Does serving in combat automatically make you a hero?

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    Mar 12, 2009 8:08 PM GMT
    Many people think so. I have to wonder though, why is it heroic? Is a soldier who feels the call to duty more of a hero than one who needs money for college? What about a soldier who never gets to the front lines. Is he/she less of a hero?
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:34 PM GMT
    This should be an interesting run here. It does seem to lessen the term "hero" from sooo much use. Just seems to fit most of the time.
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:45 PM GMT
    Personally I don't think that just because someone is in the military and in combat or not makes them a hero. It more has to do with how they act under the circumstances to be heroic or not. Just because you get shot at doesn't make you a hero. Saving someone from being shot is more heroic. Taking a bullet for someone is definitely heroic.
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:49 PM GMT
    NoNameGuy saidMany people think so. I have to wonder though, why is it heroic? Is a soldier who feels the call to duty more of a hero than one who needs money for college? What about a soldier who never gets to the front lines. Is he/she less of a hero?


    It is not in an of itself heoric: but there's a big business built around heroes. the PR machine has figured out that we like to have someone to look up to and so they are continually on the hunt to give it to us. now everyone is a hero and every one is a star. standards of what it means to be such have so weakend that any man and his dog can now attain em!
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:54 PM GMT
    Yes, for the most part. But not always. Some soldiers commit crimes against civilians here in America (there was one charged with killing a teenage girl on a base somewhere in America in the last week, I don't remember which base), or abroad in wars like Vietnam and Iraq. These don't happen very often thankfully, but those that commit them most certainly are not heroes, and hiding behind a uniform after the fact does no good.

    I would say that going to war for your country is heroic, and all returning veterans should be given every opportunity emotionally (to deal with ptsd and other issues), physically, and academically to succeed in this country. I think it's pretty disgusting every time I hear that there are a lot of homeless Vietnam and Iraq War vets.
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:55 PM GMT
    Anyone who puts on the uniform of the United States military is a hero, period. There are degrees of heroism, and medals to denote that. But anyone who wears a military uniform is already a hero. I've been there, done that, and I know what I'm talking about. And if someone serves in a combat zone, they are by US law especially recognized and privileged, as they should be.
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:57 PM GMT
    Heros?

    Going to a war zone,
    Getting shot at?
    Possibly being injured?
    Possibly giving up your life?

    All in the defense of your country, your family, friends, and totatl strangers. If this doesn't make you some sort of hero Im not sure what does.

    Im my eyes yes, and we owe all of them the highest respect for what they have baan asked to do.

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    Mar 12, 2009 10:01 PM GMT
    yes.
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:03 PM GMT
    I think Michael A. Monsoor is a hero:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/09/washington/09medal.html?ref=us

    Petty Officer Monsoor saved two other members of the Navy Seals and three Iraqi Army soldiers when he dived on the grenade in September 2006.

    He was on a rooftop in Ramadi with a sniper security team during an early morning operation when the episode occurred. The snipers had shot at insurgents, killing one and wounding another, according to the Navy. After that, a nearby mosque broadcast pleas for insurgents to attack coalition forces.

    A grenade was later lobbed onto the roof where the sniper team was positioned and hit Petty Officer Monsoor in the chest before dropping to the ground. Mr. Bush said he could have escaped, but instead threw himself on the grenade.

    “In that terrible moment,” Mr. Bush said, “he had two options — to save himself, or to save his friends. For Mike, this was no choice at all. He threw himself onto the grenade, and absorbed the blast with his body.”

    He died 30 minutes later, the Navy said.


    monsoorxlarge.jpg
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:05 PM GMT
    I don't believe so. It may be brave, and in some cases, stupid, but in an of itself, no. A soldier does not a hero make.
  • Sebastian18

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    Mar 12, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
    growingbig saidPersonally I don't think that just because someone is in the military and in combat or not makes them a hero. It more has to do with how they act under the circumstances to be heroic or not. Just because you get shot at doesn't make you a hero. Saving someone from being shot is more heroic. Taking a bullet for someone is definitely heroic.


    I would have to agree with growingbig's statement regarding heroism - paraphrased, I likewise think that heroism has more to do with one's actions in a particular circumstance as opposed to merely being in the military which could mean any number of things and is not necessarily the best qualifier for heroism out there.
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:09 PM GMT
    I think that the word they may be looking for is honorable, brave or patriotic, not heroic. Though they may have more heroic acts while serving wherever they're stationed, it's not an automatic gaurantee. That can be likened to going into the church at whatever the beginning levels are and automatically becoming a saint... sorta.
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:10 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    McGay said A soldier does not a hero make.

    Unless he is assembling tasty foot-long sandwiches.


    Bwahahahahaha!
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:13 PM GMT
    Personally being someone who was at the front lines in Iraq. I see it hard for one who's either never been in the military or never been to War even able to compare to someone who has. And being in a War and actually fighting in a War are two totally different things, sure simliar but certainly aren't even remotely the same.
    Not every soldier gets to the front lines, and thus aren't called a "Hero". Are they any less of a "Hero"? It depends, if they joined only cause of the benefits they knew they'd get; and they try everything they can not to be sent off to War, then yes they are less of a "Hero". And i've know many who try to get out of going. Now if they for some reason are looked over and are never sent when they want to go, then no. It takes courage to join the Military knowing that you very well could go to War with the possibility that you may never come back if and or when you do go. And for what? Is it not a noble cause to fight for the "Rights" of others so they can one day know peace like you do. So everyone can be considered equal.
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:14 PM GMT
    Once you sworn in and sign the papers and give that oath, you are a hero. You for sure know the outcome, in the event of a war, or no war for that matter. HERO and BALLS. !! You dont need to get to the front lines. The front lines can be observing the satellite footage from another continent and picking up a phone. Or fixing that tank. You dont need to have that gun in hand shooting out rounds. Its called team-work.



    NoNameGuy saidMany people think so. I have to wonder though, why is it heroic? Is a soldier who feels the call to duty more of a hero than one who needs money for college? What about a soldier who never gets to the front lines. Is he/she less of a hero?
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:15 PM GMT
    McGay saidI don't believe so. It may be brave, and in some cases, stupid, but in an of itself, no. A soldier does not a hero make.

    Well, I must respectfully but strongly disagree with you. To don the uniform, and place yourself under contract to serve in combat, is heroic.

    Forget for a moment the very risky training a soldier, sailor, marine or airman undergoes as the price of his or her commitment. Forget also the terrible hours, hard service, and inadequate pay. But try to remember these men & women are placing their lives on the line, more so than anyone else in our country. More so than police and firefighters (who I also think are heroes), or anyone else today in the US.

    And you say they are not heroes? If they are not, then I'd like to know someone else who better fits the definition.
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:17 PM GMT
    "Well, I must respectfully but strongly disagree with you. "

    And because some heros, as well as many many soldiers fought and/or died for your right to do so, welcome to your disagreement. icon_biggrin.gif

    courage <> heroism
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:23 PM GMT
    Is anyone who serves in the military in any nation a "hero" or only those who serve in the US military? Just askin'.
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:25 PM GMT
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:25 PM GMT
    McGay said"Well, I must respectfully but strongly disagree with you. "

    And because some heros, as well as many many soldiers fought and/or died for your right to do so, welcome to your disagreement. icon_biggrin.gif

    courage <> heroism

    And now I am confused, dear McGay. How do we disagree on this? You honor courage, I also honor service. I know that service entails risk, and the commitment to sacrifice life & limb, whether it comes to that or not.

    How are we apart? I don't understand.
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:26 PM GMT
    Tough call. In most cases yes, but Timothy McVeigh saw combat. Does that make him a hero?
  • olden

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    Mar 12, 2009 10:29 PM GMT
    Did I serve in combat? Yes. Was I shot at? Yes. Was I wounded? No. Did I come home with a chest full of medals and a folio full of commendations? Yes. Do I consider myself a hero? NO. In Viet Nam we did not accomplish what we had originally meant to do. The American people stopped wanting to win and merely wanted to keep from losing. You can't win unless you want to win. That is why we won in WWI and WWII. We broke even in Korea and lost our butts in Nam. I don't think the American people have the guts for a real war. We lost more in one day at the first Bull Run than we have lost in six years in Iraq. The Prussians lost 25,000 killed and wounded in one day at Jena fighting Napoleon. And we wimper and simper about an average of 3 a day.

    The question is Would I do it again? You bet. I would put my life on the line for America, even if it means giving my life for the biggest bunch of selfish individuals that ever walked the earth. I wouldn't for the people, but for what they, as a whole, stand for - The American Democracy.
  • Sebastian18

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    Mar 12, 2009 10:30 PM GMT
    Jackal69 saidIs anyone who serves in the military in any nation a "hero" or only those who serve in the US military? Just askin'.


    By extension, I think anyone regardless of national origin who serves their country in combat and acts courageously in the heat of battle could be considered a hero inclusive of those individuals who may be fighting against us at a particular time.

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    Mar 12, 2009 10:31 PM GMT
    You are asserting that simply putting on the uniform makes someone a hero. I say that while that might be brave (might be), it doesn't make someone a hero. Confronting risk does not make someone a hero, otherwise all the bozos on Wall Street who lost all our money would be heros. Acts of heroism make someone a hero. I'm not saying anything to diminish honor or courage, but a hero is someone who completely forgets him or herself when the time comes in order to save life or limb or property that has nothing to do with himeself or herself. Heroism involves selflessness, courage doesn't necessarily. I would bend far enough to say that a hero must have courage and honor and those two must be whipped into a perfect combination when it comes time for an act of heroism, along with a healthy dose of selflessness. Heros are rare. Soldiers are in great (over)abundance.

    Besides, you said "Well, I must respectfully but strongly disagree with you.", so, surely you did disagree with something I said.
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:33 PM GMT
    Paradigm saidPersonally being someone who was at the front lines in Iraq. I see it hard for one who's either never been in the military or never been to War even able to compare to someone who has. And being in a War and actually fighting in a War are two totally different things, sure simliar but certainly aren't even remotely the same.
    Not every soldier gets to the front lines, and thus aren't called a "Hero".... '


    see what I mean about the standards...

    To just put on a solidier's uniform is now considered being a hero.

    While it may be a brave thing to do... having to find the buttons and all that stuff... a commonse check needs to be done. Enough of the hyperbole

    From Webster dictionary:
    -hero-

    a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

    a person who, has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

    Classical Mythology.
    a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.

    in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.

    (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.

    My my my - how standards have fallen!!!!!!!