Time for a civilian Medal of Honor

*Note: This essay was published in the Colorado Springs Gazette print edition on July 15, 2018. It can also be found online here.

They’re safe. The world sighed relief as the 13 members of the “Wild Boars” soccer team emerged safely from the Tham Luang Cave in northern Thailand. Their safety was secured in large part by the efforts of many civilian volunteers, in particular two British cave divers, Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, who alerted the public that the boys were alive a little over a week ago.

As a career military officer, I’ve been stunned by the heroism of civilians in such dangerous circumstances — the high water and low oxygen, to name just two frightening aspects.

It reminds me that while we often see so clearly the heroism on battlefields, we too often miss the heroes at home. It’s time for a civilian Medal of Honor.

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