Col William Astore argues that not every soldier is a hero. William Astore makes in a provocative piece that appeared in the Los Angeles Times last week: But a snappy uniform — or even dented body armor — is not a magical shortcut to hero status. A hero is someone who behaves selflessly, usually at considerable personal risk and sacrifice, to comfort or empower others and to make the world a better place.
Acts of heroism are different from acts of bravery. People who are heroes go beyond what is expected of them, risking life and limb to benefit others. There is an altruistic aspect to heroism. All acts of heroism require bravery, but many acts of bravery are not acts of heroism because they are done for self-serving reasons.
An excessively ambitious commander can exhibit bravery, and even be awarded a medal, but he often does so at the expense of his troops, rather than for their benefit.
Those who serve under him would probably never denigrate his bravery. They might, however, denigrate his character and secretly wish that his next act of bravery would be his last.
It has become popular to call everyone who serves in the military a hero. This trivializes the word in the same way we trivialize the word champion by issuing everyone a trophy at the end of the season. Most people who serve in the military feel embarrassed being called heroes. This is because most people in the military are not heroes.
They are, however, warriors. A warrior is a person who is willing to risk his life, who is willing to inflict violence on others and who chooses a side in a fight, but that person may never have to perform an act of bravery.
For example, someone who pushes the button to fire a cruise missile from a ship hundreds of miles from the front lines is as much of a warrior as the grunt who is in the thick of the fight. Medieval knights thought crossbowmen were cowards and criminals who should be hanged because they shot from beyond the range of swords and lances.
Imagine what those knights would think of the Marine grunt, a quintessential warrior in our eyes today, who attacks with modern rifles or even airstrikes.
To be sure, the grunt endures harsher conditions and greater risks in actions that require grit and bravery far above what the button pusher experiences. But the button pusher is no less a warrior.
Definitions need to change with changing technology. When the crew of an Air Force C gunship, nicknamed Puff the Magic Dragon, saved our asses in Vietnam, I never begrudged them their distance from the enemy or their warm showers. Everyone who serves in the military is a warrior, and that should be accolade enough.
But an honorable word has been corrupted with overuse: Medals of Honor result when a group has the bad luck of a grenade landing in their hole and someone sacrifices his life to save the others. McCain had the bad luck of being shot down and taken prisoner. That is not what made him a hero.
Lieutenant Commander John S.
He endured torture that he could have avoided by telling secrets that would have hurt his fellow aviators. Accepting an early release would have violated the POW code of conduct, which was designed to prevent the enemy from using prisoners for propaganda and to help POWs endure their terrible ordeals by assuring them that rank or privilege would not be a factor in determining the time of their release or the amount of torture they had to withstand.
Well, he fits my definition of a hero. One word used to contrast heroes from others is coward. It has become popular to call suicide bombers cowards. They are not, however, heroes.
Suicide bombers are willing to target innocent civilians who are not even their enemies. No one on their side is in any immediate danger, so their brave act could only tortuously be construed as being done to benefit others.I also agree with your statement that not every soldier is a hero, and it is true that defining every soldier as a hero is harmful.
Reverse discrimination is just as harmful and negative as. He continues to be a hero, "every day" to his family and his soldiers, Melissa says.
She devotes much of her time to The Jamie Jarboe Foundation, dedicated to helping and honoring wounded soldiers. Jarboe's medical care could be characterized, in the most charitable way, as unfortunate.
May 29, · "I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect the memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that.
But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.
McCain says that he wasn’t a hero, but was with a group of heroes. Well, he fits my definition of a hero. One word used to contrast heroes from others is coward. It has become popular to call suicide bombers cowards.
I disagree. They behave bravely. I certainly wouldn’t have the guts to do what they do.
They are not, however, heroes. Not Every Soldier Is A “Hero” Contrary to what you read on bumper stickers, retired Lt. Col William Astore argues that not every soldier is a hero.
He's right. Not Every Soldier Is A “Hero” Contrary to what you read on bumper stickers, retired Lt. Col William Astore argues that not every soldier is a hero.