(Photo by Craig Roberts)

Brokaw: honored to do the honoring

Longtime "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw is one of the country’s most vocal – and eloquent – supporters of the U.S. military. His book, "The Greatest Generation," is an example of respect and sense of pride for the men and women who have worn the uniform of their country.

A special guest at The American Legion’s Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball Monday night, Brokaw briefly spoke to attendees before introducing the 25 Medal of Honor recipients at the ball. A former American Legion Boys State governor, Brokaw spoke with Legion media after his appearance at the ball.

The American Legion: What was it like for you to be able to introduce the Medal of Honor recipients?

Tom Brokaw: It’s an honor, and I don’t use that phrase lightly – in part because I’ve gotten to know a number of these guys, and then I’ve read all the stories. And it’s always the same story: selfless. They did it because they were expected to do it. They were doing it on behalf of their buddies. It wasn’t about them. It was about the guys they were rescuing and the guys who couldn’t come back. It seems to be there’s no greater human endeavor than that.

TAL: In your interactions with the men and women serving in the military today, do you see any similarities between them and those you wrote about in "The Greatest Generation?"

TB: Absolutely. I think our warrior class is as good as it’s ever been. I take the word of my friends who are senior commanders in the military. They’re well-trained. They’re motivated. These men and women are smart, trained within an inch of their life, and they do a variety of things.