The Medal of Honor rates a salute no matter what rank you are, even Commander-in-Chief. The medal is given to those who commit the most extraordinary valor in service to their nation. The casual reader should give pause while considering this idea.
Given the right treatment, this could probably be a the culmination of a grand short story. I once touched the Medal of Honor while setting up for an air show. It was "electric" for an almost complete lack of adjectives that would adequately describe it. The real thing - a moment unto itself. I felt like I was not seeing through my own eyes but watching myself through another's. Jaw dropped, cadet hands trembled.
Pacing and waiting for my guest at the hotel lobby, a WWII veteran tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "Have you ever seen one of these?"