- Apr 17, 2010
So many heroes fought in many wars who’s heroism was never acknowledged. I have no doubt Teddy’s heroism needs to be rewarded, but there are so many who have similarly given to the cause of freedom and sacrifice.I hope you don't mind a little excursion here, drron. I've been ambivalent about the posthumous VC for Sheehan, until the most recent Federal review which unanimously recommended it be granted (for those not familiar, its a long running campaign that has been blocked in Canberra for years):
A broader 2013 Valour Inquiry failed to recommend a VC for Sheean, while a 2018 request to the Chief of Navy specific to Sheean, also failed. A review of this last decision was then made to the Defence Honours and Awards Appeal Tribunal, by Tasmanian Liberal Veterans Affairs Minister Guy Barnett.
The four-member, quasi-judicial body gathered written accounts from survivors penned over the years, as well as a fresh account from Leonard, and held public hearings.
In July last year, it finally promised justice for Sheean, highlighting a string of errors relied on by the military stretching back to 1943, when the Admiralty couldn’t even spell his name correctly.
The tribunal found Sheean’s actions exceeded those of “strikingly similar” British VC cases, and unanimously recommended to the Minister for Defence Personnel, Darren Chester, that Sheean be posthumously awarded the VC. It recommended the citation read: “He sacrificed his life trying to save his shipmates and despite his wounds, he continued firing the gun until the ship sank and took him to his death. His pre-eminent act of valour and most conspicuous gallantry saved lives. His heroism became a standard to which the modern men and women of the Navy aspire.”
This was refused by the Defense Minister, Reynolds, including by making a misrepresentation about an earlier review, that she had to correct.
Then, most galling of all, the bloody Chief of Army, Angus Campbell wrote advising against the granting of the posthumous VC, including a reason that it might 'embarrass the Monarch' and would mean reviewing a decision made by her gt grandmother. Well, God forbid a gallant serviceman should be denied an award because of that!
Senator Jacqui Lambie is going all out for the award, but unfortunately, typical of her style, she thinks personally and emotionally attacking the Prime Minister is a useful strategy.
Four of my uncles gave so much without reward. They, along with so many others deserve a VC, but they, and Teddy, expected no rewards.
To single out one man among so many brave men and women is not appropriate.
Yes, Teddy was a hero, but so were many other men and women who sacrificed.