Gold Medals or Gold Stars?

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Can you identify this person?

Bruce Jenner Vanity Fair

What about this one?

Major General Harold Greene

One of these individuals is revered as a hero for sacrificing his life for the freedom of the other to wear a dress and a wig. You probably could easily identify the first image of Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner, but the second may have presented a challenge. Major General Harold Greene is the highest-ranking officer killed in combat since 1970. A two-star U.S. Army general, Greene was shot to death in August 2014 in one of the bloodiest insider attacks of the Afghanistan war when a gunman dressed as an Afghan soldier turned on allied troops.Neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden attended the funeral of Major General Greene.

However, President Obama’s official twitter account tweeted that “it [took] courage to share your story” quoting Caitlyn Jenner’s first tweet where Caitlyn “introduces herself” to the world.

And therein lies the problem.

America has a skewed definition of “heroism.” We idolize Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner for having the “courage” to come out as transgender when, in reality, what he did was very low risk. Our generation is the most “accepting” and “tolerant” generation in the history of the world. We are constantly looking for barriers to break, and we are obsessed with changing the idea of how society views gender and family. In today’s political and social dynamic, there was no way Bruce would have gotten anything but praise for coming out as transgender. He had nothing to lose and only more fame and fortune to gain.

Even if the world rejected Caitlyn Jenner, Bruce will always be the “World’s Greatest Athlete.” He still has a gold medal, millions of dollars, loyal fans, and a famous family. No matter what he decides to do in the future, he will have fans, he will get interviews, he will land magazine covers. Coming out as transgender in 2015 did not take “great courage,” and we should stop treating it as a huge act of bravery.

There are people, however, who make sacrifices every day — voluntarily — so that our country is safe and we are free to wear and say what we want. Fighting in a war that our Commander in Chief says is over is courageous. Fighting in a war the media chooses to ignore is courageous. Obeying orders without question, sacrificing time with family and friends to serve others and ensure the safety of people with whom you don’t necessarily agree is courageous.

I refuse to stand by and allow my generation to ignore the sacrifices that true heroes are making on a daily basis while we idolize the rich and famous’ latest fads.

If not for the brave men and women who stand in the face of the enemy — not for acknowledgement or praise, but out of a pure love of freedom and their country — Bruce Jenner could be wearing a burka.