New warfare medal may prove an injustice

Published 11:00 pm Friday, March 29, 2013

Military veterans everywhere support the practice of recognizing with formal decorations the brave men and women serving our great nation, but a U.S. Department of Defense decision related to a newly authorized medal has the potential to do grave injustice to the recipients of existing medals. The new medal, the Distinguished Warfare Medal (DWM), is designed to recognize extraordinary service that has a direct impact on combat operations.

While the intention of the DMW is good, the execution is not, as the DOD has placed the new medal above the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart in the order of precedent.

The Bronze Star and the Purple Heart share an important distinction that is lacking in the DWM: The recipient must be serving in an “imminent danger area” to earn either medal.

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Simply put, the DVM could be presented to someone who has never heard the “whine of a bullet” or the “whistle of an incoming mortar round.”

As a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, I applaud the almost 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including my Representative, the Honorable Martha Roby of the Second Congressional District, who have submitted a letter to the Secretary of Defense calling for the DWM to rank behind the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. I urge your readers to request their Representatives follow suit and urge the Department of Defense to rank the DVM below the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Freedom is not free, and we should not diminish in any way those who have borne the wounds of combat to protect our great nation and its freedoms.

K.T. Cole

Commander, Chapter 2205

Military Order of the Purple Heart


Senate gun control bill

needs our support

Those who have any interest in the move to radically tighten gun possession laws across the country, might want to look at this proposed Act currently being considered by our Alabama State Senate. This would significantly & favorably change gun possession law in Alabama including changing the authority for issuance from local sheriffs and police chiefs to state control. Additionally, local authorities under this Act would be required to act upon a request for agun permit within 30 days. Applicants would an appeal opportunity to challenge any denial.

Earlier this month, NRA-supported Senate Bill 286 passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan 7 to 1 vote. This omnibus firearms bill could be considered on the Senate floor as early as Tuesday, April 2.

SB 286, sponsored by state senators Scott Beason (R-17) and Roger Bedford (D-6), seeks to restore and protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Alabama by addressing the following issues:

• No employer may prohibit the otherwise lawful possession, transportation or storage of firearms or ammunition that is kept out of sight within a locked or attended private vehicle of an invitee who is otherwise permitted to operate or park that vehicle on the property. This would allow employees to carry a firearm during their commute to and from work.

• Repeals the requirement to obtain a pistol permit in order to carry a pistol in a vehicle. (Note: this would not allow for concealed carrying in a vehicle unless a valid pistol permit is possessed.)

• Shifts the current “May Issue” concealed carry permit system to a “Shall Issue” permit system and requires that a sheriff must issue the carry permit within thirty days. Should someone be denied a permit, a written denial must be provided and that applicant would have an opportunity to appear before an appeals panel.

• A permit to carry a concealed pistol shall be good for one to five years (to be decided by the applicant seeking the carry permit).

• Requires sheriffs to use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to conduct a background check on concealed pistol permit applicants.

• Allows for all other valid state-issued permits to carry a concealed firearm to be recognized in Alabama.

• Strengthens Alabama’s firearms preemption statute by reserving for the state legislature complete control over regulation and policy relating to firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories in order to ensure that such regulation is applied uniformly throughout the state.

It is critical that you make your voice heard! Please contact your state Senator TODAY and ask him or her to support SB 286

James Anderson