The German army has reinstated an award for bravery for soldiers of the Bundeswehr. It is the first award for bravery for German soldiers since the end of World War II. Though traditionalist will lament the break with the 130 year German tradition of the Iron Cross, I believe the “Cross of Honor for Bravery,” the Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr für Tapferkeit, is a good compromise. A cross of any kind links it strongly to the German military tradition without linking it to the baggage of the German Military in WWII.
As the article below indicates, 35 German soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, and many more wounded. As I understand it, the Germans do not yet have the equivelant of a purple heart or wounds badge. Something I’m sure their veterans organizations are working on.
Sixty-one percent of the German population is against their operations in Afghanistan. The population is generally against anything that shows support for the military. Germany is a very pacifist country. In speaking to many allied military officers I have often heard it said that they envy the status and appreciation the American military receives from the American people. They think we’re pretty lucky. I agree with them –we’re pretty fortunate to be American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.