My grandfather, by his own account, earned 4 Bronze Stars in WW2. Over at Mudville Gazette, Capt. B has a challenge to those who think they could have earned a Bronze Star in OEF/OIF. He describes two men you should know, one from WW2 and one from Iraq.
I don’t know if my grandfather earned a Valor V for his stars. From what I’ve heard from him and from others, including the 1st Fighter Association, it seems as if it were warranted. When I put together the shadow box for him I didn’t know, so I omitted it for the sake of not degrading the medal at the risk of not honoring him for what he did. I figured the clusters and his other medals would speak for themselves, and I think they still do.
He has never told me any of the stories that won him his combat medals. I don’t press him on it, knowing that it might bring up painful memories, but I do encourage him to tell his stories when I see him, because that’s how history gets passed down. You should encourage the same from your family heroes, so you and your children can have a sense of the honor that comes with serving the country.