Saturday, September 24, 2005

That's Mr. Shmuck, to you

Mike the Mad Biologist has an inspiring story, which concludes:
“Now,” said Rubin with a self-deprecating laugh, “It’s Mister Shmuck, the hero.”
An article in the Jewish Journal of Greater LA explains why this Korean War veteran is just getting the Medal of Honor he so richly deserves:

“I believe in my heart that 1st Sgt. Watson [Rubin's CO] would have jeopardized his own safety rather than assist in any way whatsoever in the awarding of the medal to a person of Jewish descent,” Cpl. Harold Speakman wrote in a notarized affidavit.
Of Watson, we know this:

Watson was reputedly a vicious anti-Semite, who consistently “volunteered” Rubin for the most dangerous patrols and missions, according to lengthy affidavits submitted by nearly a dozen men — mostly self-described “country boys” from the South and Midwest.
Of course, it was Rubin's success at those missions (single-handedly holding a hill for 24 hours against the advancing North Korean army, manning a machine gun to defend the flank against a Chinese attack, stealing food and medicine for other POWs in his camp) which makes him worthy of this medal.

This Holocaust survivor has this to say:

“It would have been nice if they had given me the medal when I was a young, handsome man,” Rubin mused. “It would have opened a lot of doors.”

…[H]igh brass now must, according to military protocol, address him as “mister” or “sir,” and … he will have an escort of a major and a master sergeant on his way to Washington.

Furthermore, when he wears his medal, tradition requires that even five-star generals salute him and that the president of the United States stand when Rubin enters a room.
Lemons to lemonade.