VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
Captain Humbert R. Versace
distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29
October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor,
Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of
Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol
engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province,
Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar,
automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed
enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although
severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly
and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and
fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted
capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure
of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he
exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered
into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his
fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation
and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to
escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his
wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure.
During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated
prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time,
and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break
his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United
States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who
epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was
executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's
gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding
courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest
traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon
himself and the United States Army.
Archives: Geoff Metcalf/NewsMax January 14, 2010
Plunging Approval Shouldn't Surprise Democratic Bullies
By Geoff Metcalf
Reasonable people can disagree (or should be able to) reasonably when
they honestly consider facts that may contradict their preconceived
opinions and prejudices.
However, unfortunately, especially in the partisan environment of
politics, reason, honest analysis, and fairness too quickly become
victims of the “us-vs.-them” thing. Politics has become a blood sport
in which the only golden rule is “the team with the gold makes the
Politicians who were elected to represent the best interests,
wants, and desires of their constituents morph into petty,
agenda-driven competitors quick to eschew reason for partisanship.
Sadly, this axiomatic reality is universal and not exclusive to any one
Politics is supposed to be the art of compromise. However, it
increasingly has become a blood sport personifying the absolute worse
elements of abuse of power under the color of authority.
President Barack Obama, a year after promising "change" and a
tsunami of bipartisan cooperation, now reluctantly admits that he has
not succeeded in bringing the country together. In a recent People
magazine interview, the president begrudgingly acknowledged an
atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national
feeling surrounding his inauguration a year
"That's what's been lost this year. . . that whole sense of changing how Washington works," Obama said.
"What I haven't been able to do in the midst of this crisis is
bring the country together in a way that we had done in the
inauguration," he said, referring to last Jan. 20, when hundreds of
thousands flooded into Washington to see him sworn in as America's
first black president. . . before reality and buyer's remorse.
The simple reality is that Obama has failed because he and his
party's leadership (or, critics will argue, LACK of leadership) have
failed — failed to do what they said they would do, and failed to do
anything the "way" they promised.
Notwithstanding lofty eloquence, consensus, and "unity" cannot be
mandated by imperial decree. Partisan acrimony is not and cannot be
bridled by harangue, bullying, or bludgeon. Politics is the art of
compromise, and the facts in evidence demonstrate that this
administration and this Democrat-led Congress have not been disposed to
engage in compromise.
Rather, the Democrats have embraced a ham-fisted, "our-way-or-the-highway" forced imposition of their will.
Now, in the wake of spelunking poll numbers, rampant buyer's remorse,
and a previously unimagined nostalgia for the Carter administration,
Democrats seem shocked, amazed, and confused that more than half the
country not only does not approve of what they are trying to do but
also dislikes how they are doing it.
Blaming the dark sky and coming ice age on Bush (or Reagan or
Nixon or Eisenhower or Lincoln) is a worn-out dog that flat-out ain't
When Mr. Cool was promising "change," little did anyone assume
that change might result in a Republican's winning Teddy Kennedy's
Senate seat. (But that could happen, and soon.)
It is a sad reality that, at the same time our military
significantly has improved the quality of the U.S. troops who serve,
the civilian leadership and politicians have regressed to a level
reminiscent of uneducated feudal bullies.
The military is smarter, more fit, better equipped, and as
committed as any generation from Valley Forge to Iwo Jima or Pleiku to
Bosnia. We have an all-volunteer military that is dedicated to
protecting you. Conversely, the political arena is littered with
disingenuous, duplicitous partisans who long since have abandoned their
constituents for the next political victory (and/or pork-laden earmark).
I recently re-read Robert Humphrey's "Living Values for a New
Millennium" in preparation for a seminar entitled "Clarifying American
Core Values" in February.
In a 1997 speech before professor Humphrey passed away, he said
that top leadership, in both our civilian or military government, is
afraid even to discuss this apparent decisive need for new thinking
both at home and overseas. Thirteen years ago, he observed that the
news media and public opinion polls advise, "The people sense a moral
bankruptcy in Washington" with a bickering inability in government to
face these deeper problems.
Wherever you go, you are little bit safer because of the military and
yet more at risk because of the coat-room shenanigans of Congress.
Wherever the military sets a boot, everyone has a friend, a defender,
and a champion. However, politicians seem more concerned about the next
PAC contribution than the wants, needs, or well-being of the very
people they were elected to represent.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard once wrote, “Moral
relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become
incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained
away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush —
sophistry washed down with Chardonnay.”