Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Medal of Honor

My wife and I toured Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC on April 2nd of this year. It was a beautiful Sunday morning with many flowers, like azaleas, approaching their peak. While walking the trails and taking it all in, we ventured into the cemetery on these same grounds. One grave marker got my attention as the picture above shows. Most anything military gets my attention, especially, a grave indicating the person received this highest congressional medal awarded for heroism in war. Fewer than 3500 soldiers from all wars have received such an honor and I was interested in learning about John Edward George. I took this picture to remember the information to perform a search on the Internet when I returned home. There was a foot marker indicating his date of death which I failed to record, but it really didn't matter.

When I returned home, I searched the national registry of medal of honor recipients. My Internet search for John Edward George turned up Charles George born in Cherokee, NC in August 23, 1932. He earned the MOH when he was a Pfc in Korea. These two names are probably one in the same person. I was glad to come upon his grave and wonder about the person and his heroic actions.

Later I began to recall my readings about impostors who claim to be a war hero and tell folks about their military service and the medals they earned. Some stories, claims, and medals of men and women have been shown to be bogus. Many didn't even serve in the military.

There is a book titled Stolen Valor by B. G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley who wrote about well known persons who've made such false claims and display unearned medals.

There was an article in the Washington Post on April 30, 2006 titled Medal of Honor Among Thieves by Bill Poovey which reports that impostors far outnumber true heroes. There is one FBI agent in the bureau assigned to track suspected impostors.

Look back at the picture of Mr. George's grave marker and imagine the person who put himself in harms way to save those around him.

Have a good day!


At 12/07/2006 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To learn more about this headstone, please read the articles posted at this link:


At 9/18/2007 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stone in the picture was removed and destroyed in January 2007 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. After research by Mark Schreiner of the Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News showed that John Edward George had never received the Medal of Honor, the VA started its own investigation and learned that the headstone had been issued in error.
According to the Star-News, George was an Army pilot and veteran of the Korean War. The highest decoration he received was the Bronze Star.



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