It should be hard to be critical of a politician who publicly honors a military hero, and yet Mark Udall makes it easy.
He recently presented the Navy and Marine Corps Medal to the family of a marine who died saving lives. For those whose military service is Army, it is the equivalent of the Soldier's Medal, a very high honor reserved for those who save lives at the risk of their own, not necessarily in combat.
It is not an easy medal to win, and in 20 years service, we only knew of one Soldier's Medal awardee. Marine Damon Towne's actions clearly met the requirements, and Mark Udall is to be commended for helping his parents secure it for him. If Towne has a military headstone Udall might want to see if he can secure a replacement so that it can reflect the award.
The one thing that troubles us is that Mark Udall seems to go out of his way to avoid recognizing war heroes from the current era. His anti-war, MoveOn.org constituency can't be offended by this medal, but would have been had Udall attended the Lt Michael Murphy Medal of Honor ceremony or even mentioned it in a press release.
If Udall wants to present awards, let him begin to honor combat awards. His participation as a presenter in this ceremony for this award appears cynical.
As an aside, one would think that the two TV stations that covered this presentation might have included Damon Towne's rank, of which he had a right to be proud.