Governor Sarah Palin, with Jeff Roy, National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, pins the Purple Heart Medal on Wayne Stackhouse, with his wife, Ilene by his side. Also pictured, the Operation Denali climbing team, who begin their ascent of North America's tallest mountain on June 1, 2009.
Anchorage resident Wayne Stackhouse, after receiving his Purple Heart Medal and Viet Nam Service Medal, stated "I don't think I've ever been more proud to be a Viet Nam veteran."
Governor Sarah Palin with Ron Siebels, Department Commander of the Alaska Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, after the Purple Heart presentation ceremony at VFW Post 10252.
Governor Sarah Palin was on hand to celebrate with the inspiring Operation Denali team when Jeff Roy, National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Bill Wroolie, Board Director of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation presented the team with a check for $25,000. Also pictured, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and son, Jacob.
Oftentimes, soldiers are recommended for medals, and in the fog of war those recommendations are forgotten about and the soldier does not receive the medal until years later. That is likely what happened with Mr. Stackhouse. This blog author is familiar with this type of situation, because his uncle, an 86-year-old WW II vet was recommended for the Silver Star, but got injured shortly thereafter -- and the recommendation letter was burnt in the St. Louis fire a few years back that destroyed many military records. A former co-worker of this author's also needed a letter written for a friend who was to have received a Purple Heart arising out of a Viet Nam injury. This author helped the co-worker with the letter and his friend ultimately received the Purple Heart.
Governor Palin's presentation of the Purple Heart and support of Operation Denali is more a positive reflection of who she is as a human being than an accomplishment item in the strictest sense of the term, but it also does highlight who she is as her state's Commander in Chief. Governor Palin is a friend to our soldiers and will never forget those who served. This author saw that first-hand at one of her rallies in Bethlehem, PA on October 8, 2008. Before she began her speech, she asked anyone who served to raise their hand and thanked them for their service. Only after that acknowledgment, did she proceed. Lest anyone forget, on September 11, 2008, Governor Palin's son Track deployed to Iraq -- and she had to see him off along with all the others leaving Ft. Wainwright that day.
Photos retrieved May 30, 2009 and courtesy of: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/photos.php