As a veteran of the United States Navy, I have to say that I am proud to have served my country, the United States of America. History of military service runs both in my immediate family as well as my extended family. It is especially important to recognize both my service and my family's service to the United States because we are also Black Americans with African heritage. Part of the rich heritage and history in the formation of this country comes from the service of Black military persons who, despite them not being accepted fully in the country they fought for, overcame all odds and obstacles to be a part of the hall of heroes and Medal of Honor recipients, this nation's highest military honor.
Over the next several weeks and months, as not only a veteran of the U.S. Navy but the owner of OASIS Security & Investigative Service, our Mindset Monday will give focus to these heroes who have paved the road and shaped the way for the United States to achieve where it is today. Therefore, for this Mindset Monday, we focus on Private William H. Carney of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.
In the book Brothers in Valor, author Robert Jefferson, Jr. writes about the efforts of Carney attempting to initially join the Union Army in the Civil War; however, it wasn't until 1863 that Carney was one of the initial 25 persons to join and be a part of the newly formed 54th Massachusetts Regiment. The 54th, as so famously known from the movie Glory, showed bravery within the few months of it being activated at the Battle of Fort Wagner, South Carolina. Although it would go down in history as a failed assault on Fort Wagner, the Union recognized Private Carney when he picked up the Standard (i.e.: U.S. flag) after Sgt. John Wall was wounded and could no longer carry the flag. Private Carney ensured that the Standard that Gov. John Andrew told him could not hit the ground, did not hit the ground. Although severely wounded from gun shot wounds to the chest, right arm, and both legs, Jefferson wrote what was documented during that time, stating that Private Carney commented to his fellow soldiers, "Boys, the old flag never touched the ground." Because of his bravery and heroic performance during the Battle of Fort Wagner, Private Carney was
promoted to Sergeant and awarded the nation's highest honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first African American to receive it; however, it would be another 40 years before Sergeant Carney would be recognized for his efforts publicly.
Sergeant Carney is one of so many Black Americans that contributed to the building and sustainment of America. We, at OASIS Security & Investigative Service, thank Sergeant William Carney, his family and his descendants paving for America to prosper.