So, my point is, I am much more informed about the names on this monument than I was when I started posting. (I have that slavedriver Sarge, to thank for that! Content, Juvat, Content! and strawberries! Yes, My Sergeant!)
|USAF Medal of Honor Monument, Parade Field Lackland AFB|
We got there early, just after opening at 9AM, Parking was up close and in the shade of trees near the memorial park. We walk towards the entrance and are admiring the trees, grass, park benches and such when we see this inviting entry way.
What the heck, it's early, not crowded and cool, let's wander over there and see what there is to see.
Quite recognizably, that is a rendering of the USAF Medal of Honor (the Army and Navy versions are different). The columns on either side have names of recipients, in chronological order of date of action. I know there are 60 USAF recipients.
|Before anyone has a Fiscal Conniption Fit, those are not actual F-22s on the sticks.|
I start out on the left, reading each one. Mrs. Juvat is with me and as I get to one I know, I give a short little story about the particular episode of Valor the recipient had given. There was Goettler and Bleckly, Baker and Jerstad, Mathies and Truemper and Vance.
Wait a minute. Where is CMSGT Etchberger? Went back around to see if I'd skipped over him.
Well, that's interesting. His Medal was only awarded comparatively recently (9/21/2010). Since the Museum is privately funded, maybe they're raising money to add the name. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Inside the museum in one of the corridors, there are charcoal portraits of the Medal of Honor Recipients. I cycle through the Vietnam era recipients. Again, no CMSGT EtchBerger. It doesn't take much money or time to commission an artist to sketch a portrait, much less to print out a summary of what happened and post it on the wall with his name.
So, I get home, and try to research why the museum would not have a recipient of our Nations highest medal for valor, making him a hero by any definition of the word.
I search the museum's site (google etchberger site:www.nationalmuseum.af.mil). #1 result is here with a publication date of May 18, 2015.
Interestingly, this page, with a publication date of May 12, 2015, lists "all" the USAF Medal of Honor recipients, but not the Chief.
One might be able to accept a 6 year delay to carve a name in a piece of granite (I don't), or to commission a drawing (again, not I). However, having fixed errors on web pages regularly, I know the longest and hardest part of that is usually logging in to the site. Good gravy, you couldn't fix the list in the past 14 months?
I'm a little bummed. The museum is an outstanding exhibit of aerospace history, but all the machinery in there is just that. Inanimate Objects. It took the hard work and brave actions of many people to accomplish the historical reference provided by each and every exhibit in the place.
But if the museum is going to catalog important and heroic events and include, as it should, events that were "above and beyond the call of duty", it should include all 60, not 59, men. The museum should fix this ASAP.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
*SJC -Didn't want anyone to forget!