By RU Special Guest Dallas Dunn Attending a job fair soon?...
Hero of the Week: Specialist Monica Brown
The rules of war, as set up by the Geneva Convention, state clearly that medical personnel are protected. They are not supposed to be shot at while doing their job on the battlefield.
Shockingly, Afghani insurgents don’t care about that little detail, making a medic or corpsman’s job one of the most dangerous on the modern battlefield.
Five soldiers stumbled out of the burning vehicle into a hail of enemy gunfire, wounded and needing help this already bad day had become a nightmare for the medic. Forgetting what a 3-5 second rush was, or that a medics Geneva Convention card is worthless in Afghanistan, the medic arrived, aide bag in tow, to help the men. Ignoring the rounds flying past, the medic began dragging the wounded to a covered location through heavy insurgent gunfire and when the mortars started falling, this medic bravely acted as a human shield. This medic did everything he was trained to do – and then some, except this medic wasn’t a he at all, but a very impressive “she”. The medic in question that fateful day in April was Specialist Monica Lin Brown, now the first woman since WWII to be awarded the Silver Star for actions under fire.
There have been times when people in the United States, men and women alike have questioned what role, if any, women should have on today’s modern battlefield – a place where one is never sure what the difference is between the rear and the front lines. Many have wondered out loud on CNN or in the New York Times if women should even be involved in this war. Pundits spend hours discussing it. Everyone knows, of course, that boobs get in the way of aiming a rifle, right?
While they were talking, Specialist Brown was acting. She was doing what she was trained to do – making sure that the wounded members of her convoy didn’t get more messed up by insurgent gunfire. She was the living embodiment of what Hoot meant when he said politics goes out the window once a bullet goes over your head in the movie Blackhawk Down. She did what she was trained to do that day, and she did it better than everyone else around her. If she hadn’t been there, men would have likely died. How many of us, even those of us with military service, can truly say that?
Her tour in Afghanistan complete, Specialist Brown finally got back to her childhood home of Lake Jackson, TX this past week. There the local towns people threw her a parade and ceremony, complete with all the pomp and circumstance you could imagine, and culminating in the mayor giving a speech to honor her.
Specialist Brown’s reaction? She still doesn’t understand what the fuss is about. To her she just did her job. Like all true heroes she never thought about what her actions could get her, only what she could give. When asked by reporters she is quick to point out that others helped her save and treat the men on the ground – that it was team effort, and that they should be praised as well.
Heroism is blind. It doesn’t see race. It doesn’t see religion, money, or gender. It understands sacrifice, devotion to duty, and the willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to save one’s comrade Heroes do what it takes to fight on to the objective, complete the mission, and do everything they can to bring everyone home afterward.
That is exactly what Specialist Brown did that day.
That is why she needed to be on that battlefield.
That is why she deserves our utmost respect and gratitude.
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