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Heroes Just Doing Their Job

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School History, Language Arts

Students will:
• Recognize family commonalities through past military contributions.
• Develop descriptions of today’s Hollywood military hero.
• Compare and contrast television and movie heroes to a Medal of Honor recipient.
• Differentiate whether Medal of Honor recipients are heroes or just “doing their jobs.”
• Evaluate Hollywood’s depiction of military heroes.

Medal of Honor Focus: Patrick H. Brady, Major, U.S. Army, Medical Service Corps, 54th Medical Attachment,
   67th Medical Group, 44th Medical Brigade / Vietnam War

Day 1
Introductory Activity:

Students will write the names of any family members who have ever served in the armed forces or are currently
serving. Students will also write the names of family members currently serving in the military on colored paper.
Students will place their piece(s) of paper in a jar. The class will be able to visualize how many families are
connected to veterans.

Small Group/Individual Activity:
Divide students into small groups. Groups will compose a list of adjectives that describe the military heroes they
have seen on television and in the movies. Each group will share their lists.

Whole Group Activity:
Students will view the vignette based on Patrick Brady’s Medal of Honor citation. After watching the segment, ask
students how today’s media portrays these soldiers. Is there an emphasis on the troop perspective, saving the lives
of fellow service members or working with the indigenous population versus killing?

Concluding Activity:
The teacher will ask students to interview a family member who is serving or has served in the military what they
think about Hollywood's portrayal of military heroes as compared to their own experience. Students will write
responses in preparation for Day 2.

Day 2
Small Group Activity

Students will get into groups based on the war in which their interviewee served. Students will share and discuss
their interviewee's responses.

Concluding Activity:
Ask students to reflect on what they noticed after discussing the responses. Was there a consensus or any patterns
in the responses? Do real life heroes seem like most characters portrayed by Hollywood? Students will write an essay
in which they will evaluate Hollywood’s depiction of military heroes. They will explain whether their views of military heroes
have changed or not.

Discussion, lists, essay

Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. NY: Artisan, 2006.

In Their Own Words