Right Hooks

Army Strips Soldier of Valor Award for Unrelated Incident

Feb. 9, 2015

When the U.S. military awards America’s soldiers for valor, it should remember the adage penned by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn when he said the line between evil and glory runs through the heart of every person. By the Army’s account, Capt. Mathew L. Golsteyn deserved the commendation for his response to when Afghanistan insurgents trapped his 80-man unit with machine gunfire in a waterlogged field. The Washington Post writes, “Golsteyn, already a decorated Green Beret officer, responded with calm resolve and braved enemy fire repeatedly that day, according to an Army summary of his actions. He received the Silver Star for valor for his actions during a 2011 ceremony at Fort Bragg, N.C. Top Army officials later approved him for an upgrade to the prestigious Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor in recognizing combat heroism by U.S. soldiers.” But recently, the Army stripped Golsteyn of his award because of its investigation of a separate incident in the soldier’s career. According to the Post, the Army was investigating whether Golsteyn violated the rules of engagement when he killed a “known enemy fighter and bomb maker,” which it later dropped without charging the captain. Even if Golsteyn was charged and found guilty, he defeated the enemy and helped bring 80 American soldiers off the battlefield safely during that firefight in 2010. For that, he deserves the country’s laud. More…

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