There seems to be some misunderstanding concerning the differences in medals for military service. Some are confusing medals and ribbons. The truth of the matter is as follows: The award is given with three parts of equal importance. The first part is the medal, which is traditionally pinned on a soldier's chest (uniform) during a ceremony by a commanding officer. The second part is the award ribbon, which a soldier wears proudly on his/her dress uniform from the award date forward. The third part is a small lapel pin, which matches the ribbon bar but can be worn on other type of clothing, such as a civilian suit coat. All have equal importance and meaning. All are displayed and valued by most veterans and even passed down to future family generations as cherished inheritances.
How dare John Kerry try to diminish their value by throwing his or whoever's medals over the White House fence in protest. My understanding is that one of those awards thrown away was a Purple Heart. That is the ultimate insult to me and to other Purple Heart recipients, as well as to the families of the 58,000-plus Vietnam veterans who lost their lives fighting for our nation. These medals mean too much to us, Mr. Kerry, to have you belittle them. We will never forgive or forget what you did to us. Our concerns may or may not be politically correct, but our consciences will be clear that we continue to support our "true" Vietnam veteran brothers 35 years later.