they fall under the DOT.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kwp
                Just guessing here but I think a member of the Coast Guard would qualify and I believe they fall under the DOT.
                I think the Coast Guard has full American military rights...I know they get all veterans benefits.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 11B10
                  I think the Coast Guard has full American military rights...I know they get all veterans benefits.
                  The Coast Guard is one of our 5 military services but it falls under DOT except in times of war.

                  Sailors can earn the Medal of Honor in peacetime for risking (losing) their lives above and beyond the call of duty to save others. I never thought about it but being trapped in a hull or a sub could be a scary, scary situation and the heroics involved in peacetime equal to those in wartime.

                  I never wanted to be a sailor cause while I can walk home from anywhere I can't swim!

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                  • #10
                    I wasn't aware that a civilian could recieve a Purple Heart, although under the conditions listed it does make sense.

                    As for the Coast Guard, much respect to those guys and gals, risking or losing your life to save others makes ya a hero in my book peacetime or wartime.
                    So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sun Tzu
                      As for the Coast Guard, much respect to those guys and gals, risking or losing your life to save others makes ya a hero in my book peacetime or wartime.
                      I'm scared of the ocean on a good day. Those people are CRAZY to do what they do on the bad ones! And they do it for us.

                      God Bless the Coast Guard!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        FYI,

                        1- The U.S. Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. DHS (Department of Homeland Security).

                        2- SEABEES are not civilian contractors working for the DOD, we are U.S. Navy personnel, we support the U.S. Marine Corps any where they go. We train with Marines, and we dress like them. We are a very odd group for that matter.

                        3- The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. And it has never been awarded to civilians. You don't have to be a U.S. citizen, but you must be a member of the american military services, and it also includes the U.S. Coast Guard.

                        4- Yes, civilians also can be awarded the Military Order of the
                        Purple Heart medal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by seabee
                          FYI,

                          1- The U.S. Coast Guard falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. DHS (Department of Homeland Security).
                          OH Shat! It does now. It is so hard keeping track of all those civilain agencies. But it can still fall under DOD in time of need.

                          You are getting there, half truths, you just need to try a little harder.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the thanks, I retired from the Coast Guard, its nice to know someone has heard of us.
                            When applying for a Federal job The OPM rep said I wasn't a veteran because I was in the Coast Guard, it took 7 months to change her mind.
                            And yes I know for a fact, the Coast Guard can recieve the Medal of Honor in peace time, but its never happened. In fact only one Coastie ever recieved it.
                            Signalman 2nd class Douglas Munroe, during guadacanal he was killed while providing covering fire for Chesty Pullers Bn to be withdrawn by sea. You could try to find this info, good luck! I learned it in boot camp.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What is the logic in having the coast guard separate from the navy?

                              Over here we are currently having this very debate – as a way of keeping Victorians and Queenslanders out

                              -

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