A True Hero

The word hero gets thrown around quite a bit to describe acts that are rather ordinary. Too often, the accolades are for people who are or were doing nothing more than their jobs and at no real personal cost. Jessica Lynch was called a hero because she was captured and then rescued. I do not speak harshly of her service, just the idea that her misfortune qualifies her as a hero.

John Kerry carried the war hero tag around all through the last election and, despite questions about authenticity, his record was proudly displayed along with quotes about his medals. Kerry, from all accounts, fabricated or embellished the incidents in question in order to obtain the medals and qualify for early return from Vietnam. We might never know the true story because he has refused, despite his promise, to release ALL of his military records.

A true American hero will be laid to rest this week. A member of the Maryland Army National Guard died last week of wounds he received in Iraq before the end of last year. Sergeant Michael McMullen will be buried with full military honors and has received the Silver Star, posthumously, for the actions he took that saved another soldier but ultimately cost him his life. SGT McMullen was also promoted (also posthumously) to the rank of Staff Sergeant. This fine young man was in an engineer unit when an IED exploded. He removed a fellow soldier from a vehicle and extinguished the flames on the troop, Sgt. Randal Divel and then protected him as a second IED exploded. The second explosion gravely wounded McMullen and he succumbed to those wounds this past week. The Adjutant General of Maryland had this to say:

“Sergeant McMullen acted in the highest tradition of the U.S. Army and the Maryland Army National Guard,” Major General Bruce Tuxill, adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard said after his death. “We often use the word hero to describe personal acts that go above and beyond the call of duty. By all accounts, Sergeant McMullen lived up to that definition, giving his life while caring for and protecting his fellow soldiers.”

The Big Dog salutes this fine young man who answered the call to duty and paid the ultimate price so that another might live. Those of us in the Guard Community have heavy hearts today and shed a few tears at the passing of a comrade. We are also filled with pride because SSG Michael McMullen served honorably and bravely in the face of danger and upheld the highest traditions of selfless service. May God bless him and his family.

Source: WBAL

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