WEST POINT, N.Y. — While teaching an impromptu class at Army Garrison Ansbach, Germany, on the proper use of social media, retired Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Hamilton offered some unexpected proof to his students that the Internet never forgets.Hamilton plugged his own name into the search bar during the November 2014 lesson, an exercise that showed no revealing personal information. But when Lori Yerdon, chief of the public affairs office where Hamilton worked, suggested adding “U.S. Army” to the search, something very personal showed up: general orders from Army Headquarters from Oct. 30, 1989, showing Hamilton had received the Soldier’s Medal for his actions in the aftermath of an Aug. 30, 1988, helicopter crash in Central America.
The Soldier’s Medal is the highest award for bravery not involving combat. It’s a big deal. Good on his unit getting the nomination made, but that’s some spectacular fail not getting it actually awarded.