Late last year the USO honored five service personnel year as their Heroes of the Year.
John Kruzel of the American Forces Press Corps describes the 66th USO Wold Gala where, “the audience stood and applauded Marine Sgt. Justin L. Clough, Army Spc. Marion D. Pettus III, Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel J. Walsh, Air Force Senior Airman Nicole P. Oâ€™Hara, and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Samuel S. Jordan after stories that chronicled the servicemembersâ€™ courage were read aloud.”
Their stories can be read here. Their feats are remarkable in one respect, and unremarkable in another. Remarkable because each of them showed bravery under fire, unhesitatingly risking life and limb during combat operations. Once thrust into the limelight, they were humble in receiving their awards and quick to give praise to their fellow comrades in arms. As Sgt. Clough said to Seacoast.com, “It could be any Marine,” he says. “Any would’ve done what I’ve done.”
They are unremarkable (as in, “found in the ordinary course of events”) because they are symbolic of the thousands of other young Americans who also defend us under hostile conditions.
These young American patriots really represent the best of what our country offers, and are worthy not only of the recognition they have received, but also of the troops they represent. They are our heroes of the week.