New Petition Takes On Drone Medal Controversy

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Courtesy photo

Predator drone

A new military medal that honors drone pilots and ranks above a Bronze Star and Purple Heart has raised the ire of many combat veterans. A new online petition urges the White House to demote the medal.

The petition requires 100,000 signatures by March 16 to get the White House to consider taking action. As of this writing, there are more than 6,600.

The petition reads, in part:

"Under no circumstance should a medal that is designed to honor a pilot, that is controlling a drone via remote control, thousands of miles away from the theater of operation, rank above a medal that involves a soldier being in the line of fire on the ground.

"This is an injustice to those who have served and risked their lives and this should not be allowed to move forward as planned."

The Pentagon announced the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal last week. In the press release announcing the medal, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was quoted as saying:

“I have seen first-hand how modern tools like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems have changed the way wars can be fought. We should also have the ability to honor extraordinary actions that make a true difference in combat operations, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight.”

Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Order of the Purple Heart are just two of the veterans' groups that have urged the Pentagon to lower the ranking of the Distinguished Warfare Medal.

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