11/22/05 — Home of the brave: Goldsboro native’s dedication brings a Bronze Star

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Home of the brave: Goldsboro native’s dedication brings a Bronze Star

Reading Christopher Plummer’s story, it is easy to see why someone thought he should receive the Bronze Star.

The 40-year-old Goldsboro native hesitated only a moment before rushing out to see if he could help his four fellow soldiers whose vehicle had just been blown up by a land mine.

There was plenty of danger.

He could have been killed himself if he happened to step on a land mine or if he was spotted by insurgents in the area waiting to abush U.S. personnel who traveled the road.

But that did not really matter to Plummer when it all came down to it.

His friends needed him, and like any good soldier, his duty to them and his country came first.

And because of his bravery, four men’s families will know that although their loved ones did not make it home, someone was watching out for them on the battlefield and a friend was with one of them when he died.

There are thousands of soldiers like Plummer who serve their country each day many thousands of miles away in the Middle East.

Many of them have similar stories of moments in battle or afterward when they had to choose between risking their lives and doing their duty. Most do not even seem to hesitate. They do what they raised their hands and promised to do when they enlisted — defend their nation and its interests.

Plummer does not see himself as a hero — the real ones never do. He says that there are plenty of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who distinguish their country every day with their professionalism and determination to get the job done in the Middle East.

He mentions their bravery and how some of them, despite their youth, do not hesitate to do anything that is required of them on the battlefield or in the unit. They have a job to do and they make sure they get it done, no matter what the danger to themselves personally.

And, he says, these servicemen are getting the job done, even though the progress can seem slow sometimes.

There will be many more questions about where to head next in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many people will still say it is time to go home.

And maybe it is.

But stories like Plummer’s and his dedication to the cause for which he fights, suggest that there are more issues to consider. Perhaps we need to be a little more sure that when we leave, all that these men and women have accomplished will not be lost in civil war and a power vacuum. Perhaps we need to make doubly sure those countries are ready to take care of themselves so that those who sacrificed their lives to stop terrorism and bring freedom to these nations will not have died in vain.

But those discussions are for later.

For now, Wayne County can be proud. There is a hero in this hometown.

Published in Editorials on November 22, 2005 11:03 AM