Like most people, I spent some time at the end of last week perusing recently passed congressional legislation. :) (What? You don't?!) Anyway, one piece of legislation that came to my attention last week was HR 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. (For those of you who really are paying attention, HR 1583 was vetoed by the President on December 28, 2007. It was reconstituted as HR 4986, addressing the President's concerns, which are not relevant to our story here. On January 22, 2008, final Congressional action was taken on HR 4986 and the bill was sent to the President. The President signed the bill on January 28, 2008. With respect to the issues addressed here, the two bills are identical).
This bill is the massive (1500+ pages) spending authorization for the Department of Defense for the coming year. In a bill this big, one can always find interesting little items that may go unnoticed by the pundits and the press.Which is exactly why I examine such bills. And in this bill, tucked in about the middle of the bill, under "Military Personnel Policy" is an interesting provision. Subtitle F of Title V of the bill, entitled "Decorations and Awards" contains sections 561-565, each of which begins, "Authorization and Request for award of Medal of Honor to . . . ." By these sections, the Congress intends to rectify historical wrongs or oversights that deprived five military men of their nation's highest honor. The legislation is brief in each case, and it doesn't tell much of the stories of these five men.
GeneaBlogie went behind the legislative language, to uncover five stories of heroism. The five heroes are Privates Philip G. Shadrach and George D. Wilson (Civil War), Master Sgt. Woodrow W. Keeble (Korean War), and Spec. 4 Leslie H. Sabo and PFC Henry Svehla (Vietnam War). Over the next several posts, we'll will tell their true stories.