The column by Rob Schultheis on March 3 was quiet entertaining if not seriously politically slanted. As I read on I found that some of his “facts” were out-and-out wrong. I thank the heavens for having teachers that always told me to do the research, find all the facts, and make sure there is no doubt about the results.
First, like most journalists who have never served in the military, you don’t win an award for valor; you earn it or receive it. It’s not a prize, like in bingo or winning a foot race. The recipient places himself in harms way and risks their life above the call of duty, the thought of receiving an award being farthest from their mind.
Second, in the article it was stated that Major Smedley Butler was the only man in history to receive two Medals of Honor, which is wrong. He is one of two Marines to receive two Medals of Honor for two separate conflicts. The other Marine was GySgt Daniel Daly. Butler received his awards for actions at Vera Cruz and in Haiti. He should have received a third for his actions in China but did not, due to a technicality.
Butler was not a veteran of combat in World War I. He commanded a replacement camp, which really irked him, and saw no front line service. Daly received his awards for actions in China and Haiti; he would later fight at Belleau Wood during World War I. Finally, the article stated that Butler changed political parties after a WW I veterans march that saw several veterans killed or injured. He did not change parties, he proclaimed himself to be a “Hoover-for-Ex-President-Republican.” Butler said, “I spent most of my time being a high-class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and for bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.” His career spanned from Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt, so each party had a hand in his opinion. My sources for this article are the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation book, The Marines, and the U.S. News and World Report Special Edition, Medal of Honor, Stories of America’s Greatest War Heroes. I have not researched any of the other parts of the article, since these were the obvious mistakes, while I suspect there are more. Just goes to show you, you can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper, especially when the writer doesn’t have the facts straight.
– Ernest Jauregui