Friday, August 7, 2015

Honoring Heroes

The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor in the nation. It recognizes personal acts of valor on the part of servicemen and women, above and beyond the call of duty. Vol State hosted an event highlighting Medal of Honor recipients on August 7. We had three recipients at the Vol State program, which was part of a series of events called "Nashville Salutes." The program started with a video of the honorees recalling the battles that lead to their awards. Hiroshi Miyamura held back a series of attacks on his position during the Korean War. He held the line so that troops could withdraw, fighting again and again until he was badly wounded. Jay Vargas led his men through a rice paddy in Vietnam under intense fire and then fought in hand-to-hand combat to keep the position. Clinton Romesha served in Afghanistan. An estimated 300 enemy fighters surrounded and attacked his post. Through a day-long battle Romesha led troops in attacking the enemy and saving wounded soldiers. All three men faced overwhelming circumstances and lost friends and comrades to enemy fire. Each said that the Medal of Honor was a daily reminder of the soldiers who died in those battles.

The Medal of Honor recipients then spoke to the crowd in a panel discussion, talking about how they grew up and why military service is so important to them. The crowd had many questions and an opportunity to speak to the veterans in person, after the program. It was an emotional and educational event that reminded everyone of the sacrifices of war and how one person can step up and make an incredible difference.

Pictured: Dr. Jerry Faulkner, Hiroshi Miyamura, Jay Vargas, Clinton Romesha and State Senator Ferrell Haile.

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