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A martyr is someone who dies for something worth believing in. I’m not talking about asshats who blow themselves up for some psychotic fairy tale god. Those people are not martyrs. Those people are spineless cowards who deserve nothing but eternal shame for their willful acts of ignorance and hatred.
A real martyr is someone who dies for something universally good. They lay down their lives so that other men may live free. Freedom is bigger than religious differences and petty politics. It’s the one constant that resonates deeply within American ideology and it’s something that, as Americans, we should all care a lot more about.
These men made the ultimate sacrifice so that history will remember why they fought and what they died for. I pray we do not take them for granted.
James Robinson is like the Avatar. His name is so awesome, it reincarnates over and over throughout history to restore balance to a world gone mad. There have been three different recipients of the Medal of Honor in three different wars and all three of them were different James Robinsons. Maybe it’s just coincidence or maybe James Robinson simply shows up when he’s needed most. Either way, his legendary name repeats throughout history, again and again.
Private James H. Robinson -1864
James H. Robinson was a Union soldier during the Civil War who enlisted in the 3rd Michigan Volunteer Cavalry Regiment when he was 18 years old. He received the Medal of Honor for defending himself against seven rebel soldiers before finally killing their leader, Captain W.C. Stephenson. He was killed later that day at the battle of Brownsville, Arkansas. Say what you want about the Civil War, but when a man beats down seven other men and single handedly kills their leader, you gotta give the guy a golf clap.
Sure, some of you might feel like James H. Robinson is a carpet bagging son of a bitch, but you’ve got to see past the political bullshit. My great granddaddy rode in the Alabama cavalry and I’m proud as hell of my Southern heritage. In some ways, things would’ve been a lot better if the South seceded, but other things would’ve been much worse… You know, things like civil rights.
The point is that we fought a war over it and the South lost. I know it’s a tender topic for some, but it’s critical to understand that James H. Robinson fought for what he believed in. He fought for his loved ones and he fought for his countrymen. James Robinson fought for America, even when it was being torn apart before his very eyes. If that doesn’t make him one hell of a hero, I don’t know what does.
1st Lieutenant James E. Robinson, Jr. -1945
James E. Robinson, Jr. was a forward observer for field artillery attached to Company A, 253d Infantry, near Untergriesheim, Germany during WWII. They had been getting worked over for 8 hours in open terrain by German machine guns and mortar fire. After most of the essential enlisted badasses and the commanding officer had been killed, 1st Lt. James E. Robinson took command of the company. With radio in hand, dialing in artillery, he rallied the remaining men and charged for the objective.
As he led his men through foxholes, he killed ten Nazi bastards at point-blank range with his rifle and pistol. Soon after, he was ordered to seize the town of Kressbach — with only the 19 men he had left.
During the siege of the heavily defended city, he took a shell fragment to the neck, but refused medical aid. Despite his mortal injuries, he screamed into the radio until American forces captured the town. When he was no longer able to speak, he relinquished command of Company A and walked nearly 2 miles to an aid station where he died of his injuries.
Sergeant James W. Robinson, Jr. -1966
Company C was engaged in a fierce firefight with an entire Vietcong battalion in Vietnam. Snipers in trees were inflicting heavy casualties. Sergeant Robinson found the sniper dealing the most damage and gave that silly bitch free flight lessons with his grenade launcher. A medic was shot while administering first aid in front of Sgt. Robinson’s position, so he charged out under enemy fire and dragged both of the wounded men to safety, where he administered first aid that saved their lives.
As the battle raged on, Robinson moved about in the midst of the madness, collecting weapons and ammo from the wounded and dead to redistribute to able-bodied soldiers.
When another comrade was wounded in front of him, he charged out again into enemy fire for a rescue. He got shot in the shoulder and the leg, but despite his injuries, Robinson was still able to drag the wounded man to cover and administer first aid, saving the soldier’s life.
He wasn’t even done patching up his own wounds when he spotted an enemy machine gun that had been raping their position all day long. He went to shoot, but was completely out of ammunition. Without hesitation, he grabbed 2 grenades and bolted towards the entrenched weapon. On the way, he was shot in the leg with a tracer round that set his clothes on fire.
He ripped off his burning clothes and staggered like a half-naked mad man into enemy fire, which was now focused solely on him. He was shot twice more in the chest before he stumbled into throwing range. With his last breath he summoned the ungodly strength needed to hurl the grenades into the machine gun nest. Robinson fell dead upon the battlefield before he even heard the explosions.