For those who insist on honoring military veterans on Memorial Day, I have three genuine heroes — and not many others — who come to mind, and merit your attention.
1. Marine Corps General Smedley Butler — who twice won the Congressional Medal of Honor, and wrote one of the best anti-war books: War Is a Racket;
2. Army Warrant Officer Hugh Tompson, a helicopter pilot who came upon the ongoing My Lai massacre in Vietnam. He ordered his gunnery crew to open fire on any American soldiers who continued the killing of Vietnamese civilians, thus ending the slaughter;
3. Army Private Bradley Manning who, it is alleged, came into possession of “classified” information (i.e., information the government didn’t want the American public to know about) and, allegedly, turned this information over to Julian Assange for distribution on “WikiLeaks.” Manning will not be available for any public recognition of his heroism, as he is reportedly being held, incommunicado, in an Army prison, guarded by other military men for whom the word “hero” would not be applicable.2:15 pm on May 28, 2011 Email Butler Shaffer