Mark Alexander / August 3, 2022

Legacy of the Medal of Honor — What Can You Do?

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” —John 15:12-14

Sometimes a call to arms is so critical that every Patriot should rise to the frontline.

In recent weeks, we have onboarded thousands of new readers, but whether you joined us a week ago or have been with us for 25 years, you are well aware of your Patriot Post team’s core mission to extend the endowment of American Liberty to the next generation. The reach of our publication is far and wide across various platforms as we strive to inform the worldview — the values, morals, and integrity — of an ever-greater number of grassroots American Patriots of all ages, the bedrock of our nation’s foundation.

Because you are reading these words, you are likely engaged on other fronts within your circle of influence, and perhaps with like-minded organizations, advocating for Liberty.

Today, there is a stand-alone opportunity to support the future of our nation by supporting the legacy of Medal of Honor recipients — those who have made inestimable sacrifices “to support and defend” our nation. Their service and sacrifice demands we take responsibility to rise above our self-interest on behalf of the greater good.

You are familiar with our Armed Forces mission of service and my frequent tributes to Medal of Honor recipients and other military Patriots. My devotion to their service is inspired by our family line of Patriots from the Revolutionary War forward, a line represented in the American ranks of every major conflict. That would including the veterans who most influenced my life — my grandfather, an experimental Naval aviator in World War I, and my father, a Naval aviator in World War II. Their legacy extends to our son, a Marine Infantry Officer.

But these Patriots represent much more than our family line — their legacy is just a small part of our shared national heritage and belongs to all Patriot defenders of Liberty today!

That brings me to the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the birthplace of the Medal of Honor.

Last week, I mentioned my friend, Col. Jack Jacobs, a Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient, who returned to the Heritage Center to appeal for the support of the critical work our team is doing, particularly our educational curriculum. The Center works in cooperation with the Medal of Honor Society (the association of recipients) to reach an ever-larger number of students with a curriculum focusing on the character traits these humble warriors embody: Courage, Sacrifice, Patriotism, Citizenship, Integrity, and Commitment.

I have had the privilege of being involved with the establishment of the Heritage Center from its inception seven years ago, through its construction and opening in 2020. Helping to launch the Center has been a deeply rewarding experience, as well as a good fit given that its mission is much like that of The Patriot Post — extending Liberty to the next generation. In recent years, my role with the Heritage Center has required the time and energy of a second job, though, as is the case with The Patriot, when you are doing something you love, it does not feel like a “job.”

(Visit the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center website.)

Because of my commitment to our shared mission, I have just taken on the formidable task of chairing the National Medal of Honor Sustaining Fund for the Heritage Center — and I am charged with raising $10 million for this campaign. Patriots should be beating down the doors for a chance to be a part of this extraordinary opportunity — but getting the word out to the right folks is a challenge, which I hope you will help resolve.

Before the death of Desmond Doss (USA, MOH), whose heroic story was accurately portrayed in the feature film “Hacksaw Ridge,” he put his artifacts, including his Medal of Honor, in our hands to preserve in a fitting future location honoring all his fellow recipients. He embodied the character of all recipients, and he knew that we would honor them, particularly by way of educating young people, which was Desmond’s passion.

Some of our grassroots folks reading this appeal are struggling just to make ends meet. To you I offer an open invitation to visit the Heritage Center and ask no more.

Others reading this appeal have friends and colleagues who could fund this entire sustaining fund campaign with the stroke of a pen. On behalf of those we honor through the Heritage Center’s education curriculum, I am asking for your help. We have just received our first million-dollar commitment, but I have a long way to go.

Accolades about the Heritage Center’s education mission speak loudly from every service branch.

An early advocate for the Center, Col. Leo Thorseness (USAF, POW, MOH), was instrumental in raising support. “The Medal of Honor Heritage Center not only honors the birthplace of the Medal of Honor locally but will inspire youth with true stories of heroism and valor and impact generations to come,” he said. “I invite you to be a part of this historic moment. Your support will ensure that the origins of our Nation’s highest award for valor and its courageous recipients will not be forgotten.”

Likewise, the Marine’s Marine, Col. Wesley Fox (USMC, MOH), was an early advocate for the Heritage Center and lauded the importance of our educational curriculum: “One must have good character, solid principles, and high ethical standards to inspire others to follow.”

Lt. Mike Thornton (USN, MOH), a SEAL, observed that the Center is a “great thing for education,” ensuring the stories of sacrifice “will be remembered for generations and generations” while honoring “what our great nation stands for.” He added that this curriculum will “reach out and say, ‘Hey, look what’s been done for you,’” in order to inspire young people to excel.

For his part, Col. Jack Jacobs says: “Most recipients are gone now. We realize that we are a wasting asset, and if we are going to have any impact, what we did needs to be passed on to future generations. If we don’t do that, then all the efforts, all the sacrifices of all the people with whom we served, will be in vain.”

In fact, of the 3,515 Medal of Honor recipients since 1862, only 65 remain with us today.

“Education,” says Jack, “is the single most important thing we can do in order to influence the future. It is the only way we can reach into the future. Education today is not what it used to be, and that is why all of us need to make a much larger effort to ensure that those who served and sacrificed, and everybody who built this great country, are not lost on future generations. If we don’t do that, our children and grandchildren will not like the results of our failure to teach history.”

He concludes: “As an American citizen, I want to thank you for what you have done, and what you are going to do to support the Heritage Center, and impact the future of our nation. What you are doing is really, really important.”

Col. Havey Barnum (USMC, MOH) declared: “The destiny of our great country lies in the hands of our youth, the future leaders of America. … They are our country’s future leaders. If we can just assist them and get them on track, that is our reward. When talking to our youth at schools, war is horrifying, not glorifying. I’m not here to talk about war. I want children to know that those of us who served in the military, we served for a purpose … to give something back to our great country. Our youth need to find their purpose and an opportunity to give back.”

These recipients have joined others advocating for the Heritage Center and its education mission.

From the first shots of the American Revolution until this day, what has distinguished American Patriots, then and now, is a willingness to sacrifice all in defense of Liberty — for themselves and their posterity.

The youngest of the living recipients, LCpl Kyle Carpenter (USMC, MOH), is among those whose acts of valor are featured in the Heritage Center. As the author of You Are Worth It: Building a Life Worth Fighting For, he understands the critical need for character building. He notes that, as a 21-year-old in Afghanistan, when he jumped on an enemy grenade to save another Marine, it was an instinctual act according to the timeless biblical passage, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

That is the spirit we want to embody in young people.

It’s an unfortunate truth, however, that too many Americans, particularly young people, know too little of such devotion and sacrifice.

I need your help.

If you or someone you know can be a substantial benefactor of our National Medal of Honor Sustaining Fund, please contact me at Patriot Foundation Trust ([email protected]). For smaller gifts, please consider a tax-deductible check payable to “National MoH Sustaining Fund” and mail it to Patriot Foundation Trust, PO Box 407, Chattanooga, TN 37401-0407.

(Visit the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center website.)

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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