Shanghai Jim (shanghai_jim) wrote in little_details,
Shanghai Jim

U.S. Medal of Honor and returning to combat

Searches: Medal of Honor; Medal of Honor + return to combat; John Basilone

Setting: 1944-1945, U.S. forces in the Philippines

When a servicemember receives the Medal of Honor, must he or she leave active combat immediately? Can he or she return to active duty easily?

My character joined the military against the will of his family and his church -- he is a Jehovah's Witness and defied his parents and the elders to enlist in active duty. He was disfellowshipped and formally shunned. Going home, for him, particularly to engage in a war-bond publicity drive, sounds worse than the torture he got. At least dislocated shoulders can be popped back in.

In combat he covered the retreat of his battalion single-handedly, was captured, briefly tortured, escaped and inflicted losses on his captors, and was found, in bad shape, and brought to the aid station. He is recuperating when he is told he is being recommended for the Medal of Honor. His own survivor's guilt factors aside, can he still get the Medal but request not to go home? I'm pretty sure he would turn down the Medal if it meant he had to leave the front, but I don't think he can do that.

His experiences are inspired by MOH recipient Elmer Fryar; going back to combat as an officer is based on John Basilone. But Fryar got his MOH posthumously, and Basilone was forced to go do some homefront war bond stuff before he finally got to get back to action. I am trying to not have my character leave the area; he has about two months from being rescued to when I would like him to go back into combat.
Tags: usa: military: historical, ~world war ii

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