What's wrong with passing out a strip of cloth and a hunk of metal?
I'm not one of those people who think soldiers should get a ribbon for tying their shoelaces properly, as the Americans do. But I've also thought for a long time now that Canada has been a bit too stingy with decorations.
This story does nothing to dispel that impression:
An employee of the Kuwaiti embassy said his country first presented the 4,097 medals [recognizing the liberation of Kuwait] to the Canadian government in 1993. When they weren’t given to veterans, Kuwait minted another set of medals and gave them to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in October 2005.
The employee, who won’t give his name, said he has no idea why the second set wasn’t distributed.
Lucie Brosseau, media officer with the Governor General’s office, said Ottawa won’t be giving the medals out in the near future. Canada has its own medal to honour Gulf War veterans.
She said that in 1991, the Gulf and Kuwait Medal was given to veterans and Canada has a policy against presenting duplicate medals from foreign countries.
I really don't understand the rationale here. What's wrong with a Canadian soldier getting a pat on the back - and that's all a medal really is - from a country he or she helped to free?
Big organizations like the military need bureaucrats to keep big processes moving. I get that. It's a necessary evil. But this sort of gratuitous bureaucratic stonewalling is uselessly demoralizing.