April 25, 2017

Starbucks unveils ‘Military Family Stores,' serving up jobs to American Veterans





Starbucks unveils ‘Military Family Stores,' serving up jobs to American Veterans

FOX News


At the Starbucks on Fort Campbell Boulevard in Clarksville, Tenn. -- two miles from the U.S. military base -- store manager Shannon Feltz pours hot coffee for a group of veterans seated at a communal table.

On a shelf next to the register are rows of green-and-white mugs reading: "Proudly serving those who serve."

On Tuesday, the Clarksville store became one of 37 around the country designated by the coffeehouse chain as "Military Family Stores" -- stores staffed primarily by veterans and military spouses as part of a larger effort to employ service members and their families nationwide.

Seventy-five percent of my business is the military," said 47-year-old Feltz, a 14-year military spouse whose husband is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army.
"We are so excited about this announcement," Feltz told Fox News.

Of the corporate Seattle-based coffee giant, Feltz said, "I've never felt so supported by a company in my life."
Shannon Feltz Expand / Contract

Shannon Feltz, a military spouse, serves coffee at the new Starbucks Military Family Store in Clarksville, Tenn.

Starbucks on Tuesday unveiled four other new Military Family Stores: Two in Texas, serving Camp Mabry in Austin and Ft. Bliss in El Paso; one in Newport, Rhode Island, near Naval War College; and another in Bedford, Mass., a few miles from Joint Base Hanscom.

The stores -- now at 37 -- are part of a broader initiative by Starbucks to provide thousands of jobs to veterans and military spouses, while also serving as communal hubs where current and former service members can connect, share stories and become part of a larger support network.

The company has committed to hiring 25,000 veteran and military spouses by 2025. Starbucks has currently employed more than 10,000 veteran and military spouse partners since it announced its initiative in 2013.

"Service members and military spouses are the best example of engaged citizens," John Kelly, a Starbucks senior vice president, said.


"Long after leaving active duty, they continue to vote, volunteer and serve their communities at a high rate, serving as the best examples of citizenship," Kelly said. "We are honored to serve as a place where these American heroes can continue to impact their community in a positive way."


In addition, many coffee shops designated as Military Family Stores have also joined the "Adopt a Military Unit program," in which store partners sponsor units and send care packages to active military deployed overseas.

Approximately 453,000 veterans were unemployed in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate of veterans for that year varied across the nation, ranging from 1.8 percent in Indiana to 7.6 percent in the District of Columbia. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 39,471 veterans are homeless on any given night.

Matt Kress, a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Iraq, worked as a firefighter in California before managing the veterans and military affairs program for Starbucks.

Kress described the transition from active combat to civilian life as a "frightening period" during which military personnel enter a "major unknown."

Starbucks' veteran initiative, he said, provides help in every way to a community whose unique needs are often overlooked.

"Some of our veterans are only with us for a year, while others are here longer," he said. "This is their landing spot to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their life."



Posted by Wild Thing at 08:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2016

New Low' - Bodies Of Vets Languish At Hines V.A. Hospital - Abandoned Brothers






New Low' - Bodies Of Vets Languish At Hines V.A. Hospital - Abandoned Brothers



Wild Thing's comment................

This is totally unforgivable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Posted by Wild Thing at 09:47 AM

June 30, 2016

Who Does This To An American Flag…At A Veterans Cemetery?







Who Does This To An American Flag…At A Veterans Cemetery?

Stan Sniezyk noticed piles of American flags at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery and called Call 12 for Action.


Wild Thing's comment................

The outright disrespect for our flag/our military/our veterans/our country is absolutely mind numbing!



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

June 06, 2016

The D-Day Landing At Normandy, June 6th, 1944




President Ronald Reagan Speaks at Normandy ...Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day 6/6/84



The D-Day Landing At Normandy, June 6th, 1944…

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Order of the Day

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.



Wild Thing's comment..............


From my heart I thank you Veterans for my Freedom!!!!! I hope the schools today still teach about D-Day, the reasons and meaning for the free world of that day. In France it is highly recognized and celebrated..

So very few of those men are still with us and time is growing short before they join their other comrades.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:14 PM | Comments (1)

May 20, 2016

College Fires Ex-Delta Force Hero General After Transgender Bathroom Comment



College Fires Ex-Delta Force Hero General After Transgender Bathroom Comment

FOX News


Jerry Boykin is the kind of man you’d want teaching your sons – a good and decent man, an honorable man – a Christian man.

For the past nine years the retired lieutenant general has taught leadership and ethics at Hampden-Sydney College, a highly regarded, all-male school based in Virginia. By many accounts – he is beloved and deeply respected by students.

But Gen. Boykin will not be returning to the classroom this fall. That’s because he tells me he’s been fired.

The man who was one of the original members of Delta Force and once commanded all of the U.S. Army’s Green Berets – the man who served his nation with honor and distinction for more than 36 years – was ousted because of political correctness.

In March, Gen. Boykin delivered a speech to conservatives and he referenced the national uproar over transgendered people using the ladies room.

He cracked a joke: “The first man who goes into the restroom with my daughter will not have to worry about surgery.”


Laughter ensued.

But militant LGBT activists were not laughing.

“I never said homosexuals. I never said transgenders,” he told me. “I was really talking about these perverts who would use this as a way to get into the bathrooms with our wives and daughters.”


Boykin, who also serves as an executive vice president of the Family Research Council, tells me as many as 150 activists signed a letter written to the college demanding that he be fired.

“They claimed I was calling for violence against transgenders,” he told me. “Obviously it is not true. It was a figure of speech. It was meant to be humorous and it was humorous to the audience.”

You’d think that militant LGBT activists would enjoy a good rib-tickler. Apparently, they do not.

“Political correctness is absolutely out of control,” he said.

Boykin learned just recently that he would not be returning to the college – without warning.

“I was not given a chance to defend myself,” he said. “I was not given an opportunity to explain myself. That’s the sad part of it. The school is better than that.”

Apparently, they are not.

Unlike the cowardly actions of the school’s leadership, I decided to allow the school’s administration a chance to do what they denied to Gen. Boykin – a chance to explain what happened.

“His contract was simply not renewed,” said Thomas Shomo, the college’s director of communications. “We felt it was time academically for a change.”

Shomo said Boykin worked part time – teaching two classes a semester -- serving in a position that had been set up years ago for short-term residencies for professionals in the Wilson Center for Leadership.

So did the college have concerns about Gen. Boykin’s speech?

“Yes. They were of concern,” Shomo told me. “They appeared to advocate or approve of violence.”

But he denied the speech had anything to do with giving the boot to an American hero.

“The concerns about Jerry Boykin’s comments were not the determining factor in this decision,” Shomo said – noting that the timing of their decision was entirely coincidental.

I don’t know about you folks, but I feel like we’re knee-deep in Grade-A fertilizer.

“You know he [Boykin] is an outspoken person who has many controversial views,” Shomo said. “He has expressed those controversial views in various forms over the last nine years and the college has not reacted to those.”

Does the administration of Hampden-Sydney College truly believe that protecting women from would-be predators is a controversial view?

The general has many defenders – including former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

“At a time where young people are desperately seeking hope and inspiration, you would think General Boykin would be one of their most valued faculty,” Sen. Cruz wrote on Facebook. “But instead, he fell victim to the PC police.”

FRC President Tony Perkins blasted the college’s leadership.

“What a contrast between the easily intimidated leadership of Hampden-Sydney College and men, like Gen. Boykin, who have spent their lives facing real danger so that LGBT agitators could enjoy the freedoms and rights they want to deny others,” Perkins told me.

Fred Larmore, a 1974 graduate of the college and a former board member, told me that students and alumni are furious over the decision to oust Boykin.

“General Boykin got an extremely raw deal,” he told me.

Hampden-Sydney was founded in 1776. They take great pride in their motto: “Come here as boys so you may leave as men.”

“General Boykin is the perfect example of how that happens,” Larmore told me. “He is a role model for the students. There’s no question that he’s the real deal.”

What happened to Gen. Boykin should serve as a wake-up call to every freedom-loving patriot across the fruited plain.

There is a concerted effort afoot to silence any American who cherishes traditional American values.

“They [LGBT activists] are shrewd, they are very well organized and they are unified – which is something the Church is not,” Boykin told me. “The Church is not unified. Therefore, the church fights piecemeal battles rather than doing what the LGBT community did in my case. They came together and launched a major attack and they succeeded.”

So the question at hand – my fellow Americans – is what are we going to do about it?

General Boykin plans on fighting back.

“It makes me even more determined that I’m going to do everything I can to stop men from going into bathrooms with my daughters, my wife and my granddaughters,” he said. “I am going to be a very outspoken antagonist on this issue.”

Spoken like a true American patriot.

As for Hampden-Sydney College – it seems as if their leadership places a higher value on political correctness than duty and honor.



Wild Thing's comment..................

Boykin deserves another medal . The Patriot Medal.I wish more men were like Boykin. Too many stay silent, too many do not want to make waves, wanting someone else to fight the battles within our country. The ones that do speak up even if not enough of them are all conservatives.

The left does anything they can to bring down America.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

May 14, 2016

Crowds Line Streets To Honor Navy SEAL Killed In Iraq


Crowds Line Streets To Honor Navy SEAL Killed In Iraq


Schoolchildren, retired Navy officers and throngs of others were expected to line the streets of the Southern California military town of Coronado on Friday to honor a special warfare operator killed in Iraq.

Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV died in a gunbattle with Islamic State fighters this month, making him the third service member killed in Iraq since U.S. forces returned there in 2014. His remains will be transported across a bridge to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, where he will be buried as a chief petty officer, a rank he received posthumously.

The 31-year-old Keating, who grew up in Phoenix, “was a dedicated and professional SEAL, a true warrior,” his Coronado-based SEAL Team 1 said in a statement.

“The legacy he leaves behind, for his fellow SEALs and for those who knew him, is unmistakable,” the group said. “He died bravely, doing what he loved, and what he believed in.”

The public tribute for Keating is expected to resemble the outpouring for two SEALs in 2011. Thousands waved flags to honor the pair killed in a downed helicopter in Afghanistan as their remains were transported across the bay to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

The picturesque cemetery overlooking the bay to one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other is officially full, but exceptions are made for those killed in action.

At a memorial ceremony attended by more than a thousand people in Coronado on Thursday, Keating was posthumously awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest combat medal, for his heroic actions during a battle against Islamic State fighters in Iraq, said Lt. Beth Teach, a spokeswoman for the SEALs.


Wild Thing's comment..........

It is nice to know there are still some people that appreciate our military and the sacrifices those serving our country do.

Rest in peace Charles Keating.



Posted by Wild Thing at 11:30 AM

May 03, 2016

May is Military Appreciation Month!




This is great! Gene Simmons Military Tribute



Posted by Wild Thing at 10:57 AM

This 83-year-old vet reminds Texans of sacrifice by playing ‘Taps’ daily




This 83-year-old vet reminds Texans of sacrifice by playing ‘Taps’ daily


When the sun begins to set over Galveston, TX, one veteran will stop traffic at a downtown intersection and face a balcony from which another veteran will step out and play “Taps.” This tribute has been a daily occurrence – for the past four years. For a very touching reason.

Guy Taylor, 83, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. One of his best friends, Cpl David Champagne, served in the Korean War with him and was killed in action. Years later, Taylor visited his friend’s grave in Maine. It was there that he vowed to play ‘Taps’ every day in Champagne’s honor and in honor of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Constable Clint Wayne Brown, a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, heard Taylor’s very first tribute. To his dismay, no one else besides him was paying attention. “I thought, ‘No, that’s not how this works,” Brown said in an interview with CBS News. He pulled his patrol car out in front of traffic to make people stop, watch, and listen. Every day since then Brown has been silencing local traffic for a moment while Taylor plays “Taps.”

On March 18th, Karla Burton Smith and her husband were eating dinner at a restaurant that is across the street from Taylor’s balcony. She took a video of that moment and shared it on her Facebook page. It has been shared over 123,000 times. “I think that hearing “Taps” — that final farewell song — struck a chord with everybody,” Smith said in an interview with Wide Open Country. “Every generation, whether you’re younger or older, is impacted by someone in our country’s involvement in the military combat.”

Due to the exposure from the viral video of Taylor’s “Taps” performance, hundreds of veterans around the country have stood on 21st and Post Office Street in downtown Galveston at sunset in solidarity to honor their fallen brothers. What started as one veteran who humbly committed never forget his fallen friend in such a unique way now encourages many Americans to remember those who have paid for our freedom with their lives.

“I hope it lets people realize that this matters,” Smith said. “We need to give respect to our veterans; they have all sacrificed so much.”




Wild Thing's comment..............

A humble thank you to Veterans and those serving now, I thank you with all my heart.


Posted by Wild Thing at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)

March 20, 2016

Pentagon Erroneously Withheld $78 Million From Combat Wounded Veterans Over 25 Years



Pentagon Erroneously Withheld $78 Million From Combat Wounded Veterans Over 25 Years


Stars & Stripes

The Pentagon has been deducting money erroneously from combat-wounded veterans’ severance pay for 25 years, an error officials knew about for years and that might have affected upwards of 13,000 troops, according to lawmakers and a veterans advocacy group.

Now lawmakers are trying to return the money — estimated to be $78 million — through a bi-partisan bill introduced Thursday.

Federal law prohibits taxation of the lump sum disability severance paid to troops who separate from service after combat-related injuries. But the pay system used by the Department of Defense has been automatically deducting taxes from those payments since 1991, according to a joint statement from the National Veterans Legal Services Program and Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Mark Warner, D-VA.

The error often cost individual troops thousands of dollars.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program, a nonprofit veterans service organization, first discovered the problem and brought it to the attention of lawmakers.

“Most troubling is that we learned the government had known about this problem for decades yet continued to take this money from thousands of disabled veterans,” Tom Moore, an attorney with the National Veterans Legal Services Program, said in the joint statement.


The Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016, introduced Thursday by Boozman and Warner, would direct the DOD to identify veterans who have had money wrongly withheld and reimburse them.

“It’s unbelievable that Congress has to act in order to ensure that the law is followed and that veterans who have already sacrificed so much receive every penny of their severance,” Warner said in a statement.


Wild Thing's comment............

Bastards!


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:50 AM

February 18, 2016

Veterans Leader Sean Parnell: Marco Has the Best Record on VA Issues





Veterans Leader Sean Parnell: Marco Has the Best Record on VA Issues

Sean Parnell is a highly decorated combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan and is the New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon. He is also the co-founder of the American Warrior Initiative.

Here’s what he has to say about Marco’s leadership on veterans’ issues:

As a retired Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan, I have seen countless examples of true leadership and commitment to those who have served our nation in uniform. Sadly, these qualities have been sorely missing over the past seven years at both the commander-in-chief level and at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This year’s presidential election is a chance to put these issues front and center and elect a president who can actually reverse course, rebuild our military, and honor our veterans with real, fundamental reforms at the VA.

There are many solid candidates running for the GOP nomination, all of which say good things about fixing the VA. All would be better than Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders—each an apologist for a failed VA bureaucracy. I firmly believe America’s veterans deserve a president who isn’t just outraged with the VA’s ongoing problems and scandals, but also has a proven record of doing something about it.

That is why, as a long-time advocate for veterans and VA reform, I feel a responsibility to set the record straight about the candidate who has truly made veterans issues a priority, doggedly fought for VA accountability, and ultimately gotten results for veterans. I can attest to the fact that Senator Marco Rubio is that kind of leader — because I have seen it firsthand.

Before the VA’s recent scandals even became public and rocked our nation, Senator Rubio teamed up with House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller to introduce the VA Management Accountability Act of 2014, which would give the VA secretary the authority to fire VA managers who were failing at their jobs. To Senator Rubio, it didn’t take a scandal for him to spring into action and lead on this accountability issue; he had already seen the cases of terrible treatment come through his Senate office—and resolved to take action. To Senator Rubio, this was also personal, as he saw his older brother, a former Green Beret, embroiled in a years-long dispute with the VA over dental care for an injury sustained while serving.

One would think that Senator Rubio’s proposal for firing the people responsible for the VA scandals would find unanimous support in Congress, but it didn’t. Entrenched public sector unions opposed the bill, as did their congressional allies, including then-Senate VA committee chairman Bernie Sanders who blocked it. Undeterred, Rubio worked at it, showing his passion for veterans but also the leadership skills to get things done for us. As he worked to advance the bill, there were no headlines to be had and it was an uphill battle — yet Senator Rubio and his staff persisted.

He went out and rallied public support for it. He quietly reached across the aisle and convinced Democrats and Republicans alike to co-sponsor the bill on its merits, resulting in a majority of senators backing it. Although then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to hold a vote on it, Rubio would not accept defeat. Every day seemed to expose a new failing of the VA under President Obama and, when the House and Senate passed different bills to fundamentally reform the VA, Rubio was asked to join the conference committee that negotiated a final bill – even though he does not even serve on the veterans committee that usually works on these issues.

Ultimately, Rubio succeeded in getting new VA accountability measures passed into law as part of a larger VA reform bill. But when it comes to helping our veterans, he’s not done. He has aggressively stayed on top of the administration to fully implement this law and fire all VA managers who are responsible for failing our veterans. He is again working with Jeff Miller on a new bill, the VA Accountability Act of 2015, which would expand the VA secretary’s firing authority to any VA employee that fails our veterans — a commonsense measure that the VA unions again oppose, that Senate Democrats are determined to block and that President Obama has already threatened to veto.

In addition to prioritizing and fully implementing these accountability measures at the VA, Rubio’s record and agenda offer additional proof that he’d be a president that takes care of our veterans and makes sure they have opportunities to achieve the American Dream after their service to our country is complete. Among many issues he has championed, Senator Rubio supports fundamentally reforming our VA health system and giving veterans real health care choices when the VA fails to take care of them. He knows it’s not just about accountability, but also giving veterans choices to access VA care or care from private providers. Senator Rubio and his office are always looking for the best ideas to help veterans, and always ahead of the curve on real policy reform.

South Carolina voters and veterans will soon go to the polls to choose a president and commander-in-chief. There are lots of strong options. But if fixing the VA, rebuilding our military, and doing right by our veterans is a top priority for you, then Senator Rubio should be your first and only choice. I can attest that he is fully committed — and capable — of putting an end to the bureaucratic nightmares that have plagued the VA and our veterans altogether. We deserve nothing less.




Wild Thing's comment............

Fantastic, this is wonderful. CNN had a town hall last night and Marco was so good. They had Ben Carson, Rubio and Cruz each one on separately which was nice. Then tomorrow night will be the rest of the candidates.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

February 11, 2016

70 years later, WWII Veteran Norwood Thomas reunites with wartime girlfriend in Australia




70 years later, WWII Veteran Norwood Thomas reunites with wartime girlfriend in Australia

A 93-year-old World War II veteran from the United States embraced his wartime girlfriend in Australia in their reunion Wednesday after more than 70 years apart.

Norwood Thomas and 88-year-old Joyce Morris laughed as they wrapped their arms around each other after Thomas flew from Virginia to the southern Australian city of Adelaide to reconnect with his long-lost love.

"This is about the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me," Thomas said, in a reunion broadcast on Channel 10's "The Project."

"Good," Morris replied with a laugh. "We're going to have a wonderful fortnight."


Morris was a 17-year-old British girl and Thomas was a 21-year-old paratrooper when they first met in London shortly before D-Day. After the war, he returned to the U.S. The pair wrote letters to each other, and Thomas asked Morris to come to the U.S. to marry him. But somehow Morris misunderstood and thought he'd found someone else, so she stopped writing.

The two eventually married other people. Thomas' wife died in 2001; Morris divorced her husband after 30 years.

Last year, Morris asked one of her sons to look for Thomas online, and they found his name featured in an article about D-Day that ran in The Virginian-Pilot.

Thomas and Morris reconnected via Skype. After their story went public, hundreds of people made donations to help fund Thomas' trip to Australia from his hometown in Virginia Beach.

The two are planning to spend Valentine's Day together.




Wild Thing's comment...............

God bless both of them.



Posted by Wild Thing at 01:55 AM

January 23, 2016

Soldiers Continue To Guard Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier During Historic Snowstorm



Soldiers Continue To Guard Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier During Historic Snowstorm

ABC News

The snowstorm bearing down on the nation’s capital is not stopping the small group of soldiers who continually stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Much as they did during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Tomb Sentinels will brave the elements to continue guarding the hallowed memorial.

Since April 6, 1948, Tomb Sentinels from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment’s “The Old Guard” have guarded the Tomb for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the weather.

“These guys will be out in the snow, no matter what,” said Major Russell Fox, a spokesman for the Army’s Old Guard. “They love what they’re doing and they’re dedicated.”
And while the rest of Washington may be dreading the storm, Fox said “a lot of the guys are looking forward to this and kind of excited about it.”

A “relief” typically consists of six Tomb Sentinels who serve a 24-hour shift guarding the Tombs. They turn over watch of the tombs to another relief every morning at 6 a.m.

Arlington National Cemetery closed its doors at noon today and will be closed through the weekend, but plans call for the planned turnover of reliefs to take place Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The Tomb Sentinels are a familiar sight to most tourists who visit Arlington National Cemetery. Dressed in their dress blue uniforms, they “walk the mat” on the plaza in front of the white marble sarcophagus that lies above the remains of an unknown soldier from World War I. Unknown soldiers from World War II and the Korean War are buried in crypts in front of the sarcophagus.

The sentinels march in front of the tombs for 21 paces, then face north to stand at attention for 21 seconds before marching 21 paces in the other direction.

It is standard when the cemetery is closed for the members of the relief change out of their formal uniforms into camouflaged uniforms.

During inclement weather and nighttime hours, the tomb's sentinels can stand watch over the tomb in a small enclosure made of green cloth with an awning known as "the box," which is located 20 feet from the tomb plaza. Sentinels can remain inside the box for 2-hour intervals with their M-14 rifles by their side, though they are not required to be at attention.

During Hurricane Sandy, one soldier volunteered to stand watch over the tomb for an unprecedented 23 hours straight, during which he sometimes walked the mat.

For the snowstorm, Fox said the sentinels will be continually shoveling snow from the plaza so that it does not accumulate and impedes their duty.


Wild Thing's comment..............

Our country is so very blessed to have our awesome military. They are so exceptional.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:45 AM

December 07, 2015

Remembering Pearl Harbor: Dorie Miller





Remembering Pearl Harbor: Dorie Miller

Dorie Miller awoke at 6am to serve breakfast on the USS West Virginia when the first torpedo hit. Despite enemy fire, he moved the mortally wounded ship's captain to safety. (DoD video by Navy Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Timothy J. Haake)


Wild Thing's comment.............

Never forgetting those that served, our true Heroes.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Remembering Pearl Harbor Dec 7th, 1941: Cornelia Clark Fort




Cornelia Clark Fort was the first U.S. pilot to encounter the Japanese air fleet during the attack on Pearl Harbor. (DoD video by Navy Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Timothy J. Haake, Defense Media Activity)



Wild Thing's comment......................

Liberals want to rewrite history all the time, I am so glad we have these videos to share of those that served our country.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

November 11, 2015

Veterans Never Forgotten - Thank you!






Veterans Never Forgotten

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.” -- Ronald Reagan



To protect the Nation they love, our veterans stepped forward when America needed them most. In conflicts around the world, their sacrifice and resolve helped destroy the enemies of freedom and saved millions from oppression. In answering history's call with honor, decency, and resolve, our veterans have shown the power of liberty and earned the respect and admiration of a grateful Nation.

All of America's veterans have placed our Nation's security before their own lives, creating a debt that we can never fully repay. Our veterans represent the best of America, and they deserve the best America can give them.

As we recall the service of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, we are reminded that the defense of freedom comes with great loss and sacrifice. This Veterans Day, we give thanks to those who have served freedom's cause; we salute the members of our Armed Forces who are confronting our adversaries abroad; and we honor the men and women who left America's shores but did not live to be thanked as veterans. They will always be remembered by our country.

To the corpsmen, the doctors and nurses so very brave to do what they do.

To the pilots and crews, the crew chief, mechanics and base engineers. the missileers, submariners , the reservists, the National Guard , the paratroopers, the cavalry, the Special Forces, the SEALS, the UDT, the EOD, the Delta Force, the Air Commandos, the Marine Recon, the Rangers , the cooks and truck drivers and the fuelers and the boiler tenders and the boatswain mates, quartermasters, the gunner's mates and the stewards and the laundrymen, the clerk-typists , DI's, the guards, the MPs, the Shore Patrol ............so many all a part of making our military the best.

If I left anyone out I am so sorry. We owe our Veterans so much, we owe them everything. And damn to hell anyone that does not appreciate our Military, our Veterans, and our troops today.

God bless them all and may they always know the pride we have for each one of them.

Thank you Veterans one and all!!

Chrissie aka Wild Thing



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM

November 10, 2015

Veterans Upset Over CAIR Involvement In Upcoming Veteran’s Day Parade



Veterans Upset Over CAIR Involvement In Upcoming Veteran’s Day Parade


As backlash grows against a Muslim group participating in Tulsa’s Veterans Day Parade this year, several veterans held an anti-CAIR rally Sunday to protest the group’s involvement.

The outrage among many veterans has continued to grow after the Council for Islamic-American Relations, or CAIR, was approved for a float in the Veterans Day parade.

Many say this isn’t about Islam as a religion – they believe this group has terrorist ties.

Rex Morgan is a former helicopter mechanic for the U.S. Marines.

“I got a son who’s in right now. So it runs in the family,” he said.

A family history of patriotism is what he says brought him to rally Sunday to stand up against CAIR, a group he calls the enemy.



Wild Thing's comment..............

Obama's fellow Muslims have to but in, this is horrible.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2015

Volunteers Honor Wounded Vets with Purple Parking Spaces



Volunteers Honor Wounded Vets with Purple Parking Spaces

FOX News


Armed with purple paint and rollers, volunteers are going to work to help designate pre-arranged parking spaces for men and women who were injured in combat.

People across the country are mobilizing to honor wounded veterans in a special new way.

Armed with purple paint and rollers, volunteers are increasingly going to work to help designate pre-arranged parking spaces for men and women who were injured in combat.

The program was introduced by the Wounded Warriors Family Support organization, which hands out free parking signs to any establishment that wants them.

Local stores, churches, schools and public facilities have asked to put up purple signs of their own, paving way for a trend now “stretching from coast to coast,” said the group on its website.

"There are an estimated 1.8 million Purple Heart recipients, combat wounded service members who have transitioned back into civilian life," the group says.

Volunteers have included everyone from eighth graders to other veterans paying their respects.


Wild Thing's comment............


It is good to see people wanting to do something for our Veterans. They have done so much for all of us.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

November 01, 2015

Thunderous applause greets brothers during veteran tour






Thunderous applause greets brothers during veteran tour

Henry and Homer Montgomery were surprised by the attention they received as they traveled to Washington, D.C. as part of Honor Flight Upstate. The World War II veterans were met by large, cheering crowds as they toured monuments and memorials.



Wild Thing's comment.............

WOW this is so great.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

October 13, 2015

Twin Daughters Of Air Force Vet Barred From Wearing Jackets With Logo To School




Twin Daughters Of Air Force Vet Barred From Wearing Jackets With Logo To School

From the flag outside their Providence Village home to the photos inside, the Rolens are a proud military family.

Eleven-year-old twins Kaidence and Abigail were even born on an Air Force base.

So the new fall jackets they bought to wear to Aubrey Middle School shouldn’t be a surprise.

“The Air Force ones they picked out — we might’ve nudged them a little bit,” says Phil Rolen, their father.

But the girls didn’t expect the reaction they got from teachers once they stepped into their classrooms.

“She yelled at me and said that’s out of the dress code and that she would get me in trouble if I wore something out of dress code,” says Kaidence.

“It’s political correctness run amok,” says their father.

He is a disabled Iraq War veteran who immediately called the principal and was told the Air Force logo was fine, just too large for the district’s strict dress code.


“The district has a blanket policy doesn’t allow administrators to make commonsense exceptions to rules that I think most Texans would agree are absolutely superfluous,” says Rolen.

The school district told CBS 11 News in a statement that “Aubrey ISD has a student dress code to follow, just as our military personnel are expected to wear uniforms.”

The Rolens say the dress code policy needs to change, not their daughters attire.

“We’ve certainly fought bigger fights in life,” says Rolen.



Wild Thing's comment.............

I think it's a very attractive logo. I bet if it wasn't associated with the military there would be no problem.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

July 23, 2015

5 Iconic Directors Who Served In War






5 Iconic Directors Who Served In War



Wild Thing's comment............

Love finding this out like this, very interesting.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2015

WW11 Veterans talk tenacity, even in the darkest times


WW11 Veterans talk tenacity, even in the darkest times

US Army


A woman in a neon yellow safety vest and dark sunglasses warned the chattering crowd of what was about to happen: smoke and noise. Hold on to your hats and cameras, she advised, because the engines will create a serious backdraft. Propellers roared to life. People clutched hats to their heads and coughed on oily smoke as the vintage military planes warmed up for their test flight.

The Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia hosted four World War II era bombers as part of the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover test flight, May 7, in preparation for a flight over Washington, D.C., the following day to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe, or V-E Day. Veterans and their Family members, as well as members of the public, were invited to view the test flight. A few lucky people were even allowed to ride in the planes for the flight.

Urban Rahoi, a 96-year-old pilot from Alaska, was one of the lucky few. That's right, Rahoi is still a working pilot, but flying in one of the old bombers was a treat for the former Army captain, who flew with the Army Air Corps' 15th Air Force, 463rd Bomb Group in 1944.

Rahoi, spry and enthusiastic, was all smiles as he answered questions before the test flight. He flew five missions while stationed in Italy, and claims he was never afraid.

"Let's look at it this way: If I live, I'll live. If I'm meant to die, I'll die. So I just went out and never was scared or anything," Rahoi said.

Rahoi was stationed overseas for a year and half, at the request of a general, who wanted him to help keep the other pilots in order. After V-E Day, Rahoi was in Italy for about more six months.


"We took the B-17s and converted them to passenger planes and hauled people from Italy over to Casablanca. And so part of my job was to keep the pilots straight," he said.

Rahoi said he believes having the flyover is great, because it shows that people still remember what happened during World War II, and why the Soldiers were fighting.

Four planes were exhibited during the test flight: a B-24 Liberator, two B-17 Flying Fortresses, and one B-29 Superfortress, the last B-29 still actively flying.

Guests were allowed to explore inside the planes after the test flight and subsequent cool down.

SUPERFORTRESS

"I'm excited [about the flyover] because I feel that it's important that we keep alive that we fought a great war to save democracy," another veteran, Bob Vaucher, told a crowd of reporters on the flight line while awaiting takeoff.


Vaucher wore a black ball cap sporting the word "Superfortress" to keep the relentless sun out of his eyes. A retired lieutenant colonel, Vaucher flew B-29s - four-propeller heavy bombers - during his service with the Army Air Corps during World War. His very first mission, June 5, 1944, in the skies over Japan, was just a day before D-Day in Europe.

"I led the largest in-land bombing mission in World War II over Yokohama," Vaucher said. "And in one mission we wiped out [the city]. We had 452 B-29s on that mission, and you might wonder how we felt when the atomic bomb was dropped. Two days after we all got pictures of what happened at Hiroshima, we looked at these pictures and we couldn't believe that one airplane had done all the damage that we did with 450 airplanes."

Vaucher's mission to Yokohama destroyed 7 square miles, using hundreds of planes and bombs, while the atom bomb destroyed 4 square miles in one fell swoop, he recalled. "It was almost unbelievable that this happened."

Vaucher flew 117 missions total, but one was particularly harrowing. He was leading a bomb group to a target and took on heavy anti-aircraft fire, making his plane shake heavily while several other planes in the group were shot down. Once they landed at Iwo Jima, after the Marines had taken it, Vaucher and his crew counted 400 bullet holes before they gave up counting all together.

"I hope [the Japanese] understand what happened and that it will never happen again if we live like we're living now," and continue to communicate with one another, Vaucher said.


RANGOON DISASTER

Of course, some of the most dangerous missions veterans experienced didn't always end with landing safely in a friendly area. Karnig Thomasian, an animated 91 year-old formerly with the 20th Air Force in the China-Burma-India theater, was a gunner on an early version of the B-29. He flew three missions, and the third, which he refers to as the "Rangoon Disaster," would be the most traumatic.

The mission began poorly.

"The bombardiers found out there was a mixed load of 500 to 1,000 pound bombs with no fuses. No fuses because in order to bomb a bridge you have to have the bomb burst on impact, and 1,000 pounders was the only armament that would destroy the bridge. The 500s were useless," Thomasian explained. "Our commander, after hearing the complaints from the head bombardier, told him you either go on the mission or you're court martialed. So we went."

Originally, Thomasian and his crew were supposed to bomb a bridge in Thailand, but had to move to a second target because of cloud cover interference. They moved on to target railway yards in Rangoon, Burma.


"Dropped the bombs. Moments later, everything turned red," he said. "Our plane flipped; what had happened was that the bombs hit each other in the air, as the bombardiers knew would happen, and blew the whole formation up, to the point that four planes went down directly on the target, including us, and one was destroyed immediately. Just blew up, so it must have been right under them."

Only one plane from that group was able to return to base.

Thomasian and several others from the front of the plane were able to parachute out of the firestorm. Thomasian was the only person from the rear of the plane to make it out. The pilot stayed with the plane as it crashed, in attempt to stabilize their descent and give as many crewmembers a chance to escape as possible.

"But he couldn't do anything, everything was shot up. Three engines [failing], the bomb bay was in fire," Thomasian recalled.


Thomasian and the other escapees were able to land safely just a little ways outside of the city, but their safety was short lived. Japanese soldiers came by soon after they landed and took them prisoner.

"They interrogated us, they beat us … and finally after three days [the plane's crew)] met each other and found out who survived, who didn't," Thomasian said.

The prisoners were then moved to a former British prison with 12-foot concrete walls, where the "flyboys" were put in solitary confinement for almost two months. A Chinese prisoner, who used to feed the men in solitary, would doll out an extra scoop of rice when the Japanese guards weren't looking. "He had a soul about him that was so compassionate," Thomasian said.

"At which time they interrogated us almost every day. Finally, the war was starting to turn, or I don't know what motivated them, but they took us out and put us into a regular compound, which was to us, a great relief, because we could cook our own rice. It was a big deal," Thomasian said.


The prisoners were transferred to the regular compound around February 1945. Thomasian became the barber for the prisoners, making a blade out of things he found around the compound. The prisoners would joke about going out on dates when they came to get a haircut. A British soldier imprisoned with Thomasian would mock their captors when they weren't paying attention.

"If the [Japanese] ever saw him … they would kill him. But he was a big, tough son of a gun, but a funny guy," Thomasian said.


The Japanese eventually announced they would be moving the prisoners to a different location. Those who couldn't walk were given the option to stay behind. Thomasian, who had developed gangrene in a sore on his leg, opted to stay at the compound, because he knew if he could not keep up, he would be killed. Shortly after the Japanese left, British Gurkah soldiers liberated the prison.

"The first white man to come was a British newsman. Tall guy … healthy as hell, rosy cheeks, and we looked so pale and awful, it was the first time I noticed our deterioration. Because it was so obvious, wow did that hit us," Thomasian recalled. After that, British soldiers arrived in force.


They painted notice on the roof of the prison to let friendly bombers know the Japanese had left, but Thomasian said the first wave of planes bombed the prison anyway.

"Fortunately, [they] missed us and hit the outer wall. So quickly [the British] got up on the next roof and [wrote] 'extract digit,' I said what the hell is extract digit? They waved their wings, they understood it: Take [your] finger out of your butt," he said. The British planes then came back with parachute drops of food and supplies until they could extract the prisoners.


When Thomasian and the other prisoners were brought to Calcutta over the river, they were encouraged to eat handfuls of vitamins to aid their recovery.

He said maintaining a positive attitude and a sense of humor kept him and his fellow survivors alive.

"In all these crazy moments, there are moments where you have to laugh. Which really keeps you going," Thomasian said. "And to survive in prison, I think one of the chief things is that you have to decide whether you're going to capitulate and just go back into yourself and die, or you're going to say 'Hey, I'm living, I'm breathing, I'm going to go on and succeed, and I'm getting out of here.'"


FEARLESS IN LIFE

Every veteran has a story to tell, and remembering the things that they have been through is important on personal as well as historic levels. The Arsenal of Democracy Flyover event and the test flight bring those stories to the forefront of the public's mind.


Rahoi, Vaucher and Thomasian all shared one message: Tenacity. Having a positive attitude, even in the darkest of times, will help get you through life.

"You have to take note of what your situation is," Thomasian said, "And you have to say, 'Hey look, I can cope with this.'"


Wild Thing's comment.............


God bless all our Veterans.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2015

Remains Of 36 WWII Marines Found On Remote Pacific Island 70 Years After Battle



Remains Of 36 WWII Marines Found On Remote Pacific Island 70 Years After Battle


Mark Noah, director of the U.S. charity History Flight, said the men were killed during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943.


More than 70 years after dying in a World War II battle, the bodies of 36 U.S. Marines have finally been found on Betio Island in the remote Pacific.

The remains were discovered after a four-month excavation on the island, which is a part of the Republic of Kiribati.


Mark Noah, director of the U.S. charity History Flight Inc., recently revealed the discovery to Radio New Zealand. His organization worked with the U.S. Department of Defense on the project.

Noah said the men were killed during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943, in which more than 1,000 Americans died fighting Japanese forces in Kiribati. The entire 4,800-strong Japanese garrison was also wiped out.

The Quartermaster General's Office declared the 36 Marines "unrecoverable" in 1949, according to Noah.

"(They) had an expectation that if they were to die in the line of duty defending their country they would be brought home ... that was a promise made 70 years ago that we felt should be kept," Noah said Tuesday, according to AFP.

The remains have not yet been officially identified, but Noah said he suspects they include the body of 1st Lieutenant Alexander Bonnyman, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty," according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Two other men killed on Tarawa also posthumously earned the Medal of Honor.

According to Bonnyman's Medal of Honor citation, acting on his own initiative, he defied overwhelming enemy fire to organize and lead Marines on a series of assaults before being killed after attacking a bombproof installation that was preventing the troops' advance.

Bonnyman's daughters said they plan to have his remains interred in a family burial plot in Knoxville, Tennessee, next to his parents.

"Our family, including Lt. Bonnyman's two surviving daughters - my mother and aunt - is deeply grateful to History Flight for accomplishing what nobody else could for more than seven decades," said Bonnyman's grandson, Clay Bonnyman Evans, who was on the scene for the recovery, according to NY Daily News.

Ed Huffine, board secretary for History Flight, said in a statement that they have "dental matches to known missing Tarawa marines for more than half of the recovered individuals," but are still "seeking DNA reference samples from families of the Tarawa missing."

"We plan to have all of these recovered heroes identified by the end of the summer," he said.



Wild Thing's comment...........

It is always good news to know more of our heroes are found and will be brought home.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

July 04, 2015

Condoleezza Rice And Violinist Jenny Oaks Baker Perform ‘Amazing Grace’ In Support Of Wounded Warrior Project






Condoleezza Rice And Violinist Jenny Oaks Baker Perform ‘Amazing Grace’ In Support Of Wounded Warrior Project




Wild Thing's comment...........

Beautiful, they both are very talented.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

June 30, 2015

Bus driver DENIES Marine Veteran a ride because of his service dog




Purple Heart recipient and former Marine Staff Sergeant Daniel Wright was going home with this service dog in New Jersey when a Jersey transit bus driver wouldn’t allow him on because of his service dog. Wright had to wait for another bus that indeed allowed him to ride once he saw his military ID.



Wild Thing's comment...............

God bless this Veteran and his dog.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

June 24, 2015

The Gary Sinise Foundation 2015



Gary Sinise Foundation 2015




Wild Thing's comment.............

He is doing so many wonderful things, his foundation is truly exceollent. He is for real in his support and that means so very much. There are too many that do not mean what they say and Gary is for real.
I met him when we used to live in Calif. He used to come in my gift shop in Malibu a lot with his children. He was so kind and polite a very nice man.

I thought this was a good video that shows what he is doing. Thank you Gary and thank you to all our Veterans and our troops.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

June 21, 2015

Air Force recruit gets wish granted at Dayton Air Show






Air Force recruit gets wish granted at Dayton Air Show


Recent United States Air Force recruit Daniel Dendler wrote an essay as a part of the Young Eagles program to get a chance to fly with Aviation Hall of Famer Sean D. Tucker. Dendler's essay was picked as the winner.




Wild Thing's comment........

How wonderful for this young man. I never heard of this before.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (2)

June 14, 2015

240th US Army Birthday Today ~ HOOAH!! Thank you!!!!




240th US Army Birthday

The U.S. Army's Birthday is 14 June 1775.

Two hundred and forty years ago, the United States Army was established to defend our Nation. From the Revolutionary War to the current operations taking place around the world, our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a deep commitment to our core values and beliefs.




Happy Birthday to our beloved Army!!! Our Army has always been the best in the world. I am so very proud of them.~ Chrissie




2015 Wheels and Wings Airshow - US Army Golden Knights





Amazing Helmet Cam Footage From The U.S. Army #Parachute Team "Golden Knights" date 03.26.2015




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

June 07, 2015

11-Year-Old Boy Holds Salute For Over An Hour On Normandy Beach And Then Something Amazing Happens




11-Year-Old Boy Holds Salute For Over An Hour On Normandy Beach And Then Something Amazing Happens


On June 6th, 2014 an 11-year-old boy wanted to say thank you to the soldiers who fought and died on Omaha beach on D-Day morning 70 years earlier. So his mother took him to Normandy, France.



Wild Thing's comment............

Amazing! This is so touching to ones very core.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

June 06, 2015

D-Day June 6th, 1944 We Will Never Forget



It was on 6th June 1944 that Operation Overlord - the long anticipated Allied invasion of Nazi-held Europe - went into action. What came to be known as the 'D-day landings'.

On the French beaches and in those hedgerows, many making the ultimate sacrifice. Over two thousand Americans, British, Canadians, and Australians died that first day, trading their lives for a single ambition...so we could live free.

The allied commander of the D-Day invasion, Gen Dwight D Eisenhower gives the order of the Day.

"Full victory - nothing else" to paratroopers in England, just before they board their airplanes to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe.


….”In some sectors the area was so heavily occupied by the Germans the paratroopers were fired upon while in the plane, in decent, and after landing... Many men were wounded or killed during one phase or another... The illumination created by fires on the ground was a death sentence if you were caught in an open field... This great confusion created by the troopers, moving in all directions, completely baffled the Germans in that they could not establish how many allied paratroopers had landed, or determine where our front line was. The fact that we were scattered over many miles, (mistakenly,) became advantageous to our mission..”

The first wave of assault troops of the 29th Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore at H-hour, D-Day - 6:30 a.m., on June 6, 1944.



Wild Thing's comment............


We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who gave their lives in this giant struggle and to those who were lucky enough to come back home.

We can only imagine the horror and the dying that took place. We need to perpetuate their story of sacrifice and glory for as long as we live.

Can you see the thousands of ships offshore that formed the most powerful armada that the world has ever seen? A huge salvo is being laid down prior to the invasion. Troops climb down rope ladders into landing craft. Many invasion force craft are circling around, grouping up, just before they make their final drive for the beach.

The Germans are entrenched in concrete bunkers and gun emplacements and are shelling the approaching landing craft. Many men never make it to the beach, but instead die in the churning surf. Those who do get to the beach and tumble out of their craft are subject to horrendous machine gun fire from pillboxes that rake the entire shore. There are the dead and the dying.

Valiant army engineers mount a superhuman effort to blow a hole in the concrete barricade so troops can move inland, away from the murderous fire coming from above them.

Those first few hours must have indeed been some of the longest ever faced by bold and courageous men. May their honor and sacrifice not be forgotten, and may this event in history go down not as just about death and dying, but as a turning point for the world, toward peace. God willing, it will never have to be repeated.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

May 31, 2015

Boy Who Played ‘Young Forrest Gump’ Looks Like THIS Today (And what career he picked)



Boy Who Played ‘Young Forrest Gump’ Looks Like THIS Today (And what career he picked)


Please CLICK ON THIS LINK to see the photos.............thank you. ( Chrissie)


20 years ago, Michael Conner Humphrey — the child star who played a young Forrest Gump in leg braces — was invited to the Oscars, but he and his family couldn’t afford tickets. “The tickets were going to cost a lot of money, so we decided to just watch it on TV like everyone else.” The film went on to win six Academy Awards including Best Actor for Tom Hanks and Best Director for Robert Zemeckis. Eight-year-old Michael watched the show at home on TV.

What is Michael doing now? He decided to shunned Hollywood and instead chose a career in the military — much like his character in the hit movie.


Wild Thing's comment.........

Nice how he went into the military, I like that and appreciate his serving our country.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

May 30, 2015

Veterans carried flags with fallen heroes' names written on it up Mount McKinley in Alaska to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice




Veterans carried flags with fallen heroes' names written on it up Mount McKinley in Alaska to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.


Wild Thing's comment.................

To you Veterans here at my blog and to those in this video........All of you Veterans are so wonderful. I am honored and blessed with all my heart to know you all.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

May 26, 2015

A quick bit of the 4 hour long Rolling Thunder 2015 & the Saluting Marine








A quick bit of the 4 hour long Rolling Thunder 2015 & the Saluting Marine



Wild Thing's comment........

I always look forward to seeing the saluting Marine.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (2)

Rolling Thunder brings out emotional tributes to fallen





Rolling Thunder brings out emotional tributes to fallen



Wild Thing's comment..........

I love so much that they do this the Memorial Day weekend.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

May 25, 2015

92-year-old WW2 veteran flies Spitfire again






92-year-old WW2 veteran flies Spitfire again

92-year-old Air Transport Auxiliary veteran Joy Lofthouse returns to the skies in a Spitfire 70 years on from the end of World War 2.

Seven decades after her last flight in the iconic plane, Joy described the experience as “lovely: it was perfect”, making her feel “quite young.” The ATA made an enormous contribution to the war effort by taking over from service pilots the task of ferrying Royal Air Force and Royal Navy warplanes between factories, maintenance units and front-line squadrons.



Wild Thing's comment.............

So wonderful for her and it is so great to see someone at that age active and young at heart.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

Taps is 24 notes that can make the toughest soldier cry





Bugler honors deceased veterans with personal touch

Taps is 24 notes that can make the toughest soldier cry

It’s a musical recognition of a life ended, a goodbye that hangs in the air as friends and family wipe their tears, look up and know they must live the rest of their lives without someone.

Since 2001, retired Army Reserve Lt. Col. Philip Kowzan, has played taps at military honor funerals in the Spokane area. His debut came unexpectedly at longtime friend Ivan Brayman’s funeral.

“They had a recorder there and I said, ‘No, you’re not using that, not at my friend Ivan’s funeral,’?” Kowzan said.

A lifelong trumpet player, he got his trumpet out of the car, took a deep breath and played for his friend one last time.

“I wasn’t in uniform or anything,” Kowzan said. “I’m not even sure I did it right.”

That was the only time he played taps in 2001.

But since then, he’s played at 1,259 funerals, sometimes playing at three services in the morning and another three in the afternoon.

“I did seven one day,” Kowzan said. “That’s a lot.”

Every funeral Kowzan has participated in is meticulously recorded in a little black notebook, its cover worn from being carried in his pocket.

When he ran out of notebook pages, he switched to a small three-ring binder.

He tries to get the funeral program and the obituary from each service, and he’s working on creating a leather-bound scrapbook that will be given to the Washington State Veterans Cemetery.

“It’s become my mission,” Kowzan said, flipping through the pages of his notebook, recognizing many of the names.

At 77, Kowzan is long retired, first from the Army and then from a job with a whirlpool spa company.

He plays in several bands with his wife, Carol Kowzan, and has just picked up viola, so he wouldn’t mind slowing down his bugling career. It’s just that he knows of only three other bugle players.


“Once in a while a new person shows up,” Kowzan said. “But we desperately need younger people.”

Kowzan doesn’t charge anything, though he doesn’t turn down a donation to cover gas and a sandwich for lunch.

His spotless, well-fitting uniform cost him $500.

The Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake pays him a $25 stipend - for a whole day.

“It’s 23 miles out there, so if I have funerals in the morning and the afternoon, then I don’t go home,” Kowzan said, smiling.

Kowzan is not complaining, he’s just truly worried that battery-operated, digital bugles with built-in MP3 players will take over, leaving a sterile monotone presentation of a very emotional piece of music.

“Sometimes the batteries die in the middle of everything,” Kowzan said. “It will never be the same as having a real live person play.”




Wild Thing's comment...............

Great story and I love this particular video with it.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2015

South Carolina High School Removes ‘Offensive’ American And POW/MIA Flags From Student’s Truck





South Carolina High School Removes ‘Offensive’ American And POW/MIA Flags From Student’s Truck


A high school in York County has spoken out after students protested Thursday morning when a senior said he was asked to remove an American flag from his pick-up truck.

Thursday morning, several students, parents, and veterans protested the incident, many setting up across from school grounds waving flags.

“When I hear that you can’t fly the American flag it makes my blood run red, and my blood is red,” said Vietnam Veteran Michael Douglas

Just before noon Thursday, officials at York Comprehensive High School said Peyton Robinson and other students could keep the U.S. flag on his vehicle as long as no driving hazard exists.

Parents who were part of the demonstration called the decision a win.

“We’re just glad we got this victory today, and it just proves if you stand up for your country, you stand up for what you believe in, things get changed,” said James Crump.

“Due to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy,” the school district posted on its website. “School officials have reviewed the standing policy regarding flags and have decided that an exception will be made for the American flag, as long as the size of the flag(s) does not create a driving hazard.”[…]

Initially, school district officials told students they couldn’t have any physical flags on their cars because of safety. Administrators said it was a pre-existing policy that was announced again Wednesday.

“Just proud to be an American,” the 18-year-old Robinson told WBTV Wednesday night. Robinson said a school administrator told him remove the American flag and the POW-MIA flag, which he has in the back of his truck.

“He said we’re having some issues. Some people were complaining about the flags in your truck, possibly offend them. He asked me to take it down,” Robinson said.

The high school senior, who has several family members who served in the armed forces, was upset because he didn’t see the problem.

"I'd understand if it was the Confederate flag or something that might offend somebody," Robinson said. "I wouldn't do that. But an American flag - that's our country's flag. I have every right to do it. I don't see a safety issue. I mean I understand it's a big flag - it's 4 by 6 - but nobody has ever complained about it being in their way or anything."

According to Robinson, a school administrator told him to remove the flags when he got home, and not come back to school with them.

But the 18-year-old said before the school day was over on Wednesday, a school official went to Robinson's parked truck, removed the bolts that secured the flags to the truck, took the flags down, and "laid my flags down in the middle of my truck when I wasn't even there."

Robinson was angry.

"I was pretty mad," he said. "I don't see how it's a problem. Nobody has ever complained about it before."

The senior took to social media and posted about the incident on his Facebook page. Fellow students vowed to stand with Robinson, flying flags on their cars when they arrived at school Thursday morning.

Despite being initially told he was not to come to school again with flags flying on his pick-up, Robinson says he plans to do what he's done for the past month - display his flags.

He called Thursday a victory, and added that he's glad others stood behind him, and more importantly that he can show his true colors.

“I'm really surprised all these people showed up and I'm really appreciative of all the support from everybody, I had no idea it would get this big,” Robinson said.



Wild Thing's comment.............

If the American flag or a pow flag is "offensive " to someone.....anyone, then they should get the F out of our country.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

May 10, 2015

Marine Veterans Beloved American Flag Vandalized







Marine Veterans Beloved American Flag Vandalized

FOX News


Retired Marine Marvin Hernandez Garcia mounted an American flag in front of his house, the same flag that he carried with him on duty across five continents.

One morning last week, the vet woke up to find his car smashed with the flag pole and the flag desecrated with a marker.

“The message that I would like to say is America is still the greatest country in the world,” Hernandez Garcia said on “Fox and Friends Weekend.” “It’s not something that we are just brainwashed with. We are still the greatest country. We got problems. Everybody does.”

“The flag represents freedom. When you step on the flag, you really are stepping on those veterans that have really fought for you. And everybody else, including your own parents, grandparents and great-grandparents and so forth,” Hernandez Garcia said.




Wild Thing's comment............

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”― Samuel Adams



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

May 09, 2015

This Suspect Didn’t Want to Find Out if 79-Year-Old Military Vet Was Bluffing




This Suspect Didn’t Want to Find Out if 79-Year-Old Military Vet Was Bluffing''


A 79-year-old military veteran in Riverside County, California, said he noticed someone lurking in his neighbor’s lawn on Thursday and he felt obligated to make sure everything was OK.

The veteran, identified only as Richard, confronted the man and asked him what he was doing in the yard. It’s also relevant to note that he is always carrying a firearm for self-protection.


CBS Los Angeles

“I said, ‘What are you doing?’

“He said, ‘Well, my stuff is here.’

“I said, ‘No, it’s not here.’

“He said, Well, Steve lives here.’

“I said, ‘No, he doesn’t. You just better be on your way.’

“He said, ‘Well, you wouldn’t shoot me.’

“I said, ‘Well, test me.’”

When Richard ordered the suspect to put his hands on a nearby fence or get on the ground, the man reportedly attacked, punching the good Samaritan in the nose. Eventually, Richard was able to use his gun to strike the man in the foot, which caused him to back off.

The 79-year-old vet then gave the suspect a “choice.”

“If I run are you going to shoot me or kill me?” the suspect reportedly asked.

“Go for it,” Richard responded.

The suspect seemed to wise up at that point and Richard held the 25-year-old at gunpoint until police arrived. He now faces assault charges, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The one-time military man says he always has a gun on him for safety reasons.

“I’m not looking for any glory or anything. I just live in the neighborhood and want to be left alone,” Richard said.


“Nobody’s held accountable anymore, you know,” Richard said, reflecting on the incident. “They don’t have any respect. There’s no work ethic. I just won’t stand for it. You know, he picked on the wrong guy.”


Richard plans on pressing charges against the 25-year-old suspect, who was taken into custody and faces assault charges.




Wild Thing's comment...........

Love this story. Thank God for all you Veterans.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2015

"Tough Old Buck" - 95-Year-Old Vet Fights Off Robber With Cane





"Tough Old Buck" - 95-Year-Old Vet Fights Off Robber With Cane


Wild Thing's comment........

Good he did the right thing. God bless him.


Posted by Wild Thing at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2015

In Crawford, TX. Wounded warriors ride with President Bush in 5th -annual 100K





Crawford, Texas Wounded warriors ride with President Bush in fifth-annual 100K

The he three-day event will see George W. Bush mountain biking with nearly 20 wounded warriors injured in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Each spring, approximately 20 servicemen and women wounded in the global war on terror join President George W. Bush for a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride. Part of the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, the W100K highlights the bravery and sacrifice of warriors and recognizes organizations that support America’s veterans.

Dallas Morning News...


Seventeen wounded veterans joined former President George W. Bush at his Central Texas ranch Thursday morning for the first day of his institute’s annual 100-kilometer bike ride.

The fifth annual Warrior 100K, which is part of the George W. Bush Institute’s military service initiative, is a three-day bike ride to honor service members injured in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Before setting off on the 12-mile ride around the president’s ranch, Bush shook hands with all of the warriors before getting on his red, white and blue bike–that was outfitted with the presidential seal.

Bush’s rider number was–of course—43.

Trek Bicycle Corporation donated a bike to each of the warriors Wednesday night in preparation for the ride.

After quick opening remarks, which ended with Bush saying “let’s ride!” the riders set out on the nearly hour-and-a-half long bike ride.

Throughout the trail, which took the vets through creeks and down slick ravines, Bush could be heard encouraging the group and yelling out his signature trail calls: “Yeah, baby!” and “That’s what I’m talking about!” He also offered an Elvis impersonation, saying “thank you, thank you very much.”

During one part of the trail, in which the group passed through a water crossing, where the water was deeper than expected, the warriors could be heard cheering as they made their way through.

“There were a couple spots where some of [the water] came to my calves and this was deeper than I thought, my pedals were under water and my feet were wet, but this is a blast,” said Command Sgt. Major Brian Flom. “You don’t want to come clean right on the road–you are mountain biking.”

Flom, who was injured during a rocket attack in Baghdad in October 2007, is one of this year’s Warrior 100K riders.

The weekend continues with a 30-mile course Friday and a 20-mile ride Saturday.

Bush has said the ride serves as a reminder of the extraordinary resilience displayed by the country’s more than 2.5 million post-9/11 veterans. The former president has made veteran’s well-being and their re-entry into society one of the institute’s priorities.


Wild Thing's comment..........

I love that he does this with America's heroes.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

April 23, 2015

Veterans JR Martinez and Noah Galloway talk ‘Dancing with the Stars






JR Martinez and Noah Galloway talk ‘Dancing with the Stars

Former “Dancing with the Stars” winner JR Martinez sits down with fellow wounded warrior and current season contestant Noah Galloway for an in-depth conversation about military service, the nature of war, and dealing with a life-changing injury.




Wild Thing's comment..........

Great interview. Noah has been doing so great on the dancing with the stars show.


This was a night that both Nick and I were brought to tears, so very proud of this Veteran Noah Galloway.


Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess dance the Contemporary to "American Soldier" by Toby Keith on Dancing with the Stars’ Most Memorable Year Night!



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

April 20, 2015

Freedom's Safest Place by Lt Col Oliver North







Lt Col Oliver North talks about his heroes, the ones who are willing to fight and die for his freedoms, and demands a commander-in-chief worthy of such sacrifice. Join North as a member of Freedom's Safest Place


The Obama Administration has made our nation - and the American people - more vulnerable than at any point in my lifetime.

ISIS now controls much of Iraq because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton squandered the sacrifices made by millions of U.S. troops and their families.

In 2011, they abandoned all the gains our courageous Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Guardsmen and Marines made in Mesopotamia - all to fulfill a campaign pledge. On 12 April, Hillary Clinton declared she was running to succeed Obama.

This is my video message to both of them - and my proposal for how we ought to Stand and Fight to make sure she NEVER moves back into the White House! I hope you will join me in this effort.

“Semper Fidelis” is more than a slogan for U.S. Marines. “Always Faithful” is a way of life.



Wild Thing's comment......


Excellent. God bless Oliver North.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (3)

April 10, 2015

73 Yr Old Veteran Refuses To Take Down American Flag He’s Flown For 20 Years And Wins, With Help From Media







73 Yr Old Veteran Refuses To Take Down American Flag He’s Flown For 20 Years And Wins, With Help From Media

Another Veteran is told by an HOA that he can’t fly the American flag in his yard, just as he’s been doing for 20 years. But this 73-year-old Veteran didn’t take it sitting down and called the media out to help him.


HT/ RS



Wild Thing's comment..........

Good for this Veteran. IMO it should be against the law to stop anyone from flying our country's flag.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

April 04, 2015

Veterans group sues State Department for not producing Clinton Benghazi emails



Veterans group sues State Department for not producing Clinton Benghazi emails


A veterans group that was among the first to announce its intention to sue the State Department in pursuit of a long-neglected Freedom of Information Act request after news of the Clinton email scandal broke will also seek the communications of a top agency staffer.

Veterans for a Strong America filed a lawsuit in a federal district court Wednesday in an attempt to compel the department to release former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails and phone records from noon on Sept. 11, 2012, the day of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, through noon the next day.

The group had asked for those records in a July 2014 FOIA request in the course of writing a book, The Difference It Makes, about the Libya attacks. The State Department failed to provide the requested records.

Joel Arends, chairman of Veterans for a Strong America, told the Washington Examiner his group now plans to file an additional FOIA request for the emails of Dennis Cheng, the former State Department deputy chief of protocol.

Cheng left the State Department to work at the Clinton Foundation, where he helped the massive global charity drum up millions of dollars in contributions. Prior to his time at State, Cheng served as finance director on Clinton's previous Senate and presidential campaigns.

"We had a reliable Democratic Clinton source speak to us and tell us that that is something we should look into," Arends said of Cheng's involvement in the Clinton nexus of philanthropy and foreign policy that has drawn criticism for extensive appearances of conflicts of interest.

While Clinton is under fire for using a private email and server to conduct official business as secretary, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is also getting heavy scrutiny as a result of its receiving donations from foreign governments, corporations and individuals during and after her tenure in the State Department.

A number of other groups and media outlets have filed lawsuits against the agency in an attempt to force the release of records that might shed light on the former first lady's activities as the nation's chief diplomat.

Arends described the "outpouring of support" Veterans for a Strong America has received in the days since it revealed plans to move its eight-month long FOIA process into the courts.




Wild Thing's comment.............

This is the first I have heard of this, but I am so glad they are doing this.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM

March 30, 2015

Patriotic till the end: Colorado Springs veteran, 87, dies building flagpole


Patriotic till the end: Colorado Springs veteran, 87, dies building flagpole

Stars and Stripes


Age was no barrier for Richard “Dick” French, who, at 87, set out to build a 20-foot flagpole in the yard of his Colorado Springs home to show off his immense patriotism.

For months, he talked up the project to family members and couldn’t wait for the weather to warm up so he could get started. On Easter, he planned to hold a ceremony for his family and raise a large American flag and flags for each of the military branches for which he served as a photographer in the 1940s.

He got to work Saturday, but the project was left unfinished when he suffered what was called a sudden “cardiac event” and died.

“It was exactly the way he wanted to go,” said his granddaughter, Laurel Barrett, 27. “It was a shock. My mom and I were the ones who found him.”

Barrett said French was a lively man with a great sense of humor. He was the kind of guy who would put a plow on his riding lawnmower so he could clear the driveways for the “old ladies” nearby who were younger than he.

“He had a joke for every occasion,” said his daughter and Laurel’s mother, Jean Barrett, 58.

He was stubborn, too. At 86 years old, he refused to let anyone help him re-tile his garage roof, Laurel Barrett said. He made a makeshift elevator to get supplies up to the roof, and did the project himself.[…]

A few years ago, French started throwing “flag parties,” basically his version of the Fourth of July – but held whenever he felt like it to share his love for his country with the youngest generations of his family.

“He would pass out flags and tell military stories and make everybody pose with the flag and take pictures,” Laurel Barrett said.

Pictures were involved with pretty much everything he did throughout his life, she added.

French was born in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 23, 1927. He spent 1944 to 1947 in the military at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he was a photographer for the Coast Guard, Army and Merchant Marines, Jean Barrett said. He took pictures of presidents and showed one to Cunningham of President Dwight D. Eisenhower visiting what was then Camp Carson.[…]

French grew increasingly patriotic as he aged, his daughter said.

“He didn’t like the way the country was being run now and it really upset him,” she said. “The madder he got, the more patriotic he got, and he kept saying we need to go back to the values we used to have. … He just wanted people to remember it was important to be patriotic.”

French had four daughters: Linda Shields, Janet Cooper, Jean Barrett and the late Mary French. He is survived by eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. His wife, Carolyn, whom he met at the age of 15, died in 2013.

When French’s family holds a celebration of life ceremony later in April, there will be a patriotic theme, and everyone will wear flag lapel pins, Jean Barrett said.

The flagpole project likely won’t be finished because French will be buried with the flags he planned to raise.

But one thing is certain: wherever she is, Laurel Barrett will always fly an American flag in her grandfather’s honor.



Wild Thing's comment.............

Godspeed and thank you, Sir.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2015

90 Year Old World War II Vet Has Special Visit From A Friend






90 World War II Vet Has Special Visit From A Friend

The friendship between Emmett Rychner, a 4-year-old from Minnesota, and Erling Kindem, a World War II veteran, made headlines last year. Despite their 86-year age difference, the neighbors have ridden bikes together, raced lawnmowers (Emmett’s is a motorized toy) and played croquet. In the winter, Erling even made sure their visits could continue by snow-blowing a path between their neighboring homes.

Emmett’s mother said she “cried for about an hour” when they decided to move, but the timing was right. Erling and his wife were also moving to a senior facility that could better equip their needs.

But according to Minnesota’s KARE11, the friendship between Emmett and Erling is still thriving.

Emmett’s parents recently brought their preschooler to Erling’s retirement community for his 90th birthday, and he brought a gift: a set of dog tags that read: “Emmett & Erling” and “Friends Forever” in Norwegian, which Erling reportedly learned when he was young.



This was the video below from last year that I posted which tells more of how they met as neighbors where they used to live.

In a small Minnesota town, a three-year-old boy and an 89-year-old World War II veteran live next door to each other. But they're more than just neighbors.Emmett Rychner and Erling Kindem are the best of friends, almost inseparable. They play together every day, enjoying each other's company on everything from croquet to baseball to racing through the yard, Erling on his lawn tractor and Emmett on his toy model.And they're savoring every moment, because both are moving away soon



Wild Thing's comment...........

This is such a special and wonderful story.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2015

Outback Steakhouse Shows their gratitude to a 92-Year-Old World War II Veteran



Outback Steakhouse Shows their gratitude to a 92-Year-Old World War II Veteran

Source and also photos at this link


A 92-year-old World War II veteran was just expecting a meal with his son Bob Nieman and two other people at the local Outback Steakhouse on his birthday.

What he got was a profound expression of respect that honored the man for his tremendous duty to the nation.

Bob Nieman reached out to Opposing Views with his story of how an Outback Steakhouse’s staff made sure the man felt like his military service was appreciated.[…]

The man is a “World War II veteran and was a plank owner, or crewman, on the USS Lexington,” according to Opposing Views.

The Lexington, also known as “Lady Lex” or the “Gray Lady,” was instrumental in fighting the Japanese at the Battle of the Coral Sea. It lost 216 men of its 2,951-man crew during that battle.

On the check is written, “Thank you for your service!!” and was signed, “Very Grateful Americans.”

The bill shows that the man ate dinner at an Outback Steakhouse in Sebring, Florida on February 21, 2015.

“I did 27 years on the Police Dept. and people never cease to amaze me in bad and good ways,” Nieman told Opposing Views. “My Dad is my hero & this was I think more of a happy moment for me than him, seeing someone appreciate him in this way actually brought a tears to my eyes.”


It’s the little things that go the longest way towards showing people that they’re honored and appreciated. This man spent years risking his life in a time of national need, and this restaurant’s staff made sure that he got the respect that he really deserves.



Wild Thing's comment.........

I love stories like this.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

February 25, 2015

Guilty Verdict in 'American Sniper' trial



Guilty verdict in 'American Sniper' trial

FOX News


The jury found Eddie Ray Routh - GUILTY of first degree murder.
The jury came back with a decision in two-and-a-half hours.
The jury consisted of ten women and two men.

Routh will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

A former Marine was found guilty late Tuesday of the 2013 shooting deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the author of "American Sniper," and his friend Chad Littlefield.

It took an Erath County, Texas jury less than two hours to convict Eddie Ray Routh of capital murder. State District Judge Jason Cashon sentenced Routh to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors had not sought the death penalty in the case.

"We have waited two years for God to give [us] justice on behalf of our son," Littlefield's mother, Judy, told reporters outside the courthouse. "And as always, God has proven to be faithful. We are so grateful we have this verdict here tonight."

Routh, 27, had admitted to killing Kyle and Littlefield at a gun range on Feb. 2, 2013 but pleaded not guilty. His attorneys and family members asserted that he suffers from psychotic episodes caused by post-traumatic stress disorder and other factors.

But prosecutors said Tuesday that whatever episodes Routh suffers are self-induced through alcohol and marijuana abuse.

In front of a packed courtroom, Erath County assistant District Attorney Jane Starnes and three defense attorneys made their case.

"That is not insanity. That is just cold, calculated capital murder," Starnes said. "(Routh) is guilty of capital murder and he was not by any means insane."



Wild Thing's comment.............

I am so glad this was the verdict.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (3)

February 18, 2015

Survivors honored, remember battle for Iwo Jima 70 years ago


Survivors honored, remember battle for Iwo Jima 70 years ago

Several photos at the source. just click here to see photos.


"The battle of Iwo Jima gave us our legacy,” said Col. Wayne Harrison, commanding officer of the Marine Artillery Detachment,. “Legacy that makes our Marines today proud of what you gentlemen did on that island 70 years ago.”


FORT SILL, Okla. - Veterans of the battle of Iwo Jima participated in a reunion hosted by the Marine Artillery Detachment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Feb. 12, 2015.

The Iwo Jima Battle Survivors and Family Association held their final reunion over three days, and were invited to attend special festivities by the Marines of the detachment.

Seventy years ago, three Marine divisions landed on the volcanic island Iwo To, which was defended by about 23,000 Japanese, who fortified themselves in extensive tunnel systems, caves and hideaways throughout the island.

After a month of fighting, the Marines [MR2] were victorious.

However, the cost of victory was high with the United States suffering 6,821 dead and 19,217 wounded. The battle etched in the minds of Americans by the iconic photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal of the American flag being raised on the Mount Suribachi.

“This is the last chance some of these veterans may have to spend time with young Marines,” Col. Wayne Harrison, commanding officer of the Marine Artillery Detachment, said. “We wanted to provide them with a social gathering and a fun time.”


The Iwo Jima Marines and Corpsmen, accompanied by their families, arrived from Wichita Falls, Texas, by bus and were escorted to front row seats to watch a ceremony held in their honor commemorating the 70th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima. The ceremony began with an invocation, the presentation of the colors and the playing of the national anthem.

The ceremony continued with a cake cutting with pieces of cake being individually delivered to each Iwo Jima veteran.

“I felt really honored to be apart of this ceremony with the veterans,” said Pvt. Miguel Ramirez, a Marine who helped deliver pieces of cake to the veterans.


Harrison delivered his remarks to the young Marines training to become Marine Artillerymen the veterans of Iwo Jima. [MR3]

The ceremony concluded with the veterans standing at attention with Harrison during the playing of "Anchors Aweigh" and the "Marines' Hymn."

“The ceremony was beautiful,” said James Krodel, a Marine veteran of Guam and Iwo Jima, of Quitman, Texas. “I really appreciated it.”


Following the ceremony the veterans spent time with the Marines of the detachment and enjoyed a barbecue lunch together.

“The veterans joke and act young when they are around us,” said Ramirez, a 19-year-old Marine awaiting training to become a field artillery cannoneer. “I can’t believe the things they had to go through at our age.”

The Iwo Jima veterans then had the opportunity to visit the grave of Geronimo, who was a Bedonkohe Apache leader of the Chiricahua Apache and the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum. After their tours, the Iwo Jima veterans departed for their hotel in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“The battle of Iwo Jima gave us our legacy,” said Harrison. “Legacy that makes our Marines today proud of what you gentlemen did on that island 70 years ago.”


Wild Thing's comment.......


Huge thank you and God bless our Veterans.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2015

Miss Veteran America competition



Miss Veteran America competition

When the winner of Ms. Veteran America dons the crown each year, she becomes the spokeswoman for female veterans who don’t have a home to come back to after their duties of serving their country have ended.


This growing competition was initiated by Jas Boothe, a female veteran who lost all she owned in Hurricane Katrina. Boothe soon realized she wasn’t alone in the fight against female veteran poverty and created Final Salute Inc. to provide safe housing for homeless women veterans and their children.

Jas Boothe is a 13-year veteran who lost everything she owned during Hurricane Katrina and then found out she had a malignant tumor in her head and neck. Jas had to under go 2 surgeries and 30 cycles of radiation. When her treatment was done, she told them she didn’t have a home or a job to go back to. After a few years she finally landed on her feet and that is when she found that there were tens of thousands of homeless women veterans across the country. Upon learning how many homeless women there were she decided to something about it and founded Final Salute Inc. It is about finding safe and suitable housing for veterans and their children. Since starting in 2010 they have helped over 300 women and children. So to raise awareness for Final Salute Inc., the Ms. Veteran America Competition was created.


The competition gives woman of all branches of the armed forces the opportunity to unite and not only prove their toughness on the battlefield but also their tenacity in civilian life.


Wild Thing's comment.......

I have never heard of this before but I think it is really a great thing they are doing.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

December 18, 2014

The Most Patriotic BBQ Joint In America



This may look like your typical barbecue joint. But, every day at noon, Mission BBQ transforms into the most patriotic barbecue place out there.

Mission BBQ has 13 locations, but, the Virginia Beach location is very special because it is located between Norfolk Naval Base - which is the world's largest Navy base - and Naval Air Station Oceana. So, these owners decided to show their patriotism with a tribute that sets this location apart from all the others.

At noon, over the loud speaker, you will here a voice asking all patrons to please stand and join in the singing of our national anthem. And, it does not stop there: the walls are covered with photographs and memorabilia from the military, local police and firefighters. That puts Mission BBQ on our list of places to check out.



Wild Thing's comment......

I love this.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

December 16, 2014

Wreaths an Emotional Christmas Tribute for Fallen Vets




Wreaths an Emotional Christmas Tribute for Fallen Vets


Wild Thing's comment........

I love this and thank God for those that do this every year.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (1)

December 07, 2014

A Day That Will Live In Infamy....December 7th 1941




On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. By planning his attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not in port. (The USS Enterprise was returning from Wake Island, where it had just delivered some aircraft. The USS Lexington was ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS Saratoga and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the United States.) In spite of the latest intelligence reports about the missing aircraft carriers (his most important targets), Admiral Nagumo decided to continue the attack with his force of six carriers and 423 aircraft. At a range of 230 miles north of Oahu, he launched the first wave of a two-wave attack. Beginning at 0600 hours his first wave consisted of 183 fighters and torpedo bombers which struck at the fleet in Pearl Harbor and the airfields in Hickam, Kaneohe and Ewa. The second strike, launched at 0715 hours, consisted of 167 aircraft, which again struck at the same targets. At 0753 hours the first wave consisting of 40 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" torpedo bombers, 51 Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive bombers, 50 high altitude bombers and 43 Zeros struck airfields and Pearl Harbor. Within the next hour, the second wave arrived and continued the attack.



Wild Thing's comment.............


May God rest those we lost....we shall never forget.

Americans remembered Pearl Harbor for four years during WWII. We are at war right now and most Americans forgot why. 9/11 was a momentous event just like Pearl Harbor. However, the War on Terror has been turned into a political event by the media and by much of Congress. That has divided America and we don't have the solidarity we had during WWII.

Anyone that goes to the Arizona Memorial simply MUST walk across the parking lot and also tour the USS Bowfin submarine and museum.......highly under-publicized, but well worth the extra hour or so.



Posted by Wild Thing at 11:13 AM | Comments (1)

December 02, 2014

From pups to healers: Companions change wounded warriors' lives



Here's a video of Sam, Penny and Indy being presented on graduation day:



From pups to healers: Companions change wounded warriors' lives


WASHINGTON -- Can a furry, four-legged creature really help save a life? Many wounded warriors and their spouses say, "yes."

It's in part thanks to the Warrior Canine Connection. The pioneering program enlists recovering wounded service members to train service dogs for fellow wounded members.

Rick Yount, a social worker of nearly 30 years, came up with the concept.

Yount jokes that 19 years ago, a golden retriever trained him -- and taught him the value of dog therapy. He realized many wounded warriors were in desperate need of the love and help provided by service dogs and thought the training could be used as an intervention, helping wounded warriors train the dogs at the same time.

"Who else would take the responsibility of training a service dog for a veteran more seriously, and more to heart, than a fellow veteran or warrior?" he asks.

The Training

WTOP caught up with trainers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last spring.

That's where we met three energetic puppies and the wounded warriors helping train them to become full-service mobility dogs.

Black Labrador retriever brothers Sam and Indy were 16 months old then, and Penny, a golden retriever, was just 10 months old -- the "baby" of the group.

Over a two-year period, the dogs had to master 60 skills and tasks and meet other strict temperament and health requirements. A dog that's overly aggressive or anxious or tends to bark wouldn't make the cut.

Not every dog makes it, but Sam, Indy and Penny prevailed.

Graduation Day

With a lot of military-style pomp and circumstance, Sam, Indy and Penny, along with three other dogs, graduated on Oct. 25, becoming full-service mobility dogs. Their tails wagged as they crossed the stage, but as usual, all three kept their composure.

It was an emotional ceremony as the dogs transitioned from the "puppy parents" who've looked after them since birth to their new forever homes.

It's a bittersweet goodbye for many families, but an emotional and satisfying transition.

The dogs have been paired with wounded service members who applied to the program and were left with physical and mental wounds from war.


Continue reading article......click here.


Wild Thing's comment.......

God bless all of them, our Veterans, the trainers and these wonderful dogs.




Posted by Wild Thing at 01:41 AM | Comments (1)

July 21, 2014

James Garner R.I.P Korean War Vet, Two Time Purple Heart Recipient and Legendary Actor and a Friend of Ours




James Garner, 5th Regimental Combat Team veteran dies at age 86


James Garner was also a veteran of the Korean War and two-time recipient of the Purple Heart. Garner’s first injury was to the face and hand from an enemy mortar round.

Always one for a good laugh, even on himself, Garner no doubt cracked a few jokes about his second injury from “friendly fire. “ Diving headfirst into a foxhole on April 23, 1951, the handsome Soldier was hit in the butt as rounds flew from a U.S. fighter jet overhead. It wasn’t until 32 years later that the government saw fit to award Garner the second Purple Heart.

Prior to being in the Army, James Garner was a Merchant Mariner, a job for which he was apparently very well suited, minus the part about not being able to overcome chronic seasickness. After leaving the Merchant Marines, he joined the National Guard, but after just seven months he was deployed to Korea as a Soldier in the Regular Army. He served with the 5th Regimental Combat Team a regiment of the United States Army infantry established in 1808 and continues to this day. The 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment deployed in February 2014, to Herat Province, Afghanistan.

Best known to older fans as Bret Maverick in TV western series "Maverick" , James Garner entertained younger fans with his more recent big screen roles in "Victor/Victoria," "Space Cowboys" and "The Notebook." Somewhere in between, are dozens of episodes of “The Rockford Files” which, although officially ended in 1980, are still in syndication due to immense popularity.

In one of the true love stories in Hollywood, James Garner and Lois Clarke Garner were married in 1956 until his death yesterday. Although James Garner suffered a stroke in 2008 and was reportedly in poor health recently, news reports say he died of natural causes.


Wild Thing's comment..............

Nick worked with James Garner many times. He was a friend of ours and he was truly a very kind and funny man.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (5)

July 14, 2014

Lowe's employees come to the rescue of disabled vet with broken wheelchair




Lowe’s Employees Come To The Rescue Of Disabled Vet With Broken Wheelchair

Staten Island.


In 1971, I stepped on a land mine in Vietnam and lost both legs above the knee.

For the past two years, I have been waiting to receive a new wheelchair from the Veterans Administration. In addition, I have been told that I am not entitled to a spare wheelchair.

On the evening of July 7, my wheelchair fell apart again, while shopping at Lowe’s Home Improvement Center in on Forest Avenue in Mariners Harbor.

Three employees, David, Marcus and Souleyman jumped to my assistance immediately. They placed me in another chair while they went to work.

They took the wheelchair apart and replaced the broken parts and told me, “We’re going to make this chair like new.”

I left 45 minutes after closing hours in my wheelchair that was like new.

I kept thanking them and all they could say was, “It was our honor.”

The actions of these three employees at Lowe’s showed me there are some who still believe in stepping to the plate.

They didn’t ask any questions, didn’t feel the need to fill out any forms or make phone calls. Someone needed help and they felt privileged to be given the opportunity.



Wild Thing's comment...........

I love stories like this. to know there are good people that respect ad appreciate our awesome Veterans.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

June 28, 2014

10 Things You May Not Know About Our 239-Year-Old US Army




Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door, jump right out and count to four!


When the 173rd Airborne traveled to Central West Africa to take part in Exercise Central Accord, they made history by jumping with Cameroonian paratroopers. Chief Warrant Officer and Jumpmaster Bobby Sattazahn offers us his take on the operation.



10 Things You May Not Know About Our 239-Year-Old US Army


1. It’s older than the US.

The American Revolution was fought right here in Massachusetts by the country’s first militias in 1775. After several major battles were fought, a measure to create The Army’s unified command structure passed on June 14, 1775. While George Washington led our Army in 1775, The United States of America was not an independent nation until 1776.

2. It’s huge.

The size of the US Army peaked a few years ago at about 570,000 active duty soldiers. Reserve and National Guard soldiers accounted for at least another 500,000 members, which put the total number of men and women in the Army over 1 million.

3. The Army now has astronauts.

NASA selects soldiers to join them in space exploration efforts. In 2013, Major Anne McClain and Major Andrew R. Morgan were selected as astronaut candidates and joined the Army Forces Strategic Command’s NASA Detachment in Houston, Texas. They also get to wear astronaut “wings” on their uniform.

4. Many celebrities and most of our presidents have worn the Army uniform.

Celebrities who have served in the Army include Ice-T, Mel Brooks, Tom Selleck, Mickey Rooney, Hugh Hefner, and Tony Bennett.

Most of our 43 presidents have also served with the Army: 24 to be exact, including Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan.

5. We can thank them for exploring and mapping most of the country.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition was an Army affair, and Army officials were the first Americans to see national landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Pike’s Peak.

6. The Air Force was part of the Army until 1946.

Originally called the Army Air Corps, the US Air Force existed within the Army for 16 years.

7. Their official song was the last one to be adopted by a military service.

“The Army Goes Rolling Along” became the Army song in 1956.

8. Special Forces are everywhere.

SF Counterterrorism responds to terroristic threats all over the world and aims to prevent terrorist groups from forming. In 2012 the Special Forces Command Public Affairs Office reported that U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers had deployed to 135 of the 195 recognized countries in the last decade.

9. Army equipment is some of the most advanced technology in the world.

From aircraft to ground vehicles, our Army has the best technical support available.

The Apache Longbow is the Army’s primary attack helicopter, followed by the UH-60 Black Hawk, which is used for both assault and transport. Referred to as their “workhorse,” a Chinook helicopter can transport up to 50 troops and carry up to 26,000 pounds from its main hook.

Down on the ground, the M1 Abrams tank is the Army’s principal combat tank and offers quite a bit of firepower. Each one costs about $9 million, operates under all weather, and “provides nuclear, biological, and chemical survivability.”

10. If you don’t already follow them on Twitter, you’re missing out.

From throw-back photos to live-streams of official Pentagon Channel broadcasts, they tweet everything Army. They even shared this gem on National Donut Day: World War I soldiers frying donuts — in their helmets, of course.

During WWI, Salvation Army volunteers used Soldiers' helmets to fry donuts
Donut Day is a celebration of brave women of The Salvation Army going to the front lines and serving the men there. To this day we still celebrate those brave women.





Wild Thing's comment...........

Very cool, love learning about all these things. God bless our US Army.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (4)

June 17, 2014

Video: Medal of Honor Winner Who Dove on a Grenade Shares a Message About the Power of Determination






Medal of Honor Winner Who Dove on a Grenade Shares a Message About the Power of Determination

Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a Marine,......... highest honor this nation has to give: the Medal of Honor.

Cpl. Carpenter, in November, 2010, dove on a grenade to save his fellow Marines. Devastating his body, the grenade nearly killed the Marine. The Huffington Post reports, “he lost his right eye and injured his left, both eardrums were blown, most of his teeth were blown out and much of his jaw was missing. His right arm was shattered, his left arm, wrist and hand had multiple breaks, his right lung collapsed and he had shrapnel wounds in his legs.”

Now, years later, Carpenter is set to receive the Medal of Honor and discusses his recovery and outlook on life in a powerful video.

“Upon arriving at Camp Bastion, I was labeled PEA: patient expired on arrival,” Carpenter said in his video. ”I flat-lined at Walter Reed. People always assume I was in a motorcycle wreck. My response to them: no, Taliban. The enemy killed me; I came back.”


Cpl. Carpenter preaches the power of determination. “I ran a marathon, completed a mud run and jumped from a plane,” said Carpenter. “I will never quit. I am just getting started.”


Waking up at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center six weeks after the attack, Cpl. Carpenter spent over two years rehabilitating with doctors working to save his face and arm. The Marine is now a student at the University of South Carolina and simply refuses to give up.



Carpenter and a 12-man squad from his 9th Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, were on patrol outside Marjah. They were in the fifth month of a seven-month deployment.

They were in a village they called Shadier, between two other villages they named Shady and Shadiest.

They had been in hard combat, he said, as the Marines were pushing out farther from their base, expanding the territory they controlled.

"For two days we had been hit pretty hard," he said. "We moved into (enemy) territory, and they didn't like it."

He was fighting on a rooftop when the grenade hit.

Carpenter also spent most of his recovery time -- which so far has included 25 surgeries and more than 100 hours of physical therapy -- at Bethesda.

There, he said, he was inspired by the other patients, many of whom had no legs or no eyes or no arms.



Wild Thing's comment...............

God bless you Cpl. Carpenter and thank you for your service to our country. We will never forget your sacrifice and that of others.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (1)

June 06, 2014

Remembering D-Day, June 6, 1944





The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 and the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its ½ mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.



President Franklin D. Roosevelt speech on the eve of invasion of Normandy, June 06, 1944. Prevalent today.


On June 6, 1944, a date known ever since as D-Day, a mighty armada crossed a narrow strip of sea from England to Normandy, France, and cracked the Nazi grip on western Europe.




President Ronald Reagan Speaks at Normandy ...Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day 6/6/84




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (5)

The Veterans of the 29th Infantry Division continue their tour of small Normandy towns they liberated in 1944



Veterans of the 29th Infantry Division continue their tour of small Normandy towns they liberated in 1944





Wild Thing's comment............

Our awesome Veterans!



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:49 AM | Comments (2)

WW2 planes fly over Pegasus Bridge for D-Day anniversary






WW2 planes fly over Pegasus Bridge for D-Day anniversary

A number of historic planes including a Spitfire, a Lancaster bomber and DC-3 Dakota have taken part in a flypast over Pegasus Bridge in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM

June 05, 2014

The last surviving member of the 'code talkers' passes away at 93



Last Surviving 'code Talker' Dead at 93

The last surviving member of the 'code talkers' -- an elite group of Navajo Marines that developed a code using their native language during World War Two -- died Wednesday. (June 4)




Wild Thing's comment..............

God rest his soul! A true hero.A true Chief. 


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

Col. Jeannie M. Leavitt takes her final flight as the Fourth Fighter Wing commander







Col. Jeannie M. Leavitt takes her final flight as the Fourth Fighter Wing commander.



Wild Thing's comment..........

Thank you Col. Jeannie M. Leavitt for your service.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:40 AM | Comments (2)

June 02, 2014

Ticked Off Green Beret Shreds Gwyneth Paltrow In Sarcastic Letter: ‘You Should Receive A Medal!’


Ticked Off Green Beret Shreds Gwyneth Paltrow In Sarcastic Letter: ‘You Should Receive A Medal!’


Actress Gwyneth Paltrow put her foot in her mouth again — and it took a decorated Green Beret to yank it out.

The outspoken star of “Shakespeare in Love” on Tuesday compared cyberbullied celebrities to combat soldiers, according to the London Daily Mail’s coverage of a conference that featured Paltrow as a speaker.

“It’s a very dehumanizing thing,” she said. “It’s almost like, how in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it. My hope is, as we get out of it, we’ll reach the next level of conscience.”

Her self-pity angered Sgt. First Class Brian Sikes, a Purple Heart recipient who mounted a frontal assault with 32-caliber sarcasm.

Sikes, who was wounded in an IED explosion and saw buddies killed and lose limbs during a combat tour in Afghanistan, called Paltrow’s rant “dehumanizing” for daring to compare battlefield stress to her life of luxury.

To Miss Paltrow,

I’d first like to start out by saying how terrible I feel for you and all your friends that on a daily basis have to endure mean words written by people you don’t know. I can only imagine the difficulty of waking up in a 12,000 square foot Hollywood home and having your assistant retrieve your iPhone, only to see that the battery is low and someone on twitter (the social media concept that you and all of your friends contribute to on an hourly basis to feed your ego and narcissistic ways), has written a mean word or 2 about you. You’ve hit the nail on the head, war is exactly like that. You should receive a medal for the burden you have carried on your shoulders due to these meanies on social media.


You said, “Its almost like, how in war, you go through this bloody dehumanizing thing and then something is defined out of it.” I could see how you, and others like you in “the biz”, could be so insecure and mentally weak that you could pair the difficulty of your life on twitter to my brothers who have had their limbs ripped off and seen their friends shot, blown up, burned and disfigured, or wake up every morning in pain – while just starting the day is a challenge. How about our wives? The ones that sign on to be there for us through thick and thin, that help us to shake the hardships of war upon our return? And do all this while being mothers to our kids, keeping bills in order because we are always gone, and keeping our lives glued together. They do all this, by the way, without a team of accountants, nanny’s, personal assistants, and life coaches. Yeah, reading a mean tweet is just like all that.


You know what is really “dehumanizing”, Miss Paltrow? The fact that you’d even consider that your life as an “A-list” celebrity reading internet comments could even compare to war and what is endured on the battlefield. You and the other “A-listers” that think like you are laughable. You all have actually convinced yourselves that you in some way face difficulty on a regular basis. Let me be the first to burst your bubble: a long line at Starbucks, your driver being 3 minutes late, a scuff mark on your $1200 shoes and a mean tweet do not constitute difficulty in the eyes of a soldier.


Understand me when I say this: war does not define me. It is a chapter in my life that helped shaped me. Being a husband and father is what defines me. Remember, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never…be close to what war is.

from Green Beret Bryan Sikes, SFC, USA



Wild Thing's comment.......

Thank you for your service & God bless you!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

May 26, 2014

Rolling Thunder Washington, DC. XXVII







Rolling Thunder is a motorcycle Run and First Amendment demonstration which began in 1988 to bring awareness to the POW/MIA issue and achieve full accountability for, and the return of all service members, alive or dead, which were abandoned after the Vietnam War.




.








Marine and Wounded Veteran salute during Rolling Thunder


Wild Thing's comment............

Thank you for supporting our POW/MIA's and their families.

Thank you also for supporting our Vets and those currently serving this great nation.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (5)

May 25, 2014

Highly Recommended for Tonight....Actors Gary Sinise And Joe Mantegna Understand The Price Of Freedom, Host 25th Memorial Day Concert In D.C.


Sunday, May 25 on PBS from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. for the 2014 National Memorial Day Concert, featuring actress Dianne Wiest, musical artists Danielle Bradbery, Jackie Evancho, Megan Hilty, Anthony Kearns, Jack Everly, and co-hosted for the eighth year by Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise.

The 2014 National Memorial Day Concert will feature the stories of John Peck, a critically wounded veteran; Gold Star Mother Ruth Stonesifer, whose son Kristofor was the first to die in Afghanistan; and all those of the Greatest Generation who participated in the D-Day invasion.







Actors Gary Sinise And Joe Mantegna Understand The Price Of Freedom, Host 25th Memorial Day Concert In D.C.

Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, two of Hollywood’s biggest patriots, are in Washington, D.C., to host the 25th annual Memorial Day concert on the west lawn of the Capitol.

It should be a given that actors, writers, and directors would appreciate the freedoms we enjoy here in America, but too often Hollywood seems to prefer celebrating those who are outspoken against American values, ideals, and even our service members. It’s dumbfounding considering that history teaches us artists are often the first to be silenced by totalitarian governments.

Sinise and Mantegna are two midwesterners who grew up with an understanding of the sacrifices members of our military have made to keep our nation free.



Sinise about his special connection to the troops and he said it really all started with his iconic performance as Lt. Dan in the film Forrest Gump. He has now started a foundation specifically designed to help wounded veterans, especially amputees.
“We have a whole new generation of Lt. Dan’s out there and we’ll highlight one of them at the concert this weekend,” he told me.




Sinese has said that his appreciation for Memorial Day goes back to his childhood in Illinois: “When I was a kid, I loved the Memorial Day parade. Especially saluting the soldiers who had done so much for our country. I was too young to understand the words ‘sacrifice’ and ‘tribute,’ but I knew what a hero was. And that’s what our service members have always been to me.”




Mantegna also grew up in Chicago; having military members in his family instilled a special appreciation for those who have sacrificed for our country:
“I had a lot of military in my family and they all came back from conflicts so there was no immediate attachment to Memorial Day in terms of a day of personal remembrance,” Mantegna said. “And yet, once I did that concert I realized Memorial Day is not just a holiday, it’s our most important holiday because of the sacrifices all these men and women made throughout our history.”

There’s plenty to complain about when it comes to some of the bone-headed, unpatriotic utterances from many of the members of the Hollywood community. But here are two examples of humble men who understand what it means to be truly free, and, sadly, what the cost of that freedom has been.

I know from personal experience there are more men and women like this in Hollywood.



Wild Thing's comment............

Nick and I have seen this even each year they have done it and it is amazing, wonderful, extrememly touching and well worth the time watching.

It will be tonight on PBS from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

May 23, 2014

Senator Marco Rubio: Democrats' blocking VA accountability bill 'outrageous'






Rubio: Democrats' blocking VA accountability bill 'outrageous'

Marco Rubio excoriates Bernie Sanders and Senate Democrats who blocked his bill to increase accountability at the VA.


Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) asked for consent to take up and pass the Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act, a bill that would make it easier/possible for the scandal-plagued department to fire employees based on poor performance. The House overwhelmingly passed the legislation on Wednesday, with a bipartisan vote of 390 to 33. (Only Democrats objected.)

Surely the Senate would follow suit, right? Not exactly. Senator Bernie Sanders, a union-backed socialist from Vermont, objected on behalf of Senate Democrats to Rubio’s request. Instead of taking any action now, Sanders said he is going to hold a hearing—several weeks from now.

Sanders, who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, has been one of the most outspoken defenders of the VA against allegations of misconduct. When asked about reports of multiple deaths related to long wait times at the VA healthcare system, Sanders told CNN: “People die every day.”



Wild Thing's comment............

These democrats voting against it are the lowest form of human flesh.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

May 18, 2014

Yesterday Was a Great Armed Forces Day



From Senator Ted Cruz.......This Armed Forces Day & every day, we are so grateful for the service of the men & women who wear the uniform



Wild Thing's comment...........

I am so glad Obama went golfing instead of one of his phony speeches and all about himself .

To the men and women whose service means more than words can adequately express, thank you always.
And to our Veterans my deepest respect and a full heart of gratitude.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (5)

May 03, 2014

Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient and Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr Passes Away at 95





FBI TV Show Opening Theme





77 SUNSET STRIP: Opening Credits / Intro & Theme Song



Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient and Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr Passes Away at 95


Efrem Zimbalist Jr., the son of famous musical parents who established his own name in the long-running television series "77 Sunset Strip" and the even longer running TV hit "The F.B.I.," died Friday at age 95.

Zimbalist died at his Solvang home in California's bucolic horse country, said family friend Judith Moose, who released a statement from his children, actress Stephanie Zimbalist and her brother, Efrem Zimbalist III.

"We are heartbroken to announce the passing into peace of our beloved father, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., today at his Solvang ranch," it said. "He actively enjoyed his life to the last day, showering love on his extended family, playing golf and visiting with close friends."


Zimbalist's stunning good looks and cool, deductive manner made him the ideal star as the hip private detective ferreting out Hollywood miscreants in "77 Sunset Strip," which aired from 1958 to 1964. As soon as that show ended he segued seamlessly into "The F.B.I." which aired from 1965 to 1974.

At the end of each episode of the latter show, after Zimbalist and his fellow G-men had captured that week's mobsters, subversives, bank robbers or spies, the show would post photos from the FBI's real-life wanted list. Some of the photos led to arrests, which helped give the show the complete seal of approval of the agency's real-life director, J. Edgar Hoover.


Zimbalist was the son of violin virtuoso Efrem Zimbalist and Alma Gluck, an acclaimed opera singer.

Young Efrem studied the violin himself for seven years under the tutelage of Jascha Heifetz's father, but he eventually developed more interest in theater. He became an actor, and "77 Sunset Strip" made him a celebrity.

His daughter also took up acting -- and small-screen detective work, in the 1980s TV series "Remington Steele." Her father had a recurring role in that show as a con man.

After serving in World War II, Zimbalist made his stage debut in "The Rugged Path," starring Spencer Tracy, and appeared in other plays and a soap opera before being called to Hollywood. Warner Bros. signed him to a contract and cast him in minor film roles.

In 1958 "77 Sunset Strip" debuted, starring Zimbalist as a cultured former O.S.S. officer and language expert whose partner was Roger Smith, an Ivy League Ph.D.

The pair operated out of an office in the center of Hollywood's Sunset Strip where, aided by their sometime helper, Kookie, a jive-talking beatnik type who doubled as a parking lot attendant, they tracked down miscreants. Kookie's character, played by Edd Byrnes, helped draw young viewers to the show and make it an immediate hit.

The program brought Zimbalist an Emmy nomination in 1959, but after a few seasons he tired of the long hours and what he believed were the bad scripts.

"A job like this should pay off in one of two ways: satisfaction or money. The money is not great, and there is no satisfaction," he said.

When the show faltered in 1963, Jack Webb of "Dragnet" fame was hired for an overhaul. He fired the cast except for Zimbalist, whom he made a world-traveling investigator. The repair work failed, and the series ended the following year.

Zimbalist had better luck with "The F.B.I.," which endured for a decade as one of TV's most popular shows.

Perceiving that the series could provide the real FBI with an important P.R. boost, Hoover opened the bureau's files to the show's producers and even allowed background shots to be filmed in real FBI offices.

"He never came on the set, but I knew him," Zimbalist said. "A charming man, extremely Virginia formal and an extraordinary command of the language."

During summer breaks between the two series, Warner Bros. cast Zimbalist in several feature films, including "Too Much Too Soon," "Home Before Dark," "The Crowded Sky," "The Chapman Report" and "Wait Until Dark." In the latter, he played the husband of Audrey Hepburn, a blind woman terrorized by thugs in a truly frightening film.

Zimbalist also appeared in "By Love Possessed," "Airport 1975," "Terror Out of the Sky" and "Hot Shots."

But he would always be best known as a TV star, ironic for an actor who told The Associated Press in a 1993 interview that when Warner Bros. first hired him he had no interest in doing television.

"They showed me in my contract where it said I had to," he recalled.

"I ended up with my life slanted toward television and I just accept that," he added. "I think you play the hand the way it's dealt, that's all."

In the 1990s, Zimbalist recorded the voice of Alfred, the butler, in the cartoon "Batman" series, which, he said, "has made me an idol in my little grandchildren's eyes."

He was born in New York City on Nov. 30, 1917.

His mother reasoned that living amid the musical elite was not the best upbringing for a boy, so she sent him to boarding schools where he could be toughened by others his age. But young Efrem was bashful and withdrawn in school. His only outlet was acting in campus plays.

"I walked onstage in a play at prep school, and with childish naivetΘ, told myself, `Wow, I'm an actor!"' he once recalled.

He was kicked out of Yale after two years over dismal grades, which he blamed on a playboy attitude.

Afraid to go home, he stayed with a friend in New York City for three months, working as a page at NBC headquarters, where he was dazzled by the famous radio stars. Unable to break into radio as an actor, he studied at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse.

During World War II he served in the infantry, receiving a Purple Heart for a shrapnel wound in his leg.

In 1945, Zimbalist married Emily McNair and they had a daughter, Nancy, and son, Efrem III. His wife died in 1950, and he gave up acting to teach at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where his father was an artist in residence. After five years he returned to Hollywood. He married Loranda Stephanie Spalding in 1956, and she gave birth to daughter Stephanie.

He is survived by his children, four grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Military..............

WW II. he served five years serving in the European Theater and earned a Purple Heart at Huertgen Forest where he was wounded in the left thigh by a shall fragment while leading an infantry platoon during an attack on Germany’s Siegfried Line



Wild Thing's comment........

Amazing he was 95, he lived a long life, what a blessing. RIP and thanks for the memories.

I also remember Efrem Zimbalist as a Reagan supporter and California GOP delegate to the national convention.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

Veteran’s Affairs Cancelled 1.5 Million Unresolved Requests For Appointments



Veteran’s Affairs Cancelled 1.5 Million Unresolved Requests For Appointments


The Department of Veterans Affairs purged more than 1.5 million medical orders without ensuring patients received medical care, the Washington Examiner reports:


Since May 2013, veterans’ medical centers nationwide have been under pressure to clear out 2 million backlogged orders for patient care or services.

They were given wide latitude to cancel unfilled appointments more than 90 days old. By April 2014, the backlog of what the agency calls “unresolved consults” was down to about 450,000.

What happened to other 1.5 million appointments is something that no one, including top officials at the veterans’ agency, can answer.


A review by the Government Accountability Office of the process VA used to close old consult orders found that poor documentation in patient files and the lack of independent verification made it impossible to know whether patients got care they needed before their medical orders were canceled.

The VA is currently embroiled in scandal after news investigations revealed dozens of veterans, including 40 at a Phoenix VA hospital, died from delays in treatment.

The total number of veterans who have died from delayed treatment is unknown.

The VA released a fact-sheet in April showing 23 veterans had died nationwide from delayed gastrointestinal cancer screenings.

An investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting found the VA has paid out $200 million for nearly 1,000 wrongful deaths since the 9/11 attacks.



Wild Thing's comment.........

The very sad and outrageous thing about this is that I bet nobody beyond some lower level assistant is held accountable for this.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2014

Megyn Kelly Blasts Media For Failing to Ask President Obama About ‘Dead Veterans’ In Phoenix VA Scandal





Megyn Kelly Blasts Media For Failing to Ask President Obama About ‘Dead Veterans’ In Phoenix VA Scandal


Fox News host Megyn Kelly blasted the media for failing to ask President Obama in South Korea earlier today about the Phoenix VA scandal.

Kelly indirectly referenced ABC reporter Jonathan Karl, who asked the president whether he would save Russian Vladimir Putin if he were drowning.

“Something just disturbing happened today, speaking of the president because he, he was asked at a press conference, hey, Vladimir Putin said that if he was drowning, he thinks you would save him,” she said. “I realize it’s a joke. It’s a light-hearted moment. They took time to ask our president about that today, no one bothered to ask him about the dead veterans on American soil at the VA in Phoenix.”

The Phoenix VA is alleged to have kept a secret list of patients who were not formally entered into the VA system. CNN reported at least 40 patients died because of delays in treatment.




Wild Thing's comment..............

Good for Megyn.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

April 25, 2014

Disgrace: Phoenix VA Dumps Sick Veterans Into 'Secret Waiting Lists,' Some Die of Negligence




There is a problem going on down at the VA department in Phoenix, AZ. Approximately 40 vets have unnecessarily died, while waiting in line for services at the Phoenix VA.

At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list. The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources ... Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it. Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments: There's an "official" list that's shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there's the real list that's hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.


So this branch of the VA operated an off-the-books list in order to mask atrocious realities and deflect public scrutiny.

According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor's appointments for veterans within the computer system.

Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, "they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there's no record that you were ever here," he said.

According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed...Foote adds that when veterans waiting on the secret list die, they are simply removed...Foote said that the number of dead veterans who died waiting for care is at least 40.


They went to great lengths to avoid keeping accurate records, and when veterans died of neglect, their secret files simply disappeared. Their paper trail was destroyed.


"That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded," Foote said.

"So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list," he said. "And they wouldn't take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not."

Foote estimates right now the number of veterans waiting on the "secret list" to see a primary care physician is somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600.


"I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA," said Foote. "They're all frustrated. They're all upset. They all wish they could leave 'cause they know what they're doing is wrong.

"But they have families, they have mortgages and if they speak out or say anything to anybody about it, they will be fired and they know that."

Several other high-level VA staff confirmed Foote's description to CNN and confirmed this is exactly how the secret list works in Phoenix.

Foote says the Phoenix wait times reported back to Washington were entirely fictitious. "So then when they did that, they would report to Washington, 'Oh yeah. We're makin' our appointments within -- within 10 days, within the 14-day frame,' when in reality it had been six, nine, in some cases 21 months," he said.

November: A dire situation in South Carolina

Please CONTINUE READING ARTICLE CLICK HERE.............




Wild Thing's comment............

This is horrible and unforgivable.

I do know from many Veterans that may vary from hospital to hospital and clinic to clinic. And there are some really good ones, but again I have also heard from Veterans over the years of nightmare stories from them of really horrible treatment and wrong medicine given, long waiting times etc.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (2)

April 05, 2014

Marine Who Served Three Combat Tours In Iraq Facing Eviction For Displaying American Flag



Marine vet says he faces possible eviction over U.S., USMC flags on apt. balcony

Marine Who Served Three Combat Tours In Iraq Facing Eviction For Displaying American Flag


Manuel E. Vega, a Marine Corps veteran who served three combat tours in Iraq, says he faces possible eviction from his apartment if he does not remove two flags – one U.S. flag and one Marine Corps flag — from his balcony. The Salem Run Apartment Homes in Fredericksburg, Va., initially warned Vega about the flags, then said they would be willing to work something out, but, Vega told Examiner.com Thursday, nothing has been done and the complex has not backed down.

Vega told Examiner he has been flying the flags since October, but apartment managers recently decided to take action.

A notice warning Vega of the flags was tacked to his front door, he said.

“Although we appreciate and commend your patriotism, as a reminder per your lease agreement, you cannot have anything attached to the railing or any part of the building,” the warning letter, dated March 21, said.

The letter also says that only patio furniture, “flowers and/or holiday decorations” are the only things allowed on the balcony.

Vega served over eight years in the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of Sergeant, having received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation and a Good Conduct Medal.




Wild Thing's comment............

IMO any land owner, building owner, property owner that is against our Flag in any way there is something seriously wrong with them. Not hanging or displaying our Flag should never be part of a lease. But this is just how I feel so obviously in our country it means nothing anymore. Why do people live in the USA and hate our Flag I will never understand.

God bless our Veterans and I wish any of them that want to display the Flag should be allowed to do so.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

April 02, 2014

Awesome Video!! A Marine and Soldier Take Flag From Hippie Protester






A Marine and Soldier take back the flag from protesters for disrespecting it for holding it upside down.



Wild Thing's comment.........

Gosh I LOVE this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God bless this Soldier and Marine.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

March 26, 2014

Vets Send Powerful Message To Obama: ‘American Weakness is Dangerous’



The group has created multiple videos made from interviews with soldiers who fought in Iraq’s Anbar province and family members of soldiers who were killed in Iraq.




Vets Send Powerful Message To Obama: ‘American Weakness is Dangerous’

A group of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has started a White House petition to send the message that “American weakness is dangerous.”

In a letter to the president, the group Vets for Freedom outlines the administration’s dangerous approach to national security.


Mr. President,

For veterans of the Iraq War, watching the black flag of Al Qaeda fly over Fallujah—as the adjacent video outlines—is the ultimate symbol of weak and feckless national security policy. Dismissing this American battlefield is an insult to the sacrifice and honor of our warriors and their families. Unfortunately, it’s just another recent example of your administration’s dangerous approach to national security; let us briefly recount other ways.

Afghanistan War veterans bemoan a failed ‘surge then withdraw’ strategy—costing lives and losing ground. In Syria, we set rhetorical red-lines that a Iranian-backed dictator ignored—and then did nothing. Speaking of Iran, their nuclear ambitions continue unabated—with Israel left standing alone. In Libya we ‘led from behind’—with spiraling violence and a dead US ambassador in Benghazi to show for it. China’s increases their defense budget substantially—while we gut ours precipitously. And most recently, an empowered Russia had their way with a sovereign nation—while we did nothing. Other fault lines—in Pakistan, North Korea, Turkey and Egypt—haven’t escaped our gaze either.


Bottom line: America’s enemies don’t fear us, our allies don’t trust us, and the world is more dangerous. For decades, a national security policy of ‘Peace through Strength’ underwrote U.S. security at home and our interests abroad—but not any more. Mr. President, in just five short years, you have managed to gut our military, dismiss clear and present threats, and leave America’s image and stature in tatters. We can’t stand for this.


Wild Thing's comment...........


God bless our Veterans.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

March 09, 2014

Hero Retired U.S. Army SSG Travis Mills quadruple amputee, Jumps with the Golden Knights



Retired U.S. Army SSG Travis Mills, one of the quadruple amputee's from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, made a tandem jump with the Golden Knights Friday, February 28, 2014 at Homestead Air Reserve Base. SSG Mills, a Soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft Bragg, NC was critically injured on his third tour to Afghanistan by an IED while on patrol.




Wild Thing's comment...........

So very inspiring. God bless our Heroes.


....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Tom

1st Aviation Brigade, US Army
RVN, Sep66-Mar68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

February 24, 2014

George W. Bush Explains Why He Gets Emotional About Helping Vets


PLEASE CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO....thank you.


George W. Bush Explains Why He Gets Emotional About Helping Vets

Sunday on ABC’s "This Week," former President George W. Bush got emotional explaining his work helping veterans trying to make the difficult transition back into civilian life:

“I obviously get slightly emotional talking about our vets because I’m in there with them," he said.

“But my spirit is also uplifted when I visit with vets. As I say, there is no self-pity, They don’t say, ‘Woe is me.’ They say, ‘What can I do to continue to serve?’”




Wild Thing's comment...............

I love how he has a passion for our Veterans.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (1)

December 08, 2013

From Yesterday...Pearl Harbor Memorial Anniversary Tour December 7th




God bless our awesome Veterans. Thank you!!!! ` Chrissie




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

October 21, 2013

Awesome Over 2,000 Patriots Turn Out to Confront Westboro Cult in Oregon (Video)




Over 2,000 Patriots Turn Out to Confront Westboro Cult in Oregon

Thousands of citizens join Patriot Guard Riders to repel the Westboro Baptist Church’s plans to picket the funeral of Army Ranger PFC Cody Patterson. Westboro never showed up, or if they did, they didn’t even bother getting out of their cars. Estimated crowd size of 2000+ must have been too much for them.



Wild Thing's comment............

God bless these patriots!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

October 20, 2013

Jesse Watters shares inspiring stories of wounded warriors and their Track Chairs





Jesse Watters shares inspiring stories of wounded warriors and their Track Chairs

ActionTrackChair.com


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Action Track Chair Commercial

The Action Trackchair is the ultimate in off-road wheelchairs. You will go places you didn’t think possible. With the Action Trackchair you will be able to navigate mountain roads, campgrounds, woods, beaches, hiking trails, frozen lakes, shallow streams, muddy and snowy terrain and much more. Now you have the choice to stay on hard surfaces or go off-road.


Wild Thing's comment...........

What an awesome invention and what I am thrilled about is there will be so many of our Veterans that can use a track chair like this.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

October 02, 2013

Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Roger Wicker and Others Escort World War II Veterans through Obama Administration Barricades to see the World War II Memorial


When the people try to limit government, government likes to take away certain things. Like parks and memorial sites. As I wrote about it my post below this post, yesterday the Obama Administration tried to shut down the open-air World War II Memorial on the National Mall. They even put up barricades.


Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Roger Wicker and Others Escort World War II Vets through Barricades to see the World War II Memorial

Here is outstanding video of an Honor Flight Group of World War II Veterans going through barricades at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. to see the Memorial, despite the Memorial being closed due to the Government Shutdown.





In the video, I can see GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert and GOP Sen. Roger Wicker (I think) there to help them. There may be others I don’t recognize. You can hear Gohmert approach the vets and tell them, “It’s my honor to escort you.” Rep. Steve King was also there, and tweeted about the experience.

Absolutely outstanding!!!!!

They didn’t count on these guys going through them:

The graying and stooped men, wearing blue baseball caps, red T-shirts and garlands of red, white and blue flowers, surged forward . . .

A shout went up. The barricades had been moved — it was unclear by whom.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he believed the Park Service opened the gates. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) said the congressmen did it. Rep. Steven M. Palazzo (R-Miss.) said the barricades just seemed to part.

“I’m not going to enforce the ‘no stopping or standing’ sign for a group of 90 World War II veterans,” said a U.S. Park Police officer, who declined to give his name. “I’m a veteran myself.”



Wild Thing's comment............

God bless these people for ignoring the BS and pushing forward. These heroes made a long trip, extra long IMO when a person has disabilities to deal with, they deserved better then to be stopped ( for one thing it was only the first day of Obama closing down government things. sheesh )




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (1)

September 02, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks to the American Legion National Convention; Praises the Example of America’s Veterans



Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks to the American Legion National Convention; Praises the Example of America’s Veterans

Senator Ted Cruz addressing the American Legion National Convention this past Thursday. Cruz did an outstanding job, praising America’s Veterans and urging Americans to help him turn the nation back to our founding principles and freedoms.


Wild Thing's comment............

Thank you Sen. Cruz.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (2)

August 04, 2013

Screaming Eagle leader dies at 87



Sidney Berry commanded the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell in 1973-74. He is also known for his leadership of the Division during Vietnam at Firebase Ripcord.

The Fort Campbell Courier

Sidney Bryan Berry, who led the 101st Airborne Division in the last major battle of the Vietnam War between the U.S. Army and North Vietnamese Army, died in Kennett Square, Pa., July 1 at age 87. Berry died of Parkinson’s disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease.


Berry was a highly decorated Soldier in the U.S. Army who served in combat for more than three years in Korea and Vietnam and was twice promoted on the battlefield. He retired as a lieutenant general in 1980.

The last major battle between the U.S. Army and NVA was the evacuation of Firebase Ripcord in July 1970. Berry was serving as assistant Division commander for operations in the 101st Airborne Division and since the actual commander of the Division was on a 30-day leave at the time, Berry assumed command of the Screaming Eagles.

Berry also commanded the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell in 1973-74. He later summarized his service with the Division during that year:

“During [Berry’s] command and over his objection, the Department of the Army took the Division’s Soldiers off parachute or ‘jump’ status. Berry moved swiftly to forestall a decline in the troopers’ morale and esprit and to emphasize the 101st Division’s uniqueness with its 400-plus helicopters as the world’s only helicopter-borne Division. He organized an Air Assault School, approved award of an Air Assault Badge to the school’s graduates, and modified the division’s name to 101st Airborne Division. Today, the Army has several Air Assault schools modeled after that of the Screaming Eagles, and thousands of Soldiers proudly wear the Air Assault Badge.”

Berry’s most difficult assignment was the one after Fort Campbell, when he served as superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point from 1974 to 1977. Recent obituaries of Berry in The Washington Post and The New York Times have focused on the two widely publicized challenges Berry faced there in 1976: the admission of women into the Corps of Cadets July 1, 1976, and the widespread violations of West Point’s Honor Code on a take-home electrical-engineering test that resulted in the expulsion of 152 cadets, although 98 were subsequently reinstated, generally a year later. The Honor Code violations were the subject of a Time magazine cover story and Harvard Business School case study.

Ripcord

The helicopters of the 101st Airborne Division were instrumental in Berry’s two major operations with the Division during his service there as assistant Division commander for operations from 1970 to 1971.

The first of these operations was the evacuation of Firebase Ripcord, situated on a mountain overlooking the A Shau Valley in Vietnam, in July 1970. The Americans were surrounded by a full-strength division of the North Vietnamese Army, who began the assault on Ripcord July 1, 1970. On July 18, a U.S. Chinook helicopter carrying a load of fuel to the firebase was shot down and crashed onto an ammunition dump.

“I was flying in the area at the time,” Berry reported in his lengthy interview in 1983 for the U.S. Army Military History Institute’s Senior Officer Oral History Program at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. “It appeared that the whole hilltop was exploding – like a Mount Vesuvius.”

Berry, who was the acting Division commander of the 101st at the time, eventually ordered the evacuation of all the 350 troops, artillery and other materiel from the firebase by helicopter. After many trips by Huey and Chinook helicopters, the U.S. Army completed the extraction of men and materiel, July 23, 1970.

“It was in one sense a highly successful operation,” Berry said.

“It was a withdrawal under fire by airmobile means carried out under extremely difficult circumstances” – in what turned out to be the last major battle of the war between the U.S. Army and the North Vietnamese Army.

“Our casualties were minimal compared to what they could have been. But, on the other hand, we gave up ground that we had held for a couple of months.”

The battle took the life of battalion commander Lt. Col. Andre Lucas, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, which Berry recommended.

Years later, in 2006, Berry visited the elementary school at Fort Campbell named after Lucas.

A Soldier’s Soldier

For Berry’s fellow Soldiers, Berry was above all a Soldier’s Soldier, one who repeatedly fought in combat, was wounded twice (once in Korea and once in Vietnam), and reached out to the Soldier in the field. Four times Berry was awarded the Silver Star Medal for “gallantry in action” and “valorous acts” against an enemy in combat; twice he awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (accompanied by 42 Air Medals) for “heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight,” as Army regulations define the awards.

Berry “loved Soldiers and loved soldiering and all that goes with it,” Jim Campbell, who served with Berry in Vietnam, later wrote.

The men of Company B, 501st Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, still gather and remember the day in October 1970 when then Brig. Gen. Berry and his pilot, 1st Lt. John Fox, and the brigade commander, Col. Benjamin Harrison and his pilot flew in to extract them from the jungles of Vietnam. After drinking bad water, nearly three-quarters of the 85-man company were sick from vomiting, diarrhea and high fever. Isolated in the bush and beaten down by the 45 inches of rain that fell that month during the monsoons, the men had eaten their last C-rations two days earlier. The clouds were moving in, but Berry and Harrison each made five-round trips to ferry the men to safety. The foot Soldiers were astonished to learn that a general and a colonel had extracted them.

“As those unshaven, soaked, grimy, fatigued, smelly Infantrymen approached the helicopter that was to remove them from the jungle and take them back to some degree of comfort and security, it was a pleasure to see their faces light up, their broad grins, their thumbs-up symbol,” Berry wrote his wife, Anne Hayes Berry, who survives her husband of 64 years. Sometimes in Vietnam Brig. Gen. Berry would spend the night in the field with the Soldiers to get a better sense of how things were on the ground – a practice at variance with official Army policy, which did not want its general officers to be captured by the enemy.

Books in Berry’s life

Berry was a faithful Christian who began and ended each day, in war and in peacetime, by reading Scripture.

“General Berry was very open about his personal faith – I appreciated that,” said Ken Miller, First Captain of the USMA Class of 1977. Berry sometimes cited Psalm 46 – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” - during the troubled times at West Point, Miller said.

Berry was an avid reader of history and literature and a copious writer of letters and reports. When, in the 1990s, he turned to writing his own book, he chose as his topic his experiences as commander of Able Company in the Korean War. The book, “Able Company Is My Home,” was recently edited by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Douglas Johnson, Berry’s aide during his last tour of duty, as commander of V Corps in Germany. Johnson, who lives in Carlisle, Pa., is affiliated with the U.S. Army War College.

In August 1949, Berry was posted to Japan, where he joined Able Company, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. In June 1950, while Anne Berry was en route to Japan to join her husband, the Korean War broke out when the North Korean Army invaded South Korea. Berry was wounded in Korea on Sept. 2 and hospitalized in Japan for three weeks (where Anne Berry was living) before returning to his company in Korea.

The War College in Carlisle also figures in another of Berry’s literary contributions, his championing of Anton Myrer’s 1968 novel “Once an Eagle.”

“The [novel’s] protagonist, Sam Damon, is a Soldier’s Soldier, a hard-fighting commander filled with concern for his troops,” wrote Elizabeth Becker in “The Officer” magazine. “His antagonist, Courtney Massengale, triumphs over Sam Damon by manipulating the political system in Washington and making all the right career moves, even though he disdains the rank-and-file” Soldiers.

“Myrer’s Sam Damon is a Soldier to admire, love and emulate,” Berry wrote, and “Courtney Massengale, a Soldier to despise and avoid.” The novel was named No. 1 on the professional reading list by and for company-level officers, reported “Army” magazine in February 2012.

Berry and Myrer became friends after Berry invited the novelist to an Army football game at West Point in 1975. After Myrer died in 1996, his widow and literary agent, Pat Myrer, gave the Army War College Foundation complete ownership of the book.





Wild Thing's comment.............

R.I.P. and thank you Sidney Bryan Berry.


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:50 AM | Comments (2)

July 29, 2013

American Hero Col. Bud Day Passes Away at 88 – He Stood Up For America & Against John Kerry




American Hero Col. Bud Day Passes away at 88 – He Stood Up For America & Against John Kerry


Retired Col. George “Bud” Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who spent 5½ years as a POW in Vietnam and was Arizona Sen. John McCain’s cellmate, has died at the age of 88, his widow said Sunday.

FORT WALTON BEACH - USAF COL (ret.) George E. "Bud" Day, a Medal of Honor winner, a WWII Marine, and Vietnam POW, passed away early Saturday morning in Ft. Walton Beach.

His wife, children and grandchildren were present. They had communion before Bud passed away.

The funeral is expected to be Thursday at the Emerald Coast Conference Center with burial at Barancas National Cemetery in Pensacola.

Day, one of the nation’s most highly decorated servicemen since Gen. Douglas MacArthur and later a tireless advocate for veterans’ rights, died Saturday surrounded by family at his home in Shalimar, after a long illness, Doris Day said.




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George Everett "Bud" Day (born February 24, 1925) is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Command Pilot who served during the Vietnam War. He is often cited as being the most decorated U.S. service member since General Douglas MacArthur, having received some seventy decorations, a majority for actions in combat. Day is a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Day was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on February 24, 1925. In 1942 he quit high school and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served 30 months in the North Pacific during World War II as a member of a 5 in (130 mm) gun battery with the 3rd Defense Battalion on Johnston Island.

After the war, Day attended Morningside College on the G.I. Bill, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree, followed by law school at the University of South Dakota, receiving a Juris Doctor. Day passed the bar exam in 1949 and was admitted to the bar in South Dakota. In later life, Day was also awarded a Master of Arts degree from St. Louis University, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Morningside, and a Doctor of Laws from Troy State University. Day was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1977.

A member of the Army Reserve, in 1950 he received a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Iowa Air National Guard, and was called to active duty in 1951 for Undergraduate Pilot Training. He served two tours as a fighter-bomber pilot during the Korean War flying the Republic F-84 Thunderjet, surviving a "no-chute" ejection in 1955. Promoted to captain, he decided to make the Air Force a career and was augmented into the Regular Air Force, and transitioned to the F-100 Super Sabre in 1957 while stationed at RAF Wethersfield.

Anticipating retirement in 1968 and now a major, Day volunteered for a tour in Vietnam and was assigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Tuy Hoa Air Base in April 1967. At that time he had more than 5,000 flying hours, with 4,500 of them in fighters. On June 25, 1967, with extensive previous service flying two tours in F-100s, Major Day was made the first commander of Detachment 1, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Phu Cat Air Base. Under the project name "Commando Sabre", twin-seat USAF F-100Fs were evaluated as a Fast Forward Air Control ("Fast FAC") aircraft in high threat areas, given that F-4 Phantom II aircraft were in high demand for strike and Combat Air Patrol (CAP) roles. Using the call sign Misty, the name of Day's favorite song, his detachment of two-seat F-100Fs and 16 pilots became pioneer "Fast FACs": Forward Air Controllers over Laos and North Vietnam. All Misty FAC crews were volunteers with at least 100 combat missions in Vietnam and 1,000 minimum flight hours.


Prisoner of war

On August 26, 1967, Major Day was flying F-100F-15-NA, AF Serial No. 56-3954, call sign "Misty 01",[2] on his 26th Fast FAC sortie, directing a flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs in an air strike against a surface-to-air missile (SAM) site north of Thon Cam Son and west of Dong Hoi, 20 mi (32 km) north of the DMZ in North Vietnam. Day was on his 65th mission into North Vietnam and acting as check pilot for Captain Corwin M. "Kipp" Kippenhan,

who was upgrading to aircraft commander. 37 mm antiaircraft fire crippled the aircraft, forcing the crew to eject. In the ejection, Day's right arm was broken in three places when he struck the side of the cockpit, and he also experienced eye and back injuries.

Kippenhan was rescued by a USAF HH-3E, but Day was unable to contact the rescue helicopter by survival radio and was quickly captured by North Vietnamese local militia. On his fifth night, when he was still within 20 mi (32 km) of the DMZ, Day escaped from his initial captors despite his serious injuries. Although stripped of both his boots and flight suit, Day crossed the Demilitarized Zone back into South Vietnam, becoming the only U.S. prisoner of war to escape from North Vietnam. Within 2 mi (3 km) of the U.S. Marine firebase at Con Thien and after 12–15 days of evading, he was captured again, this time by a Viet Cong patrol that wounded him in the leg and hand with gunfire.

Taken back to his original camp, Day was tortured for escaping, breaking his right arm again. He then was moved to several prison camps near Hanoi, where he was periodically beaten, starved, and tortured. In December 1967, Day shared a cell with Navy Lieutenant Commander and future Senator and Presidential Candidate John S. McCain III who was even more seriously injured and emaciated. Air Force Major Norris Overly nursed both back to health, and McCain later devised a makeshift splint of bamboo and rags that helped heal Day's seriously atrophied arm.

On March 14, 1973, Day was released after five years and seven months as a North Vietnamese prisoner. Within three days Day was reunited with his wife, Doris Sorensen Day, and four children at March Air Force Base, California. On March 4, 1976, President Gerald Ford awarded Day the Medal of Honor for his personal bravery while a captive in North Vietnam.

Day had been promoted to Colonel while a prisoner, and decided to remain in the Air Force in hopes of being promoted to Brigadier General. Although initially too weak to resume operational flying, he spent a year in physical rehabilitation and with 13 separate medical waivers, was returned to active flying status. He underwent conversion training to the F-4 Phantom II and was appointed vice commander of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Retirement

After being passed over for nomination to brigadier general, Day retired from active duty in 1977 to resume his practice of law in Florida. At his retirement he had nearly 8,000 total flying hours, 4,900 in single engine jets, and had flown the F-80 Shooting Star, F-84 Thunderjet, F-100 Super Sabre, F-101 Voodoo, F-104 Starfighter, F-105 Thunderchief, F-106 Delta Dart, F-4 Phantom II, A-4 Skyhawk, A-7 Corsair II, CF-5 Tiger, F-15 Eagle,jet fighters.

Following his retirement, Day wrote an autobiographical account of his experiences as a prisoner of war, Return with Honor, followed by Duty, Honor, Country, which updated his autobiography to include his post-Air Force years. Among other endeavors, in 1996 Day filed a class action lawsuit for breach of contract against the United States government on behalf of military retirees who were stripped of their military medical care benefits at age 65 and told to apply for Medicare. Although winning the case in the district court in 2001, the judgment against the U.S. was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2002. The U.S. Congress later redressed this situation by establishing the "TRICARE For Life" (TFL) program, which restored TRICARE military medical benefits for career military retirees over the age of 65, making the retirees eligible for both programs with Medicare as the primary payer and TRICARE as the secondary payer.

Day is an active member of the Florida Republican Party, was actively involved in the 527 group Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, and actively campaigned with John McCain in 2000 and 2008.

Medal of Honor citation


Rank and organization: Colonel (then Major), U.S. Air Force, Forward Air Controller Pilot of an F-100 aircraft.
Place and date: North Vietnam, 26 August 1967.
Entered service at: Sioux City, Iowa.
Born: 24 February 1925, Sioux City, Iowa.

Citation: On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.


Air Force Cross citation

The Air Force Cross is presented to George Everett Day, Colonel, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 16 July 1969 to 14 October 1969. During this period, Colonel Day was subjected to maximum punishment and torture by Vietnamese guards to obtain a detailed confession of escape plans, policies, and orders of the American senior ranking officer in the camp, and the communications methods used by the Americans interned in the camp. Colonel Day withstood this punishment and gave nothing of value to the Vietnamese, although he sustained many injuries and open wounds to his body. Through his extraordinary heroism and willpower, in the face of the enemy, Colonel Day reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


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Wild Thing's comment....................


Rest in Peace, Hero. We will not forget your tremendous life and legacy. Thank you. Song below.......Air Force Hymn.





Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

July 21, 2013

In growing lawsuit, servicemembers fault TEPCO for radiation-related illnesses


In growing lawsuit, servicemembers fault TEPCO for radiation-related illnesses


Stars and Stripes

Servicemembers have been diagnosed with leukemia, testicular cancer and thyroid problems or experienced rectal and gynecological bleeding, the lawsuit says.


SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Five months after participating in humanitarian operations for the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that led to nuclear disaster in Japan, Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Hair’s body began to betray him.

He had sharp hip pains, constant scabbing in his nose, back pain, memory loss, severe anxiety and a constant high-pitch ringing in his ears as his immune system began to attack his body. The diagnosis, he said, was a genetic immune system disease, which on X-rays looked to have made his hip joint jagged and his spine arthritic. He was put on a host of medications and eventually separated from the Navy job he loved.

Hair believes radiation is the cause. He is among 50 sailors and Marines in a growing lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co., alleging that Japan’s nationalized utility mishandled the meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant that spewed radiation into the air and water.

Other servicemembers have been diagnosed with leukemia, testicular cancer and thyroid problems or experienced rectal and gynecological bleeding, the lawsuit says. Hair said one of his friends, a fellow USS Ronald Reagan shipmate, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“I live in pain every day,” Hair said. “I went from this guy in top physical condition to a deteriorating body and a whacked-out mindset.”

Hair said there is no history of the genetic disease in his family and that doctors have told him radiation exposure could have triggered it.

The Defense Department and other organizations have said the radiation levels that troops were exposed to during Operation Tomodachi were safe, implying that any cancers or physical ailments since then are coincidental. Nearly half of all men and one-third of all women in the U.S. will develop cancer during their lifetimes, according to the American Cancer Society.

“The U.S. Navy took proactive measures throughout and following the disaster relief efforts to control, reduce and mitigate the levels of Fukushima-related contamination on U.S. Navy ships and aircraft,” Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Anthony Falvo wrote in a statement to Stars and Stripes.
“To provide a radiological dose perspective, when USS Ronald Reagan sailed through a plume of radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear power plant during disaster relief operations, the maximum potential radiation dose received by any ship’s force personnel ... was less than the radiation exposure received from about one month of exposure to natural background radiation from sources such as rocks, soil, and the sun.”

Independent reports back up the Defense Department’s statement, but the suit continues to grow. An additional 150 servicemembers are being screened to join, plaintiffs’ lawyer Paul Garner said last month. Each servicemember participating will have to prove in court that his or her conditions are related to the exposure, something Garner says he is confident they can do.

The plaintiffs allege that TEPCO lied about the risk of exposure, luring American forces closer to the affected areas and lulling others at bases across Japan to disregard safety measures. They are seeking at least $40 million each in compensatory and punitive damages and more than $1 billion for a fund to cover health monitoring and medical expenses.

They will be in federal court in San Diego on Oct. 3 to fight a TEPCO motion for a change of venue to Tokyo and a motion to dismiss, Garner said.

Most of the plaintiffs contacted by Stars and Stripes did not return messages. Several said they were being threatened and harassed through anonymous phone calls and social media for bringing the suit and declined to comment. The plaintiffs have been accused of being fortune-seekers by their peers and for allegedly sullying the operation’s goodwill.

The sailors who spoke out see it differently. Hair, who lost his Navy career as a result of his medical status, said he wanted to see some humility and compassion from TEPCO, which declined to comment on the suit.

“Yeah, there is money involved, but how else is that company going to pay for what they’ve done to people?” Hair said. “Who knows what health problems we’ll have down the road?”

Into the fray

When the earthquake struck, Hair and his Reagan shipmates were en route to Korea. They immediately turned around and steamed to the affected area.

“There were people in distress,” he said. “This is what we signed up for.”

The Reagan passed through debris as far as the eye could see: wood, refrigerators, car tires, roofs of houses with people riding on them. Hair was told they were five to 10 miles off the coast from Fukushima, which had been damaged by a massive tsunami spawned by the quake.

Sailors were drinking desalinated seawater and bathing in it until the ship’s leadership came over the public address system and told them to stop because it was contaminated, Hair said. They were told the ventilation system was contaminated, and he claims he was pressured into signing a form that said he had been given an iodine pill even though none had been provided. As a low-ranking sailor, he believed he had no choice.

The Navy has acknowledged that the Reagan passed through a plume of radiation but declined to comment on the details in Hair’s story.

And while many of the plaintiffs came from the Reagan, some of the sailors and Marines involved in the suit were much farther away — adding to skepticism about the motives behind the suit and reigniting a decades-long debate over the effects of low-level radiation.

Shortly after the disaster, Senior Chief Mike Sebourn was sent from his home base, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, to Misawa Air Base, 200 miles from the faltering power plant. As a designated radiation decontamination officer, he dealt with aircraft and personnel that had flown into the area.

Sebourn, with only two days of training, was tasked with testing seven points on an aircraft’s skin for radiation. He and others crawled all over the crafts for months, he said, with only gloves for protection. At one point, he said, they took the radiator out of one aircraft and tested it. The radiation was four times greater than what should have required them to wear a suit and respirator, he said.
The level of radiation “was incredibly dangerous,” Sebourn said. “Navy aviation had never dealt with radiation before. Nobody knew what to do. Nobody knew what was safe. It was a nightmare.”
Sebourn said he suffered nose bleeds, headaches and nausea in the immediate aftermath — symptoms consistent with radiation poisoning. Months later, he felt weak in his right arm; excruciating pain followed. He said the command fitness leader in charge of physical training at Atsugi watched as his arm atrophied to about half its size.
“I have issues that can’t be explained,” Sebourn said. “It just seems like I am deteriorating.”
Sebourn said he went to doctors more than a dozen times, but no one knew what had caused the former personal trainer to lose 70 percent of the strength in the right side of his body. He retired after 17 years in Japan.

Sebourn is alarmed that the word “radiation” doesn’t appear anywhere in his service record, even though that was his job and he was exposed to it. He believed troops exposed would be red-flagged in their service records and be tracked for medical problems.

The Defense Department created the Operation Tomodachi Registry to show radiation dose estimates based on shore locations — and to list more than 70,000 DOD-affiliated people in the area March 12-May 11, 2011 and their individual exposure levels. More than two years after the disaster, the registry remains incomplete.


They hope to release the data for ship-based personnel this month, Craig Postlewaite, director for Defense Department Force Readiness and Health Assurance, wrote in a statement to Stars and Stripes.





Wild Thing's comment...................


Prayers for all that are suffering with these related illnesses.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

July 03, 2013

101st seeking to save 'Band of Brothers' regiment



The flag of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who were made famous as the 'Band of Brothers' in World War II, is seen on a wall on June 27 inside the museum at Fort Campbell, Ky. The 101st Airborne Division is trying to save its storied 506th Infantry Regiment from being eliminated under the Army's massive restructuring. (Kristin M. Hall / AP)



ARMY Times


FORT CAMPBELL, KY. — The 101st Airborne Division is trying to save its illustrious 506th Infantry Regiment, whose origins date to World War II’s fabled “Band of Brothers,” from deactivation under the Army’s massive restructuring.

The Army announced this week that at least 12 combat brigades nationwide are to be eliminated by 2017 under sweeping military reductions, among them the 4th Brigade Combat Team at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The long-term reorganization seeks to reduce the Army’s size from a high of about 570,000 members at the peak of the Iraq war to 490,000 to shrink spending and reflect the country’s current military needs as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end.

The brigade traces its lineage to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, created in 1942.

The 506th was among several parachute regiments created to sneak behind enemy lines in the war. Nicknamed “Currahee,” which is a Native American Cherokee term for “stands alone,” the regiment parachuted into Normandy during the D-Day invasion in 1944. The regiment raced to liberate Europe amid bouts of fierce fighting in Bastogne, Belgium and then overran Hitler’s famed “Eagle’s Nest” in Germany.

The “Band of Brothers” book by historian Stephen Ambrose and the subsequent HBO miniseries about the men of Easy Company won national acclaim, propelling the unit to wide fame among the public. The 2001 miniseries was produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks and followed the soldiers from paratrooper training through D-Day and the end of the war.

Brig. Gen. Mark Stammer, acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division, said the division wants to preserve the regiment’s two battalions, along with its flags and its historical legacy.

He said during a news conference Thursday at the post on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line that the regiment’s battalions should be transferred to two of the division’s three remaining infantry brigades.

The Army’s restructuring plan also calls for adding an additional battalion, which is between 600-800 soldiers, to its remaining infantry and armor brigades. Adding the battalion was a recommendation from commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan who said it would beef up the fighting capabilities of the brigades when they go to war.

If Washington’s defense and budget planners approve of such a plan, he said “the 506th will live, but it will just live in another brigade combat team.”

Following World War II, the regiment was deactivated and reactivated a number of times in its history and moved to other locations as the Army reorganized in the post-war era.

The 506th deployed to the Vietnam War for four years, winning a presidential unit citation for actions in the A Shau Valley. The regiment’s soldiers served in Iraq for a 2004-2005 stint before the regiment returned to Iraq from late 2005 through 2007 in Baghdad as the new 4th Brigade Combat Team under the 101st Airborne Division. The 4th Brigade is currently on its third deployment to Afghanistan.

John O’Brien, the installation historian at Fort Campbell, said the regimental flag with its battle streamers carries the history of the unit, marking the battles and campaigns from World War II to recent times. If the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment were moved to a new unit, that regimental flag would continue to fly, he said.

“History, heritage and values … those things provide the glue that holds the unit together,” O’Brien said. “You can imagine how powerful it is to say, ‘I am member of the Band of Brothers.’”

Jim Martin is one of the few surviving World War II veterans from the original 506th regiment. At 92, he just returned from a trip to Europe to visit locations, including the coast of France, where he and fellow soldiers fought.

Martin, who lives near Dayton, Ohio, said the Army command needs to exercise care when it makes changes to special units such as the 506th. “If you disband them, you’re not going to get them back very easily.”

He said the regiment’s original commander, Col. Robert Sink, wanted his soldiers to stay together from their initial basic training through paratrooper training and on into combat to build trust among the soldiers. Although he admits he’s not one for emotion, he worried that splitting up the regiment’s battalions would be disruptive for the soldiers.

“The problem with doing that is you lose the unit cohesiveness,” he said. “Anytime you move around or change, you lose that.”

Joe Alexander, 67, of Lenoir City, Tenn., who was a second lieutenant in the regiment during the Vietnam War, said while he understands that the Army needs to cut down its size, but he was hoping they would be spared when the Army spread the brigade cuts throughout the country.

“We are competitive and we all want our regiments to be saved,” he said. “But it does seem like they could have picked another one that had less of a history.”




Wild Thing's comment...............


I sure hope they will be able to save it. It is so important.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (1)

July 01, 2013

Vietnam Veteran suffering from Agent Orange caught in VA benefits backlog



A Vietnam veteran has been waiting for more than two years for government benefits to help pay for treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and exposure to Agent Orange, WSMV Channel 4 reported.

Tennessee resident Kenneth Moore was a 19-year-old stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War, and was sent several times to Vietnam for radio work. He recalls the strange powdery herbicide being sprayed on trees that landed on his clothes. When he returned to the states, he says, he began taking medicine to help with the nightmares of war, which still haunt him.

So when Moore began having lung and heart problems, he filled out the Department of Veterans Affairs’ disability forms.


Now Moore is one of an estimated 5,000 Tennessee veterans mired in a backlog, waiting more than 125 days for their disability claims, according to a WSMV investigation.

Upon his discharge, Moore’s papers state “Vietnam Campaign Medal,” and he was placed on the Agent Orange registry. His place on the registry came after Moore was diagnosed with heart disease by an Agent Orange specialist with the VA. He was also diagnosed by another doctor with PTSD.

Still, the VA denied Moore his claim twice over a two-year period, the station reports. The VA said there was no proof of PTSD and no proof he was exposed to Agent Orange. And, because he was originally stationed in Thailand, they said there was no proof he was even ever in Vietnam.

"It's just like, 'You're a liar,' you know," Moore told WSMV.

When the station inquired about Moore’s case, the VA stated that a paystub submitted by Moore’s wife, Judy, proves he was in Vietnam and exposed to Agent Orange.

When asked why Judy Moore had to provide the proof, the VA said it is still operating with paper files, not electronic records, so it’s harder to find the information.

The delays mean veterans are growing older and, in some cases, sicker while they wait for technology to catch up, and Kenneth Moore is afraid many of the vets are running out of time.

"It's not just me. It's thousands and thousands of veterans out there that they'd done like this. And they've finally given up, or they've died from this mess," he told the station.




Wild Thing's comment..............


Disgusting how our Veterans are treated.





Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

June 14, 2013

Happy 238th Birthday US Army! "Call to Duty -- Boots on the Ground -- Army Strong"





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Since its birth on 14 June 1775—over a year before the Declaration of Independence—the United States Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of our Nation. Soldiers have fought more than 10 wars, from the American Revolution through the Cold War, the Gulf War, to the current War on Terrorism.

"The U.S. Army is a brotherhood of warrior leaders dedicated to the cause of freedom. To me, celebrating the Army's Birthday is celebrating my freedom and brotherhood," said Capt. Chris Joyner, North Carolina National Guard public affairs officer.





Wild Thing's comment................

Thanks to American Soldiers, freedom’s light shines as a beacon throughout the world.

The Army has courageously fought our country’s wars and served honorably in peace for over two and a quarter centuries. We can all be justifiably proud of The Army’s achievements—a distinguished history of service to the Nation. From our victories in the American Revolution through the trial of our Civil War, from the trenches of World War I to the beaches of Normandy and the island battles in the Pacific of World War II, from the frozen mountains of Korea to the sweltering paddies of Vietnam, from Grenada and Panama to the sands of Kuwait and Iraq, and now on the plains and in the mountains of Afghanistan, Soldiers have marched at the van of democracy and the cause of liberty.

We will never be able to tell you enough how very proud we are of you. Thank you for your service, for your sacrifices, and for your abiding devotion to something greater than self. God bless each and every one of you and your families, God bless our magnificent Army, and God bless America.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

May 28, 2013

Allen West Interviews Gary Sinise at National Memorial Day Concert




Col. Allen West catches up with actor Gary Sinise during rehearsals the day before the National Memorial Day Concert in D.C. takes place. Sinise will co-host the event along with actor Joe Mantegna, and the line-up will feature performances by The National Symphony Orchestra, U.S. Army Chorus, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Changers, as well as appearances by Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), Candice Glover, Ed Harris, Alfie Boe, and many others.




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Wild Thing's comment.............


Nicholas and I watched the concert it was absolutely awesome. If you check your TV guide look at PBS and they should be showing it a few more times.
Look for the title.........National Memorial Day Concert


I promise you, you will not be disappointed.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM

April 28, 2013

World War II Veteran who provided flag on Iwo Jima dead at 90



World War II Veteran who provided flag on Iwo Jima dead at 90


Second source

LOS ANGELES – A World War II veteran who provided the flag in the famous flag-raising on Iwo Jima has died. Alan Wood was 90.

Wood's son, Steven, says his father died April 18 of natural causes at his Sierra Madre home.

Wood was in charge of communications on a landing ship on Iwo Jima's shores when a Marine asked him for the biggest flag that he could find. Wood handed him a flag he had found in Pearl Harbor.

Five Marines and a Navy Corpsman later raised the flag on Mount Suribachi as Allied forces struggled to capture the Japanese-held island. The stirring moment was captured in an iconic image by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.

Steven Wood says his father was always humbled by his small role in the historic moment.

After five days of fighting to capture the Japanese-held island, U.S. forces had managed to scale Mount Suribachi to hoist an American flag.

Wood happened to have a 37-square-foot flag he had found months before in a Pearl Harbor Navy depot. .

Five Marines and a Navy Corpsman later raised that flag in a stirring moment captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.

Steven Wood says his father was always humbled by his small role in the historic moment.

In a 1945 letter to a Marine general who asked for details about the flag, Wood wrote: "The fact that there were men among us who were able to face a situation like Iwo where human life is so cheap, is something to make humble those of us who were so very fortunate not to be called upon to endure such hell."

In its story on Wood's death, the Los Angeles Times reported that over the years others have claimed that they provided the flag, but retired Marine Col. Dave Severance, who commanded the company that took Mount Suribachi, said in an interview last week that it was Wood.

"I have a file of more than 60 people who claim to have had something to do with the flags," he said from his home in La Jolla, Calif.

Wood went on to work as technical artist and spokesman at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge.

His wife, Elizabeth, died in 1985. Besides his son, Wood was survived by three grandchildren.




Wild Thing's comment...............

R.I.P. Alan Wood and thank you.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

January 02, 2013

AWESOME! U.S. Marine Veteran’s Letter to Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein “No Ma’am” on Forcible Gun Registration....



U.S. Marine Veteran’s Letter Goes Viral Telling Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein “No Ma’am” on Forcible Gun Registration: “You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. . . I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America . .”


CNN


CNN PRODUCER NOTE

joshdb50 was a Marine and was deployed to Afghanistan between the years of 2004 through 2005. Although he is no longer in the military he acknowledges that he owns gun. He says he does not believe the government needs to what guns he owns because he believes registration would lead to confiscation. He says the laws that are in place for gun control are plenty, and adding more laws will remove a means of defense for people. 'I own the guns I own because I acknowledge mankind's shortcomings instead of pretending like they don't exist. There are evil men in this world and there just may be a time when I need to do the unthinkable to protect me or my family,' he said. - Jareen, CNN iReport producer


A U.S. Marine Veteran, honorably discharged in 2012 after eight years of service to America, has written a response to Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein’s plan to push additional Gun Control legislation that would force American Citizens to register their guns, and be photographed and fingerprinted. Joshua Boston submitted this letter, titled “No, Ma’am,” via CNN iReport, and it has now gone viral. In the letter, he says flatly:


Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government's right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma'am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.
I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

We, the people, deserve better than you.

Respectfully Submitted,
Joshua Boston
Cpl, United States Marine Corps
2004-2012


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Wild Thing's comment...............


Awesome!!!!!!!! I am so glad he wrote this letter to Feinstein.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (1)

December 07, 2012

Awesome....Pearl Harbor Survivors Speak Out






Pearl Harbor survivors for the Old Glory Honor Flight of northeast Wisconsin. Produced by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben, 4th Combat Camera Unit.



Wild Thing's comment................

May God bless our valiant military members and their families who defended our freedom and nation at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:44 AM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2012

A Soldiers Christmas Poem



A video tribute created because of the very special poem..... A Soldiers Christmas, written by Michael Marks.






A father meets a phantom soldier on Christmas Eve. He's reminded of our military history, founding of our country. He's called to defend freedom at home. Six minute featurette based on Michael Marks' poem followed by a call to action to each of us at home to stand up for freedom. Poem was made popular by LCDR Jeff Giles, CS, USN, stationed in Al Taqqadum Iraq.



Wild Thing's comment.......................

To my most wonderful and awesome Veterans I love you dearly and thank you for being in my life, your friendships live in my heart each day. You are my Heroes and to know you means the world to me.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2012

Veterans Day 2012 - Freedom Isn't Free





Thank you all with all my heart. ((hug)))
Chrissie


Posted by Wild Thing at 09:07 PM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2012

A "Final Salute" to CSM Basil Plumley, a Man "Larger Than Life"







A tribute to a true American hero: Command Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley. Veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.
Fort Benning held a ceremony at the Infantry Chapel in his honor where his daughter Kimberly and his close friends gathered to farewell an Army legend.



Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley died Oct. 10 at the age of 92. Plumley, who had five combat jumps, earned the Combat Infantryman Badge in World War II Korea and Vietnam (where he served two tours). He was one of 324 Soldiers to claim that honor.


Source


The Army's Bridgett Siter wrote this "final salute" to CSM Basil Plumley following his death on October 10 at the age of 92. This is well worth the read. H/T to Joe Galloway for sending out the signal on this fine piece of writing.

Tucked between pages 220 and 221 of a dog-eared copy of "We Were Soldiers Once … and Young" is a receipt from the Fort Benning commissary dated 2001. It serves two purposes; first, to mark the account of a remarkable incident that occurred in November 1965 during a battle between American forces and the North Vietnamese in the Ia Drang Valley; and second, to remind me that for a time, a giant walked among us.

In April 2001, the smoke had finally settled from the exodus of the film crew, the stars and cameras and hangers on who descended on Fort Benning earlier that year to film Hollywood's adaptation of We Were Soldiers. I was in the check-out line with my daughter and a friend, both 10-year-olds who had experienced first-hand the sensation that surrounded the presence of Hollywood royalty on post since their moms worked in the Public Affairs Office.

In walked retired Command Sgt. Major Basil Plumley and his wife Deurice.

I didn't introduce the girls to the Plumleys; they were on their way in and we were on our way out. But I explained who he was and reminded them that Sam Elliott played Plumley in the movie.

"He's a real hero, not an actor," I said. "He's the kind of hero Hollywood makes movies about."

The girls, of their own volition, approached the sergeant major to ask for his autograph. I held my breath, because I knew Plumley hated the limelight, no matter how "little" the light.

I had nothing to worry about. The girls bounded back smiling, with Plumley's signature scrawled across the back of my register receipt. That evening, I tucked it into the book for safe keeping, and there it stayed until last week, when I learned that Plumley died Oct. 10 at the Columbus Hospice after a short battle with cancer. He was 92.

I pulled the book off the shelf and turned to page 220 to review the brief account of an incident that happened on the second day of that bloody three-day battle between the Soldiers of the 7th Cavalry Regiment and 2,000 North Vietnamese forces:

"In the midst of this bedlam a blazing flare … streaked across the sky and plunged into the ammunition dump near the battalion command post. It lodged in a box of hand grenades, burning fiercely. Without hesitation, Sergeant Major Plumley ran to the stacks and with his bare hands reached into the grenade boxes and grabbed the flare. (He) jerked the flare free, reared back, and heaved it out into the open clearing. He then stomped out the grass fires touched off by the flares in and around the ammo crates."

Just one paragraph out of 430 pages -- a succinct account, unembellished, that encapsulates the character of a man who was larger than life long before his character hit the big screen. Oddly enough, that scene never made it into the movie. Perhaps it wasn't believable enough to pass muster with the masses.

Plumley's bravery in Vietnam was probably a mixture of inherent character and confidence gained on the battle field. The West Virginia native, who was born on the first day of 1920, earned the Combat Infantryman Badge in World War II, Korea and Vietnam (where he served two tours.) He was one of only 324 Soldiers to claim that honor.

"It Takes Your Breath Away"

He fought in more than 20 military operations during his 32-year military career, having enlisted on March 31, 1942, as a private after two years of high school. During WWII, he fought in the Allied invasion at Salerno and the D Day invasion at Normandy, and he made four combat jumps with the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion. He made another combat jump in Korea with the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment. There are those who claim, but cannot prove, that he was the only man to claim five combat jumps behind enemy lines.

"It takes your breath away to think he survived all that. No one should have survived all that," said Joe Galloway, who co-authored the book with retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore in 1992. Moore was the lieutenant colonel who led the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, into the Ia Drang, and Galloway was a UPI journalist assigned to the unit. (He was awarded the Bronze Star for helping rescue wounded American Soldiers under fire at Landing Zone X-Ray.)

The three became fast friends and remained close for nearly 50 years. Moore requires assistance these days, but he paid a visit to Plumley's bedside before his death.

"I am so blessed to have had two such men as best friends, as mentors and as role models for almost half a century," said Galloway, who has done more than any other to inspire new generations of Soldiers with the stories of old Soldiers, like Moore and Plumley.

But Plumley proved more of a challenge, even to Galloway. He never shared war stories and was known to hang up on reporters who called him.

"I don't do interviews. That's what he always said -- I don't do interviews," Galloway said. "I think he came to regret that decision, but once he made it, he stuck with it, and no one could talk him off it, not me and not Hal Moore."

I fared no better. On the one occasion I called Plumley and reminded him that we had met socially a time or two, he declined to speak to me in my role as a reporter and explained nicely that he'd been burned once by the media, badly. But when I approached him in person, after the screening of We Were Soldiers at the theater on Main Post, he offered this much.

"Too much Hollywood," he said of the movie. "It had too much Hollywood in it. That's all I want to say."

But apparently, Plumley had no issues with Elliott's portrayal. The actor "under played" the sergeant major, said Galloway, who introduced the two after Elliott had been cast as Plumley. They met at Plumley's house and chatted over coffee and Deurice's pie.

"I carried the bucket in that conversation. There I was with the two most monosyllabic men in the world in the same room, and I sat there between them. It was just grunts and growls for the first hour and a half, but then they got to talking," Galloway said. "When we left there, Sam said 'Joe, I think I'm going to try to talk like the sergeant major.' I said 'Well, Sam, it don't seem like that great of a reach to me.'"

Elliot and Plumley were "two peas in a pod," Galloway said, but "the sergeant major, in life, was bigger than Sam Elliott. Sam would tell you the same thing."

"He Just Had to Show Up, and People Paid Attention"

As a Soldier, Plumley defied convention as he defied death. Known as "Old Iron Jaw" to his Soldiers, he set his face like flint and led honestly, fairly and occasionally by intimidation, if need be. Galloway said the best lines in the movie were Plumley's own words, including his response to a Soldier who greeted the sergeant major with a "good morning."

"Who made you the (expletive) weatherman?" Plumley growled.

Earnie Savage was a young buck sergeant, an E5, when he met Plumley in 1964. Savage didn't frighten easily, but he tended to be overly deferential to anyone "above" him. And at 6 feet, 6 inches, Plumley towered over the young Soldier.

"It wasn't just his reputation, the sergeant major was literally bigger than life. He was huge, and when you saw him, you knew you better get your stuff straight," said Savage, who spent the better part of Monday standing post at Plumley's casket at a funeral home in Columbus.

Plumley was witty without effort and never long-winded, Savage said. "He didn't have to say a lot -- he just had to show up, and people paid attention. He was a lot like his reputation; he was gruff and he could be tough, but he wasn't mean. I never knew him to be mean."

To say he is a legend is not an exaggeration. The refrain "God may look like Sgt. Maj. Plumley, but he isn't nearly as tough on sins small or large," or some version there of, is commonly used in any discussion involving the man, and it was so long before his death and long before the movie.

He was also, in the popular vernacular, a PT beast.

In the months leading up to their deployment to Vietnam, Plumley and Moore worked their men hard. Ten-mile foot marches were the norm, and Plumley regularly ran long distances with his men, leading from the front.

"You'd hear him up front yelling, 'Awright dammit, pick it up back there,'" Savage said. "He was all about PT and conditioning, but he'd do everything he expected us to do. Without a lot of what we got from him and the colonel, I know some of us wouldn't be here today."

Plumley believed training, leading and disciplining Soldiers "was NCO's job, not an officer's job," Savage said. "He always said, 'If you lose a battle, it's the NCOs' fault.'"

His dedication paid off, when Plumley staffed the 7th Cav's 1st Battalion with Soldiers he knew to be highly skilled, well- trained and disciplined. He knew it because he trained most of them himself.
The Best Unit He'd Ever Served In
He said the (1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment) was the best unit he'd ever been in, the best trained," Savage said. "And it was, because he brought men he knew, a lot of them he'd trained and served with, and that's why we had such good leaders."

Plumley believed in training to standard, then raising the standard, said Steve Hansen, who served with Plumley in the Ia Drang.

"Being second at anything didn't count. He trained us to be the best," Hansen said. "We thought he was the dragon, but looking back, I know he was the moderator. He'd step in and speak up and tell the colonel when the men had all they could take. He took care of his Soldiers, trained them hard, but looked out for them."

Hansen said he was intrigued, some years back, when he came across a mention of "first sergeant" Plumley in a historical book about World War II.

"We all thought he was hatched a sergeant major, and here he was in black and white, a first sergeant. The passage wasn't very clear, just mentioned (Plumley) and something about a German tank," Hansen said. "He was a man of few words and a humble man; a lot of people don't realize that about him. He didn't brag, he just told you like it was. I asked him, 'What's the story about you and a German tank and he just grunted and said, 'Obviously I won.' And that was all there was to it."

Over the past few years, Plumley's personality changed noticeably, Galloway said. He became "almost loquacious -- a chatterbox," swapping old Army stories (but never war stories!) with old Army buddies. He attended events at the National Infantry Museum and seemed to fairly tolerate the limelight, such as it was. He thoroughly enjoyed hosting reunions that brought together dwindling numbers from that 'original' battalion of young studs who fought their way through hell together in the bloody Ia Drang Valley. A couple of years back, as his health declined, he relinquished his "reign" on the reunions. After Deurice died in May, Plumley said his time was short, he'd be joining her soon.

Tuesday, a crowd of more than 400 packed The Infantry Center Chapel to bid farewell to a giant. He was laid to rest with Deurice in the Main Post Cemetery.

Plumley received the Doughboy Award in 1999. His awards and decorations included Silver Star (one Oak Leaf Cluster); Legion of Merit; Bronze Star (one Oak Leaf Cluster and Valor Device); Purple Heart (three Oak Leaf Clusters); Air Medal (one silver and three bronze Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Presidential Unit Citation (two Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Word War II Victory Medal; Korean Service Medal (with Arrowhead device and three campaign stars); Vietnam Service Medal (with one silver and three bronze campaign stars); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation; Republic of Korea War Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal for Korea; Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge (three awards); Master Combat Parachutist Badge (with gold star, indicating 5 combat jumps); Vietnam Army Basic Parachutist Badge; Order of St. Maurice; and Garry Owen Distinctive Unit Insignia.




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Wild Thing's comment...............

What a great tribute and even a greater man, this Hero Basil Plumley. It was an honor to read about him.


....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Tom

1st Aviation Brigade, US Army
RVN, Sep66-Mar68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (4)

September 29, 2012

12 Marines Bike Across the Country to WTC in Honor of Fallen Warriors






12 Marines Bike Across the Country to WTC in Honor of Fallen Warriors


FOX News

It’s the memories of those who gave their lives in service that is motivating a group of 12 Marines to bike across the U.S., raising money for families of those fallen service men and women. The group started last Friday in California, and are now beginning to close in on their final destination: the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center in New York.

Jenna Lee spoke with Captain Carlo Pecori, a former Marine captain riding in support of the Travis Manion Foundation, and he said that while the 2,673-mile ride they’ve managed so far has been difficult, they’ve got their “eyes on the prize.”

“We’re all really excited to get to the 9/11 memorial,” he said. “Originally, we started biking from Arlington to ground zero, and this year we wanted to make it a little bigger and raise some awareness … [it's] a way to honor the fallen heroes who chose to serve selflessly.”

Pecori was good friends with Manion, but said it’s not just about riding for the memory of one individual.

“Honestly, it’s not just about Travis. It’s about all the service men who have gone before us; we look to them for strength,” he said. “It’s really an honor for us to continue to serve with their memories in our hearts.”



Wild Thing's comment..........

God bless these Marines.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

September 09, 2012

"Last Ounce of Courage"....AWESOME film coming out a must see




Last Ounce of Courage trailer




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"Last Ounce of Courage," is an inter generational story of a grieving father inspired by his grandson to take a stand for faith and freedom against a tide of apathy and vanishing liberty. Against a backdrop of military conflict abroad and domestic wars against freedom, a highly-decorated combat veteran is reminded that we best honor our fallen heroes by not holding too loosely what they gave their all to defend. Alongside fellow citizens of courage, faith and integrity, he champions the cherished principles we the people hold dear.
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Starring Marshall Teague ("Roadhouse," "The Rock" and "Armageddon") as small-town mayor Bob Revere, "Last Ounce of Courage" uses the vehicle of a public religious display to ignite a spark and lights

a fire under a community that honors its American values, but has tired of fighting the "American Civil Liberties Organization" (ACLO) over the very rights guaranteed them by the Constitution. Former NFL great Fred Williamson ("Black Caesar") ably plays the villain in the film as the head of the ACLO.

Encouraged by his grandson, played by Hunter Gomez ("National Treasure"), and his wife Dottie, played by Academy Award nominee Jennifer O‟Neill ("Summer of ‟42"), Bob finally takes a stand for his beliefs and revives his townspeople‟s latent patriotism. Leading the younger generation to join in and make a difference is Bob‟s young neighbor, Maddie Rogers, played by Jenna Boyd ("Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"), who comically hijacks the town‟s annual generic school pageant.

The film is being produced by Veritas Entertainment, under the leadership of Kevin McAfee ("Beyond the Gates of Splendor," "The End of the Spear") and Steve Griffin (former CEO at Nest Entertainment and EMI/Chordant), both of whom have a passion for creating and reaching audiences with entertainment products centered around the character values that under gird family, faith and freedom.


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Wild Thing's comment...........

Be sure to watch both videos, they both made me cry and the film should be awesome.

The will be in selected theaters for Patriots Day On Tuesday, September 11 and in theaters nationwide on Friday, September 14. Help us fill theaters opening weekend. Find theaters near you at: http://www.standusa.com/looc-theaters/ Share this with your friends!

Here is the link to their page on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/LastOunceofCourage


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (4)

July 15, 2012

What honor looks like....WWII Vets with Honor Flight spontaneously cheered by travelers at Reagan National






What honor looks like......


Source


Shortly before 9:30 over the loud speakers, a US Airways gate attendant announced that an Honor Flight of World War II veterans would be arriving momentarily and encouraged anyone passing by to help greet them. Five or six people looked like they were officially part of the welcoming committee, and the rest of the people in the secure section of the airport were regular old travelers going somewhere. Then I had a terrible thought. What if these veterans came off the plane and just those five or six individuals were there to greet them. I walked a gate over to help see the veterans out.

But – then it happened and frankly, I wasn’t expecting it. All throughout the terminal, people left their gates and gathered around gate 38. A few active military personnel in plain clothes approached the gate attendant and politely asked if they could join in the salute within the jet way as the heroes first stepped off the plane. Every human being in the terminal stood at attention and faced the door.

Someone held up an old newspaper from 1945 that had a banner headline that said, “Nazis Quit!” And when I saw that newspaper, I realized that World War II wasn’t just a chapter in a history book. It was men and women who saw an evil like the world has never seen before and traveled across the world to meet that evil. And they defeated it.

I wonder if in 1945, any of those brave soldiers could ever imagine that 67 years later, we’d still be basking in the freedom that they preserved. And some of those heroes were about to walk through Gate 38.

The first soldier walked through the door. Old, frail and needing help walking. And every person I could see in the entire airport stood and applauded. No – maybe cheered is more like it.

But here’s the thing – the applause didn’t stop. For a full 20 minutes, as veteran by veteran stepped out of the jet way, the US Airways wing of Reagan National Airport thundered in appreciation. Travelers stepped out for the opportunity to shake their hand while others held back tears.

This is the America we picture in our heads. Heroes getting a hero’s welcome and those who enjoy the freedom adequately conveying their gratitude.

Now, I know what honor looks like.


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Wild Thing's comment............

I love this so much!!!!!



Posted by Wild Thing at 01:55 AM | Comments (1)

June 30, 2012

Impossible Shots with WW11 Sniper Ted Gundy and Gibbs 1903A4 sniper rifle






Sniper Shots with Ted Gundy and Gibbs 1903A4 sniper rifle


Wild Thing's comment............

Love this and the hat and rifle that gave him. There is such a special feeling to see the Brotherhood in action.

Never Forget our Veterans, those that gave their all and those we still are blessed to have with us.



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 AM | Comments (2)

June 18, 2012

Soldiers Deck of Cards






A Veterans tribute with just a pack of cards and a beautiful ending.


Wild Thing's comment...........

This is amazing and I wanted to share it with al lof you.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (4)

May 31, 2012

Liberal Jerk Tells WWII Veterans “F*** You” – Then Shoves Veteran’s Wife (Video)



A lib protester told two elderly veterans “f*** you” and then shoved a veteran’s wife at Allen West’s town hall on Monday.

A liberal groupie feigned offense over Allen West remarking that his liberal groupies were at his town hall again. Two older veterans called her out on it and she proceeded to tell one of them “f— you!”, at which point the veterans’ wife stepped in to defend her husband. The liberal groupie then slightly shoved the wife who promptly shoved right back and threatened to wrap her cane around the liberal groupie’s neck.




Wild Thing's comment..........

What a vile horrible person!!!

Good for the Veteran's wife and how she responded to this POS.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:47 AM | Comments (2)

May 24, 2012

MEDAL of HONOR RECIPIENT "BUD" DAY On Real Torture vs. Waterboarding



MEDAL of HONOR RECIPIENT "BUD" DAY On Real Torture vs. Waterboarding

source

I got shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, a Squadron Commander. After I returned in 1973 . . . I published 2 books that dealt a lot with "real torture" in Hanoi. Our make-believe president is branding our country as a bunch of torturers when he has no idea what torture is.

As for me, I was put thru a mock execution because I would not respond . . . pistol whipped on the head . . . same event. Couple of days later . . . hung by my feet all day. I escaped and a couple of weeks later, I got shot and recaptured. Shot was OK . . . what happened afterwards was not.

They marched me to Vinh . . . put me in the rope trick . . . almost pulled my arms out of the sockets. Beat me on the head with a little wooden rod until my eyes were swelled shut, and my unshot, unbroken hand a pulp.

Next day hung me by the arms . . . rebroke my right wrist . . . wiped out the nerves in my arms that control the hands . . . rolled my fingers up into a ball. Only left the slightest movement of my L forefinger. So I started answering with some incredible lies.

Sent me to Hanoi strapped to a barrel of gas in the back of a truck.

Hanoi . . . on my knees . . . rope trick again. Beaten by a big fool.

Into leg irons on a bed in Heartbreak Hotel.

Much kneeling - hands up at Zoo.

Really bad beating for refusing to condemn Lyndon Johnson.

Several more kneeling events. I could see my knee bone thru kneeling holes.

There was an escape from the annex to the Zoo. I was the Senior officer of a large building because of escape . . . they started a mass torture of all commanders.

I think it was July 7, 1969 . . . they started beating me with a car fan belt. In first 2 days I took over 300 strokes . . . then stopped counting because I never thought I would live thru it.

They continued day-night torture to get me to confess to a non-existent part in the escape. This went on for at least 3 days. On my knees . . . fan belting . . . cut open my scrotum with fan belt stroke. Opened up both knee holes again. My fanny looked like hamburger. I could not lie on my back.

They tortured me into admitting that I was in on the escape . . . and that my 2 room-mates knew about it.

The next day I denied the lie.

They commenced torturing me again with 3- 6- or 9 strokes of the fan belt every day from about July 11 or 12th . . . to 14 October 1969. I continued to refuse to lie about my roommates again.

Now, the point of this is that our make-believe president has declared to the world that we (U.S.) are a bunch of torturers . . . thus it will be OK to torture us next time when they catch us . . . because that is what the U.S. does.

Our make-believe president is a know nothing fool who thinks that pouring a little water on some one's face, or hanging a pair of women's pants over an Arabs head is TORTURE. He is a meathead.

I just talked to MOH holder Leo Thorsness, who was also in my squadron, in jail . . . as was John McCain . . . and we agree that McCain does not speak for the POW group when he claims that Al Gharib was torture . . . or that "water boarding" is torture.

Our president and those fools around him who keep bad mouthing our great country are a disgrace to the United States. Please pass this info on . . . free to use it to point out the stupidity of the claims that water boarding . . . which has no after effect . . . is torture.


If it got the Arab to cough up the story about how he planned the attack on the twin towers in NYC . . . Hurrah for the guy who poured the water!!


George Everett " Bud " Day(born February 24, 1925) is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Command Pilot who served during the Vietnam War. He is often cited as being the most decorated U.S. service member since General Douglas MacArthur, having received some seventy decorations, a majority for actions in combat. Day is a recipient of the Medal of Honor.




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Wild Thing's comment.........

I am afraid every day we will not get Obama out of office. Our country has been so blessed to have such Heroes, men like Bud Day and others. Our Veterans and all these Heroes deserve so much better then the likes of Obama. All of us as Americans do too but especially those that have served our country, they sacrificed so much, so very much to keep us the land of the free.


....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Tom

1st Aviation Brigade, US Army
RVN, Sep66-Mar68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (4)

May 19, 2012

Armed Forces Day Is May 19, 2012





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Wild Thing's comment.........

Thank you and God bless all of our Veterans and our troops. Thank you with all my heart.



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (4)

May 18, 2012

Disabled troops inspire Gary Sinise to give back





Actor Gary Sinise's role as amputee "Lt. Dan" in "Forrest Gump" made him a hero to
real-life disabled veterans and inspired Sinise to help build homes for the most gravely
wounded. David Martin reports.


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Wild Thing's comment..........

I wish the mainstream news media would offer more positive and inspiring stories like the story regarding Gary Sinise and his ability to honor and help our brave and courageous veterans.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:47 AM | Comments (2)

May 17, 2012

Vietnam Veteran Leslie Sabo, Jr. to Receive Medal of Honor Posthumously - Update



Vietnam Veteran Leslie Sabo, Jr. to Receive Medal of Honor Posthumously


Army Specialist Leslie Sabo, Jr. died from an act of incredible heroism following the Vietnam War, leaving behind the high school sweetheart he’d married only a month before heading off to battle.

His widow was first told that Sabo was killed by sniper fire while he was guarding an ammunition duct. The real story, however, is that while in Cambodia, Sabo and his platoon were ambushed by a large enemy force. The 22-year-old charged the enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers.

He then attacked an enemy flanking force, drawing fire away from his fellow soldiers. As the enemy retreated, a grenade landed near Sabo. He picked it up threw it, shielding his comrades, but the grenade exploded, injuring Sabo. The soldier continued, crawling toward the enemy bunker and placing a grenade inside of it. He died in the subsequent explosion.


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Wild Thing's comment.........

I posted about this Hero ....Army Spc. 4 Leslie H. Sabo Jr.....on April 23, 2012 thank you Tom for sending the article about him. I wanted to follow up with this latest video and information.

Here is the other post thank you again Tom.

Vietnam War Hero to Receive Posthumous Medal of Honor


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (2)

May 04, 2012

GOOD from Our Heroes!!! More Navy SEALs To Speak Out About Obama.




Source

In the wake of a warm conservative reception for a web video trashing the president for “spiking the football” on the anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death, the conservative group Veterans for a Strong America plans to gather Navy SEALs and Special Forces operators to criticize the White House during the 2012 campaign.

“We’re looking to [put together] a coalition, to field SEALs and operators that want to come out publicly,” executive director of Veterans for a Strong America, Joel Arends, tells BuzzFeed. “I’ve had a lot of discussions with former SEALs and current SEALs. I’ve been talking to operators in the community. There is palatable discontent.”

The video, which took about ten days to produce, went viral. The ad has had more than 250,000 views on YouTube and he’s received some 4,000 emails. Arends was featured on Fox News channel Thursday morning.


Karl Rove also tweeted his support of the ad.


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Arends says the group is now looking at airing the advertisement on television in geographic areas with military communities. “Right now we’re going through the process analyzing where we think it would play best,” he says.

“They’re going to have the money” to air the spot, another Republican source told BuzzFeed.

Arends denies he’s trying to “swift boat” Obama, however, a phrase coined in the conservative attacks on the details of John Kerry's service in Vietnam. “I’m not adverse to that term,” he says. “But we’re not going to run a swift boat campaign against him. We’re going to talk about the issues.”

Arends declined to disclose the source of funding for his group, saying he prefers to keep the donors “anonymity,” and that he’s under no legal obligation to do so.




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Wild Thing's comment.........

I am praying for these Heroes and I do not trust Obama. He already had something to do with the death's of those other Navy SEALs...imo.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (6)

April 09, 2012

Retired Marine Finally Reunited With Her Old Service Dog



video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player



A retired Marine has finally been reunited with her old military service dog after a six-year bureaucratic battle to adopt him.

Cpl. Megan Leavey, 28, served with her four-legged German shepherd partner Sgt. Rex through two tours in Iraq, completing hundreds of missions searching for roadside bombs until an insurgent explosion took them both out of service in 2006.

“I was on foot patrol in Iraq during the day, there was insurgents watching us from afar and they detonated an IED at a certain point when we got close,” Leavey told ABC News. “It was real scary, it was a long day for us, we got through it together and recovered together after.”

Leavey retired from the military and tried unsuccessfully to adopt Rex, but because of his valuable training he was put back in service after recovering from his injuries.

Rex was diagnosed with a kind of nerve paralysis earlier this year, permanently taking him out of service and prompting Leavey to take up a new adoption campaign. It became a race against the clock to get final approval before Rex was put down — something Leavey said can happen with old working dogs that become ill and are unable to be adopted out for safety reasons.

She was given final approval to adopt Rex month, and reunited with him when he was discharged at a ceremony at Camp Pendleton on Friday.

“I haven’t seen him in so long, so, it’s nice to see him again,” Leavey told ABC.

At 11 years old, Leavey said Rex will be living a well-deserved life of luxury at her New York home.

“Whatever he wants. He wants to sleep all day. I have a nice fenced-in yard, so he’s got plenty of area to run around. I got plenty of toys,” she told KCEN-TV.

Mike Dowling, Rex’s first handler, told ABC Leavey and Sgt. Rex are a perfect match.

“He’s a combat-wounded marine, and someone that’s going to understand him the best is another combat-wounded marine,” Dowling said.




Wild Thing's comment.........

God bless both of them, they will be there for each other.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:47 AM | Comments (4)

February 20, 2012

Battle of Iwo Jima - Fierce Fighting Footage ~ Feb.19th, 1945






Battle of Iwo Jima - Fierce Fighting Footage

Battle of Iwo Jima - Fierce Fighting Footage [Full Resolution]Iwo Jima is an island some 650miles south of Tokyo. It is part of the Japanese Volcano Islands. On 19th February 1945, Iwo Jima became the setting of a major battle where the United States fought the Japanese to reclaim the island back from Japan. It was just one of the bloody battles during the Pacific War.



On February 19, 1945 about 30,000 United States Marines of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions, under V Amphibious Corps, landed on Iwo Jima and a battle for the island commenced. The landing was called Operation Detachment.

Following the American victory, a group of US Marines reached the top of Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945 and raised the American flag. They were persuaded to re-enact the event shortly afterwards by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal. The photo later won a Pulitzer Prize and is the subject of the USMC War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

At 2 AM on the morning of February 19, battleship guns signaled the commencement of D-Day. Soon 100 bombers attacked the island, followed by another volley from the naval guns. At 8:30, Marines disembarked toward the shores of Iwo Jima. Their objective -- Suribachi Mountain, at the south of the island, which guarded the beaches.

The Marines faced heavy fire from Suribachi and inhospitable terrain, rough volcanic ash which allowed neither secure footing or the digging of a foxhole. They were sitting ducks. Still, by that evening, the mountain had been surrounded and 30,000 Marines had landed. About 40,000 more would follow.

The climb up Suribachi was fought by the yard. Gunfire was ineffective against the Japanese, but flame throwers and grenades cleared the bunkers. Finally, on February 23, the summit had been reached. The erection of the American flag that day proved an inspiration not only to the combatants but to a grateful nation for years to come.

Every man and woman who has served as a United States Marine since February 1945 has carried with him or her the legacy of Iwo Jima. It is woven into their consciousness just as tightly as the fabric that makes up their uniform. The sacrifices made on that battlefield inform them every day of the inalterable standards to which history might make them also accountable. The courage and sense of duty of their fellow Marines on Iwo Jima breathes dignity into their own acts.

None of these men will ever be forgotten.

Thank you

Wild Thing


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (2)

December 07, 2011

December 7th, 1941 ....A Day That Will Live In Infamy



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On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. By planning his attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not in port. (The USS Enterprise was returning from Wake Island, where it had just delivered some aircraft. The USS Lexington was ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS Saratoga and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the United States.) In spite of the latest intelligence reports about the missing aircraft carriers (his most important targets), Admiral Nagumo decided to continue the attack with his force of six carriers and 423 aircraft. At a range of 230 miles north of Oahu, he launched the first wave of a two-wave attack. Beginning at 0600 hours his first wave consisted of 183 fighters and torpedo bombers which struck at the fleet in Pearl Harbor and the airfields in Hickam, Kaneohe and Ewa. The second strike, launched at 0715 hours, consisted of 167 aircraft, which again struck at the same targets. At 0753 hours the first wave consisting of 40 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" torpedo bombers, 51 Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive bombers, 50 high altitude bombers and 43 Zeros struck airfields and Pearl Harbor. Within the next hour, the second wave arrived and continued the attack.


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Wild Thing's comment........


May God rest those we lost....we shall never forget.

Americans remembered Pearl Harbor for four years during WWII. We are at war right now and most Americans forgot why. 9/11 was a momentous event just like Pearl Harbor. However, the War on Terror has been turned into a political event by the media and by much of Congress. That has divided America and we don't have the solidarity we had during WWII.

Anyone that goes to the Arizona Memorial simply MUST walk across the parking lot and also tour the USS Bowfin submarine and museum.......highly under-publicized, but well worth the extra hour or so.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:28 PM | Comments (6)

November 26, 2011

Man's Best Friend Welcoming Home Their Owners from Deployment


This video was actually made for Veterans Day that shows dogs welcoming home their owners as they come home for deployment.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Love this, our troops are so wonderful and I love seeing them welcomed home like this.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2011

Veterans Day ~ A Very Special Thank You To ALL Who Served



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Wild Thing's Thank You!!!

We would never of had our FREEDOM if it were not for each one of you that have served our country, and all our Veterans and our troops today. Thank you with all my heart!

Thanks is such a small word. I have a long history of family members serving or served in the military. And not one second of any day goes by without me being completely grateful and honored that they chose to fight for our freedom. God Bless America!!

If it were not for those who serve this great nation none of us would have life as we know it.

Our debt can never be repaid. I feel so inadequate in my humble honor of these men and women and all of you here that have served our country, all who have sacrificed SO MUCH for my safety and freedom! They are worthy of so much more than I have to give.


Prayers lifted for our fallen heroes.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (4)

June 15, 2011

One Of Our Awesome Marine Heroes ~ Semper Fi





The Marine is is Staff Sergeant Tim Chambers.

Tim was one of six kids in a very active household. He came from a lineage of military folks as his father was a Marine in Vietnam and his grandfather was in the Coast Guard
in World War II. Tim spends hundreds of hours helping out various charities, advocates for veterans' benefits and their causes and visits veterans' hospitals.



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Wild Thing's comment.....

Last year when I posted about Rolling Thunder I posted about this Marine. This is a video of this years Rolling Thunder.

God bless Tim and his loved ones.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (4)

May 29, 2011

Freedom Isn't Free






For this Memorial Day, I want to share with everyone this awesome video. We owe such a huge debt of gratitude to those who have worn our Country's uniform in the past, and to those who wear it today. And those that have given their all.



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (6)

May 19, 2011

Obama's Veterans Adminsitration Shreading Combat Vet Files To Avoid Processing




Veterans Adminsitration Shreading Combat Vet files to avoid processing


CNN


Veterans Adminsitration is destroying veteran claim files to avoid processing claims and save govt money as it pays employees cash bonuses to save agency money as well.

Disabled Veterans returning from war are being denied legal claims by this action.


More on this this CLICK HERE......

from VA WATCHDOG


NOW IT'S THE VFW SHREDDING VETERANS' VA CLAIMS FILES (08-17-10) Lee Guerrero, who represented veterans on their claims, shredded all of the claimant files in the Milwaukee VFW service office.

FOLLOW-UP: MORE DOCUMENTS ADD FOCUS TO VA'S SHREDDER SCANDAL (02-16-10) VA documents released under FOIA detail problems at Regional Offices in St. Petersburg, Winston-Salem, Detroit, Albuquerque and others


EXCLUSIVE: NEW DOCUMENTS REVEAL DEPTH OF VA'S SHREDDER SCANDAL (02-11-10) VAOIG documents released under FOIA shed more light on VA's file shredding and mishandling, and date changing. VA employee says they were told to shred files a few at a time so as not to draw attention.


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LINK to CONTACT CONGRESS




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Wiild Thing's comment......

This is unforgivable what they are doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2011

Anniversary of V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) 8th May 1945




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At midnight on May 8, 1945, the guns finally fell silent in Europe after more than five-and-a-half years of war, to bring to an end the second cataclysmic conflict to involve the nations of the Continent and their overseas allies in a period of less than a quarter of a century.


Wild Thing's comment.......

To all those brave men & women who served for our country we thank you.

I am a day late on posting this. Thank you Mark for reminding me. I am so sorry. I remembered yesterday but it was late in the day.

These men and women are never forgotten.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67




Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (4)

April 07, 2011

We Will Never Forget Our Veterans!




Veterans Day Tribute



Wild Thing's comment........

I love when we go out and often run into someone we have never met that is a Veteran. Where we live here in Sarasota there are many Vetrans since so many come here to retire. A couple of days ago a couple of tables over from us a man was sitting with his wife and he was wearing a baseball cap with WW11 on it and it gave me a chance to just stop by the table and thank him.


And yesterday it happened again, the man yesterday had a t-shirt on for the Marine Corps. The shirt said, "one shot one kill no remorse." I loved it and it was especially neat because I have a dog tag on my key chain that says exactly the same thing. I showed it to him and thanked him and we bought his lunch. He said he had been a Marine for 239 years and loved it.

What an honor it is to meet these Veterans, a special moment in a person's life to be able to thank them.

Thank you Veterans!!!!!!




....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67




Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM | Comments (5)

April 06, 2011

Freedom Isn't Free




Freedom Isn't Free - Veterans Day 2010


May we never lose sight of the fact that freedom is never free. It costs, and it costs a great deal. Let us never forget that it is the few who make these sacrifices for the many. They pound the ground, bleed and even die so that you and I might live free.



Wild Thing's comment.........


To our warriors our Veterans I LOVE you all so much, you will live in my heart forever!!!


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67




Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (3)

February 28, 2011

Last Living U.S. World War I Veteran Passes Away



Frank Buckles, the last living U.S. World War I veteran, has died, a spokesman for his family said Sunday. He was 110. He also spent 3 1/2 years in a Japanese prison camps.




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Here is a trailer for a film about him.............."Pershing's Last Patriot....The Cup "


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Last living U.S. World War I veteran dies

Frank Buckles, who lied about his age to get into uniform during World War I and lived to be the last surviving U.S. veteran of that war, has died. He was 110.


Buckles "died peacefully in his home of natural causes" early Sunday morning, the family said in a statement sent to CNN late Sunday by spokesman David DeJonge.

Buckles marked his 110th birthday on February 1, but his family had earlier told CNN he had slowed considerably since last fall, according his daughter Susannah Buckles Flanagan, who lives at the family home near Charles Town, West Virginia.

Buckles, who served as a U.S. Army ambulance driver in Europe during what became known as the "Great War," rose to the rank of corporal before the war ended. He came to prominence in recent years, in part because of the work of DeJonge, a Michigan portrait photographer who had undertaken a project to document the last surviving veterans of that war.

As the years continued, all but Buckles had passed away, leaving him the "last man standing" among U.S. troops who were called "The Doughboys."

DeJonge found himself the spokesman and advocate for Buckles in his mission to see to it that his comrades were honored with a monument on the National Mall, alongside memorials for veterans of World War II and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

Buckles made history when he was asked to testify in Congress on the matter before a House committee on December 3, 2009.

"I have to," he told CNN when he came to Washington, as part of what he considered his responsibility to honor the memory of fellow-veterans.


Buckles, after World War I ended, took up a career as a ship's officer on merchant vessels. He was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II and held prisoner of war for more than three years before he was freed by U.S. troops.

Never saying much about his POW experience, Buckles instead wanted attention drawn to the plight of the D.C. War Memorial.


Renovations to the structure began last fall, but Buckles, with his health already failing, could not make a trip to Washington to review the improvements. The National Park Service is overseeing efforts that include replacing a neglected walkway and dressing up a deteriorated dome and marble columns.

Details for services and arrangements will be announced in the days ahead, the family statement said.

Flanagan, his daughter, said preliminary plans began weeks ago, with the Military District of Washington expressing its support for an honors burial at Arlington, including an escort platoon, a horse-drawn casket arrival, a band and a firing party.

"It has long been my father's wish to be buried in Arlington, in the same cemetery that holds his beloved General Pershing," Flanagan wrote as she began to prepare for the inevitable in a letter she sent to home-state U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia.


"I feel confident that the right thing will come to pass," she said.


In addition to graveside ceremonies, a proposal from U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, calls for a memorial in the U.S. Capitol, where Buckles' casket would be displayed with honors.

Buckles in 2008 attended Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington at the grave of Gen. John Pershing, the commander of U.S. troops during World War I.

He also had met with then-President George W. Bush at the White House, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon.

"The First World War is not well understood or remembered in the United States," Gates said at the time. "There is no big memorial on the National Mall. Hollywood has not turned its gaze in this direction for decades. Yet few events have so markedly shaped the world we live in."




Army Times

Born in Missouri in 1901 and raised in Oklahoma, Buckles visited a string of military recruiters after the United States entered the “war to end all wars” in April 1917. He was repeatedly rejected before convincing an Army captain he was 18. He was 16½..


“A boy of [that age], he’s not afraid of anything. He wants to get in there,” Buckles said.


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Back when he was onlyh 107 years old he was interviewed. Frank Woodruff Buckles says he feels responsible for keeping the story of World War I alive.




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Wild Thing's comment........

RIP, CPL Buckles. God’s speed and thank you. A grateful nation is truly appreciative of your service.

Nicholas and I are flying our Flag in our front yard at half mast for Cpl. Buckles.

A part of history for our country passes away and we must never forget. We must do what we can to never let it be just grainy black and photos in a text book.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (3)

February 20, 2011

Marines Mark 66th Anniversary Of Iwo Jima






Camp Pendleton Marines commemorated the 66th anniversary of the bloody and heroic Battle of Iwo Jima on Saturday evening.

Marines landed on Feb. 19, 1945, to claim an emergency airfield for damaged B-29 bombers returning from Japan.

Japanese soldiers, with the advantage of caves and high ground, contested every inch of land over the next five weeks and inflicted 26,000 casualties on U.S. forces, including about 6,800 killed.

The public part of the commemoration included a memorial service at sunset at the Iwo Jima Monument at the base's South Mesa Club.


Wild Thing's comment........


We must never forget. In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, for truth, justice and the American way. God bless you all. God bless America.

The “warrior” spirit is still very much with us. All the branches of our armed forces make me proud.

A couple weeks ago, we lost Major Gen. Bruce Jacobs, a cardiac rehab friend of mine. He was in charge of an Army Transport ship taking the Marines in.

Radio Show hosts Mark Levin (his grandfather) and John Bachelor (father) had relatives in the Marines on Iwo.

Also, Swift Boat veteran John O’Neill’s father was flying skycap for the Marines on Iwo.

There was also a Seabee company that was accidentally sent in (the request was for one engineer to operate a piece of equipment). They were lightly armed and decimated. Don’t know the unit identification.


A salute to them and their families

National Museum of the Marine Corps on Facebook....there are over 500 photos at their Facebook page. Just click on photos at the link.



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (2)

January 24, 2011

Pvt Barney Hajiro, Oldest Living Medal of Honor Recipient Dies in Hawaii





Hajiro was born in Hawaii, the second of nine children born to Japanese immigrant parents who had moved from Hiroshima to Maui during World War I. Two of his siblings died in infancy. The family was poor, and Hajiro left school to work, first in the sugarcane fields of Maui and later as a stevedore in Honolulu. Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and performed menial labor as part of an engineering battalion.

In March 1943, he volunteered to join the newly-formed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed of Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) like himself.



Oldest living Medal of Honor recipient dies in Hawaii


Hawaii News Now

Hawaii is mourning the loss of World War II veteran Barney Hajiro. The Oahu man was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient in America.

"He wants to be remembered as a simple person," said son Glenn Hajiro.


Barney Hajiro, 94, served in the Army's famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He single-handedly destroyed two German machine gun nests during the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" in France. He was shot in the cheek, shoulder and wrist, leaving his left arm paralyzed.

"There were snipers, lot of shooting, and people were saying it's going to be suicide, but he said he had a duty to do," recalled Glenn Hajiro.

More than half a century after the bloody battle, President Bill Clinton presented the Medal of Honor to the Nisei veteran in 2000.

"He said he was a little bit excited and he was proud to receive the medal for the boys. He said, 'It's not for me. It's for the boys.' He would always say that," said Glenn Hajiro.

Glenn Hajiro was by his father's side for the final moments on Friday morning.

"His dream was to be a track star, but he only went to the 8th grade. He never got to do his thing, so I told him, on his death bed, to run," said Hajiro's son.




Human Events


In addition to his Medal of Honor he was also awarded the British Military Medal and the French Legion d’honneur. He was drafted then in March of 1943 he volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 442nd went on to become the highest decorated unit in the history of our armed forces. Please take a moment to read the citation of a hero.



Citation

Private Barney F. Hajiro distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 19, 22, and 29 October 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres and Biffontaine, eastern France.

Private Hajiro, while acting as a sentry on top of an embankment on 19 October 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres, France, rendered assistance to allied troops attacking a house 200 yards away by exposing himself to enemy fire and directing fire at an enemy strong point. He assisted the unit on his right by firing his automatic rifle and killing or wounding two enemy snipers.


On 22 October 1944, he and one comrade took up an outpost security position about 50 yards to the right front of their platoon, concealed themselves, and ambushed an 18-man, heavily armed, enemy patrol, killing two, wounding one, and taking the remainder as prisoners.


On 29 October 1944, in a wooded area in the vicinity of Biffontaine, France, Private Hajiro initiated an attack up the slope of a hill referred to as "Suicide Hill" by running forward approximately 100 yards under fire. He then advanced ahead of his comrades about 10 yards, drawing fire and spotting camouflaged machine gun nests. He fearlessly met fire with fire and single-handedly destroyed two machine gun nests and killed two enemy snipers.


As a result of Private Hajiro's heroic actions, the attack was successful. Private Hajiro's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, and the United States Army.


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Wild Thing's comment.......

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho! Rest Well Sir. Thank you.

Soldiers of the 442nd RCT received 21 Medals of Honor.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:45 AM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2011

Maj. Richard "Dick" Winters WW11 'Band of Brothers" War Hero Dies At 92




Maj. Richard "Dick" Winters in 2002. The story of Winters leading Easy Company during World War II were chronicled in the book and miniseries, "Band of Brothers."


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Richard 'Dick' Winters, whose WWII heroics were immortalized in 'Band of Brothers,' is dead at 92


Daily News


Richard (Dick) Winters, the Army commander whose heroism during World War II was immortalized in the book and television miniseries "Band of Brothers," died last week in central Pennsylvania. He was 92.

An intensely private man, Winters had instructed loved ones not to release news of his death until after his funeral. He died on Jan. 2 from complications of Parkinson’s disease, his family said.

The story of Winters and other members of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, known as Easy Company, was chronicled in a book by Stephen Ambrose and later the 10-part miniseries on HBO.

English actor Damian Lewis portrayed Winters as a strong, humble leader who guided his men through the European theater of the war after parachuting into Normandy on D-Day.

Winters also led his men through a grueling wintertime standoff during the Battle of the Bulge and was eventually promoted to the rank of major.





Winters was potrayed in the HBO series by actor Damian Lewis, left. (HBO)


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After the war, he trained infantry and Army Rangers at Fort Dix in New Jersey before starting a company that sold livestock feed to farmers and settling into a quiet life on a farm in Hershey, Pa.

The men of Easy Company expressed their admiration for their company commander after learning of his death.

William Guarnere, 88, said what he remembers about Winters was "great leadership."

"When he said 'Let's go,' he was right in the front," Guarnere, who was called "Wild Bill" by his comrades, said. "He was never in the back. A leader personified."

"He was a good man, a very good man," Guarnere added. "I would follow him to hell and back. So would the men from E Company."

Another member of the unit living in Philadelphia, Edward Heffron, 87, said he got choked up thinking of his former commander.

"He was one hell of a guy, one of the greatest soldiers I was ever under," said Heffron, who was nicknamed Babe. "He was a wonderful officer, a wonderful leader. He had what you needed, guts and brains. He took care of his men, that's very important."

The television series was nominated for 19 Emmy awards, and Winters published a memoir about his experiences in the war in 2006 called "Beyond Band of Brothers."

Writing about leadership to American History magazine in 2004, Winters said, "If you can, find that peace within yourself, that peace and quiet and confidence that you can pass on to others, so that they know that you are honest and you are fair and will help them, no matter what, when the chips are down."


Tom Hanks, who produced 'Band of Brothers,' with Winters at the Emmy awards in 2002.




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Wild Thing's comment.......


Such an admirable man. Rest in peace. Prayers for Major Winters family.

It is so sad, they are leaving us one by one.


I’ll never forget him saying this on TV: “ by grandson asked me if I was a “hero” in the war........




Major Richard D. Winters speaks of his Company of Heroes.



....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.


Tom
US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72



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We will Never Forget the sacrifices and price that has been paid for our freedom and the fight that was fought for others to be free! ~ Wild Thing






Band of brothers- Requiem for a soldier



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM | Comments (6)

November 11, 2010

Veterans Day ~ A Very Special Thank You To ALL Who Serve, or Have Served, Our Beloverd USA!







ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES, COAST GUARD


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Freedom Isn't Free - Veterans Day 2010


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The Best on Earth

A Veteran's Day Tribute

If someone has done military service,
They earn the title "veteran," and more;
They earn our deep respect and admiration;
That they are special no one can ignore.

They sacrificed the comforts we enjoy;
The list is long of all the things they gave.
Our veterans are extraordinary people;
They’re loyal, dedicated, true and brave.

When terror and invasion were real threats,
They showed us they could handle any storm.
We owe our freedoms and our very lives
To our veterans, who served in uniform.


Our veterans should be celebrities;
They’re exceptional; no other group compares.
We’re grateful for the many things they’ve done;
They’re always in our hearts and in our prayers.

We owe our veterans support and friendship;
Let no one ever question what they’re worth.
These men and women served us and our country,
Our veterans--the very best on earth.


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Veterans Day Discounts.....Please CLICK HERE for list.




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Wild Thing's comment........

I have posted this before, and it is so good I wanted to post it again.

We would never of had our FREEDOM if it were not for each one of you that have served our country, and all our Veterans and our troops today. Thank you with all my heart!

Thanks is such a small word. I have a long history of family members serving or served in the military. And not one second of any day goes by without me being completely grateful and honored that they chose to fight for our freedom. God Bless America!!

If it were not for those who serve this great nation none of us would have life as we know it.

Our debt can never be repaid. I feel so inadequate in my humble honor of these men and women and all of you here that have served our country, all who have sacrificed SO MUCH for my safety and freedom! They are worthy of so much more than I have to give.

Prayers lifted for our fallen heroes.


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:55 AM | Comments (12)

September 09, 2010

World War II Marine Corps Vet of 83, Fights Off Home Invader of 19



Marine vet, 83, fights off home invader, 19


The Marine Times

YARMOUTH, Mass.

Yarmouth police say an 83-year-old World War II Marine Corps veteran fought off a 19-year-old man who broke into his home and attacked him with a glass candlestick.

Police say the suspect broke into the home at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday. The homeowner fought back and yelled to his wife, who called police, prompting the suspect to flee.

He was picked up a short time later, with blood on his shirt and items allegedly stolen from the home. Alan Menchin was held on $10,000 bail after pleading not guilty to charges including assault and battery at his arraignment Tuesday.

The homeowner needed treatment for cuts and bruises. He asked not to be identified out of concern for his safety.

Lt. Steven Xiarhos said he was proud of the veteran for fighting off "a punk."



Wild Thing's comment.......

GREAT story, thank God for these heroes.


Posted by Wild Thing at 08:45 AM | Comments (4)

August 27, 2010

Air Force Aircraft Supporting EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh 2010's "Salute to Veterans"





EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2010 "Salute to Veterans"

More than a dozen legendary CAF warbirds to participate at Oshkosh

A compilation of clips from Airventure 2010 set to "Clocks" by Coldplay.

Highlights include:
DC3 (And DC2) Reunion "The Last Time"
Many military jets including the F-15, F-16, Sea Harrier, and F-4 Phantom II


EAA Home

Commemorative Air Force Units from throughout the U.S. are lending their support to EAA AirVenture's "Salute to Veterans" with more than a dozen legendary aircraft that will be part of the air shows and ground displays in the warbird area.


Among the airplanes that are confirmed are two airplanes whose 75th anniversaries will be recognized at Oshkosh: the B-17 Texas Raiders from Houston, Texas, and the C-47 Bluebonnet Belle from Burnet, Texas. In addition, several P-51 Mustangs and such aircraft as the B-25, SNJ, SBD Dauntless, SNJ Texan and PT-26 will be parked among the rows of warbirds at AirVenture.

"The dedication and support of the Commemorative Air Force and its Units throughout the U.S. is helping to make the Salute to Veterans at EAA AirVenture an unforgettable event," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president and AirVenture chairman. "These aircraft are painstakingly restored and maintained by the CAF as a tribute to those who have fought and sacrificed to preserve our freedoms, and we eagerly look forward to them joining us at Oshkosh."

"This is perhaps the greatest gathering of CAF aircraft that I've seen at Oshkosh," said Stephan Brown, CAF president and CEO. "We are pleased to support events such as EAA AirVenture, especially when those who come to Oshkosh each year have a deep appreciation for the aircraft, the people who flew them in the military and those who are dedicated to preserving this flying history."

Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has approximately 8,500 members and a fleet of 156 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 74 units located in 27 states for care and operation.



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Wild Thing's comment.......

Awesome Air Show!!!!!! I love Air shows and this is the biggest one.




....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Tom
US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:55 AM | Comments (6)

July 26, 2010

WWII POW’s Reunite For First Time In 66 Years



WWII POW’s Reunite For First Time In 66 Years

EVERETT, Wash.


The last time Dr. Bob Otto and Bill Sutton saw each other, they were soaring above Austria.

That was right before the anti-aircraft guns tore a hole “you could put a washtub through” in the B-24 Liberator, Sutton said.
“We had a few miracles happen to us, and this getting together’s one of them, I think,” said Otto with a chuckle.
“Living to get here’s another one,” Sutton wryly replied.

They can joke now, decades removed from the incident that landed both men in Nazi prison camps. Thanks to some persistent relatives, the Internet, and a desire to see each other, Bill and Bob, now in their 90s, reminisce safely in Bob’s kitchen, a few recovered pieces of the B-24 sitting on the table.

“It’s the best news I’ve had in 66 years, as far as World War II is concerned,” Otto said.

A scrapbook and a box on Otto’s wall fill in the blanks. The box has medals, maps, and mementos, such as German cigarettes and a piece of cement from the Stalag Luft IV prison camp.

“I brought them all home from the prisoner-of-war camp,” he said, pointing to a spoon attached to the bottom of the display. ”This one has the insignia, the Nazi insignia on it.”

The final bombing run of the “Texarkana Hussy” happened in 1944. Leaking gas sparked a fire on the wing, which spread into the cabin when the crew started to drop its payload on the target below, said Sutton. Sutton was a waist gunner, and was one of the first to jump from the plane. Otto, the tailgunner, was the last out.

“I crawled out of the turret and there was this fire, like a big inferno, coming down the middle of the plane,” Otto said.


Laden with heavy equipment, both men had to tear off flight gear and flak jackets mid-air before they could pull their parachutes open.

"I landed in a tree, and immediately there were people there, civilians," Otto said, "and they got me and rushed me downtown to the jail... and all the other guys were there except Bill, and the two guys that got killed on the plane."

Bill Sutton managed to elude capture for a week with just a compass, a map, and a chocolate bar.

"I was going for Yugoslavia," he said. "Seven days, hadn't had anything to eat."
When he passed by a group of kids camping, one got on a bike ahead of him, he said.
"Four civilians met me on the road, turned me around," Sutton said. He remembers one friendly Austrian woman who fed him before he was taken into custody.
"She got me a glass of milk and a cinnamon bun," he said. "And man, that was good. When I was done she made sure there were no crumbs left on me so the Germans wouldn't see it."

Otto, meanwhile, was questioned and shipped north to the prison camp in a truck that was standing room only for several days.

"They had German shepherd dogs that took care of us if we got behind, so we all had to try and keep up," Otto said.
At the camp, "they didn't treat us bad," he said. "Fortunately we had one guard that had been an American citizen and he went back to Germany and they put him in the army, so he could speak English... We maneuvered him with candy bars and cigarettes to get things."
"We didn't eat very much. mostly some soup, maybe some cabbage in it," Otto said. Sutton said he lost more than 70 pounds during his capture.

Overseas telegrams told both men's family they'd been taken prisoners-of-war, but neither Otto nor Sutton knew if the other was alive.

Turns out, for a year, they were in separate compounds of the same camp. Both even marched 500 miles in a trek that killed 25 percent of their fellow captives.

"Started in February, 1945," Otto said. "That was the winter of the Battle of the Bulge, one of the coldest and snowiest winters they ever had."
"I marched for 70 days, the group I was in... we slept in barns... and when there were no barns, we slept outside," he added.

The march ended at another prison camp. But they were only there about a week when freedom came around the corner.

"We woke up one morning and all the guards were gone, the gates were open, and the guards had disappeared," Otto said. "So we knew something was happening and pretty soon we heard those old tanks roaring down the road, and we were happy to see those British [soldiers]."

Both men would get Distinguished Flying Crosses for finishing the bombing mission, POW medals for their experience. Otto would get a Purple Heart for burns he suffered as he escaped the B-24.

And both men went on with their lives -- Otto in Idaho, Sutton in Georgia. They made periodic searches for each other through the years, but never could find one another.

Otto eventually moved to Washington, working as a veterinarian, a pastor, even a politician.

One day, "my grandson was looking on Google, and... saw Bob's name and address, and my daughter-in-law called that number... and she got Bob on the phone," Sutton said.
Sutton immediately began making plans since "I'm getting to where I can't travel," he said. The reunion took place at Otto's home in a retirement community in Everett.
"You just can't describe, I'm glad to see him," Sutton said, choking up, and then under his breath, "Lord, glad to see him."
Otto said the reunion is also so his kids and grandchildren can understand what they went through. Otto has written a book about his experience called "A Walk With God: From Rural Idaho to a Nazi POW Camp and Back. "
"I think it's something they needed to know about," he said. "Young people don't know about World War II anymore. That's the only way they're going to know the truth, is if the people tell them, the people who were there."

Brothers in arms. Lost in capture. Reunited at last.




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Wild Thing's comment.......

I think they should name a plane be named the “Texarkana Hussy”.

God bless these warriors.



Posted by Wild Thing at 07:50 AM | Comments (6)

July 03, 2010

" I Fought For You" by The Sound Tank



Speakers Up.. Tissue Box Opened::: If you want people to get the chills, and instill a sense of pride in our country and military, this is the one! This gripping, patriotic film short is great to honor vets, remember the fallen and teach kids the price of their freedom.




Wild Thing's comment........

All of you Veterans and our troops today live 24/7 in my heart. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for all you have done and to know you as a friend is an honor that is beyond words to me. Thank you.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM

June 29, 2010

Rolling Thunder 2010 - A Marine's Vigil




A solitary Marine holds vigil at full attention during the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in tribute to fallen comrades.


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Taken from .....

In the Company of the Brave

By Kit Jarrell


I had heard of a Marine who stands in the median and salutes as all the bikes go by. I needed to see this for myself, and when I asked someone about it they said, "The Marine? He's right down there. Just go around this way and down to the corner."

I ran.
It's silly now to think of, but somehow I was afraid he wouldn't be there anymore if I moved slowly, if I took my time walking down there. I should have known better. The Marines never just quit.
As I drew closer to the corner the crowd thickened considerably, and yet everyone moved when I asked to get by. "I need to see the Marine," I would say, and the others would nod and let me pass. They understood.
Finally I stood in the best place I could, and there he was, saluting proudly, wearing his dress blues, medals glinting in the sun. He looked like a lion there, regally standing, ever vigilant. His face was lined with the memories of conflict, but his eyes were those of a resolute warrior. His arm never faltered and his feet never moved, even though standing in the heat and sun must have been incredibly draining. For 45 minutes he stood there with his fingers at his brow - statuesque, a testament to the stamina, the fortitude, and the selflessness of the Marine Corps.
I kept taking pictures until the tears blurred my eyes. My heart simply broke as I watched veteran after veteran ride by this man and salute him back. All these men have given so much, for so long. Everything washed over me then, and I cried for it all: their missing limbs and loved ones, their nightmares and tragedies, their tiny homes underneath white stone at Arlington. They gave themselves, and sometimes lost everything, but in their sacrifice we stand here today, more free than any people on earth. I could not ever repay them. None of us could.
I finish writing this as I sit on my couch in Tulsa, with my little boy playing outside safely and John Wayne leading Marine pilots into battle on the TV. I am blessed, for I live in the company of the brave.




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Wild Thing's comment.........


SSgt. Tim Chambers is stationed in Camp Pendleton and has been saluting the riders of Rolling Thunder for six years. He pays his own way to DC each Memorial Day weekend.

SSgt. Tim Chambers can be reached HERE......

tim4america@aol.com


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....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:49 AM | Comments (4)

June 25, 2010

Remembering The Korean War 1950 - 1955



On June 25, 1950, the North Korean Army began an offensive to invade South Korea that resulted in the capture of the republic’s capital, Seoul, within four days. The United States, the United Kingdom and other members of the United Nations moved to actively defend South Korea – an effort that would last until July 27, 1953, when negotiations concluded and fighting finally ended.

North Korea attacks across 38th parallel, 60 years ago

Sixty years ago, the Korean War became the first major armed clash between the free world and Communist forces, as the so-called Cold War turned hot.


This is a wonderful website about the Korean War.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to see it. There are several articles and also photos..



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This is also a great story that goes along with the Korean War. I am posting it again for those that have not seen it before. ~ Wild Thing


Tootsie rolls and pops sweeten the lives of battle-weary men

When I was a little girl, I received 25 cents as a weekly allowance. During those days, it cost one cent for a Tootsie Pop, a penny for "littles" Tootsie Rolls and five cents for "biggies."

We were Navy people. My father served during WWII in Hawaii; my big brother, Charlie, served in Korea, and my baby brother, Jerry, served during Vietnam.

Not having any real idea what "War" was all about, I used to write to daddy in my little-girl handwriting, telling him of all the things my friends and I were doing. I remember asking him to please hurry home because Dubble Bubble gum was being rationed and we had to stand in line for just one piece. Being my big strong dad, I was sure he would do something about it.

Often, I placed my pennies in a wooden matchbox to save enough to send him some candy along with my letters. Once I'd saved enough money, I would troop across the street to Pete's corner store and proudly place all my pennies on the counter and ask how many Tootsie rolls and Tootsie lollipops my coppers could buy. Taking them home, I wrote my letter and wrapped the candies in old Boston Post newspaper pages and shipped them off. I always sent his favorite yellow Tootsie pops. When I could afford it, I sent "biggies" Tootsie rolls. Many times the post office didn't charge me for stamps. Now, I realize that it was probably the counter person who paid for the postage.

When my father finally came home, he brought me a real grass hula skirt from Hawaii -- and as a reminder of my gifts to him, two yellow Tootsie roll lollipops. Following that, he regularly reminded me of those little girl gifts and how happy they made him during the war. I also sent my two brothers Tootsie Rolls and Pops when they were in the Navy. They never forgot, either.

Even now, I distribute Tootsie Roll pops to my "One Woman Comedy Show" audiences thanks to Tootsie Roll Industries. It's fun to watch adults become children again while they search the basket full of lollipops for their favorite flavor.

Tootsie Roll Industries has been a long-time friend of men and women serving their country.

History tells about a time in November, 1950, during the Korean War. The First Marine Division with part of two U.S. Army combat teams and a detachment of British Commandos along with some South Korean Policemen -- about 15,000 in all -- faced 120,000 Chinese Communists. The confrontation took place at a mountain reservoir called Chang Jin (the Americans called it "Chosin.") Temperatures ranged from minus five degrees below zero in the day to minus twenty-five below zero at night. The ground froze so hard that bulldozers could not dig emplacements for Artillery. The cold impeded weapons from firing automatically. It also numbed minds and froze fingers and toes.

The troops were surrounded, outnumbered 10 to 1 and desperately in need of food and mortars. With freezing temperatures, military-supplied rations were frozen solid and inedible.

Using the code word "Tootsie Rolls" (that meant mortars, not candy) a radioman sent a message asking for ammunition.

Misunderstanding the call, the Air Force airdropped thousands of Tootsie Rolls to the trapped men in the Chosin Reservoir.

The men were close to starvation and the chocolate Tootsie Rolls (biggies) withstood the cold and provided food and energy. Some were kept close to the men's bodies to soften them and were often used to plug holes in fuel drums, radiators and gas tanks that had been riddled with bullets after enemy attacks. Once in place, the softened Tootsie Roll froze again and made a perfect plug.

The Air Force finally caught on and sent additional mortar ammunition.

On December 10, 1950, the men fought their way out of North Korea. Overall, seventeen Medals of Honor were awarded, thirteen during the officially recognized dates of November 15 to December 10, 1950. Rarely in the annals of military history has a force been up against such unfavorable odds, both in terms of numbers and the elements, and still prevailed.

In the 1980s, Marines who survived the battle formed an organization aptly named the Chosin Few. For many years, the group held reunions and Tootsie Rolls were always present.

Over the years, the survivors formed a special relationship with the company and the candies. "We are honored to share a bond with these heroic men and will always take pride in the small role we played in this epic battle," said Melvin J. Gordon, chairman of the board of Tootsie Roll Industries. "Tootsie Roll has been involved with every major U.S. military engagement during the last century, but this is the only incident we know of in which Tootsie Rolls saved lives."

One survivor, Bob Weisham of San Diego, said, "No matter where or when we get together, the tables always have handfuls of Tootsie Rolls on them. "It probably sounds funny that such small things as Tootsie Rolls can make a difference." He added, "For us, they made all the difference."

Tootsie Roll lollipops also helped serve the men in Vietnam. Carl Jacob, a member of Delta Company 196 Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam, sent the Tootsie Roll Company a photograph taken in 1970 depicting Jacob and several other members of his unit enjoying Tootsie Pops in the heat during some downtime.




....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (4)

June 07, 2010

D-Day, June 6, 1944 – President Ronald Reagan Speaks at Normandy



Normandy Speech: Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day 6/6/84




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D-Day, June 6, 1944


Allied Forces led by the United States launched the D-Day Invasion of Europe, June 6, 1944. It was a day that history looks back to as pivotal, because it marked the beginning of the end for Hitler and his Third Reich.

President Ronald Reagan went to Normandy to mark the 40th anniversary of D-Day. His powerful speech is a fitting reminder of what took place on those beaches that day.




I MISS him!!!



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM | Comments (4)

May 31, 2010

Johnny Clem "Drummer Boy of Chickamauga."



Johnny Clem statue located in Veterans Park Newark, Ohio


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John Lincoln "Johnny" Clem

(1851-1937)


Born in Newark, Ohio, 13 Aug. 1851, Clem ran away from home in May 1861 to join the army and found the army was not interested in 9-year-old boys. When he applied to the commander of the 3d Ohio Regiment, the officer said he "wasn't enlisting infants," and turned him down. Clem tried the 22d Michigan next, and its commander said roughly the same. Determined, Clem tagged after the regiment, acted "just the same as a drummer boy," and wore down resistance. Though still not regularly enrolled, he performed camp duties and received a soldier's pay, $13 a month, a sum donated by the officers.

The next April, at Shiloh, Clem's drum was smashed by an artillery round and he became a minor news item as "Johnny Shiloh," the smallest drummer. More than a year later, at the Battle Of Chickamauga, he rode an artillery caisson to the front and wielded a musket trimmed to his size. In one of the Union retreats a Confederate officer ran after the cannon Clem rode with, and before the drummer killed him, said, "Surrender you damned little Yankee!" This pluck won for Clem national attention and the name "Drummer Boy of Chickamauga."


Clem stayed with the army through the war, served as a courier, and was wounded twice. Between Shiloh and Chickamauga he was regularly enrolled in the service and thereafter received his own pay. After the Civil War he tried to enter West Point but was turned down because of his slim education. A personal appeal to Pres. U.S. GRANT, his general at Shiloh, won him a 2d lieutenant's appointment in the Regular army 18 Dec. 1 871, and in 1903 he became colonel and assistant quartermaster general. He retired from the army as a major general in 1916. d. San Antonio, Tex., 13 May 1937.


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Wild Thing's comment.......

Amazing story and life he had.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (3)

May 28, 2010

IWO JIMA: Not Easy Then, Not Easy Now


IWO JIMA: Not Easy Then, Not Easy Now




Marines race across the beach to experience a fraction of the experiences the Marines who fought for Iwo Jima might have had on D-Day of the Battle . The major difference between today and 1945 is that today no one is shooting at them!


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The guide for this trip asked the Marines to rush this dune to get an idea of what the Marines who took Iwo Jima faced upon landing. Every step you take up, you slide down and into the dune. You have to work hard to get to the top. Imagine doing that with 100 lbs on your back while being shot at and artillery raining down on you.




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Mount Suribachi overlooks the landing beaches. During the battle for Iwo Jima , Mt Suribachi gave the defending Japanese forces a perfect vantage point from which to direct lethal artillery fire on the Marines' hastily dug positions on the beach.




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Futatsune Beach , today known by visiting Marines as Invasion Beach , is where on 19 February,1945, the Marines landed on D-Day of the invasion of Iwo Jima . This picture was taken from near the top of Mt. Suribachi . Forward Observer's dream!



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A heavy machine gun, possibly a Japanese Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun, lies abandoned in a bunker overlooking the landing beaches. There are still dozens of these bunkers all over the island. Most of them were destroyed during the battle. This pillbox still bore the scars of the fighting. It was pockmarked with bullet holes and the inside was blackened. I imagine a flame thrower was used to clear that pillbox.




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This monument was erected on the spot where Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, Michael Strank, John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, and Ira Hayes raised the American flag 4 days into the battle for Iwo Jima . Iwo Jima is like Mecca for the Marines. Visiting Marines leave personal mementos behind during their 'pilgrimages'. The Eagle, Globe and Anchors on the left and right side of the monument are completely covered in dog tags left by visiting Marines and service men to honor the 6,821 killed. Remember what they did.


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"There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag"... Theodore Roosevelt 1907
"The privacy & dignity of our citizens (are) being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence but, when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen - a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a (person's) life. " ~WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS



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Wild Thing's comment.........

Fantastic photos and write up.

Thank you all for your bravery and uncommon valor and God bless all those who have served and are serving now.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:40 AM | Comments (2)

May 27, 2010

Wisconsin Veteran Must Remove Flag In Window After Memorial Day



Wisconsin Veteran Must Remove Flag After Memorial Day

FOX News


An Army veteran in Wisconsin will be allowed to display an American flag until Memorial Day, but the symbol honoring his service in Iraq and Kosovo must come down next Tuesday, his wife told FoxNews.com.

Dawn Price, 27, of Oshkosh, Wis., said she received a call from officials at Midwest Realty Management early Wednesday indicating that she and her husband, Charlie, would be allowed to continue flying the American flag they’ve had in their window for months through the holiday weekend. The couple had previously been told they had to remove the flag by Saturday or face eviction due to a company policy that bans the display of flags, banners and political or religious materials.

“It’s basically an extension so we can fly the flag on Memorial Day,” Price told FoxNews.com. “It does need to come down after that.”

Charlie Price, 28, served tours of duty as a combat engineer in Iraq and Kosovo, his wife said. To honor his eight years of service, she began decorating their apartment during Veterans Day in November. An American flag topped off the display, she said.

“I knew it made Charlie really proud to see that,” she said. “And this isn’t something new. This has been up for quite some time now.”

Veterans’ groups were furious at the realtors’ refusal to allow the flag to fly.

“As a veteran, it sickens me that the Dawn and Charlie Price’s building management company would imply that the American flag could be construed as offensive by their residents,” said Ryan Gallucci, a spokesman for AmVets.

“We’re talking about our most revered national symbol. This is insulting to anyone who has defended our flag honorably, like Charlie Price.”

Dawn Price said she now works to amend the federal Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which states no “condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association” may stop someone from flying the American flag. The law, however, does not apply to renters.

“This has been eating at us since Friday,” she said. ‘The best way to fight this isn’t getting an eviction and going after these people in court. That’s just going to cost us a lot of time, energy and money.”

Instead, Dawn Price said she either intends to place a curtain between the flag and the apartment window to block it from onlookers or will move it to a rear balcony come next week.




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Wild Thing's comment........

By not wanting to offend another country, they have instead offended a war veteran who served his country honorably so people like these rental companies can wake up everyday and make a living. This is a slap in the face to this hero that served, and a slap in the face to every American who has ever served.


Just think if everyone that lived in our country loved our country and appreciated why and HOW they have been able to live in the land of the free this about the Falg would never be an issue.....never ever.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (5)

May 12, 2010

PURE EVIL People Did This! ~ Vandals Tear Down & Steal Mojave Desert Cross Days After Supreme Court Decision


Thieves Steal Mojave Desert Memorial Cross in Nighttime Heist

Just Days After Supreme Court Decision

FOX News

The 7-foot-tall metal cross in a 75-year-old war memorial that withstood the heat of the Mojave Desert and a blazing battle in the Supreme Court over its legality was ripped down and stolen Sunday night, according to federal officials.






The 7-foot-tall metal cross in a 75-year-old war memorial that withstood the heat of the Mojave Desert and a blazing battle in the Supreme Court over its legality was ripped down and stolen Sunday night, according to federal officials.

"This is an outrage, akin to desecrating people's graves," said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Liberty Institute, which represents the caretakers of the Mojave Desert War Memorial. "It's a disgraceful attack on the selfless sacrifice of our veterans. We will not rest until this memorial is re-installed."

The National Park Service says someone cut the metal bolts holding the metal-pipe cross to the top of the memorial's Sunrise Rock and made off with it Sunday night or before dawn on Monday.

Authorities had no immediate motive for the theft but National Park Service officials are considering a range of ideas from scrap metal scavengers to people "with an interest in the case," said Park Service spokeswoman Linda Slater.

Veterans groups were outraged by the theft.


"The American Legion expects whoever is responsible for this vile act to be brought to justice," said Clarence Hill, the group's national commander. "While the memorial has been attacked, the fight will continue to ensure that veterans memorials will remain sacrosanct."

The Veterans of Foreign Wars first placed a cross on the rock in 1934 to honor troops who died in World War I. The cross that stood at the memorial until this week was erected at a later date.

"To think anyone can rationalize the desecration of a war memorial is sickening, and for them to believe they won't be apprehended is very naïve," said VFW National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell Sr.

The cross has been covered with a tarp or a wooden box since 2002 by a court order to avoid violating federal law mandating the separation of church and state. The 75-year-old monument was the target of a longstanding legal challenge from the ACLU, which charged that the cross is a religious symbol that shouldn't be allowed on public land. The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to order that it be torn down in a 5-4 decision.

But the Supreme Court also referred the case back to a lower court for further review, forcing the caretakers to continue covering the cross with a pine box. Maintenance workers noticed on Saturday that the box had been removed, and were preparing to restore it Monday morning when they found that the entire cross was missing.

Park officials said the box has been removed "several times" in the past and covered with graffiti at least once -- but that no one had ever before attempted to physically remove the cross itself.

The Liberty Institute is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the case, and the National Park Service has established a tip hotline seeking information leading to the recovery of the cross. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Park Service at (760) 252-6120.


The cross was erected in the 1934 by a veterans group as a tribute to their fallen brethren in World War I. It has been the subject of a decade long court battle between those who want it to remain and those who believe it violates the separation of church and state.

Authorities are seeking sthe public's help in finding those responsible, and supporters are offering $25,000 to anyone with information leading to a conviction.



This video was about the ruling that I posted before:






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Wild Thing's comment........

More violence conducted by the left. Bastards. Bastards, bastards!

I hope they make one out of (electrified) heavy steel....if that is possible.




......Thank you RAC for sending this to me.

RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company

13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam



.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (8)

May 08, 2010

VA To Limit Surgeries At Some Hospitals




VA to limit surgeries at some hospitals


ARMY Times

In a move that could force some veterans to travel farther for surgery or have their operations at nonveterans hospitals, VA officials are imposing a new grading system on its 112 in-patient treatment facilities that will rank their abilities to do complex, intermediate or standard procedures.

Beginning May 11, no elective surgery will be done at a VA medical center that exceeds the rating, said Dr. William Gunner, the VA’s director of surgery.

Emergency surgery still could be done if required, he said.

The facilities immediately affected will be the medical centers in Alexandria, La.; Beckley, W.Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Illiana, Ill.; and Spokane, Wash., all of which received the lowest ranking and have been performing surgeries now judged to be beyond their capabilities.

Gunner began briefing lawmakers about what he called the “surgery complexity initiative” on Thursday, but said in an interview that the grading system has been in use since March, when agreement was reached on how to judge the complexity of a procedure against the surgical capabilities of each medical center.

Grading for medical centers takes into consideration medical staffing, both for the operating room staff and surgical consultants who are available, plus equipment and diagnostic capabilities.

Of VA’s 112 in-patient surgical facilities, 66 have been approved for complex procedures and 33 for intermediate procedures.

Thirteen facilities are limited to standard procedures, Gunner said. A review of what procedures have been done in recent years at those facilities found that five of the 13 had done operations of greater complexity, he said.

The VA does about 357,000 surgical procedures a year, and only about 364 are above the complexity grade of the facility under the new scale, which means the impact on patients should be small.

VA officials promise to help with transportation of veterans who might have to travel farther for surgery.

Complex procedures are cardiac, brain and pancreas surgeries, according to VA officials. Intermediate procedures include colon resections, joint replacement and repairs of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Standard procedures include things like hernia repair, surgeries to the ear, nose and throat, and urologic operations.

Those needing elective surgery that is above the complexity approved for the facility will have the option of being transferred to the next closest VA location that is approved for the surgery or be sent to a nearby civilian facility at VA’s expense.

VA officials said medical center transportation officials will try to help a veteran who has been referred elsewhere.

The initiative is VA’s response to criticism of problems with surgical care at the medical center in Marion, Ill. The issues at that hospital, since resolved, involved physician credentialing, standards of care, peer review and quality management. A review ordered in September 2007 found problems at other VA medical centers as well.

VA officials stress they are not cutting services, but are instead trying to improve care by ensuring that a surgical program at a particular facility is qualified to do a procedure.


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Wild Thing's comment..........

I pray our Vets and troops would get the best of care. I have heard stories of both, some getting great care and others that have had real horror stories.


....Thank you Jack for sending this to me.



Army Combat Engineers
Quang Tri & Chu Lai '68 -'69
67-69
United States Army
1965-1971
Vietnam
1968-1969


Jack's blog is Conservative Insurgent


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (5)

February 13, 2010

P.O. Box 1142



The Veterans of PO Box 1142, a highly secret operation which interrogated high-value Nazi detainees, have just begun to speak about their experiences after honoring their commitment to silence for six decades.

The veterans of P.O. Box 1142, a top-secret installation in Fairfax County that went only by its postal code name, were brought back to Fort Hunt by park rangers who are piecing together a portrait of what happened there during the war.
Nearly 4,000 prisoners of war, most of them German scientists and submariners, were brought in for questioning for days, even weeks, before their presence was reported to the Red Cross, a process that did not comply with the Geneva Conventions. Many of the interrogators were refugees from the Third Reich.
"We did it with a certain amount of respect and justice," said John Gunther Dean, 81, who became a career Foreign Service officer and ambassador to Denmark.
The interrogators had standards that remain a source of pride and honor.
"During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone," said George Frenkel, 87, of Kensington. "We extracted information in a battle of the wits. I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity."



P.O. Box 1142

An offhand comment from a park visitor unveiled the untold story of a secret Virginia facility where clever interrogation techniques and good old-fashioned eavesdropping helped secure victory in World War II. Now the Park Service is racing to unearth all the details before the last remaining witnesses vanish.


NPCA.org


By Heidi Ridgley

( Heidi Ridgley lives a few miles from the site of P.O. Box 1142, and she hopes to be one of the first people to walk through its visitors center. )


It’s a steamy summer night in 1943 in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside the nation’s capital, and another Army bus with dark windows is rumbling down the George Washington Memorial Parkway, headed for a nearly forgotten fort dating back to the Spanish-American War. The frequent arrivals at Fort Hunt no longer raise an eyebrow among locals, who assume the newly constructed facilities, complete with barbed wire fences and guard towers, simply support a World War II officer’s training school. But there’s a lot more to the story.

More than 65 years later, the activities conducted at Fort Hunt are emerging as one of the best-kept secrets of the last century: The men and the few women assigned here took oaths of secrecy to their graves. When the government began bulldozing the 100 or so buildings in 1946, this quiet spot along the Potomac became a place for simple Sunday pleasures like picnics and softball.

Since 1933, the plot of land has been managed by the Park Service, but during World War II, the War Department took it over to house a top-secret military intelligence center, referred to then as P.O. Box 1142. The site included prisoner-of-war interrogation programs run by the Army and Navy known as MIS-Y (Military Intelligence Service-Y) and Op-16-Z (Operation-16-Z).

From July 1942 to November 1946, the U.S. military shepherded more than 4,000 prisoners of war (POWs) through Fort Hunt, housing, interrogating, and surreptitiously listening to the highest-ranking enemy officers, scientists, and submariners. Notable members of the Third Reich questioned here include rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, spymaster Reinhard Gehlen, and Heinz Schlicke, inventor of infrared detection.

The intelligence that American military personnel uncovered primarily focused on the Germans’ rocket and submarine technology, which was superior to the Allies’. It may have played a role in the decision to bomb Hiroshima and the subsequent victory for the Allies, helped rocket the United States to the top of the space race, defined Cold War strategies, and was a forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency. Amazingly, the site’s historical significance might have been lost forever had it not been for a serendipitous moment between a park ranger and a park visitor three years ago.

In late 2006, a ranger told a tour group about Fort Hunt’s history as part of George Washington’s farm, as a hospital and camp for World War I vets marching on Washington to demand their war pensions, and as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the 1930s, and one of the visitors offered, “My neighbor used to work here during World War II.” The neighbor’s name was Fred Michel, and he had since moved to Louisville, Kentucky. When park personnel phoned him, he revealed, “Yes, I worked at P.O. Box 1142 during World War II, and I’d love to tell you everything about it,” recalls Vincent Santucci, chief ranger at George Washington Memorial Parkway, the park unit that oversees Fort Hunt. “We did some great stuff there,” Michel told park staff. “But I signed a secrecy agreement.”

P.O. Box 1142 documents were declassified in waves, starting in 1977 and continuing through the 1990s. “But no one had told the vets that,” says Santucci. “They lived in isolation, not even telling the closest people in their lives.” P.O. Box 1142 veteran Wayne Spivey, 89, a chief clerk who managed the database of information gathered during Nazi interrogations, says, “I didn’t tell anybody because I didn’t think anybody would believe me. When people asked me what I did during the war, I told them I was stationed at P.O. Box 1142,” he says. “One fellow thought I worked for the post office, and I just let it go.”

To assure veterans like Spivey and Michel that they could talk freely, Santucci and other Park Service personnel had to go to great lengths. As far as these veterans knew, their work at P.O. Box 1142 remained classified, their sworn oath to secrecy still a matter of national security. Then, about two years ago, Santucci appealed to the military intelligence community for help.


The result: The chief of Army counterintelligence wrote letters to each veteran, encouraging them to share their stories with the Park Service, telling them, “We need to preserve the important information and the lessons learned from the work that you did,” says Santucci.

It wasn’t a moment too soon. In fact, with so few World War II vets still around, it’s actually about 10 years too late, says Santucci. “This information is going extinct like an endangered species,” he says. (Fred Michel died as this article was being written.) “The things these veterans told us need to be in the history books,” he adds. “We’ve now interviewed more than 50 veterans, and we’ve found out about multiple top-secret programs.” But those who worked in one program didn’t know about the other programs or even what others in their same program were working on. “It was very compartmentalized,” says Santucci. “That’s the way intelligence works.” Further confounding matters is how hard it is to track down living vets: Separated by their secrets, few stayed in touch.


But this much we know: P.O. Box 1142 housed two military intelligence programs in addition to MIS-Y and Op-16-Z. The MIS-X (Military Intelligence Service-X) program helped American personnel overseas to evade capture and communicated with those held captive. This was the stuff of James Bond—or Hogan’s Heroes. The duty of an American POW was to escape or cause enough chaos in the prisoner camp to keep the German soldiers preoccupied and off the frontlines. With the help of several manufacturing companies, personnel at 1142 sent care packages to American POWs containing items like cribbage boards and baseballs with radio receivers that could tune in to the BBC for coded messages. Decks of cards, pipes, and cigarette packs might contain hidden escape maps, saws, compasses, or money to help POWs escape.

Another key program was MIRS—the Military Intelligence Research Section—which studied documents to support tactical decisions but also aided efforts to extract information from POWs. This group armed American interrogators with details that made them appear to know far more than they actually did. For example, after Army researchers spotted a newspaper photo of German General Erwin Rommel surrounded by other generals at his daughter’s wedding, they used it to corner a general who was eventually captured and delivered to 1142. “An interrogator would say, ‘We already know most of the information we need,’” says Santucci. “‘And by the way, how was the wedding? We know you were standing next to general so and so, who was also captured and gave us plenty of information, so you might as well talk.’”

Personnel also interrogated prisoners and monitored them covertly. “They even bugged the trees,” says Santucci. “Although it’s hard to believe they called them bugs—they were two-feet long.”


Often the agents eavesdropping had little or no understanding of the details they were recording or the significance of the information, which was then passed on to other agents. Take the V1 and V2 rockets, the weapons of mass destruction at the time. Set on a course toward England, the world’s first long-range missiles flew until their engines gave out and then simply fell wherever they were. At 1142, monitor Werner Moritz recalled overhearing two German naval officers talking in their room: “Don’t worry, once the work at Peenemunde prevails, Germany will be victorious.” It took the Allies about a month to determine Peenemunde’s location, where the rockets were being made; soon after the British bombed the site.

In another instance, George Mandel, now 85, was assigned to a POW working on purifying uranium, though at the time Mandel had no idea why. “In my mind, I was just writing reports,” he says. “Of course months later, when Hiroshima happened, it all made sense.”

At first, the prisoners were primarily U-boat captains and crew members who had surrendered in the Atlantic. But as the war’s end neared, prominent scientists surrendered or were recruited with the promise that if they talked, they could pursue their studies in the United States. “The Russians captured more German scientists than the Americans,” says Santucci. “But we captured the hall-of-famers to help in the Cold War.” One such person, believed to have passed through 1142, was Wernher von Braun, the rocket scientist who would eventually become a key part of NASA’s efforts to put a man on the moon.

General Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s top spy against the Russians, also surrendered to the Americans and ended up at Fort Hunt. “He probably should’ve gone to Nuremberg and been prosecuted for war crimes,” says Santucci. “Instead he became chief of Russian counterintelligence during the Cold War.


That could be another reason why the military wanted to erase the things that happened at Fort Hunt years ago.” Mandel says Nazi party membership was overlooked in some cases because the U.S. military was already gathering intelligence on its next immediate worry: containing the Russians. “We didn’t like the idea that we were treating Nazis well,” says Mandel. “Many of us were Jewish—not necessarily religious—but we knew how the Germans had made life difficult for Jews in Germany. Still the feeling was that we should extract as much information as we could.”

In fact, many men stationed at P.O. Box 1142 were refugees from Germany—Jews who were young boys when their family fled from Hitler in the late 1930s. Some of them, like Henry Kolm, 84, lost relatives to the Nazis. These men were selected for their loyalty and their basic science skills but also for their proficiency in German and their cultural background, which could prove useful during interrogations. For example, Kolm recalls a conversation he had with one of his “customers” while playing chess. In an age when discussions of “enhanced interrogation techniques” have arisen regarding the Middle East conflict, POWs housed here were wooed with kindness and camaraderie. If they coughed up information voluntarily, they might get treated to a dinner in town or a shopping trip into Washington, D.C. In this case, Kolm’s colonel reminisced about his favorite remote mountain lake in Austria. Coincidentally, it was the same vacation spot Kolm’s father had taken the young Kolm, so he knew exactly what it looked like—down to the two small sleeping huts. The stunned colonel was convinced “ever afterwards that American intelligence had a dossier on every detail of his entire life,” says Kolm. “Very useful for my interrogation.”

Even as the war came to an end, the work continued. When Germany accepted defeat and the U-234 submarine surrendered at sea, the entire crew was transferred to 1142. Among the sub’s cargo: an unassembled jet fighter and a load of uranium oxide. “Not the stuff you could make a bomb out of,” says Kolm. But it indicated the Germans were on the right track. Interrogators found out the submarine’s destination had been Japan. “If that had gotten to Japan, we would’ve been facing kamikaze pilots flying rocket planes,” says Kolm.

Mandel recalls interrogating a prisoner about faster planes and proximity fuses that could blow things up simply by getting close to a target. “We didn’t have any of that,” he says. “German fighter planes suddenly became so much faster we couldn’t catch them. So I asked a German prisoner what was happening and he told me their planes didn’t use propellers anymore—they had jet engines.” It was this sort of technological ingenuity that almost allowed the Germans to win the war. But as we know, that didn’t happen. The Allies defeated Hitler thanks to innovative interrogation techniques at Fort Hunt. But the site’s crucial role in the war would have been lost forever had it not been for the persistence of park staff who, once they discovered the secret, doggedly pushed for more, realizing their race against time.


“We’re losing the last generation of World War II vets,” says Santucci. “We need to find as many as we can and hang on to their stories. Thousands and thousands of books have been written on WWII, but what we’ve uncovered at Fort Hunt is changing what we knew about military intelligence history. It’s a shame it didn’t occur 10 years ago when more veterans were around. But we’ve got it now and we’re never going to let it go.”


TELLING THE REST OF THE STORY


Now that the secret’s out, there’s a big story to tell at Fort Hunt. The Park Service’s plan is to create a visitors center at Fort Hunt, perhaps in a 1903 building used during the World War II era—the noncommissioned officers’ quarters. If funding is found, park personnel plan to install interpretive signs, old photographs, and maybe even some war paraphernalia. Although the men who served at P.O. Box 1142 were instructed not to take photos or mementos, many veterans have a small stash that they have since shared with the Park Service.

The Park Service is also hoping to mirror the experience of those agents eavesdropping on the German POWs, by allowing visitors to don headphones and listen in as if they were monitoring a conversation. Using actual transcripts from 1142 recovered at the National Archives, they hope to hire native German speakers to record the original dialogue in the mother tongue, so visitors can listen in and read the English translation in front of them. For now, visitors will find little more than a public park with a flag, a plaque, and a few interpretive panels. But with any luck, the full story will be told here within a few years’ time.




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Wild Thing's comment........

What a great story!

History of our warriors continues to reveal itself even after we think the story has been told in its entirety, especially in small but intriguing ways.


It's a shame that these men had to wait so long to get their recognition. For more than 60 years, they kept their military secrets locked deep inside and lived quiet lives as account executives, college professors, business consultants and the like.

The brotherhood of P.O. Box 1142 enjoyed no homecoming parades, no VFW reunions, no embroidered ball caps and no regaling of wartime stories to grandchildren sitting on their knees. Almost no one, not even their wives, in many cases, knew the place in history held by the men of Fort Hunt, alluded to during World War II only by a mailing address that was its code name.

How times have changed. If today's New York Times had been reporting during the time of PO Box 1142, it would not have stayed a secret for six decades. It would have been on its front pages in six months.

God Bless these American Heroes.

I've been to what used to be Fort Hunt. It's a park now. Lots of gun emplacements from the Spanish-American War.


....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.


Tom
US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (3)

December 12, 2009

Bastogne To Mark 65 Years



Parachutists of the Liberty Jump Team sail to earth after jumping from a vintage C-47 Dakota in the 2007 ceremonies. Weather permitting, the jump to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the battle is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13.



As in past years, the Patton monument in Bastogne will be the site of a wreath laying in this year’s observance.



Battle of the Bulge commemoration takes on special significance this year

The annual Battle of the Bulge commemoration in Bastogne, Belgium, starts Friday ( December 11th) .

There will be thousands of people, mostly Belgians, from attending the three-day event.

"The city is a very important place historically," said Belgian army Lt. Col. Henri Badot-Bertrand, commander of Heintz Caserne, the local garrison.

It’s historic because Bastogne has long been the focal point of the largest battle involving the U.S. Army and its commemoration. It was in Bastogne that elements of the 101st Airborne Division defended the city and a strategic crossroad despite being encircled by the German army. And it was here that Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe defiantly rebuffed a German ultimatum to surrender.

The cellar where McAuliffe issued his legendary retort, "Ah, nuts," is on the Bastogne caserne. Though typically closed to visitors, the cellar’s small, modest museum will be open to the public 1-6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.

Heintz Caserne has been in the news this year because the Belgian military intends to soon close it and 22 others as part of a restructuring effort. That means this likely will be the last year a military unit calls Bastogne home.

Throughout the years, Bastogne has attracted many U.S. veterans of the battle, but with the passage of time fewer have been turning out each December. Only a handful, maybe a half-dozen at most, are expected to attend this year, event organizers said.

There are five main events planned. They involve a walk, wreath laying, a ceremonial nut toss, vintage vehicles and a re-enactment. Veterans of the 1944 battle, so named because of a bulge in the 80-mile front, will most likely attend the wreathing-laying events and the nut toss from the city hall balcony.

On Sunday afternoon, World War II-era vehicles will move in a convoy through Bastogne after a late-morning parachute drop near the Mardasson Memorial, situated on the outskirts of town.


Gen. George W. Casey Jr., chief of staff of the Army, reads the World War II Christmas letter from Gen. Anthony McAuliffe to his troops during the 13th annual Norwegian Tree Lighting Ceremony in Union Station, Washington D.C., Dec. 3, 2009. The tree is a gift from Norway and a symbol of the friendship between the United States and Norway.


Washington D.C.

The Army’s chief of staff stepped back in history Thursday evening to Christmas Eve in Belgium 65 years ago by reading one of the most inspirational letters written by a commander to his troops.

“What’s merry about all this, you ask? We’re fighting – it’s cold, we aren’t home,” Gen. George W. Casey read to onlookers at the annual Union Station Christmas tree lighting ceremony and tribute to the 99th Infantry Battalion, a Norwegian-American World War II unit which rescued 52 U.S. soldiers in Malmedy, Belgium.
“All true, but what has the proud Eagle Division accomplished with its worthy comrades, the 10th Armored Division, the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion and all the rest?” Casey continued reading of the letter written by Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe.

McAuliffe was acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division between Dec. 16, 1944 and Jan. 25, 1945, when he and more than 800,000 Allied troops found themselves in a raging battle in Bastogne, Belgium, and the surrounding area. The nearly six-week battle pitted slow-moving, massive German Tiger tanks against nearly twice as small, nimble American Shermans with significantly less firepower.

The outcome of the Battle of the Bulge -- the German army’s last offensive drive to split the Allies in the Ardennes -- ultimately determined who would be left standing at the end of World War II in Europe.

Casey continued reading McAuliffe’s letter to the troops, many of whom that winter were still wearing clothing from the June 6, 1944, D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy, France.

A special guest at the lighting of the 32-foot fir, 87-year-old Jarvis Taylor was a heavy weapons 30-caliber machine gunner with the 99th Battalion. He recalled in a phone interview how it was a treat to occasionally get shuttled by a jeep behind the battle line for a shower.

“I know it was a great relief to a lot of us when there was a quiet spell where we’d get a chance to have showers, and usually they would give you a change of underwear and maybe socks, but you pretty much had to make do with the uniform you had,” he said.
Casey continued with the Christmas letter in which McAuliffe talked about how the Allies had stopped the German advance, though he had conceded that the Germans had surrounded the Allies while “their radios blared our doom. Their commander demanded our surrender in the following impudent arrogance,” Casey read.
The German commander’s Dec. 22 letter to McAuliffe described how “the fortune of war was changing,” how the American forces were encircled and that there was only one way in which McAuliffe could save his troops from “total annihilation”… through “honorable surrender.” McAuliffe was given two hours to respond.
McAuliffe’s four-letter reply to the German commander: “NUTS!”


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Belgians recall protecting their soil 65 years ago during Battle of Bulge




Robert Lemaire was one of the few Belgian Soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. The Belgian Army surrendered to the Germans in 1940, but was re-activated in 1944. Lemaire joined the 5th Belgian Fusiliers Battalion, which was made up of six companies from the Mons, Tournai and Charleroi regions.


US Army .mil

BENELUX, Belgium -- It was the early days of the Battle of the Bulge. Germans were advancing into Belgium, and the supplies they needed to strengthen their force were close at hand, until the bravery of a lone rifle company helped halt their advance.

On Dec. 18, 1944, in the Belgian town of Stavelot, “The U.S. Army evacuated the city, and the 5th Battalion was the only one between this treasure and the Germans,” recalled Robert Lemaire, a Belgian soldier who was assigned to the company.

The day prior, German Col. Joachim Peiper and his 1st SS Panzer Regiment were quickly moving through Belgian villages destined to reach the Meuse River and Allied supply ports in Antwerp. His Army plowed through towns like Honsfeld and Büllingen, capturing and killing unarmed Americans.

While the SS Regiment faced casualties and lost tanks and vehicles along the way, Peiper moved them on toward Stavelot. His tanks crossed the only bridge leading into the village and launched a morning attack, capturing the city. Lemaire, who was guarding the American fuel depots while his company was attached to the First U.S. Army, recalled that Peiper executed 132 civilians in Stavelot, including numerous children.

Americans repositioned their forces to set up a perimeter defense. However, Lemaire’s company was left behind along the Malmedy road.

“In a hurry, packed in a truck,” he recalled, “we left our billets in direction of the depot. As we came closer, our lieutenant asked for 10 volunteers.”

Lemaire was among the first to jump off the truck, along with Sgts. Harpigny, Magain, Vermeulen, Cpl. Suinen and fellow Pvts. Robert Delbois, Robert Tille, Alfred Cantigneau, Elomir Cambier, Jean Lesire, Paul Wantiez and F. Ingels. Their mission—to set fire to the fuel depot to prevent the SS from retrieving the supplies needed to rejuvenate their offensive.

“The lieutenant ordered us to set fire to the three first piles,” Lemaire recalled. “As the first attempt to shoot tracer bullets with a Bren gun failed, we then pierced jerry cans with our bayonets and spread fuel on the three first piles, as well as, a trail of fuel on the road ahead of the piles. We set the fire with matches.”

Within moments, the entire depot was engulfed in a trail of flames, stretching seven miles long. “It was impossible for the armored tanks to go through this wall of fire,” said Lemaire.

According to the Office of the Chief of Military History, as the gasoline roadblock was still enflamed, the Americans launched a full-fledged ground and air assault against the Panzer unit, reclaiming the town.

Engineers had destroyed the Amblève Bridge that would have allowed the Germans to retreat to their fuel depots to the east, and Lemaire and his company had destroyed the fuel supplies in Stavelot, preventing Peiper from advancing much further.

“We began to realize that we had insufficient gasoline to cross the bridge west of Stoumont,” Peiper said in January 1945, as reported by the Office of the Chief of Military History. The German powerhouse of heavy vehicles became meager road debris inefficient against the Allied forces. On Christmas Eve, the regiment was forced to abandon its vehicles and continue the battle on foot.
At the time, Lemaire didn’t realize the impact that striking a match would have on defeating the Germans. “We just did our job,” he said. It was a job that he had waited four years to accomplish.

Lemaire and a fellow Soldier, Marcel D’Haese, began fighting the Germans in 1940. The Belgian Army had surrendered that year, and the Germans put out an order that all young men were to report to Germany as laborers. Therefore, D'Haese said the Belgians made the choice to start a resistance.

“At the beginning of the war, I received an obligation to go to Germany,” said Lemaire, “so I became a resistance fighter.”
“The resistance was really active in Belgium,” said D’Haese. “We were doing sabotage to the Germans, like cutting the communications lines.” But despite their heroic actions to defend their nation and “four dark years of underground fight and suffering”, D’Haese said, “We waited and we prayed for the Americans.”
“Americans brought power, engines and weapons. They were like God to us. They were the only ones that could help to liberate us,” he said.

After the Alliance jumped into Normandy and later liberated Belgium, the Belgian government called for volunteers. D’Haese said 53,000 men answered that call and joined the newly-formed Belgian Army.

D’Haese and Lemaire joined the 5th Belgian Fusiliers Battalion, which was made up of six companies from the Mons, Tournai and Charleroi regions. D’Haese, who is now 84, was assigned to the Headquarters Company and Lemaire, who is now 86, the 3rd Company.

The unit was officially activated on Oct. 7, 1944, and the volunteers, who had already been defending their country unofficially, enlisted on Oct. 9.

After two months of training in Charleroi, they joined the First U.S. Army and deployed to the Ardennes where the battalion was divided amongst the American forces. The battalion had 800 men dispersed over 30 miles, according to D’Haese.

“They call us war volunteers. Indeed, we are freedom volunteers,” stressed D’Haese.” We were sick about war. We helped the Americans to finish it. We were ready to do anything we could for the Americans.”
“If the U.S. did not liberate Belgium, the Germans would still be here,” he added.

The 5th Fusilier partnered with the First U.S. Army until June 1, 1945. Throughout the war, five members of the battalion were killed and 80 more injured.

The unit and its actions were recognized by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander, on July 13, 1945, in a memo that stated: “This battalion contributed materially to the successful operations of the unit with which it served. The high Esprit de Corps and great determination displayed by the officers and men of the Fifth Belgian Fusilier Battalion enabled it to carry through to a successful conclusion each and every assigned mission, thereby contributing immeasurably to the glorious victory of the Allied Nations. The outstanding achievements of this battalion bring credit not only to itself but also to the Belgian Army.”

Since that time, many other Americans have recognized the accomplishments of the 5th Fusilier, including U.S. presidents, senators, ambassadors, generals and the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux.

The unit established the 5th Fusilier War Veterans Association in 1945, and D’Haese has served as the chairman since 1980.

“I accepted the role as chairman for six months, and I’m still here,” he laughed.

The veterans join the USAG Benelux color guard on a regular basis to commemorate the American-Belgian partnership that was formed 65 years ago, but that partnership is slowly fading.

“We have 40-50 members left in the battalion,” said D’Haese, “but less than 10 are able to participate in ceremonies.”

In May, a small group remembered the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day in Mons.

On Dec. 12, a few make the annual trip to Bastogne to pay tribute again to the cold, smog-filled days of December 1944 and the allegiance with the Americans that brought liberty to their nation.

“God bless the U.S.A. and Belgium,” said D’Haese.


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Wild Thing's comment............

Heroes all, their bravery, their courage, and their sacrifice. They held out under extraordinarily grueling conditions.


.... Thank you Jim for sending this to me.



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (7)

November 28, 2009

School Children Join Together To Thank Our Veterans


No it's not another school singing the praises of "Dear Leader", its an elementary school singing the praises of our Vets.





Minneapolis Grade School "Americans We" program November 12, 2009 honoring USA's veterans.




Thank a veteran for sacrificing to preserve freedom. Thanks is owed every day to those who served and sacrificed. Those who left the comforts of their daily lives with family and friends to join in protecting our freedoms deserve our appreciation and gratitude.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:45 AM | Comments (4)

November 19, 2009

Bernard Harding WWII bomber pilot





Members of Harding's family accompanied him on yesterday's flight, including his wife, Ruth, 84. He sat near the cockpit, she sat in the rear.

When the 10 planes in his squadron were shot down on that day in July 1944, Harding and his crew had to bail out after the engines caught fire and they lost the controls. He was the last one to parachute out and landed in an open field.

Harding -- a first lieutenant in the 8th Air Force's 492nd Bomb Group -- recalled the moment when three German farmers approached him armed with pitchforks and a rifle.

"I didn't even get my parachute off by the time the farmers were around me," he said. "I had a .45-caliber pistol, but I was so afraid if they took that they might use it on me, but they didn't." The farmers hauled him to the cellar of a farmhouse where two other airmen were being held captive. German soldiers arrived soon after and brought him to a POW camp, where he remained for 10 months.

Harding later learned that of the 102 men in his squadron, 57 were killed.

While in the cellar, Harding said he thought he better bury his wings so that the Germans wouldn't know he was the man piloting the bomber.

When he returned to the Germany this month, Harding faced a very different reception.

"The German people just welcomed us with open arms," he said.

Harding recalled one older man who approached him and asked whether he could give him a hug.

"I said, 'You may.'" Then Harding told him, "I'm glad we're both on the same side now."

Yesterday's flight triggered many memories, and while some were painful, Harding was glad he had climbed aboard.

"Hey, it was fun. It was worth it. That's history there," he said.





Bernard Harding WWII bomber pilot

Philly.com

Bernard Harding, 90, a World War II pilot from New Hampshire who went on a quest to find his buried pilot's wings in Germany 65 years after his B-24 bomber was shot down, died yesterday.

Mr. Harding's wife, Ruth Harding, confirmed he died at his home in Milford, N.H. He had prostate cancer.

Mr. Harding never found his wings during his September trip to Germany but was given a bracelet belonging to another American airman shot down to return to his family.

Mr. Harding was a 25-year-old first lieutenant on a mission to bomb Bernburgh, Germany, when his B-24 was shot down on the way back to his base in England. Fighters crippled his plane, forcing him and his crew to bail out.

Mr. Harding had parachuted into a freshly cut wheat field, barely missing a barbed-wire fence. Three farmers, two with pitchforks and one with a gun, captured him and took him into a cellar in a village southwest of Berlin. Fearing reprisals for being a bomber pilot, Mr. Harding buried his pilot's wings in the cellar floor.

Mr. Harding returned to the village two months ago to search for the wings. He did not find them, but a resident gave him a silver bracelet recovered from the body of Jack H. Glenn on the same day Mr. Harding's plane was shot down. The bracelet was later returned to Glenn's family in Anchorage, Alaska.


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Coming full circle: WWII pilot's bracelet returned


ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Jack Harold Glenn was a World War II fighter pilot who was killed during a firefight as he flew a mission over Germany in 1944, his body coming to rest in a field in a rural village.

The silver bracelet Glenn was wearing was given to a 16-year-old boy who helped retrieve his body. He held onto the bracelet ever since, a remembrance of the fallen American airman.

Sixty-five years later, the bracelet is returning to Glenn’s sister in Alaska thanks to an enterprising World War II veteran who uncovered the relic on a recent trip to the German village.

Helen Glenn Foreman of Anchorage says she will receive her brother’s bracelet in a week or so and plans to send it to a museum in Matagorda County, Texas, where Glenn grew up.

“Anything that’s gone to the museum may inspire or make people grateful or add to history,” Foreman said Wednesday. “I think we’re all better people if we know and appreciate history.”

Foreman heard of the bracelet for the first time last week from family and friends of 90-year-old Bernerd Harding, a New Hampshire man who traveled this month to Klein Quenstedt, Germany, a village southwest of Berlin, on a quest to find his pilot’s wings.

His B-24 bomber was shot down the same day as Glenn’s. Harding bailed out and was captured and held in a farmhouse. Fearing he’d be beaten or shot because he was a pilot, Harding dug a shallow hole in the dirt basement and buried his wings.

He didn’t find the wings on the trip but he was handed the bracelet by Heinz Kruse.

On July 7, 1944, Kruse was planting potatoes in a field owned by his father when an American B-24 bomber appeared overhead. German fighters were close behind, raking the bomber with machine gun fire.

“It broke apart in the air, and fell to the ground,” Kruse said.

Kruse, then 16, rushed home. At midday, an adult told him to help a schoolmate driving a horse-pulled wagon retrieve the body of a dead American airman that had landed in a field outside the town.

As they loaded the body onto the cart, the boys noticed the soldier was wearing the silver bracelet. They presented the bracelet to the mayor, who wrote down the name, Jack H. Glenn, and gave the bracelet back to Kruse.

“He said, ‘You can keep it as a remembrance,”’ Kruse said.

For 65 years, that’s what Kruse did.

“It was always a souvenir ... it was certainly a grave incident in my life story,” said Kruse, now 81 and still living in Klein Quenstedt. “That’s why I kept it.”

When he saw Harding, he decided to see if the bracelet could be returned to Glenn’s family.

The only living member of his immediate family is his sister Helen, older by 17 months. She was 22 when Glenn was reported missing in action.

She was already married, waiting in Seattle to join her husband in Alaska. He got a job at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, but Helen as a dependent was not allowed to follow until she got her own Alaska job in military personnel.

She remembers she had not worried about her brother.

“We don’t worry,” she said simply. “As I said to somebody else, we’re Christian and we trust in the Lord, and he was doing good work.”

A few weeks later, she learned Jack had died.

“My family was told my brother’s chute didn’t open,” she said.

In his short life, Jack had been a quiet, industrious boy, Foreman said with a sister’s pride.

Their father operated a second-hand store that was the drop-off point for the Houston Post and other newspapers. Helen made morning deliveries, Jack made afternoon deliveries. When he was just 15, he began working on seismograph crews in the emerging oil industry, she said. After high school, where he was salutatorian, he worked at a pharmacy until he had enough money to enroll at Texas A&M. He finished one semester when he got his draft notice.

Glenn’s body stayed at a U.S. cemetery in Belgium. Foreman keeps a picture of Jack and his grave marker on her wall. Foremen remembers a letter he wrote after she married, and his wishes for her to have a happy life.

“He to me is what every parent of a son would want,” Foreman said. “You can’t say a man is sweet, but he was genuine.”

The bracelet wasn’t Kruse’s last brush with the war.

In January 1945, he was drafted into the German army. Just four months later, his unit was overtaken by the Russian Army in Pritzwalk, northwest of Berlin. He was sent to a Russian prisoner of war camp.

In July 1949 he was released and returned to Klein Quenstedt, where he went back to work as a farmer.

Kruse said he never thought to return the bracelet or contact any living family Glenn might have, in part because for so long Klein Quenstedt was part of East Germany, cut off from the broader world by the Iron Curtain.

“And now, I’m so old that I don’t have such grand ambitions anymore,” he said.

Kruse does not speak English. The language barrier meant he and Harding, the American pilot, couldn’t talk directly about a day in their youth that affected them both so deeply, but he felt that Harding appreciated the gesture.

“He was deeply moved,” Kruse said.

The bracelet gives Glenn’s friends another chance to honor him.



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Wild Thing's comment........

Rest in peace Lieutenant Harding. What a marvelous story this is.

We are saying goodbye to so many of the WW11 generation. It is sad, I wish they could always be here.


.... Thank you Jim for sending this to me.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:48 AM | Comments (4)

November 18, 2009

An 'Angel of Bataan' Dies at 95



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An 'Angel of Bataan' Dies at 95

Military.com

An Owensboro, Ky., native and one of the "Angels of Bataan" died Nov. 13.

Mary Josephine Oberst, 95, had been living at the Nazareth Home of Louisville.

She was one of the more than 60 Army and Navy nurses dubbed "Angels of Bataan" when they were prisoners of war for 33 months in the Philippines during World War II.

As of September 2007, she was one of only two living "Angels."

The Messenger-Inquirer profiled Oberst in December 1994 -- a few months before the 50th anniversary of the rescue of the "Angels of Bataan" by American troops.

"We were out in the open," Oberst told the Messenger-Inquirer. "There were no buildings. At first, supplies were plentiful. But the Japanese kept pushing us back."

Oberst enlisted in the Army after graduating from nursing school at Louisville's old St. Joseph Infirmary in 1936. She arrived in the Philippines in the summer of 1941.

On Dec. 10, 1941, the Japanese invaded the Philippines. Less than two weeks later, Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered American forces to withdraw to Bataan Peninsula.

The nurses went into the jungles wearing white hospital uniforms, Oberst told the Messenger-Inquirer. They eventually got a shipment of khaki mechanic uniforms that were more durable.

The Japanese siege of Bataan lasted 90 days. Food supplies dwindled.

"There was one corned beef sandwich, morning and evening," Oberst told the Messenger-Inquirer.

Field hospitals meant for 1,000 men were soon handling three times that many.

On April 9, 1942, the 75,000 American and Filipino troops surrendered. Within two months, 21,000 of them would be dead.

The "Angels" and 3,000 men escaped to Corregidor -- a two-square-mile island in Manila Bay. On May 6, Corregidor also fell to the Japanese.

The nurses were eventually moved to Santo Tomas, a Jesuit University in Manila that had been turned into an internment camp for more than 3,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war.

On Feb. 3, 1945, American troops freed the prisoners.

After the war, she served as assistant director of nursing at St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing in Evansville until health problems that began in the prison camp forced an early retirement in 1963.

"You never readjust," Oberst said of the prison experience. "It changes you. You are never the same. Other people haven't been there. They can't know what it was like. You're thankful for fresh air, food, clothing, the little things. And you're so much more generous after having been deprived."



Mary Josephine Oberst belongs to many Right-To-Life organizations as well as Veteran and POW organizations. Military service awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Distinguished Unit Emblem w/2 OLCs, American Defence Service Medal w/Foreign Service Clasp, Philippine Defense Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon w/BS, WWIIVM, APCM w/2 Bronze Battle Stars.



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Wild Thing's comment.........

Rest in Peace Mary Jo. She was a real American hero.



....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Tom
US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (9)

November 17, 2009

Retirees and Vets Allowed to Salute Flag





Retirees and Vets Allowed to Salute Flag

Military.com


Traditionally, members of the nation's veterans service organizations render the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization's official head-gear.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 contained an amendment to allow un-uniformed servicemembers, military retirees, and veterans to render a hand salute during the hoisting, lowering, or passing of the U.S. flag.

A later amendment further authorized hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel. This was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which Former President Bush signed on Oct. 14, 2008.




Wild Thing's comment........

I love seeing people saluting proudly at baseball games, parades, and formal events.

This is interesting to me, I didn't know they had this for our Veterans.



....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Tom
US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:49 AM | Comments (6)

November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day and Always ~ To Our Heroes



A Tribute to our Veterans and Troops on Veterans Day!!!



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The poem in Flanders Field........ There is a very interesting story that goes along with this poem.

Poppies are a strange flower. The ground can be ripe with other flowers all around and the poppy seeds will lie there dormant for years unless the ground is disturbed then they will sprout.

This takes place in Belgium, Flanders is a good portion of Belgium and in 1915 a huge battle was taking place. Known as the Ypres (EE-Pres) Salient. It lasted for about a month. When done, The Allies began digging the graves, thus disturbing the ground and when the internment was finished. Poppies sprouted everywhere, more than had ever been seen before, Thousands and thousands of Blood red Poppies.

Major John McCrae of the 4th Candian Division was inspired to write his poem. He wrote it but soon discovered, for some reason unknown, he didn't like it and threw it away. A Canadian Sergent Major, who saw him writing and after McCrae had finished, read it and remarked how perfectly the poem described what had happened and what the place looked like now. Saw McCrae throw it away, picked it up and sent it to the Spectator in London for publication, the Spectator rejected it out of hand and sent it back, but somehow another paper got hold of it up and published it. In the process they misspelled McCrae's name McCree and promoted him to Leutenant Colonel. And it was published.



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Wild Thing's comment.........

We will never forget who kept us safe in the past and who is keeping us safe today.

To protect the Nation they love, our veterans stepped forward when America needed them most. In conflicts around the world, their sacrifice and resolve helped destroy the enemies of freedom and saved millions from oppression. In answering history's call with honor, decency, and resolve, our veterans have shown the power of liberty and earned the respect and admiration of a grateful Nation.

All of America's veterans have placed our Nation's security before their own lives, creating a debt that we can never fully repay. Our veterans represent the best of America, and they deserve the best America can give them.

As we recall the service of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, we are reminded that the defense of freedom comes with great loss and sacrifice. This Veterans Day, we give thanks to those who have served freedom's cause; we salute the members of our Armed Forces who are confronting our adversaries abroad; and we honor the men and women who left America's shores but did not live to be thanked as veterans. They will always be remembered by our country.

To the corpsmen, the doctors and nurses so very brave to do what they do.

To the pilots and crews, the crew chief, mechanics and base engineers. the missileers, submariners , the reservists, the National Guard , the paratroopers, the cavalry, the Special Forces, the SEALS, the UDT, the EOD, the Delta Force, the Air Commandos, the Marine Recon, the Rangers , the cooks and truck drivers and the fuelers and the boiler tenders and the boatswain mates, quartermasters, the gunner's mates and the stewards and the laundrymen, the clerk-typists , DI's, the guards, the MPs, the Shore Patrol ............so many all a part of making our military the best.

If I left anyone out I am so sorry. We owe our Veterans so much, we owe them everything. And damn to hell anyone that does not appreciate our Military, our Veterans, and our troops today.

God bless them all and may they always know the pride we have for each one of them.

Thank you Veterans one and all!!

For those who have fallen :

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
~Binyon


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....Thank you Mark for sending this about the poem Flanders Field to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


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Please Note............


SAMS Club to give away Hugo Canes to Veterans on Veterans Day!

Link for information

On Veterans Day, November 11, 2009, Sam’s Club® locations nationwide will be giving away 25,000 Hugo® canes free of charge to United States Military Veterans in need of mobility assistance.

We salute our veterans for all the incredible contributions made to our country. To all who have served... Thank You!

Limited quantities per club, available only while supplies last. Sam’s Club® Membership is not required. Proof of military service may be required.


......Thank you SSGT Steve


SSgt Steve
1st MarDiv, H Co., 2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment
2/5 Marines, Motto: "Retreat, Hell"
VN 66-67


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"A Pittance of Time" by Terry Kelly


On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the store's PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.

Terry was impressed with the store's leadership role in adopting the Legion's "two minutes of silence" initiative. He felt that the store's contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.

When eleven o'clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the "two minutes of silence" to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.

Terry's anger towards the father for trying to engage the store's clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was later channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, "A Pittance of Time". Terry later recorded "A Pittance of Time".




...... Thank you Richard for sending this to me.



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (10)

October 05, 2009

Loss of Funding Threatens Study of Gulf War Illness Research



Ground combat in the 1991 Persian Gulf War lasted just 100 hours, but it’s meant 17 years of pain and anguish for hundreds of thousands of veterans.



Loss of funding threatens UT Southwestern's Gulf War illness research

Dallas Morning News ....for complete article

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' cancellation of a $75 million contract with UT Southwestern Medical Center could mean the end to the Dallas university's research into treatments and cures for Gulf War illnesses. UT Southwestern epidemiologist Dr. Robert Haley told The Dallas Morning News that he and a team of 200 colleagues from eight universities are five years ahead of anyone else engaged in the painstaking research into why 200,000 healthy soldiers went to the Persian Gulf in 1990-91 and returned to civilian lives of chronic illness.

"Without the VA funding, discovery of a treatment is very low," Haley said.

~ snipet ~

Haley has been studying a small group of sick Gulf War veterans for 15 years. His findings show a range of persistent symptoms – chronic fatigue, chronic diarrhea, memory loss, joint pain, loss of muscle strength and persistent headaches – caused by battlefield exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.

The next step, supported by $15 million a year from the VA, was to be a large study of 2,000 Gulf War veterans. The results of that study would show whether chemical exposures harmed a significant number of veterans, Haley said.


A closer look at the body of research conducted by Haley and his colleagues shows possible ramifications beyond the health of Gulf War veterans. VA funding to support development of diagnostic tests and medical treatments for sick veterans might also have helped civilian homemakers, factory workers or farm workers who get mysterious illnesses after exposure to pesticides, Haley said.

"We are looking at unplowed ground," he said. "Nobody has ever looked at pesticide exposure and brain damage and chronic symptoms. People didn't believe this stuff was real, even in the civilian world, and it's never been looked at."

Benefits blocked

An estimated 700,000 veterans served in the Persian Gulf in 1990-91. Veterans groups had hoped Haley's work might break the gridlock preventing thousands of them from receiving disability benefits and medical care based on exposure to pesticides, nerve gas, oilfield fires or military-issued antidotes to nerve gas.

Haley is convinced that many veterans suffered brain damage from exposure to organophosphates (sprayed pesticides or insect repellants worn like flea collars) and pyridostigmine bromide (nerve gas antidote). He rejects the theory that Gulf War illnesses stem from post-traumatic stress – a psychiatric condition.
"Originally, this [Gulf War illness] was signed, sealed and delivered as stress," Haley said. "Now, we know it's a real disease caused by chemical exposure. It's now the conventional wisdom."


~snipet ~

Veterans groups, UT Southwestern and their political supporters in Washington are working to restore VA funding. If successful, they hope the money will flow as a grant rather than a government contract, which comes with many more rules and regulations. "You can imagine," Haley said, "if you have to go to the government every time you want to take a step, your job becomes a six- or seven-decade job, and everybody quits. Everybody's dead."

The VA announcement ending the contract came after repeated disputes between UT Southwestern and government contract managers. A scathing report from the VA inspector general in July accused Haley of violating all sorts of VA contract protocols.


Haley said the VA pulled the plug on his funding just as he was designing a study of 2,000 randomly selected Gulf War veterans – 1,000 sick and 1,000 healthy.

"The VA funding is the final step, the rifle shot, to prove this," Haley said. "Is what we found with the Seabees true of the whole of Gulf War veterans? And that is the final definitive question."


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This is a website I have saved for several years about the Gulf War Syndrome. It is just one page but very long so I will just put the link here for the site.

Gulf War Syndrome

Biological Warfare Conducted on U.S. Military Members, and
Corporate Bio-Genocide Levied on the Planetary Population

A Lecture By Captain Joyce Riley in Houston, Texas on January 15, 1996


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Wild Thing's comment..........

I have heard from several Gulf War Vets about this over the years.

Our government does this to our troops and then plays dumb. Then to top if off cuts of funding for it.
Murtha and Pelosi are to blame BIG TIME for cutting off funding for this.

Our government did the same thing with Agent Orange. And when they finally did recognize it, the care and funding came in spurts instead of across the board for our Veterans.

Also this is exactly why we don't want government bureaucrats anywhere near healthcare.




.

......Thank you SSGT Steve

SSgt Steve
1st MarDiv, H Co., 2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment
2/5 Marines, Motto: "Retreat, Hell"
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (2)

September 27, 2009

Dispicable Obama Says 'NO' to Pensions for WW II Alaska Guards



Obama says 'no' to pensions for WW II Alaska guards


WASHINGTON

In a strongly worded message to Congress outlining its priorities for a military spending bill, the Obama administration today said it disapproved of including money for pensions for 26 elderly members of the World War II-era Alaska Territorial Guard.

The Guardsmen are among those assigned to protect Alaska from the Japanese during World War II.

The Army decided this year to no longer count service in the Guard in calculating the military's 20-year minimum for retirement pay, although it still counts for military benefits. As a result, their pensions were decreased in January.

An estimated 300 members are still living from the original 6,600-member unit formed in 1942 to protect Alaska, then a territory, from attack. The 26 men have enough other military service to reach the 20-year minimum for retirement pay but would lose it if the Territorial Guard service doesn't count.

A Senate military spending bill up for a vote in the Senate allows the former Guard members count their service as part of active military duty, and it reinstates the payments.

State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year to fill the pay gap until Congress made a permanent fix, but the White House said Friday it didn't think it was "appropriate to establish a precedent of treating service performed by a state employee as active duty for purposes of the computation of retired pay."
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who along with Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, sponsored the fix, called the administration move "deeply disappointing, bordering on insensitive." The legislation honors 26 elderly Native people who are the few remaining survivors of a military unit that served the country with valor, Murkowski said.
"The administration's justification, which is that the legislation will set the precedent of treating service as a state employee as federal service, defies logic and history," she said in a statement:
"Sixty-two years after the Territorial Guard was disbanded, the Obama administration minimizes the contribution of this gallant unit to America's success in World War II by calling its service 'state service.' "




Wild Thing's comment............

I honestly don't know how much more of this from Obama I can stand.

To Obama they have three strikes against them:Veterans, from Alaska, and elderly.

But we can give money tothe Hams, billions to his Islamic brothers, Qaddafi among other wasted garbage organizations etc. Obama and Congress have spent our tax dollars on. But not a cent for those that have protected us and are willing to protect us from our enemies. Billions for ACORN but nothing for 26 old soldiers who served their nation with honor?

An estimated 300 members are still living from the original 6,600-member unit formed in 1942 to protect Alaska, then a territory, from attack. The 26 men have enough other military service to reach the 20-year minimum for retirement pay but would lose it if the Territorial Guard service doesn’t count.”

These are native Alaskans. Sorta like the Navajo Code Talkers. These 26 gentlemen defended and prevented the Japanese from advancing up the Aleutians. They were awesome also, they were the only ones who could actually operate in Alaska and the Aleutians without major difficulties with the weather.

Obama can't say we can’t afford it hell all he has to do is use the money he is giving to Libya!

Disgraceful, Dispicable, Scumbag! Hope he rots in hell!


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 AM | Comments (13)

Good For VFW ~ Justice Against Flag Burner




Local VFW enacts own form of justice against flag burner


Members of a local VFW hand down their own punishment after a man burns an American flag on their property.

We're told the man burned the flag after a bartender at VFW Post 1938 in Valley Falls wouldn't serve him alcohol.

"Alcohol does strange things to people," said post commander Nick Normile, "but disgrace to the American flag, we can't tolerate that."

It's a lesson in patriotism that the disgraced local man--whose identity we're protecting--may have learned the hard way at the VFW hall.

Members tell NEWS10 the flag burning happened last Friday night when the man came in and was refused a drink because did not have the proper identification. That's when they say he walked over the flag pole and did something they consider unpatriotic in the extreme.

Normile explained, "He got mad, came outside, lowered the flag and set it on fire."

Normile says the flag that was burned belonged once flew over a fox hole in Iraq. A fox hole that several U.S. soldiers never made it out of alive.

Normile, a Vietnam veteran himself, was so incensed over the flag burning that he hunted the man down.

"I found him on Sunday and I duct taped him to the flag pole," Normile said bluntly. "He didn't deny it, said he was drunk. Let's just say he volunteered to sit out here duct taped to the pole."

For six hours the man sat under the pole, wearing a sign describing his actions. Passersby snapped pictures.

"I told him to sit there like those kids that were in that foxhole and see what they felt like because you are only getting a small taste of what they went through," Normile told NEWS10.

He adds the man learned his lesson, and with that lesson learned, Normile now wants to protect the man from any violent retaliation.

Normile asked NEWS10 not to reveal the man's name to also protect the young man's family.

The bits of the flag that survived will be retired during an official ceremony.




Wild Thing's comment.......

This kind of thing happening REALLY ticks me off. I am so glad they punished this jerk and maybe he will learn, I hope so. Drunk or sober there is NO excuse or reason for anyone to do such a thing to our Flag.

Back in 2005 our Flag in our front yard was burned and others in our little community. It took me a long time to walk outside and not check our Flag to see if it happened again because it really shook me that such a thing would happen.

This was my post about it and who did it and what happened.

Flag Burning ~ And It Was Our Flag and Others



......Thank you SSGT Steve


SSgt Steve
1st MarDiv, H Co., 2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment
2/5 Marines, Motto: "Retreat, Hell"
VN 66-67


.



....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Tom
US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces
1970-72


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (9)

September 23, 2009

American Soldiers Visit Mojave Desert War Memorial







American Soldiers Visit Mojave Desert War Memorial

Save Our Memorials Blog


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This past Thursday, six American soldiers who just returned from a long year in Iraq completed one last important mission before heading home to their families – honoring their fallen comrades at the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial in California.

At 2 p.m., Sgt. Zachary Thomson and Sgt. James Kelly, along with four of their battle buddies, read the names of friends who died in war and laid a wreath in their memory at the foot of the 75-year old monument.

It was a heart-warming moment of remembrance; but sadly, it was marred by the fact that the once beautiful memorial erected so long ago by WWI veterans, is now boarded from view on the orders of a federal judge until the U.S. Supreme Court decides its fate.

We think this is outrageous!

It is a sad that there are those so intolerant that they would trample the memories of soldiers who died for our country by covering and tearing down war memorials, simply because they may contain religious imagery.

US Congressman Sam Johnson, a Vietnam POW and war hero, said it best at a ceremony honoring these brave young men last week in Dallas:

“It’s not an ACLU Lawyer fighting and dying for your freedoms, it is America’s brave service men and women!”


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Veteran Dan Murphy and Liberty Legal's Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford discuss the attack on our nation's war memorials.



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Wild Thing's comment........




......Thank you RAC for sending this to me.


RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company

13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:49 AM | Comments (5)

September 15, 2009

The Mojave Desert Memorial Cross Update


In 1934, WWI Veterans erected a monument to honor their comrades who had died in battle. The ACLU now wants to tear it down, and all public memorials like it, because of its religious imagery.

After WWI many U.S. soldiers moved to the Californian desert to find physical and emotional healing. In 1934, they erected a memorial to honor their fallen comrades, a single white cross, - a symbol used around the world to memorialize those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The site for the memorial was chosen because at a certain time of day, the sun casts a shadow on the rock which resembles a WWI doughboy. For more than 75 years, the memorial has stood as a reminder that there were those who fought and died for our freedoms. But sadly today, the ACLU and a federal judge in California, want to tear it down. In fact, the judge has ordered the memorial covered from view while the case is on appeal. Please join us in saying "donttearmedown." We think Americans should honor their war heroes and the freedoms they so valiantly protect; and we're taking our case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. Please join us in this battle, go to www.donttearmedown.com.


The Mojave Desert Memorial Cross has stood proudly for over 75 years, honoring our American war dead. Or it was until the ACLU stepped in and got a judge to rule the memorial to World War I veterans unconstitutional. They covered the cross with a bag, and when that didn't work, they boarded it up in a plywood box. Now, they're threatening to tear down this national monument because they don't believe America should have religious imagery anywhere on public property.



Here's some history:
1934 The VFW erects the cross and plaque to remember fallen service members at Sunrise Rock in Mojave Desert.

1999 National Park Service (NPS) denies a request to erect a Buddhist statue near the cross and indicates intention to remove the cross.

2001 Congress prohibits NPS from spending federal funds to remove the cross. Frank Buono, former NPS employee, files suit claiming an Establishment Clause violation.

2002 Congress designates the cross and surrounding property as a "national memorial commemorating United States participation in World War I and honoring American veterans of that war." Congress also agrees to give the VFW one acre of property on which the cross sits in exchange for five acres of privately-owned land elsewhere in the Mojave Desert Preserve.

July 2002 The District Court rules cross is unconstitutional and must be removed.

Sept. 2002 Congress again passes a bill ordering the NPS to transfer the land surrounding the cross to the VFW.

2004 The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agrees with district court that the cross must be removed.

2005 The District Court enforces a permanent injunction against the cross.

2007 The Ninth Circuit rules that Congress cannot cure an Establishment Clause violation by transferring land.

2008 The Ninth Circuit refuses to hear the case again.

2009 The Supreme Court agrees to hear the case. The Supreme Court will hear the case on October 7, 2009; cross is covered with a plywood box.





Some Iraqi Veterans are going that "extra mile" for this cause:

Dear Friend of Liberty:

Thank you for standing with us in the fight to save The Mojave Desert Memorial Cross and our nation's war memorials by signing our online petition.

I have some important news to share with you about the campaign.

Since launching www.donttearmedown.com just before Memorial Day, more than 100,000 patriotic Americans like you have signed our petition of support and there have been over 1.7 million views of our video! The response has been truly amazing.

In fact, some young American soldiers fighting in Iraq saw our video and have decided to take a stand! Imagine their disappointment to find out that as they are fighting for freedom abroad, there are those back home who want to dishonor their service and sacrifice by tearing down their memorials.

These brave soldiers, who just returned from the front a couple of weeks ago, are caravanning across the country Sept. 14-17 to raise awareness of the plight of the Mojave Desert War Memorial and gather signatures of support. Click here for their itinerary .

http://www.libertylegal.org/Img/CARAVANTOTHEMEMORIALITINERARY.pdf

They leave Fort Polk, LA Sept. 14 and will travel to the memorial to lay a wreath, observe a moment of silence and read the names of fallen comrades. Veterans from VFW and American Legion posts will join them along the way. CNN and ABC News are planning coverage of the event!

This is good news, because the more people who know the facts of this case, the better the chance at stopping future attacks on our memorials. This is why we appreciate your help in spreading the word!

Please help us keep the momentum going by sharing this critical issue with your friends and family and inviting them to join us as we stand up to the likes of the ACLU to say;

"You can't tear down our memorials, and you can't tear down our freedom!"

In closing, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on Wednesday, October 7th.

This will be the most important case of the term and one that is talked about for years. We will keep you posted as we lead up to this important date.

With gratitude,
Kelly Shackelford,
Esq. Chief Counsel, Liberty Legal Institute




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Wild Thing's comment......

The ACLU has to rank as one of the lowest life forms to inhabit the planet earth. I can’t think of enough adjectives to describe the slimy vermin that takes every opportunity to destroy everything America stands for from religion, to Christmas to memorials honoring the men and women who gave their lives for our country. Sadly, the sacrifice of those gallant men and women gave these worthless s.o.b’s the right to make these attempts to desecrate and destroy the symbols that are America, and belong to America. The ACLU should stand strong under the Obama administration as they both serve everything Communist.

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD DAMN THE ACLU.


Previous post about this:

Veterans Fight to Keep 75-yr. old Mojave Desert Memorial Cross



......Thank you RAC for sending this to me.

RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company

13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (7)

September 08, 2009

End of Tricare for Life for Military Battle To Face Now and Later With Obama







THE END OF TRICARE FOR LIFE FOR MILITARY

Tom Marfiak

Rear Admiral USN Ret.

Subject: THE END OF TRICARE FOR LIFE FOR MILITARY

To: All Military Retirees:

This is a "Heads Up" on a battle we are facing now and down the road with the Obama Administration.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has already drafted proposed legislation that would basically reduce our TRICARE for Life benefits to a system whereby we pay deductibles and co-pays up to $6,301 the first year for you and your spouse,with future years being indexed to increase with inflation.

What can we do?

The article below, obtained from an Air Force Association and written by BG Bob Clements, best describes what we can do. Please read it and check the links for CBO language and do what Bob says-Send this email to every Military Retiree you know and write and email your Congressman often. For those of you that might have voted for "Change", you should do it more than often!

TRICARE FOR LIFE'S FUTURE.... TRICARE For Life was instituted to correct th broken promise that military retirees would receive free healthcare coverage for life and it covers the Medicare co-pay. Now a heavy assault has begun on Veterans'/Retirees' benefits to pay for other programs the President promised during the campaign. And it is a high priority of his administration.

The one item of most interest to Retired Military is in Article 189. If approved by Congress the first assault wave would hit in 2011 and would hit hard. It would initiate cost sharing to require retirees to pay the first $525 of medical cost and 50% of the next $4,725 for a first year cost of $2,888 per person. It would be indexed to increase with inflation. A reason given for this action (for PR effect) is "overuse" by Retirees. For those of you who are covered by TFL you will want to pay attention (Below) to what BG Bob Clements has surfaced about the future of TFL.

In any case, on page 189 of the Congressional Budget Office report, see the note below on how to get to that spot, there is a strong recommendation to eventually eliminate the program as it is too expensive.

Just another move to slight those of us who dedicated much of our adult lives to the defense of our country. Strongly recommend that you contact your elected officials and register your strong opposition to the elimination of the TFL program.

Heads-up from BG Bob Clements, USAF Ret (P38 Bob).

The following has been added to the Congressional Budget Office Web Site


http://www.cbo.gov/

http://www.cbo.gov/budget/budproj.shtml

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9...lthOptions.pdf


For those who have never opened one of these web sites from OMB:

1. double click on the above URL (or copy and paste the URL in your Server's address block)

2. click on PDF

3. click on the binoculars

4. do a search for TFL

Now here it is folks and I will guarantee if you sit around on your behind and do nothing about it as they bring these options forward this coming year, you will lose one of the best health care benefits that the Medicare eligible retired military have. It is short of the promises made that we fought so hard for back in the late 90s and early 2000s but it is still the best health care program that anyone in the United States has, bar none. People who are professionals always look for the channel of least resistance when it comes to cutting money out of the Federal and DOD budget. I can tell you this straight on, military retirees are one of those channels of least resistance noted for sitting around, doing nothing, and waiting for ole Joe to do it for them. You had better wake up. Your medical benefits are prime target. If you lose them, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Let me repeat that...you have nobody to blame but yourself.

The way to secure your benefits is to write to your members of Congress and to keep writing and writing and writing. ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH!! Keep repeating the above statement until you are blue in the face. Now I'm going to make one more statement to all of you younger people out there who are not yet eligible for TRICARE for Life. HEALTH CARE WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME THE DOMINATING FACTOR IN YOUR LIFE. Remember that...it will impact you big time with the utmost in cruelty unless you are fortunate enough to die from a heart attack or get run over by a truck.

The service organizations will put up a fight, but, they will need your help and can't do it by themselves. I hope this makes it clear as to what you can expect if you do nothing.

To show you how stupid these professionals can be at times just read the data on the noted sites closely. You will see that in spite of the MTFs

(Military Treatment Facility) need to get patients back to keep their doctors busy and the hospitals from going to clinic status. These people from OMB would employ a means to keep retirees from using MTF facilities by charging them a fee for services. How dumb can you get.

Even if you are an Obama fan, and believe that changeth cometh, TFL option from OMB will not go away. They need the money they spend on you for other programs for people who produce nothing but who vote to keep their benefactor in office. If you know of anyone who is Retired Military, please forward this on to them.

Remember- TFL is an "Earned Benefit" that's been granted by a previous Congress.

WTF....veterans are being lied to and cheated on a daily basis as is. Now this.



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Wild Thing's comment......

I HATE when they mess with our Veterans! Damn anyone that does this.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (5)

August 24, 2009

Vietnam Veterans....Honor, Valor, Courage


Retired Army Col. Robert L. Howard, a Medal of Honor recipient, talks to Soldiers at Joint Task Force Guantanamo, July 29. Howard travels the country telling his stories and the importance of patriotism, leadership, democracy and the history of the Medal of Honor. JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released by a court. The JTF conducts intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination for the protection of detainees and personnel working in JTF Guantanamo facilities and in support of the War on Terror. JTF Guantanamo provides support to the Office of Military Commissions, to law enforcement and to war crimes investigations. The JTF conducts planning for and, on order, responds to Caribbean mass migration operations.


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Retired Army Sgt. Maj. Gary Littrell, a Medal of Honor recipient, removes his medal from his neck to pass around to service members at Joint Task Force Guantanamo, July 29. Littrell travels the country telling his stories and the importance of patriotism, leadership, democracy and the history of the Medal of Honor. JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released by a court. The JTF conducts intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination for the protection of detainees and personnel working in JTF Guantanamo facilities and in support of the War on Terror. JTF Guantanamo provides support to the Office of Military Commissions, to law enforcement and to war crimes investigations. The JTF conducts planning for and, on order, responds to Caribbean mass migration operations.



Honor, Valor, Courage

by Sgt. 1st Class Steven Rougeau

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government to service members who distinguish themselves through gallantry and intrepidity, risking his or her life above and beyond the call of duty against enemies of the United States of America.

Two such heroes, Medal of Honor recipients retired Army Col. Robert L. Howard and retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Gary L. Littrell visited U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay to share their experiences of valor with Joint Task Force Guantanamo service members at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Liberty Center in Camp America, and throughout the naval station.

Both retired Soldiers travel around the country and overseas visiting service members, telling their stories and talking about the importance of patriotism, leadership, democracy and the history of the Medal of Honor.

"We just go around the country to extend our appreciation for your service," Howard said. "We are privileged; this medal that I wear around my neck is for all service members."

Howard is arguably one of the most highly-decorated service members in American history, with a list of awards and decorations that would impress any experienced service member. He served five tours in Vietnam and has been nominated three times for the Medal of Honor for three different heroic actions during a 13-month period. By today's law, only one Medal can be issued to any one person in their lifetime, regardless of how many heroic acts they have performed.

Littrell's list of heroics, awards and decorations are equally impressive from his tour in Vietnam. Both Howard and Littrell risked their own lives to save the lives of others by taking charge of their unit, engaging with the enemy during a fierce battle, caring for the wounded and evacuating their Soldiers to safety.

"The best advice I can give to young men and women in the military today, and especially our young leaders, is to make sure before you deploy into a combat zone that your service members are properly trained," Littrell said. "Training is everything and everything is training."

These stories left the audience speechless and astounded at the heroic acts that saved the lives of the men's comrades during the battles in which they both served.

"One of the biggest things they mentioned was about taking care of your service members, not yourself, and that's one of the things people needed to learn if you're here for them and not for yourself," said Army Master Sgt. Jose Alicea.

Some of the service members in the audience could relate to their stories through their own experiences while deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

"I am just in awe being in their presence and [the fact] that some of them are still alive to receive this honor," said Army Capt. Kathy Babin. "Just listening to Col. Howard, it brought me back to that moment when I was deployed and my first thought was about taking care of my Soldiers."

The Medal of Honor was established in December 1861, and since then has been awarded to 3,447 recipients, of which 95 recipients are still alive today. There have been 19 double recipients of the Medal of Honor.

Howard told his audience that commitment to your service members and doing the right thing is important. The message they brought to the service members of Guantanamo was the importance of patriotism and leadership, which they both spoke about repeatedly.

When each of the Medal of Honor recipients was asked about his own heroism and what inspired them to do what they did, both modestly replied "This was something that had to be done at the time."

Both Howard and Littrell travel extensively every year visiting service members worldwide to boost morale and share their experiences, talk about patriotism and the love they have for this country.



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Wild Thing's comment.........

WOW what amazing American's!! Thank God for our Veterans and our troops today.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (7)

August 23, 2009

wobama, we wee weed the wussy wadical ~ now at -14 all time low!




The person that did this video is brilliant! I love the song and how he/she put the words to fit what has been happening in our country. LOL Fantastic Video!!!!! ~ Wild Thing
.



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The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 27% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14. These figures mark the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President. The previous low of -12 was reached on July 30 (see trends).

Prior to today, the number who Strongly Approved of the President’s performance had never fallen below 29%. Some of the decline has come from within the President’s own party. Just 49% of Democrats offer such a positive assessment of the President at this time.

At the other end of the spectrum, today’s total for Strongly Disapprove matches the highest level yet recorded. The 41% mark was reached just once before and that came one week ago today. Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans now Strongly Disapprove along with 49% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Check out our review of last week’s key polls to see “What They Told Us.” Topics include health care, the deficit, stimulus package, state polls and more.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern



Wild Thing's comment.......


He’s really in a danger zone here, with the “strongly approves” closing in on the “overall approves.” It’s a beautiful sight!!!

And this little piggie went “wee wee weeing” all the way home.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:48 PM | Comments (7)

August 20, 2009

Obama Administration: Depressed and Disabled Veterans Should Consider Forgoing Medical Care




Obama Administration: Depressed and Disabled Veterans Should Consider Forgoing Medical Care

Depression, disability, and "being a financial burden" could constitute "Lebensunwerte Leben" (Life Unworthy of Life) in U.S. Government end of life planning document

H/t ...israpundit


"The Death Book for Veterans: Ex-soldiers don't need to be told they're a burden to society" by Jim Towey in today's (August 18) Wall Street Journal says,

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."

HERE is the PDF for "Your Life,Your Choices"


We downloaded this document directly from the Veterans Administration, and the content suggests that both family finances and depression--a non-terminal illness--could constitute Lebensunwerte Leben, or "life unworthy of life."

Smoke is generally indicative of fire and, although HR 3200 says nothing about mandatory end of life planning, euthanasia, or anything else similar to Germany's Aktion T4 program--the euthanasia program that served as a precedent for the Holocaust--we have shown (http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=16320) that there is indeed fire to go with the smoke. "Your Life, Your Choices" is simply more evidence, and it even suggests that war veterans with depression consider themselves a burden on the society that sent them to war.

Here is a screenshot of Page 21 of “Your Life, Your Choices,” downloaded directly from the Veterans Administration. As stated in the Wall Street Journal, this document was withdrawn when the Bush Administration saw content that could have come straight from Aktion T4, but the Obama Administration put it back into service. Note that it invites our veterans to define even non-terminal conditions (such as being in a wheelchair or having depression), to which few if any living wills apply, as “Lebensunwertes Leben.”







The Death Book for Veterans ( as discussed above at the top link)

The Wall Street Journal

By JIM TOWEY

If President Obama wants to better understand why America's discomfort with end-of-life discussions threatens to derail his health-care reform, he might begin with his own Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He will quickly discover how government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care.

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."


Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

"Your Life, Your Choices" presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political "push poll." For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be "not worth living."
The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to "shake the blues." There is a section which provocatively asks, "Have you ever heard anyone say, 'If I'm a vegetable, pull the plug'?" There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as "I can no longer contribute to my family's well being," "I am a severe financial burden on my family" and that the vet's situation "causes severe emotional burden for my family."

When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?

One can only imagine a soldier surviving the war in Iraq and returning without all of his limbs only to encounter a veteran's health-care system that seems intent on his surrender.

I was not surprised to learn that the VA panel of experts that sought to update "Your Life, Your Choices" between 2007-2008 did not include any representatives of faith groups or disability rights advocates. And as you might guess, only one organization was listed in the new version as a resource on advance directives: the Hemlock Society (now euphemistically known as "Compassion and Choices").

This hurry-up-and-die message is clear and unconscionable. Worse, a July 2009 VA directive instructs its primary care physicians to raise advance care planning with all VA patients and to refer them to "Your Life, Your Choices." Not just those of advanced age and debilitated condition—all patients. America's 24 million veterans deserve better.

Many years ago I created an advance care planning document called "Five Wishes" that is today the most widely used living will in America, with 13 million copies in national circulation. Unlike the VA's document, this one does not contain the standard bias to withdraw or withhold medical care. It meets the legal requirements of at least 43 states, and it runs exactly 12 pages.

After a decade of observing end-of-life discussions, I can attest to the great fear that many patients have, particularly those with few family members and financial resources. I lived and worked in an AIDS home in the mid-1980s and saw first-hand how the dying wanted more than health care—they wanted someone to care.

If President Obama is sincere in stating that he is not trying to cut costs by pressuring the disabled to forgo critical care, one good way to show that commitment is to walk two blocks from the Oval Office and pull the plug on "Your Life, Your Choices." He should make sure in the future that VA decisions are guided by values that treat the lives of our veterans as gifts, not burdens.


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Wild Thing's comment.......

Started under Clinton. Killed by Bush. Reinstated by Obama. Oh, how compassionate are liberals, pulling the plug on war heroes.


"Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices"

Obama is EVIL, and the most dangerous man in America.

Just plain sick. Liberals have no value for life except thier own. Obama's socialist medicine will destroy the desire to fight for life for many people. There is a HUGE difference between a family working this out with their doctor, and the federal govt making this mandatory.

Government-run health care is NOT constitutional. Period!

Add in to all of this if they force this on all of us we need to absolutely DEMAND that Obama and his wife and the Senators and Congress.....all politicans have to be under the SAME LAWS WE HAVE TO BE. This has got to be and or else thing. DAMG Obama and those that think they can live under different laws and bills passed than we the people. See how oothe sickly and those that are not well like it, such as Byrd, Kennedy, Specter. Let's see how they embrase this POS bill, this deathcare bill of Obama's.


Obama and his ilk are exactly what our Founding Fathers were worried would one day happen TO our country and now it has. The President and politicans are not kings of our land but work for us.


The scary thing is depression can MAKE life feel like it’s not worth it. The LAST thing someone who is suffering from clinical depression should be told is that they are worthless to society — and they should NOT be making decisions like “end of life care” while they are still suffering from any sort of acute phase of depression/mental illness (and expense). When a person is like this, they need to be told life is worth it., to get real support from people that care about them, not some death warrant from freaking Obama.

Deny our Veterans critical care Obama and you're denying the blood, sweat and tears that bought this nation it's freedom!!

I never, in my wildest dreams, think that there would come a day such as this. Serve your country, get served with this. WAKE UP AMERICA!

These people running our government are sick and heartless! I am so mad I can’t see straight. We should print out a bunch of these things to hand out to people at the townhalls all over the country!! Let them see just how despicable Obama and the democrats are!

There is a "Right to Life",

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

.......and they're attacking that, saying "We can't afford it!"

HOW DARE THEY do this to our Heroes, our Veterans, and to our country. We would NOT have had the America we have had if it weren't for our Veterans!!!!!!! Obama HATES America!

We don’t need the government instructing us on how to ‘evaluate’ our lives and we are not going to stand by while Obama encourages our veterans to die!!


Freedom isn't Free


.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (13)

August 18, 2009

The Worst CIC Obama Speaks To VFW Audience


VFW National Sergeant-at-arms Bryan O'Brien listens as US President Barack Obama speaks during the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Convention at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Veterans of Foreign Wars 110th Convention at the convention center Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Monday, Aug. 17, 2009




Here are some notes from watching this on TV ~ Wild Thing

Yesterday Obama spoke before the VFW . Except for a dozen people or so, they are sitting on their hands. Vets know who the real Obama is. Occasional applause for apple pie statements. For the most part, silence.

Beautiful. Go, Vets! The Thug doesn’t respect you at all. He just mouths the words. Here, the obamanation is in, for him, a “foreign land” when he talks with the Veterans. These people are HEROS, American HEROS. this obamanation is committing TREASON... reverse TREASON... and they know it.

“We will remove all our troops from Iraq by 2011”... silence from audience. “My new comprehensive strategy of March is moving ahead.” Silence. “Our new strategy has defined missions and goals.” Silence.

He’s head flipping at 20+ per minute. That’s always an indicator of nervousness. That head flipping is ridiculous.LOL

"In Afghanistan we will be there to help the Afghanis defeat Al Queda." Silence. "We need to fully adapt to the post-Cold War years. The current troop mix is 20 years out of date and is unacceptable." Obama staff applauds. "So we need to ask hard questions about the weapons we buy" (I guess this explains Obama's gutting of the Navy). Silence. This is painful.

The silence is deafening....do you hear the echo? This is awesome.

This guy cannot speak from the heart. He continues to read from a teleprompter. Does he really think people don’t see this? What does he know about being a Commander in Chief? He knows nothing about the military. God help our troops !

He is such a damned liar.......where is the lightning bolt?

Obama’s now actually reading the Dem talking points about “Restructuring our military.” Now he’s saying that our troops need to be able to “speak the native languages of the people they meet overseas” (presumably so they can ask enemy troops why they are mad at us). I am not making this up.

“We need to attack waste in military spending and it needs to stop. This is not apolitical issue but about supporting our troops.” Obama brings-up John McCain as a supporter of “restructuring our military.” Obama pats self on back for “cutting waste.” He’s now talking about programs (F-35, airborne laser anti-missile) and clearly has no idea what he’s talking about.

He laughs at a nuclear attack.........what a smart ass.


“The mental illness of our returning troops must be addressed.”
He is now talking about PTSD And he brings up health care and home visits.

This guy is an arrogant prick.

He is squirming, he knows that in a audience of hundreds ( 13000 in attendance) , 12 clap.

“I promise that no veteran’s healthcare will be compromised by my new bill. I promise that no new paperwork will affect any veteran’s healthcare. I promise that no veterans will see any drop in their benefits and I am so directing my secretary of veterans affairs.”

Two rows of Obama appointees applaud; from the rest, silence. LOL!

FINALLY finishes after 39 minutes. Announcer says crowd numbers 13,000. Perhaps 50 applauded. An astonishing beat-down. He can't wait to get out of there. Vets can't wait for him to get out of there. Whew!

He is almost running to get out of there......... Being around all those REAL men made him nervous. heh heh


God Bless Our Veterans ~Thank you!



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (13)

August 16, 2009

Help STOP Henry Waxman and His Veterans Land Grab!!!





VETERANS LAND GRAB


A Thief in the Night: Veterans’ Land Grab

Big Hollywood

by Jeani DiCarlo

Did you ever have an encounter with a thief? If not, how many times have you read or heard about their sudden attacks in newspapers or TV and thought or gasped, “I hope that never happens to me”?

Well, it is happening. As I write this, we have politicians all over the country stealing from us. Many of you are now more than aware of this new Cap and Trade bill brought to us by “our” representative in the 30th district of California, Mr. Henry Waxman. Well, you may also want to know that Mr. Waxman has been quite busy these days not only promoting the biggest tax in history, but also by helping to give away land he does not own.

Whose land?

The land of our revered Veterans.

This land is slowly being doled out to special interest groups that benefit Mr. Waxman and his friends who are known as the “Westside Political Machine.” Sadly, he is not the only one doing this; politicians all over the country are “giving” land they do not own to special interest groups. Eighty-five acres of Veterans’ lands were just annexed in Chicago. Where did it go to? Who got it?

In order to get the big picture of what’s happening all over this country, let’s start with a little history on the Veteran land here in Waxman’s Los Angeles district.

Veteran land is land deeded to Veterans to take care of their physical and emotional wounds. One of these lands, the West Los Angeles Veterans’ Home (WLA VA), the largest parcel on land for Veterans in the USA, was donated by Arcadia de Baker and John P. Jones in 1888 to the government for the sole purpose of providing permanent care to our Veterans ONLY.

At that time, the hospitals on the land were providing care to returning Civil War Veterans, and to emphasize the intensity of their suffering they were called asylums. What Arcadia de Baker realized was that the peaceful and isolated land was perfect for healing the physical and emotional wounds of people who served their country.

What Arcadia de Baker did not know, though, that in time this isolated land would end up in the middle of one of the most affluent areas of the country. The WLA VA is the largest Veterans Healthcare Center in the Untied States. It also just happens to be located in an area considered the Fifth Ave of California, a place with multi-million dollar mansions and fancy condos surrounding it. Being a piece of prime real estate, many are vying for it.

In Henry Waxman’s Brentwood district, homeless Veterans sleep outside the gates of their own land while TV productions rent empty hospitals that neither the VA nor Waxman will open for our Veterans claiming the buildings are damaged. Yet, these same damaged buildings are rented to “Grey’s Anatomy,” among others, and net seven-million per year. Now, would anyone rent damaged buildings for seven million a year?

Recently, the WLA VAMC gave Veterans Park Conservancy (VPC) (a non-veteran group consisting of wealthy residents of Brentwood) $1 million to help build a wrought iron fence to beautify the entryway into their community, while Veteran health-care services and facilities continue to go under-funded. Was the beautification of an already very wealthy community a priority?

The WLA VAMC also gave VPC permission to engrave in stone on Veterans property, “Beauty, Honor, County,” thereby seriously insulting and denigrating the Military creed of “Duty, Honor, Country.”

The VA also “rents” this land for special fundraising parties. I was recently at one such $1000-per-ticket celebrity-saturated fundraiser with a Vietnam-era Veteran, Robert Rosebrock.

Mr. Rosebrock, founder of “Veterans’ Revolution,” was not allowed to enter the Veterans’ land and was harassed by a hired security guard who kept a camera on him the whole time.

For 72 consecutive Sundays, Mr. Rosebrock and Veterans from all wars gather in front of the WLA VH to protest the land grab perpetrated by the VA and federal politicians in conjunction with affluent Brentwood neighborhood community organizations, businesses and Mr. Waxman’s Westside political machine.

In this shameful orchestration, the VA rented about 16 acres of Veterans’ land (worth more than a billion dollars) for a dollar per year to the Brentwood Homeowners Association. Yes, you heard me right, a buck a year. Why, you ask? So the people of Brentwood, some of the wealthiest in the country, can have a park. A park on Veterans’ land when there are empty hospitals our Veterans need!

Another game being played by the LA bureaucrats is the building of “apartments” at the cost of about $325,000 per unit in the unused hospitals that they now rent for TV productions at the Sepulveda VA. These very expensive so-called “apartments” are meant to house recovering addicts, etc. They say some Veterans can live there (this is really generous of them, isn’t it?), but the truth is these apartments will end up being fancy condos sold for millions in a few years.

In accordance with the Flag Code of the United States, the Veterans decided to turn the flag upside down as a sign of distress. In return, the federal police almost arrested them for “disturbing” conduct! Domestic terrorists like Bill Ayers can stomp the flag, anarchists can burn flags on the steps of the Congress, paint flags, rip flags, put flags in dung and call it art — but Veterans who fought for what the flag represents cannot, in accordance with the law, hang the flag upside down as a call of distress? Last week Mr. Robert Rosebrock was cited for having the American flag in distress attached to the Veterans gate, yet, the VA allowed the Iranian flag to be displayed on the Veterans gates!

Something is very wrong with this picture in America. Right now in history we have a group of renegade politicians who have buried our Constitution under the structure of false laws that we must abide by, “laws” that allow them to steal in the dead of night. And make no mistake about it: if they can steal our Veterans’ land without blinking an eye, they will soon be able to steal yours.

These “thieves” work on people’s minds, making them believe they are spotless individuals who do no wrong. Their abuse is silent and “lawful.” It is always for “our good.”

Our Founders fought a long battle to give us freedom and we cannot let anyone steal it from us. The first stand is with our Veterans to stop this land grab. Call your representatives, write your senators, demonstrate with your fellow Veterans, and do not allow this to go on any longer. In many ways, their land is your land — for without these good people freedom would be just a word.

For links, more facts, updated information and to contact representatives, visit.......

www.veteranslandgrab.us


THE VETERANS REVOLUTION NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT! The sleazy VA bureaucrats have spied on us and lied to us, stalked, harassed, intimidated, threatened, challenged, insulted and persecuted us, yet we’ve done nothing wrong.

WHAT: THE VETERANS REVOLUTION TO “SAVE OUR VETERANS LAND” - You are respectfully requested to join this noble gathering of Fellow Veterans and Friends of Veterans standing shoulder-to-shoulder protecting the sacred land of the Los Angeles National Veterans Home.

WHY: TO DEFEND, PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE NATIONAL VETERANS HOME, which was deeded 121 years ago as a safe and permanent haven for America’s Military Veterans to heal from war. This is the largest VA Healthcare Center in the nation and we must preserve and protect this sacred national trust for today’s Veterans and future generations of Veterans. Stop the public park and billion-dollar land giveaway!

WHO: FELLOW VETERANS and FRIENDS OF VETERANS Includes 60, 70 and 80-year old World War II, Korean and Vietnam War Veterans and Members of The California American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled American Veterans, The American G.I. Forum of California, AM VETS, the National Veterans Coalition, Veterans Untied For Truth, the Gathering of Eagles, and community and business supporters.

WHERE: AT THE FRONT GATE of the National Veterans Home, at the Northeast Corner of Wilshire and San Vicente Boulevards adjacent to Brentwood. (The West LA VA address is 11301 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90073)

WHEN: SUNDAY / 1:00 - 4:00 PM



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Wild Thing's comment.........

The Rat-faced Son of a Bitch Waxman deserves to be behind bars. His reign of terror will only get worse now that obamanation and Congress have declared war on the American people.


......Thank you RAC for sending this to me.



RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company


13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:55 AM | Comments (12)

August 03, 2009

Friends of American Lake Veterans Golf Course 2009




American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Lakewood, WA is a special place. It is a volunteer run golf course that has been upgraded and is being revamped by the efforts of a non-profit called Friends of American Lake with donations from businesses and individuals, and from grants. Most recently, they have received a 9-hole golf course design from Jack Nicklaus Design. Jack shares about how privileged he feels about being able to contribute to in this video.

Since 1932, the American Lake Veterans Golf Course has been a refuge for thousands of veterans like Laws after it first went into operation in conjunction with the VA hospital across the street. Carved out of an old orchard and through an old stand of Douglas firs west of American Lake, the course originally was dedicated to providing golf to soldiers with disabilities as part of their rehabilitation and treatment programs.

That's still its mission today, as Laws can attest, and it's a mission that comes from a labor of love and devotion -- and the dedication of a battalion of volunteers.

The volunteer veterans, most of them in their 70s, realized that the younger veterans would need to have a place to rest and recuperate. This course, which is adjacent to the American Lake Veterans Hospital, has been successfully encouraging young veterans through participation in golf.

The course has been designed to accommodate solo riders, a specially equipped golf cart for handicapped players. Improvements now provide covered areas for gatherings and a covered driving range, which is crucial in the Washington weather.

To volunteer or make a donation, contact Friends of American Lake Veterans Golf Course, 10101 Cedrona St. SW, Lakewood, WA, 98498. Tel.: 253-584-6808



.

Wild Thing's comment.........

I love this, and it is so important. I wish they had these in every State. Thank God for our Veterans, our country would be nothing without them.




.

....Thank you Jack for sending this to me.

United States Army
1965-1971
Army Combat Engineers
Quang Tri & Chu Lai '68 -'69
67-69


Jack's blog is Conservative Insurgent


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

August 02, 2009

Veteran Jimmy Teets and Heartbreak Ridge



Teets stands in his yard atop Hill 513


Teets-A-59-year-old memory validated

The Daily Statesman

July 30, 2009

Nestled atop a hill on Center St. in Bloomfield sits Jimmy's Hill 513.

Jimmy Teets, a resident of Bloomfield since 1940, named his hill in memory of the way soldiers in Korea knew where they were: by hill numbers.

That tribute doesn't end in his yard though. Over the years, he has filled his house with memorabilia from his tour of duty in the Korean War.

As soon as you enter the door, his devotion to that period in time is obvious.

With decorations ranging from medals he received, to framed Korean records and even the belt he took off a dead Korean soldier, he certainly has it all.

He even has the very rifle he carried while in Korea.

"It never jammed on me once," Teets said last week as he pointed out a framed copy of the Rifleman's Creed. "On the front that rifle is your best friend."

A story from his time in Korea that recently took an interesting turn involves a battle at Heartbreak Ridge.

Teets and his fellow soldiers had a round dropped into their foxhole.

Shrapnel went everywhere, he said, injuring his arm. A short while later, a medic arrived and began tending to Teets who then told him there was another injured soldier nearby in worse shape than he was.

When the medic, Pvt. Irvin Reitz, began treating his brother, he didn't immediately realize who he was helping. Only after he and two other soldiers lifted him to carry him away did he finally see the soldier's face and realize it was his twin brother.

Teets remembers the incident like it was yesterday and that's why a letter he received in April caught him by surprise.

It came from a man named Don Hathaway of Florida who had served with Teets in Korea.

The letter included a copy of a story on the incident as it appeared in the Stars & Stripes Military Newspaper and a photo of Teets in uniform in his foxhole on Heartbreak Ridge.

According to the story in the Stars & Stripes, the twins had been in the service exactly one year to the day and had never been separated. They had been assigned, by request, to the same company when they arrived in Korea two months earlier.

Rietz was immediately taken off the front line and was allowed to accompany his brother's body back to the United States.

Teets said that for years, people who had served alongside him argued that there were no twins in their division, but this letter and story proves otherwise.

"It's nice to finally have some closure on this," he said of the event that took place 59 years ago.

Teets is planning in August to make the trip to the final gathering of the 40th Infantry Division in Nebraska and is looking forward to showing them what he has received.

He added that this will be the final gathering because, just like World War II veterans, Korean veterans are rapidly dying off.

As Teets nears his own 80th birthday this fall, he takes great pride and joy in telling people about his service and showing off some of the treasures he's held on to over the years.


.

Wild Thing's comment..........

Awesome! Thank you Jimmy Teets for serving our country. If you find this post online I want you to know it is an honor to post this about you.




.

....Thank you Jim for sending this to me.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (7)

July 15, 2009

Darrell "Shifty" Powers ~ Band of Brothers ~American Hero R.I.P.



Darrell “Shifty” Powers, one of the soldiers depicted in “Band of Brothers,” passed away on Wednesday, June 17, 2009.

Darrell "Shifty" Powers (March 13, 1923 – June 17, 2009) - A True American Hero.

Darrell "Shifty" Powers
Easy Company
506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Infantry
(Band of Brothers)

"R.I.P. Shifty, and may God be good to you!!



Darrell "Shifty" Powers, like millions of Americans, answered the call of World War II. A quiet, unassuming man, Shifty joined the Army and then volunteered for the Airborne.

After intensive training, Powers was assigned to the famed Easy Company 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, where he jumped into Normandy on D-day. He was involved in the assault on Bracore Manor, which saved thousands of lives on Omaha Beach.

Powers fought in the battle of Carentan and the airborne invasion of Holland as part of Operation Market Garden, where millions of French and Dutch citizens found freedom.

The 506th was encircled by superior German forces in the Battle of the Bulge and against incredible odds, successfully defended the city of Bastone. Powers and the 506th then entered Germany, liberated concentration camps and captured Hitlers, "Eagles Nest" in Berchtesgarden.

Shifty survived the war only to be seriously injured in an auto accident while en route home and his return to civilian life.

Like millions of veterans, Powers lived a simple productive life and would have slipped into history unknown if it were not for Stephen Ambrose and the story "Band of Brothers", which was turned into an HBO mini series.





“The world depended on them. They depended on each other.”

That was the tagline for “Band of Brothers” – an award-winning 2001 HBO mini-series drama on the World War II experiences of Easy Company, a U.S. Army unit that fought bravely and fiercely across Europe.

Bravery – and dignity – was a constant, running thread in the life of “Shifty” Powers, both during and after his life as an Army sharpshooter in the actual “Band of Brothers.”

During the war, he fought brutal battles against the German army across France and Belgium.

After the war, Powers served as an eloquent representative for the men he fought with: At one point during the “Band of Brothers” mini-series, he appeared on camera to talk in moving, humane fashion about his grim but necessary task during the war – killing the enemy.

And, too, Powers served as a loyal, steadfast representative for the country he fought for: from graciously meeting with a former enemy German soldier to eagerly accepting any chance to speak with modern-day members of the U.S. military.

Ivan Schwarz, a producer on the “Band of Brothers” HBO series, remembers Powers as a “kind, generous soul with a great sense of humor.”

“Shifty was an incredibly humble human being,” said Schwarz, now executive director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission in Cleveland, Ohio.

“He was like most of the other [Easy Company] soldiers we met for the series. They were good guys who were kind of shocked that, 50 years later, people were making a big deal over them for just doing their duty.

“That’s exactly how Powers was, too,” Schwarz said.



"Don't miss, Shifty" is from the HBO adaptation. Here is an anecdote from the book:

Shifty Powers came in from an OP to report to 1st Sergeant Lipton. "Sergeant," he said, "there's a tree up there toward Noville that wasn't there yesterday." Powers had no binoculars, but Lipton did. Looking through them, Lipton could not see anything unusual, even after Powers pinpointed the spot for him.

One reason Lipton had trouble was that the object was not an isolated tree; there were a number of trees along the road in that area. Lipton expressed soume doubts, but Powers insisted it had not been there the previous day. Lipton studied the spot with his binoculars. He saw some movement near the tree and then more movement under other trees around it. Then he saw gun barrels - 88s by their appearance, as they were elevated and 88s were the basic German antiaircraft weapon as well as ground artillery piece. Lipton realized that the Germans were putting an antiaircraft battery inamong the trees, and had put up the tree Powers spotted as part of their camouflage.

Lipton put in a call for a forward artillery observer. When he arrived, he saw what Powers and Lipton had seen. He got on the radio, talking to a battery of 105 mm back in Bastogne. When he described the target he had no trouble getting approval for full battery fire, despite the short supply of artillery ammunition.

To zero in on the target, the observer called for a round on a position he could locate on his map, about 300 meters to the right of the trees. One gun fired and hit the target. Then he shifted the aim 300 meters to the left and called for all the battery's guns to lay in on the same azimuth and ragne. When he got a report that all was ready, he had his guns fire for effect, several rounds from each gun.

Shells started expoding all around the German position. Lipton watched throuigh his binoculars as the Germans scrambled to get out of there, salvaging what they could of their guns, helping wounded to the rear. Within an hour the place was deserted.

"It all happened," Lipton summed up, "because Shifty saw a tree almost a mile away that hadn't been there the day before."

Here's another:

Lipton and Popeye Wynn looked at the place where the sniper had held them up, the one Powers shot at. They found the sniper with a bullet right in the middle of the forehead.

"You know," Wynn commented, "it just doesn't pay to be shootin' at Shifty when he's got a rifle."




Subject: Memorial Service: you're invited.

We're hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services. I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell "Shifty" Powers.

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 .. . . " at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped.

I told him "yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what D-Day was." At that point he said "I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem." I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . . and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day..

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said "Yes. And it's real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in my throat and I didn't know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd take his in coach.

He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade. No big event in Staples Center. No wall to wall back to back 24x7 news coverage. No weeping fans on television. And that's not right.

Let's give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.

Rest in peace, Shifty.

Chuck Yeager, Maj Gen. [ret.]"


Wild Thing's comment..........

Shifty, thank you for so many years of being safe and for our freedom we have loved so dearly.you are one of our heroes, fade away gently old soldier , you will never be forgotten.

I want to take this time in this post to say something.

The Band of Brothers was passed on by these fine men to others and those all part of the Brotherhood of those who have served our country. Most of the finest people I ever met in my life have been Veterans, from WW11, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Gulf War, all of them and today as well.

And our troops serving in combat arms today are just like these guys of WW2.I have met several with three and four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several are disabled and every one of them has told me the same thing, they would serve again and their love for our country and how important it has been for them to be a part of keeping us the country we have been.

We are losing our WW11 Veterans and the Band of Brothers and I pray so much that people realize how important it is to say thank you, to walk across that room if you see a Veteran and say thank you. And when seeing someone in uniform serving now to thank them, buy their meal if you see them when eating out, let them know their sacrifices and service is appreciated.

I know all of you here and the regulars that read this blog each day are already thanking them. But to those from the left that send such vile hate mail and try to get your sickening comments through this is for you to read. You take advantage of the most awesome freedom any country ever had in the history of the world. These men like Shifty and those at this blog have paid the price and deserve better then your protests and disrespect we see from Obama and his wife and other politicians and from you all on the left. Think about it, because they have made a difference!!!




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....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 PM | Comments (8)

July 13, 2009

I am Proud To Be An Arrogant American !




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Wild Thing's comment......

Wonderful video about this, well worth watching.



.....Thank you BobF, for sending this to me.

BobF
SMSgt, USAF
1973 - 1999


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:48 AM | Comments (5)

June 30, 2009

Col. Kenneth L. Reusser,USMC ~ WWII, KOREA, VIETNAM Passed Away


" He served in the Pacific Theater in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He was awarded a second Navy Cross, five Purple Hearts and multiple other medals before being forced to retire because of his wounds."


COL. KENNETH REUSSER, USMC, WWII, KOREA, VIETNAM, DIED JUNE 20, 2009


The 2nd Lt. earned his first Navy Cross during WWII, the Maj.'s second Navy Cross came during the Korean War. His plane went down with him on board in the Pacific during WWII, he was shot down three times during the Korean War and once again during the Vietnam War. He earned two Navy Cross, four Purple Heart, two Legion of Merit with Combat "V", and fifty two other medals and ribbons throughout his long and dedicated military career. Until his death he was believed to be the most decorated three-war former Marine Corps pilot living in Oregon.

Retired Marine Corps Col. Kenneth L. Reusser has passed away and been laid to rest in the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. The Patriot Guard Riders were there to honor him .

Reusser was called the most decorated Marine aviator in history and was shot down in three wars in the Pacific theater - World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Colonel Ken Reusser's distinguished combat record:

-flew 253 combat missions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and was shot down in all three, five times in all.
-59 medals included two Navy Crosses, five Purple Hearts and two Legions of Merit.
Ken Reusser enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a seaman recruit on August 23, 1941, and entered flight training. In April 1942, he completed flight training, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, and in May 1942 left for the Southwest Pacific. Upon arrival at Guadalcanal, was assigned to VMF-122, flying the F4F-3. On his first combat mission, he was credited with a probable kill of a Mitsubishi "Betty." In October of that year, he was injured during a ditching and spent 6 months in a hospital.

Ken returned to the Pacific in 1944 flying F4U's from USS Hollandia, (CVE 97) off Okinawa. He led a flight of Corsairs intending to shoot down a Japanese KI-45 "Nick" high-altitude photo reconnaissance airplane gathering information for the day's Kamikaze flights. With altitude frozen guns, the only weapon left was the Corsair itself. Ken and his wingman severely damaged the tail of the KI-45 with their propellers. It entered a graveyard spiral, breaking up before hitting the water. Ken and his wingman shared the kill. Each was awarded the Navy Cross.

In 1950, Ken found himself again in combat, flying F4U's from USS Sicily, (CVE 118). He was awarded a second Navy Cross for making two very low-level passes down a street to identify, through a building's windows, what was hidden inside. He then led a flight back, destroying the target. Exiting the area, with only 20mm guns remaining, he made a firing pass on a ship moored to a camouflaged pier. Loaded with fuel, the ship exploded, flipping the Corsair inverted. After righting the airplane, Ken returned to USS Sicily where the severely crippled F4U was pushed over the side for being too damaged to repair.

During the Vietnam War, Reusser flew helicopters. He was leading a Marine Air Group in a rescue mission, when his own "Huey" was shot down. He needed skin grafts over 35 percent of his badly burned body. He retired from the Marine Corps in July 1968 due to his combat wounds.

Reusser raced motorcycles to help pay for college and earning a pilots license before World War II. After retiring from the Marine Corps, he worked for Lockheed Aircraft and the Piasecki Helicopter Corp. He remained active in veterans groups.

Reusser is survived by his wife, Trudy; and sons, Richard C. and Kenneth L. Jr.



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U.S. Marine Corps Col. Kenneth L. Reusser (center) is joined by Marine Staff Sgt. Marvin Harper (left) and Air Force Staff Sgt. Kim Nickerson on the Freedom Train, a string of cars honoring Oregon veterans, firefighters and disaster-relief workers who flew to New York City after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


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Friends mourn Milwaukie fighter pilot who served in three wars (OR)

Oregon.Live.com

CLACKAMAS -- They came by ones and twos Friday, quietly slipping into the pews at New Hope Community Church. They smiled at the words honoring a man whose faith made him an inspiration and whose exploits in three wars made him a hero.

And when the last mournful drone of the bagpipes faded, they said goodbye to Col. Kenneth L. Reusser of Milwaukie, the most decorated U.S. Marine Corps aviator in history.


"He was the finest gentleman I've ever met," said Harley Wedel of Fairview, a fellow Korean War veteran. "I'm really going to miss him."

In 1945, while based in Okinawa, he stripped down his F4U-4 Corsair fighter and intercepted a Japanese observation plane at an altitude much higher than usual. When his guns froze, he flew his fighter into the observation plane, hacking off its tail with his propeller.

In 1950, while serving in the storied "Black Sheep Squadron," he led an attack on a North Korean tank-repair facility at Inchon, then destroyed an oil tanker -- almost blowing himself out of the sky in the process.

During the Vietnam War, Reusser flew helicopters. He was leading a Marine Air Group in a rescue mission, when his own "Huey" was shot down. He needed skin grafts over 35 percent of his badly burned body.

Reusser lived a "Tom Sawyer-ish" existence, Wedel said, jumping off a barn roof to test a parachute, racing motorcycles to help pay for college and earning a pilot's license before WWII broke out.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, he worked for Lockheed Aircraft and the Piasecki Helicopter Corp.

In recent years, he remained active in veterans groups.

"He had a great sense of humor," said friend Jesse Lott of Milwaukie. "One time, when the great Gen. Chuck Yeager was visiting, we told him about Ken's war record. Yeager just sniffed that he never saw any Marines in Europe.

"Well, when Ken arrived, we told him what Yeager had said," Lott said. "So Ken said, 'Well, if we had been there, it wouldn't have taken you so long to win the war.' Even Yeager laughed."




Wild Thing's comment...........

Thank you Col. Reusser for your dedicated service to our country. You sir, had an amazing career, and we thank you for your service. Thank you for defending the freedoms we all enjoy everyday.

I am so sick of hearing about Michael Jackson, even Fox is on the band wagon with this worship of this child molester. Please God make it stop!!!

There are good men that the news could be telling us about, awesome men, Heroes. Our debt to the Heroic men and Valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. During these days of many trials and tribulations that our land of the free are facing, let us remember to hold our heads up high in remembrance for those who gave their life for our freedom and those that are still in harms way for this cause.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (4)

June 19, 2009

Paralyzed Marine Joshua Hoffman is Denied Free Entrance to Michigan Park


Joshua Hoffman and his fiancee, Heather Lovell, attend the Memorial Day parade in Middleville.



Family angry when paralyzed Marine Joshua Hoffman is denied free entrance to Michigan's Adventure

FOX News

The family of a U.S. Marine is outraged after a Michigan amusement park insisted on charging the veteran admission to enter the park — despite his being a quadriplegic -- according to a newspaper report.

Heather Lovell told the Grand Rapids Press that she had been at the park acting as a chaperone for a children's group, and her fiance, Joshua Hoffman, was just meeting up with her there briefly before she took him to his stepbrother's graduation.

But even after she explained that Hoffman had been paralyzed in 2007 by a sniper's bullet in Iraq and is unable to speak, let alone go on rides, the park insisted both Hoffman and his nurse could not join her in the park without paying, Lovell told the Press

"It was really just outrageous," she said. "He is not physically going on any rides."

Michigan's Adventure General Manager Camille Jourden-Mark said park policy requires even non-participants to pay the admission fee.

"We just can't be in a position of picking and choosing. We have grandparents (who pay admission) that come in our park every day that have no intention of ever going on a ride," she told the Grand Rapids Press.

Jourden-Mark later offered the family complimentary passes for Hoffman and a guest, the Press reported. Lovell said she has not decided whether they will use the passes.

More of the story at ....GRAND RAPIDS NEWS........

Quadriplegic former Marine Joshua Hoffman waited in a van at Michigan's Adventure, hoping to see fiancee Heather Lovell in the park for an hour or two. Her father, Rockford resident Joel Lovell, explained to park staff that Hoffman is paralyzed and cannot talk. He assumed Hoffman would be admitted free.

But Lovell was told he would have to pay admission for Hoffman and the nurse tending to his medical needs. No exceptions.

"He went to Iraq for all of us and took a bullet in the neck. He sacrificed everything for his country," Joel Lovell said.
"I was just kind of stunned."

According to Heather Lovell, she and Hoffman planned to rendezvous from their home near Middleville on May 29 at the Muskegon County park, before heading to Reed City for the high school graduation of Hoffman's stepbrother.

Lovell had gone ahead to act as chaperone for a niece and others on a school outing. Joel Lovell picked up Hoffman and his nurse and headed for the park.

But Heather Lovell said she got a call from her father telling her to come to the park entrance.

"It was really just outrageous," she said. "He is not physically going on any rides. To me, this is very personal."

Hoffman, 27, was paralyzed from the chest down when he was hit by a sniper's bullet in Iraq in January 2007. He spent more than a year in a Virginia Veterans Administration hospital before coming home in March 2008.

He and Lovell, 22, share a specially equipped house with 24-hour nursing staff to assist Hoffman.

Camille Jourden-Mark, general manager of Michigan's Adventure, said park policy does not allow any non-participants in free.

"We just can't be in a position of picking and choosing. We have grandparents (who pay admission) that come in our park every day that have no intention of ever going on a ride.
"It's not based on the level of participation."

On Tuesday, Jourden-Mark offered complementary passes for Hoffman and a guest to Michigan's Adventure in response to the issue. Lovell said she has not decided whether she and Hoffman will use the passes.

"You want to be appreciative of it, but it took a lot of people complaining to them to realize what kind of mistake they had made," Lovell said. "We weren't looking for a free trip. It's just a problem with the policy."
Jourden-Mark said company policy is meant to shield employees from accusations of discrimination, but added "there are times when we make exceptions and this is definitely one of those times."

She noted the park offers one free admission with a paid admission for service members each Memorial Day. Jourden-Mark said park staff were unaware of Hoffman's condition.

"I don't think anybody was really aware that he was a veteran."

That's not what Joel Lovell, 54, recalled.

"I told (a park official) it is really a crummy policy. I explained that he is an Iraq veteran. He got shot in the neck and can't eat or talk. I thought they were joking."
Lovell said he initially was told he would have to pay the adult admission fee of $25 each for Hoffman and the nurse, then was offered a student discount.
Heather Lovell's sister, Belding resident Rebecca Lovell, said she contacted the park Friday to complain.
"I explained the extent of his injuries, that he was simply going for an hour or two.
"(A park official) said there was no proof of his injury. He could be faking it. She said if we let him come in for free, then we have to change our policy."
"I was absolutely blown away."


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Wild Thing's comment.......

They should have let him in and this kind of thing is beyond unforgivable. I could care less if they use the excuse of grandparents that pay money and don't go on any rides. That is not the same thing, not even close. This man is an American Hero and should be treated as such and there are NO excuses for not doing so.

They would not be able to have a freaking Adventure Park if it were not for our Veterans and our troops. And if people don't understand this I have absolutely ZERO tolerance for them as human beings. Maybe they would prefer a nice government owned business where BIG brother gets all the profits and turns the owners of this park into simply managers to answer to the dictator.

Personally I think these theme parks should have all Veterans or active duty members free and then only charge their families. That would cover the need to make money but also pay much DUE respect to our Veterans and troops. For people that feel the way I do about this it would only encourage more business as word of mouth would be a great ad too telling others how awesome they are and how they treat our military. Non military people that support our troops would appreciate it too.


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....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (6)

May 26, 2009

Are Democrats Planning an Attack on Military Retiree Health Benefits?



A video inspired by a trip to Walter Reed, set to the beautiful music of Sara Groves "I Saw What I Saw"


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Are Democrats Planning an Attack on Military Retiree Health Benefits?


Patriots Creed

May 19th

Thomas D. Segel

While the Obama Administration loudly proclaims that it has a mandate to make health care available to every American, a move is underway by the Democrats, through the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to effectively reduce such care for some of the most vulnerable of military veterans.

Legislation has already been prepared that will drastically change and reduce the Tricare for Life benefit plan that assists military retirees over the age of 65.

The Tricare for Life plan was established by law after a decades long fight to make the government live up to its promise to provide earned health care to military retirees and their dependents, who had faithfully served their nation for more than 20 years. Though a battle on this issue traveled all the way to the Supreme Court, it was determined that the Armed Forces of the United States did in fact promise lifetime health care to career service personnel, but did not have the authority to make such promises. Congress was admonished to take corrective action.

The end result was only half a loaf. Congress agreed to provide a supplement to Medicare for those military retirees above the age of 65. That supplement, titled Tricare for Life, would cover any additional costs not paid by Medicare. However, the retiree would still be required to enroll in Medicare and accept the services that program offered.

Many of these retired military veterans were in desperate need of these medical services when the law was enacted. Those needs continue today. These men and women, many of whom suffer the after effects of combat related wounds, illnesses associated with everything from Agent Orange to the Gulf War Syndrome and multiple ailments inflicted upon them during years of military operations on foreign shores, are among our most vulnerable senior citizens.

This appears to mean little to our new administration and a majority congressional membership that campaigned for election and reelection on the backs of the leftist anti-war, anti-military faction of this country. Now with an almost unstoppable majority in the legislative branch of government, they are seeking to severely alter a medical service previously awarded to a very deserving body of retired service personnel, because, according the CBO, these retirees "overuse" their health care program. There seems to be no thought given to the fact that these particular senior citizens are more medically impaired than the average American of similar age.

The CBO is now seeking passage of their draft legislation that would require these retired military personnel to pay the first $525 of medical cost and 50% of the next $4,750 per person. They claim these changes are needed to help pay for the other programs the President has promised his constituents.

Such a change will effectively end the Tricare for Life program that has offered comfort to those who spent their lives defending the nation. Anyone who has worn the uniform of this country should voice their concerns to their elected officials about this legislation.



Wild Thing's comment........

I have always felt that our government should take complete care of those that served our country. That NO Veteran should have to pay for any medicinal care,any dental or eye care either. That if they needed even an aspirin it would be free to a Veteran. Hospital stays free too, all care on any level and to any degree.

That money for our military's need for equipment etc., and for Veterans should never even be an issue of how much is spent. An open check book so to speak!

There are plenty of other places where cut backs can be taken that are simply things that kiss up to the voters in a politicians backyard and have nothing to do with the rest of the country. Lots of money there to take from and the abundant and stupid grants that so many are waste of tax payers dollars.

BUT our military, our Veterans......America's heroes deserve to be treated First Class all the way.

They should not be given the poor treatment they are so often given. That’s what this article is about. It’s about Congress once again cutting the military first.

Long ago when I entered college, my dream was not the career that I ended up with, my goal was to be a physical therapist, and my dream was to one day open places across our country for Veterans. Places they could heal physically and emotionally, get first class physical therapy, a place to live if they wanted to with homes and apartments that would be free to them, much like we see in Golf communities where homes outline the golf course. These would be homes and apt.'s and medical buildings etc. shopping centers, movie theaters, social places so many things all for Veterans and their family or single Veterans.

A place where this could all be available for them if they wanted. Also if a Veteran needed a place to get back on his/her feet if they had a ruff go of it. Courses could be taught as well if they were interested for careers. They could live there for good or for just the time they needed before going out in the civilian world with it's own unique challenges.

After meeting and seeing so many Veterans and how they had been treated after Vietnam I would made a list of the things I saw and heard happening. Vets kept out of some of the colleges and why? Because they were told it would be too disruptive to have Vietnam Veterans at the school. That sent my blood boiling to say the least. So all these things I would include in what would be needed at these places scattered across our country for Veterans.

My life took a different course but that dream is still is in my heart. When Nick and I talk about our wish list if we ever win the Lotto, this is at the top of my list. No government funding, it would be paid for every penny and no debt owed to man or political beast. haha

Anyway, when I read things like this article and have yet to hear any politician even run on the issues for our Veterans and God forbid in the past even mention POW-MIA's. I have to wonder just how many realize what our Freedom has cost and who has given it to us. I know the reality is that will not change, but by God it should. The few times I got to meet a politician that was running for office I have always asked him about our Veterans and our POW-MIA's. Each time it has caught them off guard. Their eyes take on a deer in the headlights look and they come up with the lingo.... yes we must always remember our Veterans and do what we can for them. Hello-o-o-o how about specifics, how about what YOUR plan is for standing up for them.

Regarding this article I would ask:

How much of the Congressional medical benefits will be offered to be reduced or modified to help offset the budget crisis? For that matter, how much of any Congressional pensions, benefits, perks, payola or graft will be terminated or reduced to help those who fought for the rights of this country?


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.....Thank you DH for sending this to me.


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM | Comments (13)

May 24, 2009

Tribute To Our Flag



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The Flag of the United States of America

Please CLICK HERE to go to a tribute to our Flag.

A Tribute to our Flag. by Bob Thompson, Retired Military Veteran, Panama City, Florida


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Wild Thing's comment........

This is wonderful and I like how he added music with it, Elvis is singing "America The Beautiful".



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (3)

May 23, 2009

Miller Lite Salutes Memorial Day and Veterans




This is at our grocery store, Miller Lite Salutes Veterans. The have it at the entrance of the store and it's first thing you see when you walk in.
When I was thanking the manager of the store for having it and acknowledging our Veterans.He said he was Veteran too and that only one person complained.
It has a lot of detail but the camera does not pick it up that well. I wanted to show it to you.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 PM | Comments (4)

May 16, 2009

Challenger the Bald Eagle ~ This Is America!



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Wild Thing's comment..........


I have lived in the greatest country in the world, and a beacon in a storm to so many around the world. To sing our anthem with tears in my eyes thinking along with the words of the song telling of the lives that paid the price for our country to be the land of the free, and see our Flag and what it stands for feeling like my heart will burst from the pride one feels that we all are able to say, " I am an American".

This video touched my heart and caused feelings to soar just as the Eagle named Challenger does around the stadium.

God bless our country and the men and women that serve in our military as they put their lives on the line every day for the Freedoms we all enjoy. And for our Veterans before them leading the way, the charge, the brotherhood of warriors.



.... Thank you John for sending this to me.

John
US Navy
62-68


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:48 AM | Comments (8)

April 26, 2009

Welcome Home Staff Sgt. Jimmie Doyle


A photo of World War II veteran Jimmie Doyle welcomes guests to his funeral service at First United Methodist Church, Saturday in Lamesa. The B-24 bomber in which Jimmie Doyle was flying in was shot down over the island nation of Palau in September 1944.




Members of the Fort Hood Honor Guard escort the casket of World War II veteran Jimmie Doyle from First United Methodist Church after a funeral service that hundreds attended Saturday in Lamesa. The B-24 bomber in which Jimmie Doyle was flying in was shot down over the island nation of Palau in September 1944.



Hero makes it Home: World War II veteran laid to rest 65 years after plane crash

Lubbock online


Staff Sgt. Jimmie Doyle, whose warplane crashed into the ocean off Palau in 1944, was given full military honors, along with a hero's homecoming, during funeral and graveside services Saturday at Lamesa.

The location of the plane was unknown for 60 years, then found under 70 feet of water in 2004 by the BentProp Project that searches for soldiers missing in action.

The plane and the crewmen still aboard were recovered in 2008, and Doyle's identification was completed earlier this year.

His grandson, U.S. Marine Capt. Casey Doyle, recently escorted Staff Sgt. Doyle's casket from Hawaii to his hometown of Lamesa, and to the First United Methodist Church where he and his wife, Myrle, had attended services and were married in 1940.

His son, Tommy Doyle, hadn't reached his second birthday when his father's plane went down from anti-aircraft fire over the Koror Island target area, a part of Palau.

Staff Sgt. Doyle, assistant engineer on the Army Air Forces B-24 bomber, had been moved from tail gunner to a nose-turret gunner position by the time the plane began its final mission on Sept. 1, 1944. When ground fire struck the left wing, the plane began tumbling on its descent to the ocean.

Tommy never knew his father, of course, but in recent years came to know much about what he was like through letters that his mother, Myrle, had kept - and had kept privately - before she passed away in 1992.

He mentioned the letters in 2005. "There was a lot of indication of how much he loved her - in every letter."

In the letters home, there was often the mention of his son. He might even have envisioned him growing up to play football for Texas Tech, and later to become a coach, as he did.

But he could never have known that one day his grandson, a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and a two-tour veteran of a then unimaginable war, would one day guard his passage home.

In the last letter home, on the evening before the final mission, Staff Sgt. Doyle again spoke of home and his love for his wife, as he always did:

"Just a few lines, for you know I love you too much to sleep without saying goodnight," he wrote.

"Sweet, my mind is nearly a blank tonight, for I am all taken up with thoughts of you and home. Maybe it won't be too long until the day when I will be home, and we will be together again ... Gee, what a glimpse of you would be worth!

"Sweet Darling, tomorrow is a busy day, and I have to get up early ... you know I love you with all my heart and will for always.

"Goodnight, Sweetheart."

His granddaughter, Brandi Doyle, said on Saturday, "I am touched by the outpouring of support and emotion from the people ... strangers have called and told how much this story has touched them, and I know how it touches our family."

In the church services, an honor guard brought the flag-draped casket into the sanctuary after the family had been seated. Army Chaplain Col. Michael Lembke spoke of the event as both a homecoming and a celebration of life and service.

Along a funeral procession route to Lamesa Memorial Park, a group of people had gathered on a sidewalk to hold up American flags. Then, a little farther on, children could be seen waving flags and smiling. Two women at one location held a large flag between them, and a gathering at a Disabled Veterans facility had an assortment of flags.

For most of a mile, group after group were waving flags. Children in the groups held flags high and waved to the cars going by. The show of patriotism and honor for a fallen veteran would have been fitting for a general.

While making the arrangements for services, Tommy and his wife, Nancy, had faced a concern about how Jimmie's burial could be done in proximity to Myrle's gravesite. There was no space left nearby.

But a kind of walkway leading to a garden area began beside the existing plot, and cemetery officials simply took a portion from that for the new site.

The First United Methodist Church of Lamesa was a constant in the lives of the couple. It's where they attended church, where they were baptized, where they were married, and where their funeral services were held.

In accordance with the Christian faith they shared, they are in life now. And that which was their earthly dwelling for a time is sleeping, side by side, near a garden walkway, a little way southwest of Lamesa.

After 65 years, Staff Sgt. Doyle is home.




The B-24 bomber in which Jimmie Doyle was flying was shot down over the island nation of Palau in September 1944. His remains were laid to rest Saturday afternoon in Lamesa after recently being discovered. GQ magazine wrote a very interesting article entitled: Leave No Man Behind, you can check it out at link below........

LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND
Since World War I, 88,000 Americans have disappeared at war, never to be seen again. But our government has never stopped trying to find them. This is the story of one search—for a B-24 bomber shot down over the tiny island nation of Palau in September 1944—and the extraordinary effort to bring those bodies home.


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Wild Thing's comment......

God bless the men that fly and fight. This is such a touching story. Welcome home Staff Sgt. Jimmie Doyle.


Posted by Wild Thing at 10:55 AM | Comments (4)

April 19, 2009

Marine Raiders from Makin Island Come Home to Arlington National Cemetery



True story, the early days of WW II , the Marine raiders attacked Makin Island. There were 19 dead Marines left behind after asking the islanders to make sure that they received a proper burial.

In 1999 the remains were discovered. of 19 US Marines Killed in Action on Makin Island in WWII and their return home to Arlington National Cemetery 58 years later.

Semper Fidelis.


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Wild Thing's comment......

Thank you to all that have served our country. This is a beautiful tribute to America's Heroes.


......Thank you SSGT Steve


SSgt Steve
1st MarDiv, H Co., 2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment
2/5 Marines, Motto: "Retreat, Hell"
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:40 AM | Comments (7)

April 04, 2009

A Nightly Evening At The Beach To Honor Our Veterans


Every evening at sunset in Siesta Key, a crowd gathers to honor our veterans.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST VIDEO....news chanel 8


From last year
July 4th, 2008 Flag lowering ceremony at the Siesta Key home of Captain Ralph Styles USN,2 Navy Crosses, WWII vet,Pearl Harbor invasion,submarine captain,Assist. Dir. Naval Intel,Joint Chiefs of Staff, a founder of New College in Sarasota



"I do this for the veterans, so people don't forget the sacrafices they have made for our country." ~ Captain Styles



Capt. Styles The Captain's Corner

Capt. Styles Joins Those He Honored Daily

October 2008

SIESTA KEY - A simple act of paying respect to the flag and the men and women who served in uniform turned retired Navy Capt. Ralph Styles into something of a folk hero.

Day after day, year after year for perhaps 15 years, Styles has ceremoniously raised and lowered the flag at his beachfront home accompanied by patriotic music on his boom box. A neighborhood bugler and drummer eventually joined in, and in recent years the twice-a-day tribute to Old Glory drew fellow patriots, curious onlookers and applause.

Styles, a Pearl Harbor survivor and, at 98, one of the oldest living graduates of the Naval Academy, died Tuesday of pneumonia and congestive heart failure during a brief hospitalization.

He proudly raised and lowered the flag at his Beach Road home as recently as last Friday.

"He became quite a celebrity in his old age," said his daughter, Anne Overbeck of Hingham, Mass., and Sarasota.

Neighborhood residents and beachgoers often gathered at sunset to watch the 15-minute ceremony unfold on his front lawn. After a bugler played taps and the flag was lowered and folded, Styles invited onlookers to sing along with "Amazing Grace" to honor those who lost their lives, or to join in as each military branch's song was sung.

"Some nights there will be about 10 people, and other nights there will be as many as 200," his daughter said.

The former naval officer's patriotic routine drew television and newspaper reporters over the years and was featured on "A Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins" and another Tampa Bay-area public television broadcast, which featured World War II veterans.

During his 30-year military career, Styles was awarded a Legion of Merit, two Navy Crosses and eight Naval Unit Citations for his heroism. He commanded a submarine during World War II that destroyed a Japanese submarine and five Japanese merchant ships in Tokyo Bay in 1944.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Nicholas and I have been to this several times. Siesta Key is about 11 miles from where we live. It is at the beach and we live in the country where it is more of a wooded area.
It was wonderful and I never knew there were videos of it till Steve sent the story to me.

Capt. Styles has passed away but they still keep the tradition going every evening.

God bless our Veterans and we will never forget those that are no longer with us.


......Thank you SSGT Steve


SSgt Steve
1st MarDiv, H Co., 2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment
2/5 Marines, Motto: "Retreat, Hell"
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (4)

March 27, 2009

Obama To Visit France For The 65th Anniversary of D-Day



Obama to visit France for D-Day anniversary

CNN

PARIS, France

U.S. President Barack Obama will visit France in June for the 65th anniversary of D-Day, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's chief of staff said Thursday.

There had been discussion of Obama going to Normandy next month on his trip to Europe, the official, Claude Gueant, told the French TV network France 24. But he would have had only an hour on the beaches where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, the beginning of the drive to push the Nazis out of France during World War II.

That would not have left enough time for conversations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Gueant said




.


Wild Thing's comment.........

ABSOLUTE sacrilege !!!! That is a hallowed place.

Those men, our Heroes died to stop fascism and Obama is all about bringing fascism to America.

I don't care who Obama is, I don't care what is job is, he shouldn't be anywhere near places like Normandy. He has NOT earned the right, He has already shown how cold he is to our troops and many other things I have posted about regarding our military, the video below shows just how he disrespects them.



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (8)

March 19, 2009

Obama Drops Plan To Bill Disabled Veterans For Care




White House drops plan to bill disabled veterans for care


Disabled American Veterans home page

Article is HERE at Disabled American Veterans

WASHINGTON

The Disabled American Veterans today commended the Obama administration for backing down from a controversial proposal that would force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who suffered service-related disabilities and injuries.

The proposal that had been considered as part of the president's budget would require private insurance companies to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs in such cases. But the idea was unanimously opposed by the DAV and other leaders of the veterans community who were invited to the White House Monday to discuss the plan directly with President Obama. Veterans were again united in opposing the plan in a follow-up meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Wednesday.

The decision to drop the idea was announced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at a meeting with veterans groups after the meeting with Emanuel.

"The president was very open and candid when he met with veterans groups earlier this week, and we are pleased that he has heard our concerns and taken them to heart," said Washington Headquarters Executive Director David W. Gorman. "Our message to the president was simple and direct: that our government must not abandon its moral responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms."
"Now that this ill-advised proposal is off the table, the DAV looks forward to working with the administration and Congress on crafting a good budget that will include sufficient appropriated dollars to cover veterans' health care needs," Gorman said. "We also urge the president to fulfill his pledge to include advance appropriations for veterans health care in his budget submission."

A top priority for the DAV and other groups is passage of the recently introduced Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act. The measure would authorize Congress to approve VA medical care appropriations one year in advance of the start of each fiscal year. The legislation also would add needed transparency to the process by having the Government Accountability Office review and report on the VA budget request.

"This budget reform legislation would ensure sufficient, timely and predictable funding for veterans' health care. It has the added benefit of making government more efficient, transparent and accountable. These are three key elements that President Obama, Congress and veterans all agree are needed in these challenging times. And if enacted in conjunction with the fiscal year 2010 budget, advance appropriations for 2011 would not add one dime to the 2010 deficit," Gorman said.

The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation's disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families. For more information, visit the organization's Web site, Disabled American Veterans


You have GOT to see this:

The Hill


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the first to announce Wednesday afternoon that the president won’t pursue such a proposal.

She told veterans that Obama decided to scrap the proposal “Based on the respect that President Obama has for our nation’s veterans and the principled concerns expressed by veterans’ leaders.”

For the second time in a week, representatives from prominent veterans organizations went to the White House on Wednesday to meet with the White House chief of staff to discuss VA budget issues.

Jim King, the national executive director for American Veterans (AMVETS), said that the meeting with Rahm Emanuel lasted all of 15 minutes and that the health insurance issue was the only topic discussed. The representatives of the 11 veterans organizations told Emanuel they were not willing to back down, and the chief of staff told them that he thought the issue was “off the table,” but that he needed to talk to Obama.

Gutting the proposal is the “right move to make, because it could have caused too many hardships for veterans,” King said.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement on Wednesday that the president wants to continue a “constructive partnership” with veterans and military organizations and “is grateful” to those organizations who have worked “in good faith” with him on the budget proposal.

On Monday the organizations’ representatives met with the president, but that meeting led to public outcry over what some veterans perceived as a move by the president to still consider the proposal despite opposition.

Veterans groups were enraged over the proposal, charging that it would discourage employers from hiring disabled veterans by raising the premiums insurance companies would charge. They also argue that the plan could jeopardize health insurance for entire families.

Veterans groups also argued that the VA is abdicating its responsibility to veterans.

“We are pleased that [the president] has heard our concerns and taken them to heart,” said Disabled American Veterans (DAV) executive director David Gorman. “Now that this ill-advised proposal is off the table, the DAV looks forward to working with the administration and Congress on crafting a good budget that will include sufficient appropriated dollars to cover veterans’ healthcare needs.”

Obama may not be off the hook with veterans yet. Another possible battle is brewing over the issue of advance appropriations for veterans’ medical care. Veterans see the Obama administration backtracking on an Obama campaign promise to fund medical care a year in advance, rather than just on an annual basis.





Wild Thing's comment...........

This was too easy. There has to be something else going on. They will sneak this into some other legislation, or take some other devious action to get what they want pushed through. Damn Obama for even suggesting it! I still think we should keep an eye on this. Obama is notorious for slipping legislation in under the cover of darkness. Obama and his minions in Washington are like a Magician and his assistants. “Watch this hand while I do what I don’t want to see with the other”


Are Secret Service men considered part of the Armed Forces? Maybe they would think twice about taking a bullet if this passed.

I know they have to phrase the press releases that way but it sure sounds like the victim thanking the robber for not pistol whipping them. I suspect there is a draft version of that release that isn’t so complimentary.

It was a message. And an unmistakable, unsubtle one, at that. The message was...”this is what it ‘could’ be like if you don’t play nice with us”.

Obama never gives up on an idea....people who have dealt with him know this. He is sneaky and immoral and deceitful. He has no moral code. None!

We must NEVER forget what these slimey, unappreciative, traitorous bastards were ready to do to those who have fought, bled, and suffered for our nation, our liberty, and way of life...we must NEVER forget!

I will Never forget that Obama tried this and was serious about it...I will never forget how he feels about the troops and the nation.

I will Never forget how he has shown his contempt for our Veterans and our troops.

I will never forget that these despicable creatures tried to do this. The fact that the idea was able to get this far is reprehensible.

I will Never forget.

"Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his countrymen." —George Washington



Posted by Wild Thing at 07:55 AM | Comments (20)

March 18, 2009

Obama and His Wife and OUR Military and Veterans


I got this from the front page of Rush's website yestersay.


From Rush's website

Now, there's a companion story to this. Obama is thinking about making veterans foot the bill for their health care regarding injuries they received in combat. He wants to go after our Veterans! I am outraged, others are outraged as well. We as Americans must always honor the contract with America's men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect this country, its people, and its Constitution.
At some point, not only are they going to get rid of the ceiling on taxing people's Social Security benefits on all their income, leveling the FICA tax on all income, they are going to start counting employer provided health care benefits as income. This is exactly what they're going to do. They're outta money, they don't have any money; they are going to raise taxes on everybody.
Here is the story from Bill McGurn in the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, Michelle (My Belle) Obama, the First Lady, went to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. "By choosing Fort Bragg for her first official trip outside the capital last Thursday, Michelle Obama signaled that she will use her position as First Lady to promote one of America's most deserving causes: our military families. Plainly the families loved it. Just look at the smiles on those children as she read them 'The Cat in the Hat.' So it was just a little disconcerting the next morning to hear the First Lady explain how she came to this issue during last year's campaign. 'I think I was like most Americans,' she told ABC News. 'Pretty oblivious to the life of military families. Sort of taking it for granted.'" I just don't believe this. She's admitting she was oblivious to the life of military families, and then has the gall to tell the rest of us that so are we, when we are not oblivious to the lives of military families.
So while she's out touring Fort Bragg, North Carolina, reading the Cat in the Hat to the children of military personnel and acting like all of a sudden she's just now in the campaign. She's just started to love her country in the campaign, she just started to be proud of her country and it was only during the campaign that she finally figured out what military family life is like while her husband is mulling eliminating government-paid health care benefits for wounds and injuries suffered in combat! I thought it was talk radio that was ginning up all this anger and angst and so forth.
This is outrageous from Michelle. What Barack Obama is doing is OUTRAGEOUS! It is disingenuous, and it is insulting, and I resent Mrs. Obama saying that she, her thoughts on military life, "Well, I'm like everybody else." No, you're not like everybody else. Your ideas and your plans and the anger you bring to your life, you're not like everybody else, Mrs. Obama. Please don't equate us with your view of aspects of this country.
I'll tell you what else he's considering, folks, and I have warned you about this on several occasions. You mark my words. At some point, not only are they going to get rid of the ceiling on taxing people's Social Security benefits on all their income, leveling the FICA tax on all income, they are going to start counting employer provided health care benefits as income. This is exactly what they're going to do. They're outta money, they don't have any money; they are going to raise taxes on everybody.



And I checked at Mark Levin's website and he has this on his front page of his website yesterday.




From FOX News

Veterans Groups Blast Obama Plan for Private Insurance to Pay for Service-Related Health Care
President Obama's plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of troops injured in service has angered veterans groups who say the government has a moral obligation to pay for service-related medical care.

President Obama's plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of troops injured in service has infuriated veterans groups who say the government is morally obligated to pay for service-related medical care.

Calling it a "desperate search for money at any cost," Craig Roberts, media relations manager for the American Legion, told FOXNews.com on Tuesday that the president will "wish away so much political capital on this issue" if he continues to insist on private coverage for service-related injuries.

Cmdr. David K. Rehbein of the American Legion, the nation's largest veterans group, called the president's plan to raise $540 million from private insurers unreasonable, unworkable and immoral.

"This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate 'to care for him who shall have borne the battle,' given that the United States government sent members of the Armed Forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies," Rehbein said late Monday after a meeting with the president and administration officials at the Veterans Affairs Department.
"I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service-connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America's veterans," Rehbein said.

Roberts said that 11 veterans service organizations were told to come up with another plan if they didn't like this one. The groups met on Monday with Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Office of Management and Budget defense spending chief Steven Kosiak.

"What we've been tasked with now is to raise this money through alternative means and we're supposed to have a conference call in two or three days ... with Rahm Emanuel. So the implication was ... you guys come up with a better idea or this is what's going to happen," Roberts said.
Roberts said the president's plan would increase premiums, make insurance unaffordable for veterans and impose a massive hardship on military families. It could also prevent small businesses from hiring veterans who have large health care needs, he said.
"The president's avowed purpose in doing this is to, quote, 'make the insurance companies pay their fair share,'" Roberts said. "It's not the Blue Cross that puts soldiers in harm's way, it's the federal government."

He added that the argument about the government's moral obligation to treat wounded soldiers, sailors and Marines fell on deaf ears during the meeting.

"The president deflected any discussion when it got into any moral issue here," he said. "Any attempt to direct the conversation (to the moral discussion) was immediately deflected."

Monday's meeting was preceded by a letter of protest earlier this month signed by Rehbein and the heads of 10 service organizations. It read that "there is simply no logical explanation" for the plan to bill veterans' personal insurance "for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide."

The letter called it "unconscionable" to shift the burden of the country's "fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country." Rehbein testified to both the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees on those same points last week



Wild Thing's comment........

I am glad to see other blogs posting about this as well as the talk shows I mentioned above. There probably are more I just haven't had time to check the others out about it yet.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (12)

March 17, 2009

CIC Obama Won't Budge on Veteran Insurance Proposal







Obama to bill combat wounded for medical care

SOURCE The American Legion

Hawaii Free Press

WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

The leader of the nation's largest veterans organization says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.
"It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan," said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. "He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it."

The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said,

"This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ' to care for him who shall have borne the battle' given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America's veterans!"

Commander Rehbein was among a group of senior officials from veterans service organizations joining the President, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Steven Kosiak, the overseer of defense spending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The group's early afternoon conversation at The White House was precipitated by a letter of protest presented to the President earlier this month.

The letter, co-signed by Commander Rehbein and the heads of ten colleague organizations, read, in part, " There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran's personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide. While we understand the fiscal difficulties this country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable."
Commander Rehbein reiterated points made last week in testimony to both House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees. It was stated then that The American Legion believes that the reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate that VA treat service-connected injuries and disabilities given that the United States government sends members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. The proposed requirement for these companies to reimburse the VA would not only be unfair, says the Legion, but would have an adverse impact on service-connected disabled veterans and their families. The Legion argues that, depending on the severity of the medical conditions involved, maximum insurance coverage limits could be reached through treatment of the veteran's condition alone. That would leave the rest of the family without health care benefits.
The Legion also points out that many health insurance companies require deductibles to be paid before any benefits are covered. Additionally, the Legion is concerned that private insurance premiums would be elevated to cover service-connected disabled veterans and their families, especially if the veterans are self-employed or employed in small businesses unable to negotiate more favorable across-the-board insurance policy pricing. The American Legion also believes that some employers, especially small businesses, would be reluctant to hire veterans with service-connected disabilities due to the negative impact their employment might have on obtaining and financing company health care benefits.
"I got the distinct impression that the only hope of this plan not being enacted," said Commander Rehbein, "is for an alternative plan to be developed that would generate the desired $540-million in revenue. The American Legion has long advocated for Medicare reimbursement to VA for the treatment of veterans. This, we believe, would more easily meet the President's financial goal. We will present that idea in an anticipated conference call with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel in the near future.
"I only hope the administration will really listen to us then. This matter has far more serious ramifications than the President is imagining," concluded the Commander.



President won't budge on veteran insurance proposal (Troops pay for combat wounds)


Notice that this is part of the Obama budget plan - he thinks he’s going to get a $half-billion from this proposal to fund some of the other stuff he wants to buy. I don’t know where they get that number from.

This will jack up everyone’s insurance premiums if insurance companies are forced to accept pre-existing conditions of veterans…most of all the premiums of veterans. Democrats are famous for making veterans and the military pay!!!!


Wild Thing's comment........

Obama isi the enemy of the United States!!

This SOB Barack Hussein Obama is begging for a fight.

Is Obama billed for living in our whitey house? Is he billed for all the stuff he eats? Is he billed for his health care?
It doesn’t matter, he could care less what you or anyone else thinks. He is a rabid hater of the United States and all it stands for. He hates you and me , our awesome military, and anyone else he can’t own or control.

This is unconscionable

First the innocent unborn, and now our wounded vets that are willing risk their lives to defend us!!!!

Notice all government cuts from Obama does are against the military. Notice Obama is retreating from all military gains from Iraq to kissing Syria's ass to not calling the enemy 'enemy combatants'.

He will make Carter look like George Washington at this rate! Well you know what I mean!

Mark Levin is right. There is no other reason for this other than sick liberal minds trying to sabotage the system intentionally in order to use our warriors in the military who defend our freedoms as a tool to advance a socialized universal healthcare agenda.

Any man who would not respect the sacrifice of our servicemen does not deserve to sit in the Oval Office. This will not stand. God will not allow it.

This is why the Republican Party is in trouble. Obama has served them an issue on a silver platter and we get the sound of deafening silence. They are total Wimps.



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM | Comments (20)

March 14, 2009

B.Obama Wants To Charge Disabled Veterans For Treatment At VA Facilities



Obama wants to charge disabled veterans for treatment at VA facilities

CNN

Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

But the proposal would be "dead on arrival" if it's sent to Congress, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said.
Murray used that blunt terminology when she told Shinseki that the idea would not be acceptable and would be rejected if formally proposed. Her remarks came during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about the 2010 budget.

No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

The groups also cited an increase in "third-party collections" estimated in the 2010 budget proposal -- something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under "consideration."
"A final decision hasn't been made yet," he said.

Currently, veterans' private insurance is charged only when they receive health care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries, like getting the flu.

Charging for service-related injuries would violate "a sacred trust," Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis said. Davis said the move would risk private health care for veterans and their families by potentially maxing out benefits paying for costly war injury treatments.

A second senator, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, said he agreed that the idea should not go forward.
"I think you will give that up" as a revenue stream if it is included in this April's budget, Burr said.

Murray said she'd already discussed her concerns with the secretary the previous week.

"I believe that veterans with service-connected injuries have already paid by putting their lives on the line," Murray said in her remarks. "I don't think we should nickel and dime them for their care."
Eleven of the most prominent veterans organizations have been lobbying Congress to oppose the idea. In the letter sent last week to the president, the groups warned that the idea "is wholly unacceptable and a total abrogation of our government's moral and legal responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much."

The groups included The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.



Wild Thing's comment...........

This is just UNBELIEVABLE even to consider it !! To even suggest or think about doing this is unfathomable. Words cannot express how angry I am.

First I am shocked that communist Patty Murray spoke up. I almost fell off my chair. I’ll tell you, it’s one strange day when I agree with Patty Murray. Even stranger when she is to the right of a democratic President.

One of the sacred trusts that a grateful nation gives to the men and women who choose to place their bodies between the rest of us and "war's desolation" is that the wounds and ailments they receive during their service will be treated by that grateful nation. To try to outsource that obligation is a violation of that trust.

If this plan were to ever be implemented, it would be very difficult for a veteran, especially one with service related medical problems, to actually get private insurance.

What's next, charge them for their bullets and helmets?

Talk about demoralizing the military, which he clearly despises and does not see a need for.

This is outrageous, beyond belief outrageous. That this idea is even broached as a possibility shows just how powerful they THINK they are. They are counting on us sputtering and FURIOUS, but then doing nothing in response.

There IS a tipping point. They will eventually drop that deciding feather on that camel’s back. And if Obama does this, then this would be it. Obama's arrogance and contempt is overwhelming .

I will be surprised if this gets passed out in the open. It’s completely indefensible. They’d bury it in an Obama bill if they really wanted to go after it. That way it would get passed without open discussion or debate.

B.Hussein Obama is despicable ! He is a lot like the terrorists, absolutely everything he does destroys something.

Obama's war is revenge on America and everything we stand for. Our military men and women have given us freedom. Obama wants that taken away.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (20)

March 02, 2009

" The Bone Yard"



Aircraft Graveyard scene from the movie "The Best Years of Our Lives " (scene with Dana Andrews) I have always loved this movie.


The Bone Yard near Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson , Arizona Each one of these had a multimillion dollar price tag!


This is really is something to see. The precision in the way they are parked is impressive.



It's difficult to comprehend the size of the 'Bone yard' and the number of aircraft stored there. Of course the important thing to remember is that they are all capable of being returned to service if the need ever arises.


If you are ever in theTucson area, the weekly tours of the bone yard are still given through theTucson Air Museum , located just south of DavisMonthan AFB.


From BobF:

"Also, if you look at the close up picture of the B-52’s, you will see three of them with a black “triangle” on the tail. Inside the triangle is the letter “K”. That’s the symbol for the 379 Bomb Group during WWII and the 379 Bomb Wing from Wurtsmith AFB, MI. I was at Wurtsmith for 10 years, closing it down in 1992. I worked those three particular aircraft ,and have many hours of blood and sweat invested in them. It saddens me to see those old warhorses sitting there like that. It’s like a part of me is there." ~ BobF



Both the museum and the bone yard are very popular attractions in theArizona desert. It is difficult to comprehend the number of military aircraft in dead storage until you see these photographs!


379th Bombardment Group (Heavy)



Wild Thing's comment.......

Thank you BobF, this was awesome.



.....Thank you BobF, for sending this to me.

BobF
SMSgt, USAF
1973 - 1999


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (8)

February 22, 2009

Word From World War Sparks a War of Words


CAMPAIGNING FOR RETURN: Ronald “Bud” Albright, Whiteland, commandant of the local Marine Corps League chapter, said of the newspaper’s removal: “We feel it’s a slap in the face of the U.S. military.” - HEATHER CHARLES / The Star



Word from World War sparks a war of words

VA says headline slur offended, but removal of paper offends vets

Indy Star.com

Tom Mattice said he was trying to promote a "healing environment" when he removed the old, yellowing wall decoration from a hallway at the VA hospital.

But in doing so, the hospital director has opened an old wound -- and spurred debate about political correctness, free speech and how to be true to history without being offensive.

At issue is a framed newspaper front page from an August 1945 Indianapolis Times. The headline: "Japs Surrender."

Mattice, director of the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said there'd been a complaint: A new employee was offended by the term "Japs," a commonly used slur during World War II.

So, Mattice took down the framed front page, which is now tucked away in the center's executive offices.

That decision, however, has riled a group of retired Marines who call it whitewashing history and akin to offering an apology that isn't due. They are campaigning to have the artifact put back on the wall, where it had hung alongside other World War II memorabilia for more than a decade.

Said Ronald "Bud" Albright, who as commandant of the local Marine Corps League chapter has started a letter-writing campaign among veterans nationwide: "We feel it's a slap in the face of the U.S. military. That newspaper is history, part of United States history."

Dust-ups over such public displays are common and invariably emotion-charged. Last month, Indianapolis International Airport altered a photo exhibit after fielding a complaint over a provocative view of Israel and American Jews expressed in one of the captions.

In 2002, some students at Indiana University fought for the removal of a Thomas Hart Benton mural depicting Indiana history in Woodburn Hall because it showed Ku Klux Klansmen. The mural stayed; the KKK is a part of Indiana history.

The term "Jap" is a part of American history, emblematic of the racial prejudice that was promoted during World War II.
"A precondition to fight a war is to dehumanize the enemy," said Guy Burgess, a co-director of the Conflict Research Consortium at the University of Colorado. "If you think of them as humans, you can't do the things war compels you to do."

In the case of Japan and Germany, Burgess said, it was an easy sell. "There was lots of real evil in the Axis countries," he said.

But that was more than 60 years ago. The Japanese, as well as the Germans and the Italians, have been allied with us ever since.

"The war's over, but if you're going to tell it like it is, then you tell it like it was, and that's the way it was, just like that newspaper said it," said John Gromosiak, a Korean War veteran and artist. Gromosiak's paintings of American warships line the VA's hallway near where "Japs Surrender" used to hang and where another newspaper, proclaiming "GERMANY QUITS," hangs still. "You cannot hide history, or you shouldn't."

Museums frequently must tread lightly, which they do by pairing controversial displays with detailed explanations. As part of the National World War II Museum's exhibit of propaganda posters, captions prepare the viewer for what they're seeing and put the grotesque images into context.

"You would never want to put up an object without interpreting it," said Kacey Hill, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans museum.
"But we are not a museum," said Mattice, the VA director. "A museum is where people go to understand the history. We are a medical center."
Mattice said he has contacted the VA's national ethics office for a ruling on how to proceed. "Should we as a nationwide organization have a stance on these kinds of materials?" he wondered. "Perhaps we should."

In the meantime, he searches for a compromise. Mattice has instructed one of his staffers to locate a different newspaper front page, one that carries the same news, of the war's end, but expressed more delicately.

"Something like 'Victory in the Pacific,' " he said. "Or, 'Japanese Surrender.'"
Albright is not calmed. "Oh, baloney!" he said. "To me, that's coming across with some smoke, some political smoke."


Wild Thing's comment.......

Hello, can we please stop re-writing history. Names were used, slang was used and it was a war for pete's sake. Every war has them and for a good reason IMO, we don't go to war to take out a friend but an enemy. And slang is used on both sides during a war.

Newspapers back then used the same words our soldiers used so the disagreement in this article is someone trying to be PC more then anything, but at the same time why flower it up and that to me is what it feels like.

I am no fan of PC as you all know, it is one of the tools used by the left and I am sick of it.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (13)

January 28, 2009

Military Retirees' Tri Care for Life at Risk



Military Retirees' Tri Care for Life at Risk

For those of you who are covered by TFL you will want to pay attention to what BG Bob Clements has surfaced about the future of TFL.

If you know of anyone who is Retired Military, please forward this on to them.

I don't know how many of you partake of the Tri Care for Life program but here is a very interesting note on the subject.

Obama has placed a priority on cutting it out of the budget as a means to provide funding for those things he promised during the campaign.

In any case, on page 189 of the Congressional Budget Office report, see the note below on how to get to that spot, there is a strong recommendation to eventually eliminate the program as it is too expensive. I would ask that you contact your elected officials and register your strong opposition to the elimination of this program. Just another move to slight those of us who dedicated much of our adult lives to the defense of our country.

Heads-up from BG Bob Clements, USAF Ret (P38 Bob) The following has been added to the Congressional Budget Office Web Site

a. Budget, Options, Volume 1: Health Care

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=9925

For those who have never opened one of these web sites from OMB :

1. double click on the above URL
2. click on PDF
3. click on the binoculars
4. do a search for TFL.


To All,

This is for real. The heavy assault has begun on Veterans'/Retirees' benefits to pay for other programs. The word on the street is that these indeed are a high priority of the Obama administration. The one most of interest to Retired Military is in Article 189. If approved by Congress the first assault wave would hit the beaches in 2011 and would hit hard. It would initiate cost sharing to require retirees to pay the first $525 of medical cost and 50% of the next $4,725 for a first year cost of $2,888 per person. It would be indexed to increase with inflation. A reason given for this action (for PR effect) is "overuse" by Retirees.

People who are professionals always look for the channel of least resistance when it comes to cutting money out of the Federal and DOD budget. I can tell you this straight on, military retirees are one of those channels of least resistance noted for sitting around, doing nothing, and waiting for ole Joe to do it for them. You had better wake up. Your medical benefits are prime target. If you lose them, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Let me repeat that ... you have nobody to blame but yourself.

The way to secure your benefits is to write to your members of Congress and to keep writing and writing and writing. ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH!! Keep repeating the above statement until you are blue in the face.

Now I'm going to make one more statement to all of you younger people out there who are not yet eligible for Tricare for Life. HEALTH CARE WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME THE DOMINATING FACTOR IN YOUR LIFE. Remember that . . . . it will impact you big time with the utmost in cruelty unless you are fortunate enough to die from a heart attack . . . or get run over by a truck.

Now, I am going to attach AGAIN exactly what OMB has in store for military retirees using TFL. This source is directly from OMB and is not something that I have dreamed up. They are telling you exactly what they are going to do with your benefits. If you do nothing, this is what you will get.

The service organizations will put up a fight and are aware of this and will put up a fight but, they will need your help and can't do it by themselves.

I hope this makes it clear as to what you can expect if you do nothing.

To show you how stupid these professionals can be at times if you will read the attached document closely you will see that in spite of the MTFs (Military Treatment Facility) need to get patients back to keep their doctors busy and the hospitals from going to clinic status, these people from OMB would employ a means to keep retirees from using MTF facilities by charging them a fee for services. How dumb can you get.

Even if you are an Obama lover, and believe that changeth cometh, TFL option from OMB will not go away. They need the money they spend on you for other programs for people who produce nothing but votes to keep their boss in office.

It looks like we will again be confronted by the 'attack of the beancounters' who, by and large, wouldn't know (and probably never will know) genuine unselfish service to our country and are solely motivated by crunching numbers so that those numbers will reflect favorably on their bosses and their boss's causes. They have no thought to the havoc they would cause . . . in many cases the loss of any amount of TFL benefits would be a an insurmountable hardship ..... and to some it would truly be a death sentence.

It is well that we gear up for the fight now. As P38Bob says, we must write, write, write and write. Once is not enough! In time I will be preparing letters for your use in writing to your elected officials and submitting them to the TREA Membership, and to others who may want to join the fight.

Your comments and inquiries are welcome.

Fred Langston,
President (2008), Legislative Affairs Chair,
Greater San Diego Chapter 128,
The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA),

fglangston@yahoo.com



Wild Thing's comment..........

I got this in an email and wanted to pass it on.

Here is the link directly to the PDF file

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9925/12-18-HealthOptions.pdf


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (14)

January 19, 2009

A Special Difference for Disabled Veterans


Kevin Quigley, right, a retired Ford employee, helps Alvin Hoffman, a disabled World War II veteran, at a local grocery store. The DAV’s Local Veterans Assistance Program is designed to encourage and reward creative volunteerism to improve the lives of veterans and advance the DAV’s mission.



A Special Difference for Disabled Veterans

DAV Magazine

By D. Clare

Kevin Quigley was driving toward an expressway onramp near his Wayne County, Mich., home when he first laid eyes on Alvin Hoffman. The World War II veteran seemed out of place as he trudged along with his groceries.

“I circled back around and found him on a rock. I thought he was lost. There weren’t a lot of homes. It was a mile and a half from the grocery store and he was walking,” recalled Quigley.

What began as a simple act of kindness, with Quigley giving the elderly man a ride home, soon turned into a pleasant routine. For the past 14 years, Quigley has helped Hoffman get his groceries and done odd jobs around his home.

Quigley is one of three people in the elderly man’s life who make independent living possible. Along with Hoffman’s neighbors all of the retired automotive industry employee’s basic needs are met.

Over the years, Quigley learned about the Army veteran’s combat service — service which contributed to his extreme loss of hearing.

“He’s my friend, and he’s an amazing connection to the past. There just aren’t that many World War II veterans left. I appreciate his service and enjoy the time I get to spend with him,” said Quigley, who is a retired Ford metal model maker.

With veterans of Hoffman’s generation aging and a new generation of veterans returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the needs of disabled veterans are on the rise.

“Our traditional voluntary service programs make an incredible difference for hundreds of thousands of veterans every year. But the unique, random acts of kindness that brighten lives deserve recognition as well,” said National Director of Voluntary Services Edward E. Hartman.

The new Local Veterans Assistance Program, or LVAP, was established to encourage DAV members, youths and patriotic citizens to use their time, talents and good will to help veterans. It recognizes the quiet heroes who reach out in creative ways to make a difference.

“Just about any service someone provides to enhance the lives of veterans is considered worthy of consideration,” Hartman said. “From a DAV member participating in service work or fundraising activities, to a friendly neighbor who cleans an elderly veteran’s gutters or gives a young veteran a lift to the base when his buddies are returning from deployment.”


Wild Thing's comment........

I love to hear about stories like this. We owe our Veterans so much. We have lived in a better world because of the sacrifices our Veterans have made.


....Thank you Jack for sending this to me.

Army Combat Engineers
67-69

Jack's blog is Conservative Insurgent



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (15)

January 08, 2009

A Marine’s Last Will and Testament



A Marine’s Last Will and Testament

Former SSgt Robert A. Hall

I, Robert, an old Mud Marine, being of sound mind, do hereby create this Marine Codicil to my Last Will and Testament, through which I bequeathed all my worldly goods and possessions to those beloved of me in life. This Marine Codicil is to pass on the intangible gifts I received as a Marine, which were beyond the price men put upon worldly possessions.

I have attested to being of "Sound Mind." That may be challenged by those who think that all Marines are crazy. We have enjoyed and magnified that reputation, of course, to bemuse our friends and intimidate our enemies. As a Navy Psychologist once told me, "The trouble with treating Marines is that if you cure them, they can’t be Marines!" But ours are really the soundest of minds, for the life of our free society depends on warriors. If you do away with us, our civilization commits suicide, surely the ultimate mark of insanity. If there comes a day when is no longer a Marine Corps, the American Idea will die soon after.

To all my Marine brothers and sisters, now and in generations to come, I leave the legacy of our Corps, stretching back to November 10, 1775. It was bequeathed to me by generations of Marines who served before me, who "grew gray in war," and who gave me those priceless traditions "such as regiments hand down forever." I have tried in my small way to add to its strength and burnish its luster. Go you and do the same.

To those Marines I served with, I leave my rich stock of Sea Stories, a few of which are even true, that you may embellish them and pass them on to other Marines, to awed members of our sister services and, sanitized for language, to civilians. I also leave you the gratitude of a brother, for you stood by me, cared for my in trouble, and inspired me with your deeds. The poet Alan Seegar, who was KIA in France on July 4, 1916, said it best, "Comrades, you cannot think how thin and blue, look the leftovers of mankind that rest, now that the cream has been skimmed off in you."

To my Marine DIs, I leave a debt unpaid. The discipline and pride you instilled in me guided me long after I had to shed the uniform for the last time. Thanks to what you did in a few short months, I have had a great life. I’ve tried to make you proud of me every day, and to pay a bit on that debt through my service to my country and my fellow Marines, both in the Corps and in civilian life afterwards.

To my family I leave a few old photos, a few mementos and a service to country in which I hope you take pride as I have. However they serve, I hope future generations of our family find something larger than self to serve, worthy of their time and commitment. There is no happiness in serving the ever-greedy god of self, the root of our world’s troubles.

To our nation’s elected leaders, I leave the Core Values of our Corps: Honor, Courage, Commitment. Imagine if candidates for public office adopted our values as a campaign platform. Imagine candidates with the Honor to tell people the truth and to not trade their support on issues for campaign contributions or personal perks. Imagine elected officials with the Courage to do what was right for the next generation, rather than what was popular to win cheap votes for the next election? Imagine office holders with the Commitment to serve selflessly, live austerely, and do the right regardless of personal cost?

And to the Republic, the country I love, I leave my service. It was little enough payment on the debt every American owes her for the freedoms we have, for the life we live, and for the opportunities we and our loved ones have received in this land. When people thank me for my service, I say, "It was a privilege to wear the uniform of the Republic, and to earn the title Marine."

I must go now, but I leave my country a new generation of Marines, standing watch out on the lines, putting their bone and blood between the barbarians and our free people, the few guarding the many with their lives. God grant it may ever be so.



Wild Thing's comment......

This is wonderful.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:44 AM | Comments (7)

January 01, 2009

Marine Corps Legend Gen. Victor (“Brute”) Krulak Dies at 95


Gen. Victor "Brute" Krulak, who helped shape strategy for the U.S. Marines from World War II to Vietnam, has died at 95



Lt. Gen. Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, shown during the Vietnam War, at one time commanded all Marine Corps forces in the Pacific. (Union-Tribune file photo


.



Marine Gen. Victor H. Krulak at HQ.


Victor H. Krulak (L) receiving Navy award on Guadal Canal.


Marine Gen. Victor H. Krulak inspecting troops of the First ANGILCO.April 1965


Marine Gen. Victor H. Krulak (L) and family at home.


Gen. Victor H. Krulak (3L) pinning purple heart on Marines wounded in Vietnam.



Lt. Gen. Victor H. 'Brute' Krulak, shown during the Vietnam War, at one time commanded all Marine Corps forces in the Pacific.



He entered the U.S. Naval Academy as an undersized teenager, but Victor H. “Brute” Krulak rose to command all Marine Corps forces in the Pacific, helped develop a boat crucial to amphibious landings during World War II and spoke his mind in disagreeing with a president over Vietnam War strategy.

Lt. Gen. Krulak, a decorated veteran of three wars, died of natural causes late Monday night at the Wesley Palms Retirement Community in San Diego. He was 95.

Standing barely 5 feet 5 inches tall, he was jokingly nicknamed Brute by his academy classmates. The moniker stuck, reinforced by his direct, no-nonsense style.

“There was nothing undersized about his brain,” Time magazine later said.

One of Gen. Krulak's three sons – retired Gen. Charles Krulak of Wilmington, Del. – said his father “was proud of just being a Marine . . . He never forgot that at the end of the day, everything he did was in support of them.”

As a major in the years before World War II, the senior Gen. Krulak helped create the amphibious-war doctrine that the Marines used to defeat Japan in the Pacific. He championed the Higgins boat landing craft that was involved in every World War II amphibious assault, as well as the prototype for the Amtrack vehicle still used by Marines today.

Gen. Krulak was known as a master strategist, said Mike Neil, a San Diego lawyer and retired reserve Marine brigadier general.

“He brilliantly orchestrated the 1st Marine Brigade to save the day at Pusan Peninsula (during the Korean War),” Neil said.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Gen. Krulak formulated the counterinsurgency theory that would be tried out in Vietnam. His “inkblot strategy” called for small groups of Marines to go into villages and work with like-minded locals to defend them against guerrilla forces – a plan resurrected with considerable success two years ago in Iraq.

While commanding more than 100,000 Marines in the Pacific from 1964 to 1968, he took part in a critical stage of the U.S. buildup of forces in Vietnam.

Before his retirement from the military after 34 years in 1968, he was considered a strong candidate for commandant, the top Marine post that his son Charles attained in 1995.

“You'd be hard-pressed to name another Marine in modern times who has had as great an impact on the direction of the Marine Corps – or, for that matter, the country,” said Gary Solis, a former Marine historian and now a law professor at Georgetown University. “From the late 1930s to the 1970s, Victor Krulak had his thumbprint on absolutely everything.”

As commander of Fleet Marine Force Pacific, Solis said, Gen. Krulak required every commander from the battalion level and up to pass through his Hawaii-based headquarters as they left Vietnam. Those commanders briefed him and his staff on the latest developments.

“These (meetings) were crucial to his understanding of what was going on in Vietnam,” Solis said.

A tenacious critic of the government's handling of the Vietnam War, Gen. Krulak wrote in the book “First to Fight” that the conflict could have been won only if the Vietnamese people had been protected and befriended and if enemy supplies from North Vietnam had been cut off. “The destruction of the port of Haiphong would have changed the whole character of the war,” he said two decades after the fall of Saigon.

In a 1995 interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune, Gen. Krulak said he brought up the port during a meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967. The conversation didn't last long after Gen. Krulak said the wrong targets were being hit.

“(Johnson) got to his feet and propelled me to the door, politely. That's the last I ever saw of him,” he said. Looking back on his combat operations, Gen. Krulak said, “I never got enthusiasm out of war, and I'm convinced that the true pacifists are the professional soldiers who have actually seen it.”

After leaving the military, Gen. Krulak worked for Copley Newspapers, serving at various times as director of editorial and news policy and as news media president of Copley News Service.

He retired as vice president of The Copley Press Inc. in 1977 and then contributed columns on international affairs and military matters for Copley News Service.

Chuck Patrick, former chief operating officer of Copley Press and a director and executive committee member of the Copley board, said: “An airport delay of six hours turned out to be one of my greatest memories. Brute told me all about his experiences in Southeast Asia, about his good relationship with President John F. Kennedy and about how his disagreements with President Johnson probably kept him from becoming (Marine Corps) commandant.”

Patrick said he and Gen. Krulak became close friends while serving on the executive committee of the Ponderay Newsprint Co., a newsprint mill in Usk, Wash.

But it was the general's annual phone calls to Patrick's daughter that touched him the most. “Brute was her Santa Claus. Every year in November, he'd check with me about how she was doing before he'd call her to tell her what she needed to work on (before Christmas arrived). Those calls meant so much . . . ”

Gen. Krulak, a native of Denver, received his appointment to the Naval Academy before finishing high school. He received a waiver to bypass the Marine Corps height requirement of 5 feet 6 inches.

In 1934, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps after graduating from the academy. In December 1959, Gen. Krulak assumed command of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, a position he held until his appointment in 1962 as an adviser in the Kennedy administration.

In 1963, he was described by his World War II commander, Gen. Holland M. “Howling Mad” Smith, as “the most brilliant officer I've known in my 58 years in the Marine Corps.”

A longtime Point Loma resident, Gen. Krulak was honored in 1968 as San Diego's “Citizen of the Year” by San Diego Uplifters, a group of 400 professional and business leaders.

During his retirement, Gen. Krulak was active in many community organizations. His roles included serving as president and trustee of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

Gen. Krulak and his late wife, Amy, were known for their annual Fish House Punch parties held to celebrate Gen. Krulak's Jan. 7 birthday. They started the tradition in the 1940s while living in Quantico, Va. The beverage included brandy, lime juice and apple brandy.

Besides Charles, Gen. Krulak also is survived by sons, the Rev. Victor “Vic” Krulak of San Diego and the Rev. William Krulak of Baltimore; his four grandchildren; and his 10 great-grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station chapel. Private inurnment is scheduled for Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.


Wild Thing's comment.........

Semper Fi and Godspeed General.


He wrote this book some years back.


First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps - Amazon.com


He is also responsible for the idea of the ramp, or the “lip,” on the Higgins boats that allowed for easier beach attacks.

President Johnson boasted that our military couldn't bomb a viet outhouse without his permission. Gen. Krulak told LBJ to his face that without stopping the flow of material from Haiphong we could not win the war. He knew Commandant was available to him but told his CIC what he did not want to hear, the truth. The mark of a great General—not a great politician.

Krulak and Lew Walt brought to Vietnam the lessons learned in the Caribbean “Banana Wars” and distilled in the USMC Small Wars Manual. They developed the Combined Action Company (CAC) where marines lived in Vietnamese villages serving as trainers and advisers for the indigenous militia. Their formula for victory was also shared by Army Special Forces.




Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (10)

December 18, 2008

Bataan Death March Survivor Awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart



Command Sgt. Maj. David D. Holmes spends time with World War II veteran Chief Master Sgt.-retired Charles Dragich after a ceremony Wednesday in which Dragich received medals for his service.


Bataan Death March survivor awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart

Star Telegram

ARLINGTON — Charles Dragich survived the fighting in the Philippines, the Bataan Death March, a "hell ship," two bouts of malaria, near starvation, an air raid and slave labor.

He emerged from a Japanese prisoner of war camp in 1945 at half his normal weight of 160 pounds, then promptly re-enlisted. He wore the uniform of the Army, and later the Air Force, for 26 years, retiring in 1964 as a chief master sergeant.

Rather improbably and inexplicably, Dragich left the military without any decorations for fighting and surviving one of World War II’s most inhumane episodes — a forced 65-mile march in which thousands perished.

But on Wednesday, the 92-year-old Dragich received his due.

Army Lt. Col. Ronnie Williamson, commander of the Dallas/Fort Worth recruiting battalion, pinned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, POW Medal and Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal on Dragich during a ceremony in Arlington attended by several dozen family members and friends.

"Mere words cannot measure the amount of gratitude we have for your service to our nation," Williamson said. "Your sacrifices and the sacrifices of your comrades during World War II and the Bataan Death March have paved the way for many of us serving today, including myself. So, please, let these medals represent just a token of our country’s appreciation for all that you have done."

Dragich, one of only a few hundred men still alive who survived the Bataan Death March, said he had accomplished everything he had ever wanted in life, without the medals.

He survived captivity, fathered seven daughters, worked in flight operations at General Dynamics, earned a commercial pilot’s license, and even served as a translator for the Romanian gymnastics team on a trip to the U.S. That’s a pretty full life by any measure.

"You know, I could not speak English in the first grade," he said. "I failed first grade."

He knew he had earned at least some of the medals, but didn’t really pursue a correction in his records because "I was not hard over on medals."

His family and friends, though, took up his cause.

It started about two years ago with Kay Alexander, who works at the Veterans Affairs dental clinic in Fort Worth, who couldn’t imagine why he did not have a Purple Heart. She called Roy Dell Johnson, a Korean War veteran and leader in the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

He called U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, and she contacted the Air Force.

"The Air Force kept turning him down," Johnson said.

They then asked the Army to investigate the matter, and in a few weeks, Dragich had a chest full of decorations.

His wife, Ana, and six of his daughters plus their families attended the ceremony, as did Alexander and Johnson. His daughter, Debra Keeton, who lives in Dallas, said her family was so familiar with his stories of being a POW that they never considered he didn’t have the medals from it.

"I know when he goes home today that he will do a lot of reflecting on that period in his life," Keeton said. "This might have been a secret dream of his. I know he is moved. And as his family, we are so grateful and so glad that this happened now and wasn’t done posthumously."

Still spry and quick-witted (he joked about having a "motor mouth"), Dragich said he owes much of his good health to his wife’s cooking and a regular exercise regimen.

"I’m a very lucky man," Dragich said.


Wild Thing's comment.......

This is an incredible story of an incredible and brave man. This is long overdue.


Something else I would like to mention.

20th Annual Bataan Death March ....March 29th, 2009


http://www.bataanmarch.com/

The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range, N.M., conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their very lives.

19th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March

The Bataan Memorial Death March is more of a memorial than a race. The history and memoriam of the Bataan Death March is what this event is all about. A record number of soldiers and civilians came together at the White Sands Missile Range Base to pay tribute and to honor to the soldiers who were in the original march in the Philippines during WWII. It also pays tribute and honor to the sacrifices of those who have gone before them. This year the Bataan survivors answered the roll call during the opening ceremony
Thirty two amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan also took part in the Bataan Memorial Death March with almost all completing the entire 26.2 mile distance. Soldiers and civilians alike, in the heavy division, carried a minimum of 35 pound packs the entire distance. It was a perfect day until the wind picked up in the afternoon adding yet another obstacle to the runners and marchers.

NO MAMA, NO PAPA, NO UNCLE SAM ............ REMEMBER BATAAN



And there is also this fantastic book called " Ghost Stories".

The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission
by Hampton Sides


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (14)

November 25, 2008

Men Like This Gave Us FREEDOM for America




As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.

The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.

I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too and took a few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something.

The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man and I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying, "You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age." And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine. He then went to his wife and spoke with her and appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near him I said, "Looks like you're having a problem."

He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around I saw a gas station up the road and told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside and saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, "What outfit did you serve with?"

He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all round again and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me. One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name........ "Congressional Medal of Honor Society."


I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage and an honor to have been in his presence.

God Bless America, our Veterans and Troops.



Wild Thing's comment........

When I read this I cried, it is such a special story about America's Heroes!!!!

Thank you to all our Veterans and our troops today.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (17)

November 12, 2008

President Bush and Laura and Vice President Cheney on Veterans Day



"Members of the Intrepid Museum and Foundation Board of Trustees, Wounded Warriors -- you know, oftentimes they ask me, what are you going to miss about the presidency? And first reaction is, I say, no traffic jams in New York. The truth of the matter is, I will miss being the Commander-in-Chief of such a fabulous group of men and women -- those who wear the uniform of the United States military." -- President George W. Bush


Vice President Cheney places a wreath in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 2008.



US Vice President Dick Cheney speaks as actress Bo Derek, the mistress of ceremonies, looks on during Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.


President George W. Bush, joined by former astronauts Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, left, and Scott Carpenter, stand together during a moment of silence after tossing a memorial wreath Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 from the deck of the USS Intrepid into the Hudson River, during a Veteran's Day tribute in New York. White House photo by Chris Greenberg


Marine One carrying U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush arrive at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, November 11, 2008.


President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush attend a rededication ceremony of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum



Bush holds his hand to his heart during the playing of the National Anthem at the start of the rededication ceremony.



Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. James Conway, left, and an unidentified wounded Marine ( name not given) , listen as President Bush speaks at the rededication ceremony


President Bush talks with wounded Marine Lance Corp. Matt Bradford during the rededication ceremony of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008. In January of 2007, Bush watched the multiple amputee Marine climb a rock wall and plant the Marine Corp flag at the top during a visit to the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio.



President Bush receives a standing ovation after being acknowledged that that there have been no terrorist attacks in the U.S. in seven years,



Vice President Dick Cheney greets members of the Virginia Military Institute, regimental staff, from left, Becky Harris and Holly Giacolone as part of Military Appreciation Day at the college in Lexington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008.



Wild Thing's comment........

I thought it would be nice to see one last time President Bush and Vice President Cheney on Veterans Day with our military. Especially since the next 4 years will have a CIC that has no clue about allegiance to our country the greatest country in the entire world. He snubbed our Flag, our Anthem and could not even put his hand on his heart. It means nothing to him. He will never convince me he cares about our troops, if he does show up to be with them it is only a photo op to him and nothing more.

I love the photo of Bo with Cheney too. She is such a nice person and I have met her several times when we lived in Calif.. She is a Republican and supported Bush and also Sarah Palin.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (14)

November 11, 2008

Veterans Day ~ You Live In Our Hearts Every Day


Every day we are grateful and want to honor those all who have served in America’s Armed Forces. Today has been set aside for a special thank you!! It was originally known as Armistice Day because the armistice or temporary cessation of hostilities for World War I took effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. - Wild Thing




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To protect the Nation they love, our veterans stepped forward when America needed them most. In conflicts around the world, their sacrifice and resolve helped destroy the enemies of freedom and saved millions from oppression. In answering history's call with honor, decency, and resolve, our veterans have shown the power of liberty and earned the respect and admiration of a grateful Nation.

All of America's veterans have placed our Nation's security before their own lives, creating a debt that we can never fully repay. Our veterans represent the best of America, and they deserve the best America can give them.

As we recall the service of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, we are reminded that the defense of freedom comes with great loss and sacrifice. This Veterans Day, we give thanks to those who have served freedom's cause; we salute the members of our Armed Forces who are confronting our adversaries abroad; and we honor the men and women who left America's shores but did not live to be thanked as veterans. They will always be remembered by our country.

To the corpsmen, the doctors and nurses so very brave to do what they do.

To the pilots and crews, the crew chief, mechanics and base engineers. the missileers, submariners , the reservists, the National Guard , the paratroopers, the cavalry, the Special Forces, the SEALS, the UDT, the EOD, the Delta Force, the Air Commandos, the Marine Recon, the Rangers , the cooks and truck drivers and the fuelers and the boiler tenders and the boatswain mates, quartermasters, the gunner's mates and the stewards and the laundrymen, the clerk-typists , DI's, the guards, the MPs, the Shore Patrol ............so many all a part of making our military the best.

If I left anyone out I am so sorry. We owe our Veterans so much, we owe them everything. And damn to hell anyone that does not appreciate our Military, our Veterans, and our troops today.

God bless them all and may they always know the pride we have for each one of them.

Thank you Veterans one and all!!

Wild Thing





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A Pittance of Time


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (21)

October 21, 2008

B-17 Flight Offers Veterans A Journey Back In Time



EAA is offering historic flight experiences in its beautifully restored B-17G Flying Fortress “Aluminum Overcast.” This aircraft is an example of the American heavy bomber that helped turn the tide of battle in World War II. Fly a mission back in time and feel the might of this magnificent aircraft, just as those brave young men did more than 50 years ago.


LINK to their website



B-17 flight offers veterans a journey back in time

Sun Herald.com

JACKSON, Miss.

Hunter Gates peered out a window of the World War II bomber as it lumbered down the runway, his left hand propped on a cane and his memories passing like the landscape outside.

"I'm just hoping I get to land in this one," the 86-year-old said with grin.

The last time Gates flew in a B-17 Flying Fortress like this - Feb. 14, 1945 - it was shot out of the sky over Germany.

Gates was one of several World War II veterans who got a ride Monday in one of only about a dozen B-17s still airworthy. The plane is in Jackson this week as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Salute to Veterans tour.

This plane, a sleek silver bomber named the "Aluminum Overcast," tours the country each year. The public is invited to take a ground tour or buy a ride at Hawkins Field in Jackson on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The association uses the plane to promote interest in aviation and war history and to honor men like Bill Ruddock, an 85-year-old pilot who flew 46 missions in a B-17, and Gates.

"This airplane - the 17 - is a piece of history," said Larry Gray, a flight engineer for the group. "It almost won the war by itself, it really did."

The plane's next stops are in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

After four roaring radial engines lifted the bomber off the pavement at Hawkins Field in Jackson, Gates put down his cane. He slowly made his way to the front of the plane and climbed into a small opening just behind the cockpit.

There, in the "chin turret," the glass nose of the plane offered a panoramic view of clear blue skies and the city below. It was in this spot on a similar B-17 that Gates manned a machine gun during World War II and toggled the bombs that were dropped over Europe.

Gates, of Jackson, left his studies at the University of Mississippi to enlist in the military after the war broke out, and was on his 10th mission when his plane was hit by German anti-aircraft fire.

Eight of the 10 men aboard made it out before the plane exploded; the other two died.

"They were waiting for me when I hit the ground," Gates recalled of enemy soldiers. "I was right in front of the Siegfried line. There were thousands of German troops."

Gates was a prisoner of war for two months until Germany surrendered.

Ruddock, who also flew more than 100 missions in a B-29 over Korea, was more fortunate when he was shot down over Yugoslavia. Sympathetic locals hid him and his men in hay carts and helped them get back to friendly territory.

"It was a good airplane. It was tough," Ruddock said after Monday's flight. "You don't know how many guns were shooting at us."


Wild Thing's comment..........

Its awesome to hear stories. Years ago I had a chance to get inside ia B17 and it was so exciting. To be inside and imagine what it was like for those brave men was really something.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (13)

August 22, 2008

CIA Agent, Bay of Pigs Hero, Dies





August 18, 2008

Miami Herald

Military.com

TAMPA, Fla.

Grayston L. Lynch, a hero of the anti-Castro movement for his leadership in the Bay of Pigs invasion, where fired the first shot of the battle, died at 85 on Aug. 10.

Lynch, a wounded combat veteran of World War II and Korea who suffered multiple health problems, was hospitalized for foot surgery when he had a heart attack at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, near his Tampa home, said Karen Lynch, his wife of 18 years.

In his 1998 book, Decision for Disaster: Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs, Lynch detailed his role as CIA case officer in charge of the April 16, 1961, operation.

He fired the first shot of the three-day assault -- at a Jeep shining its headlights on Brigade 2506 frogmen landing at Playa Giron -- then returned to his ship and shot down two Cuban fighter planes.

Despite the invasion's disastrous failure, Lynch continued to direct clandestine assaults on the island from Miami until 1967.

His anger at the Kennedy administration's decision to cancel air support never abated.

Janet Weininger, whose father, American pilot Thomas "Pete" Ray, died in the attack, recalls how decades later Lynch's voice rose when he talked about the losses.

"You could tell he was emotional, and this was really coming from his heart," she said.

His wife said Lynch attributed Fidel Castro's longevity to the supernatural.

'He'd laugh and say, 'You can't kill someone in league with the devil.' "
Lynch, a Catholic, was "very spiritual," she said. "He prayed every day."

A strapping six-foot-two Texan, Lynch looked every bit the role he chose after lying his way into the U.S. Army at 15: highly decorated career soldier and undercover agent.

He's been the subject of several documentaries, and director Ron Howard optioned his book for Universal Studios.

"He was the John Wayne type, and you'd go to hell and back with him," said Amado Cantillo, a Bay of Pigs frogman, now a Miami-Dade County Public Works pilot.
A fierce anti-communist, Lynch "inspired respect and attention. He motivated his men and led by example. Whenever there was a mission, he was there up front. He took care of his men and kept them informed."

Lynch, whose mother died giving birth to him on June 14, 1923, was the son of an East Texas ranch hand and oil driller.

"He was meant to be a soldier," Karen Lynch said, given that June 14 is both Flag Day and the 1775 birthday of the Army.

Lynch joined in 1938: the 5th Cavalry (Horse). He later landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day -- where a hand grenade at his back peppered him with shrapnel. During the Battle of the Bulge, an exploding shell shattered his right leg.

He earned a political science degree from the University of Maryland and, after much surgery, he reenlisted for Korea, where he fought in the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge.

He served with the Special Forces in Laos and Panama before retiring from the military as a captain in 1960.

Lynch then joined the CIA and while recruiting for Brigade 2506, met Cantillo.

"He closed ranks with us," Cantillo said. 'He said, 'You have to work hard if you want to save your country.' "
In time, Cantillo came to "love him like a father. . . . He taught me discipline. He taught me never to surrender."

During the invasion, the two men went ashore together and before the fighting stopped, rescued 35 and buried four of their comrades -- as well as one of Castro's pilots.

A month later, a disillusioned Cantillo 'was mopping floors at Mount Sinai Hospital, and there he was with the cowboy boots. He says, 'Let's go, man!' He was in charge of [secret] missions to Cuba."

In all, Lynch oversaw 2,126 missions, participating directly in 113.

"He was best man at my wedding in 1975, and we were supposed to go to Laos together" with the CIA, Cantillo said, "but they sent me to Africa for two years. After that, I was working with him locally and internationally."

When Karen Hartley-Soben met him in 1987, Gray Lynch was retired from the agency and long divorced.

Twenty years his junior, she was involved in breeding racehorses and writing a spy novel. Already in failing health, Lynch was writing as well.

His book -- and his life -- became her cause.

Cantillo and Janet Weininger credit Karen with keeping him alive far longer than his poor health would have predicted.

"It took 10 years to pull the book out of him," said Karen, who married Lynch in 1990. 'He was so emotionally involved. He cried through the whole chapter 'Rescue.' "
In his speeches, she said, "he never said anything about his exploits, but he talked about how bravely the men fought. He never had a note and could have you crying at the end. It would get to the soul of the people listening."

In June, Lynch celebrated his birthday at the VA hospital. Karen brought a cake decorated with toy soldiers, tanks and American flags.

It would be his last birthday, he told Cantillo, who said, "Don't talk like that!"

Cantillo and other South Florida Bay of Pigs veterans plan to attended a memorial service for Lynch on Aug. 30. It's scheduled for 1 p.m. at the MacDill Air Force Base chapel in Tampa, where the Lynches were married.

The body will be cremated.

"We consider him a member of Brigade 2506," Cantillo said. "I'm giving the widow a flag of the brigade."



Wild Thing's comment..............

These Heroes walk among us and I am forever grateful.



....Thank you Tom for sending this article to me.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:47 AM | Comments (6)

April 19, 2008

Global Warming Cult vs the U.S. Marines


"In that moment, Rosenthal's camera recorded the soul of a nation."
. . .Editors of US Camera Magazine.


This is the original photograph by Joe Rosenthal.



Global Warming Cult vs the U.S. Marines

My Northwest.com

Please CLICK LINK ABOVE TO HEAR ....Donald Mates and Jerry Rosenthal audio's.

Donald Mates is a WWII veteran. He was a lead scout for the U.S. Marines and fought on Iwo Jima.

Donald Mates Interview
Donald Mates is a WWII veteran. He was a lead scout for the U.S. Marines and fought on Iwo Jima. He spoke to Dori on The Dori Monson Show.

Jerry Rosenthal Interview
The famous picture of WWII US Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima has been altered in a controversial new Time magazine cover story. The photographer's grandson, Jerry Rosenthal, lives in Gig Harbor, WA and says his grandfather would be upset by Time's decision.


“That global warming is the biggest joke I’ve ever known,” Lt John Keith Wells told the Business & Media Institute. “[W]e’ll stick a dadgum tree up somebody’s rear if they want that and think that’s going to cure something.”

Donald Mates was a lead scout for the Marines at Iwo Jima. “It’s an absolute disgrace,” Mates said. “Whoever did it is going to hell. That’s a mortal sin. God forbid he runs into a Marine that was an Iwo Jima survivor.”




Wild Thing's comment........

I just can't get over what Time has done. It breaks my heart.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 AM | Comments (18)

April 03, 2008

The Gathering of Mustangs & Legends



The Gathering of Mustangs & Legends
"The Final Roundup"
Rickenbacker International Airport
Columbus, Ohio


As you watch one jumper exits from a Cessna 182 and deploys the American flag as the national anthem is played, the jumper circled by the Red Barons, and the P-51 Mustangs making a pass behind the American flag.



Wild Thing's comment........

This is so awesome, I love watching it. I wanted to share it with all of you.



....Thank you Les for this video.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:48 AM | Comments (7)

April 02, 2008

Navy Prevents Town From Honoring Vets




'Who's in charge here? Dumb and Dumber?'

wnd

A voluntary program in Idaho for residents to raise funds and work with the maker of Buck brand name knives to honor veterans returning from the defense of the U.S. apparently has been torpedoed by military administrative rules regarding the value of gifts.

And the command wasn't sitting well with both members and leaders of the community near Post Falls, where Buck has its corporate headquarters.

"Who's in charge here anyway? Dumb and Dumber?" asked "davenjan" on a forum page in the Coeur d'Alene Press.
Clay Larkin, the Post Falls mayor, said the decision was senseless.
"I would like to know what top-ranking brass made this decision, and I will personally call them and share my thoughts!" he told the newspaper.

The program was launched about three years ago as Graham Crutchfield, a retired Marine, organized the plan to raise money from individuals, service clubs and businesses and work with the company on the commemorative knife program.

More than 500 veterans from the region, including those wounded in combat, have been given the knives since 2005, officials said. They also have been presented to family members of those killed in action.

But then, the newspaper reported, an unidentified senior Navy officer told Troy Gilbert, a member of a Hayden, Idaho-based Mobile Construction Battalion, since the value of the knives was more than $20, members of the military were banned from accepting them, the newspaper said.

Members of the Navy's Judge Advocate General's staff in nearby Washington state deferred a WND request for comment to the Washington headquarters. Officials there did not return messages requesting a comment.

But the Post Falls mayor was more than a little upset.

"I cannot believe what I read this morning about the Navy balking at their seamen receiving a gift from their communities for their service. Where has reality gone?" he said.
"I was in on the first Buck Knife giveaway for the 116th, Charlie Co. National Guard when they came back from Iraq," he continued. "Graham Crutchfield helped me on the fundraising. The looks on their faces when we presented the knives were priceless. Buck Knives employees have come forward and been a major supporter of the project, and I thank them for their involvement!"
He noted an "interesting part" of the argument is that two generals already have been given – and accepted – the knives, "and never has anyone questioned the presentation or the gift for their service," he said.
Paul Abschier, a World War II vet, told the newspaper. "It's the stupidest thing I've heard of. They've put their lives on the line and they can't receive a knife?"
"As a retired lieutenant colonel judge advocate general Army Reserve officer, it is my opinion that gifts exceeding a monetary value of $20 may be kept if they are for meritorious service or achievement," said Kootenai County prosecutor Bill Douglas. "Combat service in Iraq or Afghanistan would certainly fit this criteria."
On the newspaper forum, "Former Ranger," said, "This is utterly ridiculous. When did common sense leave those who are in charge?"
"I still can't believe any service would do such a thing," Crutchfield said. "Megan McClung was a Marine and Annapolis graduate who was killed in Iraq. We gave her parents a knife. Are we saying her life is only worth $20?"

Officials with the knife company did not respond to WND requests for comment.


Wild Thing's comment........

Well tuff, I am not going to obey the law then. There is no way I will ever stop doing things for Veterans when I can. Or giving a gift to a Veteran when I want to, and I sure as heck am not going to pay ANY attention if ithe price range is acceptable to the stupid law set up. I can't afford to give a lot but when I do it is from my heart and most of the time if a gift it is something I already thought a lot about.


Not “some brass” but:

5 C.F.R. Part 2635 - Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch

Under this “rule”, buying a returning vet a nice steak dinner in honor of his service would be a violation as well... Absolutely stupid.

And what about that episode of Overhaulin’? Seems I recall an episode where they completely redid a returning vet’s car as a “thank you”... I am sure the value of the restoration and customization would be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

What about if I were to send a book or Bible to a service person. If the book cost more than $20 bucks, does he have to refuse it?

I don’t think the spirit of the law is being taken into consideration.

And rememebr when Sean Hannity gave a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse gift certificate to a recently returned soldier... I would imagine that such a gift certificate would be worth at least $100.

I guess that was a violation too?

And all the things Rush Limbaugh has done for our soldiers and Veterans.

Remeber too when they did that home for the Iraqi Veteran and his family? That would be under this rule too.

When I go to the VA and take gifts, that would go under this ruling too.

Well I guess I will become a law breaker.


....Thank you Mark for sending this.

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:48 AM | Comments (18)

March 19, 2008

Legacy of Ashes



You can see the video by clicking on the arrow on the bottom bar of the video screen.


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Wild Thing's comment.......

When I frist saw this it took me hours to stop crying. I am sorry I have to show this to you, I don't want to make you cry too. But this cannot nor should not be kept secret or silenced. These men deserve to be respected!!!!!!!!

Oh dear God why did this happen. How does a person live with themselves and treat our Veterans this way??????

There is something seriously wrong in our country that this could happen. It's soul, the heart and soul of our Red, White and Blue................. God help us never to let this happen ever again.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:48 AM | Comments (14)

March 11, 2008

Veterans, Troop Supporters Oppose “Winter Soldier II”



A national coalition of pro-troop and veteran organizations is gathering in the Washington area next week to oppose a planned reenactment of Sen. John Kerry’s infamous “Winter Solider” anti-Vietnam War event that, like its predecessor, will feature “testimony” alleging atrocities committed by American troops this time in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Eagles Up www.eaglesup.us and other organizations are taking aim at Winter Soldier II, patterned after a similar event staged by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971.

Although most of the “veterans” who “testified” in Kerry’s event a generation ago were later found to be frauds, and their testimony was either disproved or impossible to verify, the damage to the Vietnam generation was long enduring.

Hosted by Iraq Veterans Against the War, the ANSWER coalition, CODE PINK, MOVEON.ORG, and associated organizations this generation’s Winter Soldier reenactment is considered to be on a par with its predecessor, with a twist. In 1971 the media accepted the stories of atrocities literally without question, and Kerry even testified before Congress using graphic images of torture and murder, which he claimed were widespread and American military policy.

But Eagles Up and the other pro-troop organizations including Move America Forward and Rolling Thunder will not allow this attack on our troops to go unchallenged. Vietnam and Iraq war veterans and their supporters are demanding that all who participate in the IVAW event submit to identification verification and that their claims are specific including times, dates, places, units involved, leadership and witnesses.

In addition, anyone claiming to have participated in or witnessed an atrocity without attempting to halt it or report it will be referred to the appropriate civilian and military authorities as participants in or accessories to war crimes. Eagles Up leader, Col. Harry Riley, US Army (ret.) said

“We have two objectives: To counter and challenge IVAW Winter Soldier II (WSII) Testimony on March 14 by demanding ‘truth.’"
Col. Riley added, “Our second objective is to participate in a peaceful march in Washington, DC on March 15th that reflects a view of appreciation, uplifting, pride in America, our troops and families. This will be a positive event with flags, banners, patriotic music, fellowship, and oriented for the entire family of patriots.
“Americans are standing up to attacks on our nation and people from those that tend to support the constant drum beat of surrender," Col. Riley said.

Thousands will put "boots on the ground" in Washington, DC on March 14/15 to challenge one devious aspect of the threat on America – those that would have us surrender to the Islamic butchers and dishonor our warriors,” Col Riley added.

“It's a sacrifice for many of us to get to DC but it's also a sacrifice for our families and warriors to offer up their lives. The least we can do is protect their backs.”

For Immediate Release Contact: Harry Riley, COL, USA, Ret
850-689-1818

http://www.eaglesup.us

Map/ Dates and other information can be found here:

http://eaglesup.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=22&Itemid=227


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Wild Thing's comment........

Outstanding! Please send this to all the Veterans you know. I am sure those who can't join with their boots on the ground in DC will be joining in spirit and with prayer.

Times have changed. The far left liberal establishment can no longer plan on running public displays of disgrace, without anticipating a counter attack. Future Hanoi Johns will have a harder time trying to leave their mark.

Eagles Up will also be joined by Gathering of Eagles and other Veterans groups.

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:50 AM | Comments (8)

February 24, 2008

Marine Sgt Daniel Gilyeat Get's Renovated Home


Daniel Gilyeat and his family are getting a renovated home from ABC's popular show, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
Gilyeat is a father and Marine who served two tours in Iraq. On his second tour, which he volunteered for, he was injured on a mission when a bomb struck his vehicle.

Gilyeat suffered serious injuries and lost his left leg above the knee. In addition, his marriage ended and he suddenly became a single father. But 25 days after losing his leg, Gilyeat was up and walking with a prosthetic leg and inspiring other wounded soldiers by visiting them in hospitals and speaking with their families.

Household chores were difficult for Gilyeat because the home was not handicap-accessible. The floors were uneven and the doors were too small to get through.

The work on the home was done in 7 days.


Some behind-the-scenes looks at the upcoming episode that will aired Sunday, February 10, 2008.

"I have always been amazed by the spirit and motivation of Sgt Gilyeat. He is always a very firm and strong leader, but keeps himself approachable. This makes Daniel easy to like and easy follow, but you always know that you don't want to cross his path. Even when I was still a junior Marine finding my place in the unit, Sgt Gilyeat would find the time to talk with me and other new Marines and make up feel welcome, like we were part of the brotherhood. You can always see the gentleness in his eyes, but it's also easy to see that this is one guy who you want working with you, and not against you. I admire his rugged appreciation for all things Marine."

Sgt Daniel Gilyeat, Extreme Makeover Home Edition



'Makeover' Crews Add Flag Pole For Iraq Veteran



Veterans Help Build 'Makeover' House


Gilyeat Family Sees 'Extreme Makeover' House


Surprises Continue For Gilyeat Family


Wild Thing's comment.......

I have never seen this show but I am impressed how they support our troops like this. I tried to put the videos in some kind of order so you could get the feel of how this all came about.

If only our politicans could all be as supportive of our troops like we are learning how business's are, it would be so awesome.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:47 AM | Comments (10)

February 19, 2008

Army Vet to Challenge House Defense Appropriations Chairman John Murtha



If any of these men are on your ballot I hope you take a look at voting for them.

Iraq Veterans for Congress website

I have posted about this before on January 18th 20088 but this is an update.

Iraq Veterans for Congress

Here are the Iraq Veteran for Congress Candidates


One of the Candidates is William T. Russell, a Republican and a Conservative, a good man.

Here is the UPDATE: I pray William Russell does well and wins. That would be so awesome!!

Fox News

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A career Army member left the service two years short of retirement to move here and try his hand at politics by challenging longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. John Murtha.

First-time candidate William T. Russell, 45, a Republican, acknowledged that taking on a popular, 18-term congressman in the 2008 election will be "an uphill battle."

"But it's one that must be fought," Russell told the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown.

Russell plans to formally announce his candidacy within weeks. Murtha has declined comment on the challenge

Russell, who moved from the Washington, D.C., area to Murtha's district specifically to take on the congressman, has a long Army and Army Reserve career that includes tours of duty in the Balkans and both Iraq wars. He and his wife, Kasia, were in the Pentagon when a hijacked airliner slammed into the building on Sept. 11, 2001. Both escaped unhurt.

Murtha's call for troop withdrawal from Iraq "is just flat-out wrong," Russell said. Like Irey, Russell also criticized Murtha's public allegations that unnamed U.S. soldiers committed "cold-blooded murder and war crimes" against innocent Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005.

A small-business owner, Russell said he wants a local economy dependent on the free market. But he acknowledges some jobs may be lost if government contracts disappear.

It is not known whether Russell will have GOP challengers in the primary. Irey said she is focused on seeking re-election as commissioner.

This is his statement:

"I am a Conservative.

I believe in the sovereignty and security of this one nation, under God. I believe the primary role of government is to provide for the common defense and a legal framework to protect families and individual liberty. I believe in rugged individualism because individuals can make far better choices than any government entity in providing for families, protecting households, choosing doctors and health care plans, and deciding which teachers and schools are best for children. I believe prosperity is best ensured by what Adam Smith called the “invisible hand” of a natural, price driven economy.

I believe that we have the responsibility and obligation to control our borders and determine who is allowed to live and work in our country.

I believe that families are the foundation stone upon which all truly great societies are built. I believe that imposed systems of wealth redistribution destroy families, produce a culture of dependence, and hurt everyone. I believe in the sanctity of life and that life begins at conception. I believe in marriage between one man and one woman and that children should always be loved and sometimes spanked. I believe that all children in our school systems should be educated in English and taught the civic duties and responsibilities of citizenship and patriotism.

I believe in private property rights and that the death tax should be killed. I believe the Consumption or Fair Tax is the best and most equitable means to ensure all persons who participate in our economy, legally or illegally, pay their fair share and to reward those who build businesses or save and invest their money.

I believe in the right to bear arms and the right of self defense. Gun control and gun free zones only ensure that victims are unarmed.

I believe that no one owes me anything just because I live and breathe. I believe we should all practice charity in some form or fashion, especially to those who are suffering and least fortunate, but it must be voluntary and spring from a spirit of altruism and love for our neighbors.

Finally, I believe there is room to acknowledge the role of our Creator in public life as stated in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. The mention of God in the Pledge, and asking his blessings for our nation and our safety before ball games, classes, and public meetings does not constitute the establishment of a state religion and does not discriminate against anyone."


Wild Thing's comment.......

I wish one of these men was in my District so I could vote for him. There is one listed in Florida but he is not in my District.



....Thank you Mark for the headsup on the update on Russell.


* Michelle Malklin blog

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (4)

February 11, 2008

Before You Go



Before You Go ,,,Please Click to see video

About the CD:

"Before You Go" is offered as an expression of heartfelt gratitude to those who fought and won the Second World War - for their bravery, gallantry and sacrifices that assure the continued enjoyment of freedoms unprecedented in the history of mankind.

As we lose those who gave us so much to age and time, it is our hope that the wondrous technology of the age of Internet will help us to deliver this tribute and message of thanks to every surviving veteran of the Second World War, their families and descendants.

With our profound thanks to those who we can never adequately thank, and in the hope that you will help us spread our message, we offer "Before You Go".

Though dedicated to the veterans of the Second World War, we view "Before You Go" to be equally applicable to all of the veterans of subsequent wars and current conflicts who have responded to the call of their country and placed their lives on the line on our behalf when asked to do so. We wish to thank all of those who have contributed their photographic services to this project without charge in order to add their thanks to the veterans who have given us so much."


Wild Thing's comment........

This is a wonderful and very touching video tribute and thank you. It is an honor to post this here at this blog among Veterans other wars and those of us that have loved ones serving now.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (4)

January 25, 2008

Retired Green Beret Shoots Intruder, Gets Court Martial



Retired Green Beret shoots intruder, gets court martial

BREVARD, Jan. 19, 2008 – Retired Army Green Beret Smokey Taylor got his court martial this weekend and came away feeling good about it.

Taylor, at age 80 the oldest member of Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association, was on trial by his peers under the charge of “failing to use a weapon of sufficient caliber” in the shooting of an intruder at his home in Knoxville, TN, in December.

The entire affair, of course, was very much tongue in cheek. Taylor had been awakened in the early morning hours of Dec. 17, 2007, when an intruder broke into his home. He investigated the noises with one of his many weapons in hand.

When the intruder threatened him with a knife, Taylor warned him, then brought his .22 caliber pistol to bear and shot him right between the eyes.

“That boy had the hardest head I’ve ever seen,” Taylor said after his trial. “The bullet bounced right off.” The impact knocked the would-be thief down momentarily. He crawled out of the room then got up and ran out the door and down the street. Knoxville police apprehended him a few blocks away and he now awaits trial in the Knox County jail.

The charges against Taylor were considered to be serious. He is a retired Special Forces Weapons Sergeant with extensive combat experience during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

“Charges were brought against him under the premise that he should have saved the county and taxpayers the expense of a trial,” said Chapter XXXIII President Bill Long of Asheville. “He could have used a .45 or .38. The .22 just wasn’t big enough to get the job done.”

Taylor’s defense attorney, another retired Weapons Sergeant, disagreed. He said Taylor had done the right thing in choosing to arm himself with a .22.

“If he’d used a .45 or something like that the round would have gone right through the perp, the wall, the neighbor’s wall and possibly injured some innocent child asleep in its bed,” he said. “I believe the evidence shows that Smokey Taylor exercised excellent judgment in his choice of weapons. He did nothing wrong, and clearly remains to this day an excellent weapons man.”

Counsel for the defense then floated a theory as to why the bullet bounced off the perp’s forehead.

“He was victimized by old ammunition,” he said, “just as he was in Korea and again in Vietnam, when his units were issued ammo left over from World War II.”

Taylor said nothing in his own defense, choosing instead to allow his peers to debate the matter. After the trial he said the ammunition was indeed old and added the new information that the perp had soiled his pants as he crawled out of the house.

“I would have had an even worse mess to clean up if it had gone through his forehead,” Taylor said. “It was good for both of us that it didn’t.”

Following testimony from both sides, Taylor was acquitted of the charges and was given a round of applause.
Meanwhile, back in Knox County, the word is out: Don’t go messing with Smokey Taylor. He just bought a whole bunch of fresh ammo.

##
Tribune Editor Bill Fishburne is a member of the Larry Thorne Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association.




James T "Smokey" Taylor, D-529, of Knoxville, TN and an original member of Chapter 33, has been nominated by the American Legion, Post #2, Knoxville, Tennessee, to serve as Grand Chef De Gare du Tennessee. This is an honor Smokey richly deserves.


NOMINATION FOR GRAND CHEF DE GARE DU TENNESSEE

WHEREAS: Voiture 353 du Tennessee has as a member in good standing a highly qualified yageur Militaire with impeccable qualifications and character, and

WHEREAS: This Voyageur Militaire has served his country honorably during the period from October 1950 to October 1970 including service in-country during the Viet Nam War (Airborne All TheWay!), and

WHEREAS: This Voyageur Militaire has served the American Legion continuously since March 1976, and has served his Post, District, and Department in many various offices to include Post Vice Commander, Commander and Adjutant, and

WHEREAS: This Voyageur Militaire has served La Societé des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux continuously since March 1977, and has served his Voiture in every elected office to include Chef de Gare, and has served on many committees, and

WHEREAS: This Voyageur Militaire has served the Grande Voiture du Tennessee in the elected offices of Grand Cheminot and Grand Chef de Train (East), and has served on several committees, most recently as Grand Directeur POW/MIA, and

WHEREAS: As Locale Membership Directeur, this Voyageur Militaire has led Voiture 353 to two consecutive years of 100% membership, attaining 118% for the current year, now

Therefore be it resolved: Voiture 353 du Tennessee places in nomination for the high office of Grand Chef de Gare du Tennessee for the year 2003-2004 the name of Voyageur Militaire James T. Taylor.

Approved In Regularly Scheduled Promenade, held at American Legion Post # 2, Knoxville, TN, December 7th, 2002.

(signed) ERNEST W. BOLTON - Chef de Gare, V-353
WILLIAM JETT - Correspondant, V-353


.

Wild Thing's comment........

LOL I love it, what a great story. God bless our Special Forces!!!



....Thank you Tom so much for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:47 AM | Comments (17)

December 07, 2007

We Will Never Forget Pearl Harbor



December 7,1941

"A date which will live in infamy."

Honoring our veterans, praying

for the men and women

in Armed Forces currently defending

our freedoms at home and abroad.


Due to the site being down I am late on this, but I wanted very much to post about Pearl Harbor.


On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii . By planning his attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not in port. (The USS Enterprise was returning from Wake Island , where it had just delivered some aircraft. The USS Lexington was ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS Saratoga and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the United States).

In spite of the latest intelligence reports about the missing aircraft carriers (his most important targets), Admiral Nagumo decided to continue the attack with his force of six carriers and 423 aircraft. At a range of 230 miles north of Oahu, he launched the first wave of a two-wave attack.

Beginning at 0600 hours his first wave consisted of 183 fighters and torpedo bombers which struck at the fleet in Pearl Harbor and the airfields in Hickam, Kaneohe and Ewa. The second strike, launched at 0715 hours, consisted of 167 aircraft, which again struck at the same targets. At 0753 hours the first wave consisting of 40 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" torpedo bombers, 51 Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive bombers, 50 high altitude bombers and 43 Zeros struck airfields and Pearl Harbor.

Within the next hour, the second wave arrived and continued the attack.


Posted by Wild Thing at 10:47 PM | Comments (12)

November 11, 2007

Thank You Veterans You Are Never Forgotten ~ Never





If you know a Veteran, someone in your family, friend of the family, neighbor, who served their country, take a brief moment of your day to thank them. Thank them for the sacrifice they made for the better good of their country. I am so very thankful for every service member in our military who has served our great nation .So, to the men and women who answered the call in both times of war and peace, I thank you. ---- Wild Thing



Our Veterans took a thousand towns and villages……
Snow fields and empty stretches of Ocean……..
The jungles hot and deep,
and fought the fight for FREEDOM,
and turned then into sacred places
with their courage in the face of unimaginable horror
.





Anzio


When they fought their way ashore at Normandy....
Dodged their bombers through a deadly maze of antiaircraft fire.......
Went weeks without sleep in a mad race to break the German Code...
They KNEW what was at stake.......
it was the United States of America.
Their children and grandchild and their homeland.......
it was about our FREEDOM



And away He went to war…….
Young, full of dreams and hope for a future...blue eyes shining bright.

He stepped on the bus that would carry him away from us.

We waved until we could see the bus no more and then
we waved once more...as if to insure all our love went with him.

We could not imagine our baby boy going off to
fight a war in a place we had never even heard of...

Days came and went. The letters were full of wonderful
memories of his childhood and telling me to be sure and
cook his favorite foods and think of him...He wrote about the
endless rain that kept them walking in soggy field of rice ...
and the heat that was relentless ... and of the people who
were so distrustful because of the Americans.

He also wrote of his pride in our country...
of believing in what he was doing.

And once he wrote a letter that ripped my heart into...he wrote

"Mom...there are times when I am in the foxholes and
I feel like I am not going to come out. I don't want you
to worry though, Mom because I believe I am going
to come home...deep inside of me. I am coming home, Mom."

Never before had I thought much about soldiers until
my son put on his uniform. And then I began to pray for them all...
and when I would see one my heart would fill with love for them.
I did not know all the horrors they saw or the pain they felt
but I knew they were laying down their very lives for the country we live in.

I knew there was no greater love.
Soon the calendar in our kitchen was filled with marks.

We were counting the days ...
and then the letters which had been coming stopped.

A couple of weeks after the letters had stopped and
my heart was growing so heavy...
it hurt to breathe. A mother knows. I gave him life.
He grew inside my body...and I knew. A part of my soul had died...
I knew before the two men knocked on our door that morning.
I did not hear much of their words...
all I knew was my baby boy was gone.
And I knew that my world would never be the same.

Many years have come and gone since that day in '69.
But whenever I pass a soldier on the street or see one on TV,
I stop and pray...

"Dear God...bless that young man...
protect him and let him know how grateful we are
for what he does. For what he is doing for this nation...
bless His life, dear God. Please keep him safe and
let him return home safe and sound..."

Today I laid a wreath and a flag on my son's grave.
I could hear his words still even after all these years...
"Mama, I am coming home."
And he did ... not the way I had prayed but my son is
home-in a place where there is no more death or sadness.
And He is home in his mother's heart...with every breath I breathe.

Each time I sing, "Our Country 'tis of Thee...Sweet Land of Liberty,"
I see my son, I see mothers and fathers who have lost their children...
I see wives who lost their husbands...
I see children who lost their Dads ...
and I see a flag waving in the wind over a land that is free.

And I know the cost of that freedom...
God bless our veterans ... each and everyday.

May they always know the price they paid is not forgotten ...
and the land they fought to save ...
may freedom always ring!




BALLAD OF THE CHOSIN
The nights were cold in the Korean soil.
But the night's been cold before.
And it's not so hard in your own back yard.
To be set for peace or war

But in history there's a chapter of a place called Valley Forge
Repeated one December on the Chosin Reservoir.

They had us all surrounded I could hear them scream and yell
My feelings at that moment No tongue could ever tell.

I saw the bursting mortar shells And the bullets around me flew
As all my strength had left me And all my courage too.

With the breaking of the morning Just before the dawn
I heard the sounding bugles And the big attack was on.

The cotton quilted uniforms Against our bullet spree
The screaming yelling banzai They called the human sea.

Baby faces bearded And chapped with hardenin' mud
Parkas that were dirty And stained with frozen blood.
Here a bunch of youngsters Who fought on 'til the end
In the battle of the Chosin Where boys were turned to men.
Twelve long miles of convoy Headed for the sea
Roadblocks at every turning Down through Koto-Ri.
The frost bite and the wounded With their dead and dying too
No matter what the objective be These boys were going through.

The Captain he informed us Perhaps he thought it right
That before we reach the river boys We're going to have to fight.

We're going out like Marines
In an organized withdraw
And no matter what the rumors say
It's no retreat at all.

We fought at least nine hours Before the strife was ore
And the like of the dead and wounded I've never seen before.

But the everlasting promise Kept along each bloody yard
No one leaves behind the wounded 'Cause there ain't no fight that hard.

The Chaplain collected dog tags In his hands were quite a few
There was Captain Smith's, McCloskies And Corporal Bryan's too.

And before we reached the river And fought our way back through
The Sergeant had the dog tags And he had the Chaplains too.

If I made you pause one moment And take a little time
Then I know it wasn't just in vain That I put these words to rhyme.

For there's just too many people Who take this all in stride
Who hear these tales of battles Then cast it all aside.

The nights were cold in the Korean soil But the night's been cold before
And it's not so hard in your own back yard To be set for peace or war

But in history there's a chapter of a place called Valley Forge
Repeated one December on the Chosin Reservoir.

Written by Frank Gross

The Ballad of Chosin was composed on December 29th 1950
and it is believed to be among the first ballads
to be composed on the war in Korea .




"To those warriors, who have passed on since and to those who gave their youth, their health and their peace of mind in the fight for freedom, particularly the freedom of speech. We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” ~ Orwell






The Senrinels

You ancient, rusty relics- if you
could only tell
Your history and your legends, of
the battles and the hell.

You lie silent on those beaches,
where you formed a battle line,
Now decaying hulks of rusting steel
from a different place and time.

Ghostly figures man your turrets,
though the surf's the only sound.
Aye, your guns are long since si-
lenced, while the ground swells
rage and pound.

I close my eyes and visualize those
beachheads long ago,
When young Marines were fighting
through that surf and undertow

All too many never made it and, like
you, they shall remain
Silent sentinels at your turrets, while
the hourglass drops its grain.

Time, to you , is unimportant; You're
a monument to the past,,,
But your presence is a waning, if
again the die is cast.
Let no tyrant, King or ruler ever tam-
per with our land,
Lest you start your rusty engines,
and your gunners rise and stand.

May you never be forgotten; May the
old vets spread your fame,
For your colors still fly boldly, and
Old Glory still her name.

Carl Dearborn

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (15)

Veterans Day Salute To Those Who Gave All




.

Click on graphic BELOW to hear "Some Gave All" by Billy Ray Cyrus



.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (8)

November 09, 2007

Veterans Dine for Free



McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurants are offering veterans a complimentary entree in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 2007. Veterans must provide proper ID to be eligible. Visit the McCormick and Schmicks website for details and to find a participating restaurant near you.


Wild Thing's comment........

I LOVE to see this happening. There may be other's doing this but this is the only one I have found out about so far.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (7)

October 30, 2007

Flag-folding Recitation Banned At Vets Cemeteries Nationwide


The recitation of the 13 folds of the U.S. flag can no longer be made at national cemeteries. Veterans and honor detail volunteers, such as Bobby Castillo, 85, left, and Rees Lloyd, 59, are furious.


After complaint in Riverside, flag-folding recitation banned at veterans cemeteries nationwide
Press Enterprise.com

Through thousands of military burials, Memorial Honor Detail volunteers at Riverside National Cemetery have folded the American flag 13 times and recited the significance of every fold to survivors of those being laid to rest.

The first fold, a narrator tells relatives, represents life, the second a belief in eternal life.

The 11th fold celebrates Jewish war veterans and "glorifies the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob."

A single complaint lodged against the words for the 11th fold recently prompted the National Cemetery Administration to ban the entire recital at all 125 national cemeteries.

A spokesman in Washington said the complaint originated from someone who witnessed the ceremony at Riverside National but would provide no other details and declined to release the directive banning the flag-folding recital, saying it was "an internal working document not meant for public distribution."

Veterans are furious. Story continues below Joe Vargo / The Press-Enterprise The recitation of the 13 folds of the U.S. flag can no longer be made at national cemeteries. Veterans and honor detail volunteers, such as Bobby Castillo, 85, left, and Rees Lloyd, 59, are furious.

"That the actions of one disgruntled, whining, narcissistic and intolerant individual is preventing veterans from getting the honors they deserve is truly an outrage," said Rees Lloyd, 59, a Vietnam-era veteran and Memorial Honor Detail volunteer. "This is another attempt by secularist fanatics to cleanse any reference to God."
World War II Navy sailor Bobby Castillo, 85, another member of Memorial Honor Detail 12, called the federal decision "a slap in the face to every veteran."
"When we got back from the war, we didn't ask for a whole lot," said Castillo, who was wounded in 1944 as he supported the Allied landings in France. "We just want to give our veterans the respect they deserve. No one has ever complained to us about it. I just don't understand."

The pair, part of a team that has performed military honors at more than 1,400 services, said they were preparing to read the flag-folding remarks when workers in a staff car came up to them and stopped them.

Charlie Waters, parliamentarian for the American Legion of California, said he's advising memorial honor details to ignore the edict, even if it means being kicked out of cemeteries.
"This is nuts," Waters, a Korean War veteran, said in a telephone interview from Fresno. "There are 26 million veterans in this country and they're not going to take us all to prison."

Washington's Explanation

Mike Nacincik, the spokesman for the National Cemetery Administration, said the new policy, which was outlined in a Sept. 27 memo, is aimed at creating uniform services throughout the military graveyard system.
He said the 13-fold recital is not part of the U.S. Flag Code and is not government approved. After the complaint made its way through government channels, Steve Muro, director of field operations, wrote the new policy.
Nacincik said that while the flag-folding narrative includes references to God that the government does not endorse, the main reason for the new rules is uniformity.
"We are looking at consistency," Nacincik said. "We think that's important."
As for comments that the edict is an attack on religious beliefs, Nacincik said, "People are going to have their own views on that."

He said the flag-folding narrative can be read but only if families make arrangements on their own and do not use cemetery workers, which include volunteers. The U.S. government owns Riverside National, the most active national cemetery in the country with more than 8,000 burials of veterans and immediate family members each year.

A Jewish Perspective

Rabbi Yitzhak Miller, of Riverside's Temple Beth El, said he understands the government's decision to ban the recitation but believes it is a quick solution to a complex issue.

"It is a perfect example of government choosing to ignore religion in order to avoid offending some religions," Miller said. "To me, ignoring religion in general is just as problematic as endorsing any one religion."
Miller said the 11th fold, and the 12th fold, which refers to the Christian Trinity -- "God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost -- amounts to an endorsement of Judaism and Christianity. He said he would like to see a reference to "God as we understand God" mentioned in the ritual but without endorsing any specific tradition.
"To acknowledge those two without acknowledging others denigrates the patriotic men and women of other faiths who serve our country," he said.

Family Wishes

Lloyd and Castillo said they always speak to families before providing military honors to their loved ones. Honors include a rifle salute, the playing of taps and the folding of the flag. Some families don't want any honors; others decline specific parts of the ceremony. Those wishes are paramount and are always respected.
Lloyd said the 16 members of the Memorial Honor Detail he serves on have distributed hundreds of copies of the script they recite while folding the flag. They've received dozens of letters thanking them, and several mention in particular the flag-folding recitation. But now presenting families that memento isn't allowed under the directive.
Lloyd, a member of the state American Legion, said he knows Riverside National Cemetery workers are just obeying orders. The real battle is with Washington.
"We're going to fight this tooth and nail, hammer and boot," he said



Wild Thing's comment........

This is appalling. It’s such a beautiful ceremony, too.

I bet the jerk that bitched was not a member of the immediate family. God bless them in this fight against the enemy within. The ultimate sacrifice of a soldier for his country deserves the highest honor and humility by us all. That it is not enough to compensate for what that individual has done for God and country.

And I WANT A NAME, A FACE, I want to know who the person was that complained. When something is changed like this, I DEMAND we have information on this jerk. Why protect this asswipe! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR Since WHEN is the voice of ONE more important than the voices of the Many?


Flag folds

These meanings, not part of the U.S. Flag Code, have been ascribed to the 13 folds of American flags at veterans burial services:

1. Symbol of life.

2. Symbol of our belief in the eternal life.

3. In honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.

4. Represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.

5. A tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

6. Represents where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

7. A tribute to our armed forces.

8. A tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.

9. A tribute to womanhood.

10. A tribute to father.

11. In the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

12. In the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.

13. When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God We Trust."

.....Thank you Jack for sending this to me. Conservative Insurgent is Jack's wonderful blog.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:40 AM | Comments (8)

October 15, 2007

Former Doolittle Raider Passes Away


Former Doolittle Raider passes away


Former Lt. Nolan A. Herndon, a member of the famed Doolittle Raiders, died of pneumonia Oct. 8 at the age of 88. The lieutenant was a navigator-bombardier on one of the B-25 bombers that took off from an aircraft carrier on April 18, 1942, to strike targets in Japan.


Wild Thing's comment........

God speed Lt. Herndon and thank you sir.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (14)

September 24, 2007

Veterans Disarmament Act Will It Pass



Veterans Disarmament Act To Bar Vets From Owning Guns gun owners.org


Hundreds of thousands of veterans -- from Vietnam through Operation Iraqi Freedom -- are at risk of being banned from buying firearms if legislation that is pending in Congress gets enacted.

How? The Veterans Disarmament Act -- which has already passed the House -- would place any veteran who has ever been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the federal gun ban list.

This is exactly what President Bill Clinton did over seven years ago when his administration illegitimately added some 83,000 veterans into the National Criminal Information System (NICS system) -- prohibiting them from purchasing firearms, simply because of afflictions like PTSD.

The proposed ban is actually broader. Anyone who is diagnosed as being a tiny danger to himself or others would have his gun rights taken away... forever. It is section 102(b)(1)(C)(iv) in HR 2640 that provides for dumping raw medical records into the system. Those names -- like the 83,000 records mentioned above -- will then, by law, serve as the basis for gun banning.

No wonder the Military Order of the Purple Heart is opposed to this legislation.

The House bill, HR 2640, is being sponsored by one of the most flaming anti-Second Amendment Representatives in Congress: Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). Another liberal anti-gunner, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), is sponsoring the bill in the Senate.

Proponents of the bill say that helpful amendments have been made so that any veteran who gets his name on the NICS list can seek an expungement.

But whenever you talk about expunging names from the Brady NICS system, you're talking about a procedure that has always been a long shot. Right now, there are NO EXPUNGEMENTS of law-abiding Americans' names that are taking place under federal level. Why? Because the expungement process which already exists has been blocked for over a decade by a "funds cut-off" engineered by another anti-gunner, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

So how will this bill make things even worse? Well, two legal terms are radically redefined in the Veterans Disarmament Act to carry out this vicious attack on veterans' gun rights.

One term relates to who is classified a "mental defective." Forty years ago that term meant one was adjudicated "not guilty" in a court of law by reason of insanity. But under the Veterans Disarmament Act, "mental defective" has been stretched to include anyone whom a psychiatrist determines might be a tiny danger to self or others.

The second term is "adjudicate." In the past, one could only lose one's gun rights through an adjudication by a judge, magistrate or court -- meaning conviction after a trial. Adjudication could only occur in a court with all the protections of due process, including the right to face one's accuser. Now, adjudication in HR 2640 would include a finding by "a court, commission, committee or other authorized person" (namely, a psychiatrist).

Forget the fact that people with PTSD have the same violent crime rate as the rest of us. Vietnam vets with PTSD have had careers and obtained permits to carry firearms concealed. It will now be enough for a psychiatric diagnosis (a "determination" in the language of the bill) to get a veteran barred -- for life -- from owning guns.

Think of what this bill would do to veterans. If a robber grabs your wallet and takes everything in it, but gives you back $5 to take the bus home, would you call that a financial enhancement? If not, then we should not let HR 2640 supporters call the permission to seek an expungement an enhancement, when prior to this bill, veterans could not legitimately be denied their gun rights after being diagnosed with PTSD.

Veterans with PTSD should not be put in a position to seek an expungement. They have not been convicted (after a trial with due process) of doing anything wrong. If a veteran is thought to be a threat to self or others, there should be a real trial, not an opinion (called a diagnosis) by a psychiatrist.

If members of Congress do not hear from soldiers (active duty and retired) in large numbers, along with the rest of the public, the Veterans Disarmament Act -- misleadingly titled by Rep. McCarthy as the NICS Improvement Amendments Act -- will send this message to veterans: "No good deed goes unpunished."



CO-Sponsors:

Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] - 6/11/2007
Rep Boucher, Rick [VA-9] - 6/11/2007
Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] - 6/11/2007
Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] - 6/11/2007
Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] - 6/13/2007
Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] - 6/11/2007
Rep Emanuel, Rahm [IL-5] - 6/11/2007
Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] - 6/11/2007
Rep Moore, Dennis [KS-3] - 6/11/2007
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 6/11/2007
Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [NJ-8] - 6/11/2007
Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 6/13/2007
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 6/11/2007
Rep Shays, Christopher [CT-4] - 6/11/2007
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] - 6/12/2007
Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21] - 6/11/2007
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] - 6/11/2007



some quotes about the bill...

from www.gunowners.org

“Through the years, we’ve had our differences with the National Rifle Association.... Today, we write in praise the NRA.” — The San Francisco Chronicle 06/15/07
“The Virginia Tech shootings were a horrific reminder of the gaps in U.S. gun laws. The [NRA] knew its usual opposition to any and every solution we brought forward would be unacceptable to the American public so it made this concession.” — Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence e-mail alert
“For the first time [in history, HR 2640], if enacted, would statutorily impose a lifetime gun ban on battle-scarred veterans.” — Military Order of the Purple Heart 06/18/07
“The NRA has told its members in the past that Carolyn McCarthy is one of the worst of the gun banners and now the NRA has crawled in bed with her!” — Virginia Citizens Defense League
“We’re hopeful that now that the NRA has come around to our point of view in terms of strengthening the Brady background checks, that now we can take the next step after this bill passes [to impose additional gun control].” — Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign on CNN 06/13/07



Wild Thing's comment........

When I was 7 years old, my Dad would take me to the pasture, far away from the stables and set up a target practice shooting range. He taught me how to use a gun, to respect it and what it was capable of doing, to not be afraid of it, that it was and is the person with the gun not the gun that is dangerous. He taught me how important it is to have a gun or guns for protection always and.............................He told me that one day, it was very possible that in our country the government would knock on our door, or any door of a citizen and come for the guns in the household.

I pray this Veterans Disarmament Act does not pass.

Thank you John (VN 89-70) so much for the information below. VERY Importan to read this below everyone, thank you so much.


UPDATE:

The NRA has addressed this article and has actually cleared up some of the information in the article.


http://www.nraila.org//Issues/Articles/Read.aspx?ID=246

Please click on the link from the NRA to read what they are saying about this bill.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (20)

August 17, 2007

Stamp Honors James Stewart




Stamp honors James Stewart (decorated World War II bomber pilot and actor)
(AP)

Lots of actors play war heroes on the screen. James Stewart was one in real life.

A decorated World War II bomber pilot who returned from battle to star in "It's A Wonderful Life," Stewart will be commemorated on a new 41-cent postage stamp being released Friday.

Stewart flew 20 bombing missions over Germany, including one over Berlin, after wrangling combat duty when commanders would have preferred to use a movie star for morale building work at home.

As a squadron commander, Stewart flew many dangerous missions when he could have sent others instead, recalled Robbie Robinson, a sergeant who was an engineer-gunner in Stewart's B-24 squadron.

But while Stewart rose to colonel during the war and later retired as a brigadier general in the reserves, he didn't stand on ceremony.

Robinson, of Collierville, Tenn., recalled one time when a creative tail gunner managed to "liberate" a keg of beer from the officer's club.

That evening, Stewart wandered into a hut where some men were resting, picked up a cup, walked over to the "hidden" keg, poured himself a beer and sat back and drank it slowly, relaxing in a chair.

"We were shaking in our boots," Robinson said.

But Stewart merely got up, wiped out the cup, asked the men to keep an eye out for a missing keg of beer, and left.

Another time, Robinson recalled in a telephone interview, his plane landed behind another that was stuck on the end of the runway, nearly clipping it's tail.

After watching this Stewart rubbed his chin and commented: "Ye Gods, sergeant, somebody's going to get hurt in one of these things."

"Once in your lifetime someone crosses your path you can never forget, and that was Jimmy Stewart," Robinson concluded.

This is the 13th stamp in the "Legends of Hollywood" series and will be dedicated in ceremonies at Universal Studios, Hollywood, Calif.

"It's our privilege to pay tribute to James Stewart, a fantastic actor, a great gentleman, a brave soldier, and an inspirational human being who truly led a wonderful life," Alan C. Kessler, vice chairman of the postal governing board, said in a statement.

Other highlights from Stewart's career include the movies "Rear Window," "Vertigo" and "The Man Who Knew Too Much," all directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Stewart played a country lawyer in "Anatomy of a Murder" and played a lawyer again in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," a Western released in 1962.

He won an Oscar for best actor in "Philadelphia Story" in 1940.

Stewart died on July 2, 1997.




Wild Thing's comment........

One of my favorite actors and a great patriot and one of my favorite Pennsylvanians. He also flew at least one sortie over Vietnam in a B-52.

I was fortunate to be able to meet Jimmy Stewart. He was truly a gracious gentleman.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (12)

August 09, 2007

Purple Heart Rendering on Lawn for Purple Heart 75th Anniversary




A Purple Heart medal is shown mowed into a lawn in Thomas Bull Memorial Park on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007, in Hamptonburgh, N.Y. The replica medal, created by Roger Baker, occupies an area of 850,000 square feet and measures more than 1,000 feet long.

HAMPTONBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - An artist has mowed an 850,000-square-foot rendering of a Purple Heart medal into a park field to honor the 75th anniversary of the medal that commends service members killed or wounded in action.

The rendering, to be unveiled Sunday in Thomas Bull Memorial Park in this city 55 miles northwest of New York City, was done by field artist and painter Roger Baker, whose past works include the Statue of Liberty and Elvis Presley.

According to Baker, the project followed a chance meeting with Bill Bacon, membership director of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. After meeting with officials from The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and Orange County parks, the plan was on.

The New Windsor Cantonment, in what is now Orange County, was the final encampment of the Revolutionary Army. To honor the service of select troops, Gen. George Washington presented a small purple cloth Badge of Merit _ the precursor to the Purple Heart medal.

In 1932, the Purple Heart was awarded to 150 veterans of World War I. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor opened in New Windsor in 2006.

Baker's design was based on a photograph of the medal awarded to Art Livesey, a Middletown, N.Y., Marine Corps veteran who was wounded at Iwo Jima.



Wild Thing's comment........

I think it is great when people do things to draw attention to the sacrifices our Veterans and troops today have made for all of us. We owe them more then we can ever repay and with all my heart I want them to know how all of us feel about them. How much they do and have done is appreciated. So I think this is neat and wonderful this rendering and I am so glad they did this.

When I was growing up my Father took us on a vacation every summer. Many of my favorite vacations were the ones he took us to the historical places in our country where I learned why this counrtry is special and the greatness of the USA because of our military and our Veterans. Visiting Arlington and other places, that touch our lives every day in what they mean to all of us.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:40 AM | Comments (6)

July 14, 2007

Veteran Marine Tackles Suspected Bank Robber


DECATUR, Ga.

A former Marine, already irritated about the disappearance of $100 from his bank account, tackled a suspected robber who came into the bank wielding a fire extinguisher and demanding cash.

Timothy Armstead was waiting at the Washington Mutual Bank branch on Tuesday to discuss the missing money when the man came in and told bank employees he had a bomb. The man gave them five minutes to get $2,000 in $50 bills, DeKalb County police said.

As the employees went to the vault to comply, the unidentified man began loudly counting down the minutes, which attracted Armstead's attention, police spokesman Michael Payne said.

When the man then tried to walk out with the money, Armstead, 27, knocked him to the ground. He held the man down - lecturing him on his poor decision - until authorities arrived.

"I just told him it was a very stupid decision and now you get to spend 20 years of your life just for taking some money," Armstead told WSB-TV.

The man was taken to the DeKalb County Jail on suspicion of armed robbery. Jail officials declined to comment on his case Friday. A call to the DeKalb County Sheriff's office was not immediately returned.


Wild Thing's comment..........

I confess I changed the title of the article, they had it as EX-Marine and that is something that does not exist.

I am sure glad we have our Veterans around, they have knowledge, experience and a lot of the time with all of that can take a situation and keep it from getting worse. I love stories like this!!



........Thank you Bob for sending me this story.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (10)

July 02, 2007

Retired Marine Is Top Gun At Sub Shop


John Lovell


Retired Marine is top gun at sub shop
Miami Herald
A retired Marine is credited with thwarting two gunmen who had just robbed the cashier at a sandwich shop.

The night started like many for John Lovell, a 71-year-old ex-Marine and helicopter pilot who served two presidents. Late dinner alone at a Plantation Subway shop -- veggie sub, soda, oatmeal cookie.

Wednesday night, though, Lovell's meal was interrupted by an armed robbery. Two gunmen stormed into the sandwich shop at about 11 p.m., robbed the cashier and tried to shove Lovell -- the lone customer -- into the bathroom. Two bullets later, one gunman was dead, another was wounded and Lovell was being hailed as a hero.

''There's no such thing as an ex-Marine, and he typifies this,'' said longtime friend Wesley White.
''What he did last night was unbelievable Samaritan spirit,'' said shop owner Khalid Malik.

Lovell already was a great customer at the Jacaranda Square Subway, Malik said: He comes by almost every night, slides into a back booth and orders the six-inch veggie sub, cookie and soft drink.

But now, said Malik, ``I love him a lot more.''
No one could find Lovell on Thursday. But when he shows up again, Malik said, the hero will have free heroes at the shop for life.
The Subway video surveillance cameras, which the owner had installed only a week ago -- ''just to be on the safe side'' -- caught the whole drama.

The robbers got Lovell's money. But Lovell, who neighbors and friends say is in tiptop shape and looks years younger than he really is, pulled out his handgun and shot both in the head.

Donicio Arrindell, 22, of North Lauderdale died. Fredrick Gadson, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, was critically wounded.

The front window was blown out and cash strewn around the shop.

''There were fives and rolls of coins everywhere,'' said Detective Robert Rettig of the Plantation Police Department
.
Rettig said Lovell, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, is not expected to be charged. ''He was in fear for his life,'' Rettig said.

Reporters and television crews clustered Thursday outside Lovell's two-story town house in Plantation, hoping for an interview. He didn't show.

Friends said Lovell is amicable and soft-spoken, doesn't drink or smoke, and is a no-nonsense kind of guy.

''There's no BS with him,'' said White, of Yulee. 'You could compare him to Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. But because of his lifestyle, he's like `Clean Harry.' ''

Neighbors and friends said he is unmarried, drives a Corvette and sometimes is away for long periods of time. A neighbor collected his mail Thursday.

At one point during his Marine career, the Kentucky native served as a pilot for presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. After retiring from the Corps, he became a pilot for Delta and Pan Am.

Bryan Sklar, who serves on the Townhouses at Jacaranda board with Lovell, said he is a straight-up guy.

''I've seen pictures of him with John F. Kennedy,'' Sklar said.

After the holdup Wednesday night, the suspects were transported to Broward General Medical Center, where Arrindell was later pronounced dead. Gadson, listed Thursday night in serious condition, faces armed robbery charges. And because someone was killed during the crime, he also will be charged with murder, authorities said.



Wild Thing's comment..........

I am so glad Florida has a law that gives people the right of "self-defense without the duty to retreat."

This man not only saved his own life but that of the shop owner as well. He was being led into a bathroom. If you read any stories of armed robberies, that’s a sure sign bad things are in store for the victim.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (12)

July 01, 2007

Veterans Wage Battle Over Flag




Vets wage battle over flag By Marcus E. Howard

Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer

The heart and soul of the Marietta July Fourth Parade each year are the many military veterans who take part, some of them in their old uniforms - not the hordes of politicians who use the event as an excuse to get "face time" in front of potential voters.

The veterans and veterans groups elicit by far the loudest ovations from the crowds that line the parade route, louder than the cheers for any politician or other participant. And that's as it should be.

But to its great discredit, Marietta City Hall this year has decided to give the veterans the back of its hand.

In past years, the start of the parade has been heralded by members of Marietta's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2681, who walk along the parade route a few minutes ahead of the rest of the marchers while passing out thousands of miniature U.S. flags to children - young and old - along the way.

Other members of the group pass the flags out while walking next to the group's float.

City Hall informed the VFW that it would not be allowed to give out the flags, citing an obscure rule prohibiting parade participants from passing out materials or throwing candy - a rule they've never enforced when it came to the flags.

Officials announced yesterday afternoon that the city will allow veterans and others to pass out 3-by-5 inch U.S. flags, but only before and after the parade, not during the 1.5-mile route as they walk next to their "Let Freedom Ring" float.

"I think it's pretty sad when you can't pass out a miniature flag during a Fourth of July parade," said Spears, a Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran. "I don't think handing out the American flag equates to handing out candy."
It may take more than a dusty old rule to keep Dean and other battle-tested veterans among Marietta's 456-member VFW Post 2681 from distributing Old Glory on Independence Day, Dean said.
"Yes, absolutely we'll be out there passing out flags," Dean said.

Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn said he hopes none of his officers have to arrest anyone next week for passing out U.S. flags. He said he is scheduled to meet with representatives from VFW Post 2681 Thursday morning to discuss the matter.


UPDATE:

City, veterans call truce over flags

By Marcus E. Howard
Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer

Dean and other veterans questioned the policy, arguing that they had distributed the 3-by-5-inch U.S. flags from their float to children and other people on the sidewalks for the past several years, without incident.

After his morning meeting with Flynn and a second meeting in the afternoon regarding the language of the agreement, Dean said he was satisfied with the compromise and said Flynn was "very cordial."

Under the agreement, veterans will be allowed to walk-up to spectators and hand them flags 10 to 15 minutes before the parade begins.

"Some of the members say they're not doing it and are just going to pass out the flags anyway," said Dean, a Korean War Army veteran. "But I have no control over members once they leave the post."

The VFW will still have its own float, positioned No. 28 in the parade lineup - well behind a string of politicians, city councilmen and the mayor. (ed. In other words, safely beyond camera range of the Veterans position in the parade)

Still, some veterans like James Ellis said they plan to defy city rules and distribute flags to spectators as they walk next to their "Let Freedom Ring" float, during the parade.

"It stinks," said Ellis, a World War II and Korean War veteran, of the agreement. "I say we still need to walk along the parade route with our float and hand flags out."
He said regardless of what city officials say, veterans have been distributing flags to parade spectators along the route for decades and he offered photos of them doing so as proof.
A former U.S. Navy sailor who witnessed firsthand the Berlin Wall and Cuban-missile crises, Ellis said the entire flag controversy has "hit a sore spot" for him.
Wilma Clark, president of the VFW post's Ladies Auxiliary, said Thursday evening that she didn't know the details of the agreement yet but she felt the city's ordinance is "wrong" since there has been no previously reported injury as a result of veterans handing flags out.

Other Cobb residents have voiced equal dismay over the city's position.

Mark Johnson, a Marietta attorney who represents Cobb real estate magnate and Post Properties founder John Williams, said he first met his wife at the Fourth of July parade and called it a "highlight" of his year.


Wild Thing's comment...........

If I were one of those Veterans I would ignore this stupid rule too. I would do the Parade just as it has been done in the past. We would have nothing if it weren't for Veterans and our troops today. How people forget this, ON PURPOSE is an insult to every man and woman that has served this country.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (14)

June 27, 2007

Kudos To This 72 Years Young Jarhead! God Bless You Sir!




Ex-Marine, 72, Teaches Pickpocket a Lesson

Fox News

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Bill Barnes says he was scratching off a losing $2 lottery ticket inside a gas station when he felt a hand slip into his front-left pants pocket, where he had $300 in cash.

He immediately grabbed the person's wrist with his left hand and started throwing punches with his right, landing six or seven blows before a store manager intervened.

"I guess he thought I was an easy mark," Barnes, 72, told The Grand Rapids Press for a story Tuesday.

He's anything but an easy mark: Barnes served in the Marines, was an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer and retired after 20 years as an iron worker.



Jesse Daniel Rae

Jesse Daniel Rae, the 27-year-old Newaygo County man accused of trying to pick Barnes' pocket, was arraigned Monday in Rockford District Court on one count of unarmed robbery, a 15-year felony.

Barnes said he had just withdrawn the money from a bank machine and put it in the pocket of his shorts before driving to the Marathon service station and Next Door Food Store in Comstock park, a Grand Rapids suburb.

He remembers noticing a patron acting suspiciously, asking the price of different brands of cigarettes and other items. While turned away, Barnes felt the hand in his pocket, so he took action.

"I guess I acted on instinct," he said.

Kent County sheriff's deputies said the store manager quickly came around the counter. The three of them struggled through the front door, where two witnesses said the manager slammed Rae to the ground and held him there.

"There was blood everywhere," said another manager on duty, Abby Ostrom, 25.

Barnes was a regional runner-up in Golden Gloves competition in the novice and open divisions before enlisting in the Marines in 1956.

He lived most of his adult life in Comstock Park with his wife, Patricia, before recently moving to Ottawa County. The couple have three children.

After retiring as an iron worker, he now works part-time as a starter at a golf course.

Barnes said he'd probably do the same thing again under the same circumstances, if for no other reason than what he would face back home.

"I wouldn't want my wife to give me hell for lettin' that guy get my money," he said with a smile.


Wild Thing's comment.........

First I have to say the article says...EX-Marine. There are no EX-Marines unless you are talking about John Murtha and he is one that should be an EX-Marine.

OK now to the story that I just LOVE. God bless our Marines at any age they are!!

Marine, Golden Gloves boxer, and iron worker! Talk about hitting the trifecta!

Semper Fi!

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (10)

Vietnam Veteran ( 59 ) Disarms Gunman



A Hero Emerges From Monday's Tragic Shooting

(KUTV) SALT LAKE CITY Monday's tragic events could have been much worse if it weren’t for a special customer inside a fast food restaurant.

Eric Fullerton may look small but he’s got a big heart and apparently some big muscles.

“I didn’t have time to think about being scared,” said Fullerton. “I wrestled the gun from him. I took the gun from him.”

When Curtis Allgier jumped out of a Ford Explorer and into the Arby’s at 1700 south and Redwood Road Eric Fullerton didn’t flinch.

He didn’t know police suspected Allgier of killing a corrections officer.

He just knew he wasn’t going to let him kill anybody else.

“I just instinctively did what needed to be done. He was going to kill that guy, and I wasn’t going to let him kill him,” says Fullerton.
“Everybody’s calling me a hero,” Fullerton said. “I’m not a hero; I just did what I had to do.”




The suspect, Curtis Allgier, is about three times bigger than Fullerton and he had a gun and a knife.

In fact Allgier actually cut Fullerton’s throat but that didn’t stop this Vietnam veteran from ending a deadly day.

“I can’t tell you how I did it or what I did,” Fullerton said. “I don’t know if it was adrenaline or if I had a guardian angel watching over me. I have no idea.”
He says, “I’m just glad the other guys alive and everybody got out safe.”



Wild Thing's comment..........

LOL, don't mess with a Vet! Let that be a lesson for all the punks.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:40 AM | Comments (8)

April 27, 2007

WWII Bomber Crew Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross



Former Staff Sgt. Robert D. Speed salutes Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley after receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for his role in the Ploesti, Italy, mission 63 years ago. Mr. Speed was a member of a B-24 Liberator Bomber crew who encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire July 15, 1944, and as a result lost one engine.

The crew still managed to complete their mission of bombing oil refineries in Romania, but was shot down the next day while participating in a raid over Austria; they were taken prisoner of war. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young)



WWII bomber crew awarded Distinguished Flying Cross

Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, Air Force District of Washington commander and former 1st Lt. Edward McNally pay their respects during a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the "Flak Man" B-24 Liberator crew April 24 in Washington, D.C. Mr. McNally was a member of the bomber crew who encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire July 15, 1944, and lost one engine, but still managed to complete their mission of bombing the Nazi's oil refinery lifeline in Romania. They were shot down the next day while participating in a raid over Austria and were taken prisoner of war. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Rusti Caraker)


A wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the "Flak Man" B-24 Liberator crew was held April 24 in Washington, D.C.The bomber crew members were also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross 63 years after their encounter with heavy anti-aircraft fire July 15, 1944. Despite losing one engine, the crew managed to complete their mission by bombing the Nazi's oil refinery lifeline in Romania. They were shot down the next day while participating in a raid over Austria and were taken prisoner of war.(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Rusti Caraker)


World War II's "Flak Man" B-24 Liberator crewmembers were honored with the Distinguished Flying Cross during a ceremony April 24 in Washington, D.C. From right are crew members 1st Lt. Edward L. "Mac" McNally, Tech. Sgt. Jay T. Fish, Staff Sgt. Robert D. Speed and families of deceased members. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young)


WWII bomber crew members awarded Distinguished Flying Cross

4/26/2007 - WASHINGTON (AFNEWS) -- It was a warm summer morning when the crew of the Flak Man, a B-24 Liberator, joined other bombers and their escort fighters on a daring mission. They flew from Pantanella, Italy, and played a key role in the bombing of oil refineries 700 miles away near Ploesti, Romania. The location was of strategic importance -- Nazi Germany got 60 percent of their petroleum from the plants there.

En route, there was heavy resistance from the Luftwaffe in the air and from anti-aircraft fire on the ground. But despite heavy damage to the Flak Man, the crew was able to successfully deliver their munitions and returned to Italy, their mission complete and instrumental to halting the Nazi war machine.

The next morning, the crew was sent out again, but the Flak Man was too damaged to fly. The crew instead went out in the Black Fox, a B-24 so similar to their beloved Flak Man, they hardly noticed the difference. On the way to their target in Austria, the Black Fox was shot down, killing one of the crew, Tech. Sgt. William Magill. The others were held as prisoners until the end of the war.

In a ceremony on Capitol Hill April 24, the crew of the Flak Man was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for their role in the Ploesti mission 63 years ago. The three living members of the original crew were on hand for the event, while representatives for the others accepted their medals.


"This is the legacy of today's Air Force and a sign of what young Americans are all about," General Moseley said. "They walked in the footsteps of Airmen before them just as they paved the way for us. Today's Airmen stand on the shoulders of giants and it's my honor to present these American heroes with the Distinguished Flying Cross."

Humbled, yet proud, Mr. McNally also spoke to the crowd.

"Most Air Force members don't care if they ever get a medal or not," he said. "But should the Air Force see fit to honor me, I will not disdain it. I will cherish it."



Wild Thing's comment........


We salute you and thank you. God bless you all. We are ever in their debt.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:44 AM | Comments (9)

March 20, 2007

You Won't Be Forgotten




CTS won an award from the Congressional Medal Of Honor and Military Writers Society for along with International Picturs FX for this video. It was featured in the "Run For The Wall" video for a biker event every May that ends up at the Vietnam Wall with over 500,000 strong. It is a tribute to all our heroes who have served and are serving and protecting this country's freedom.



....Thank you John 5 ( VN 69/70) for the video. This is great!

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2006

Thank You Veterans



If you know a Veteran, someone in your family, friend of the family, neighbor, who served their country, take a brief moment of your day to thank them. Thank them for the sacrifice they made for the better good of their country. I am so very thankful for every service member in our military who has served our great nation .So, to the men and women who answered the call in both times of war and peace, I thank you. ---- Wild Thing



Our Veterans took a thousand towns and villages……
Snow fields and empty stretches of Ocean……..
The jungles hot and deep,
and fought the fight for FREEDOM,
and turned then into sacred places
with their courage in the face of unimaginable horror
.





Anzio


When they fought their way ashore at Normandy....
Dodged their bombers through a deadly maze of antiaircraft fire.......
Went weeks without sleep in a mad race to break the German Code...
They KNEW what was at stake.......
it was the United States of America.
Their children and grandchild and their homeland.......
it was about our FREEDOM



And away He went to war…….
Young, full of dreams and hope for a future...blue eyes shining bright.

He stepped on the bus that would carry him away from us.

We waved until we could see the bus no more and then
we waved once more...as if to insure all our love went with him.

We could not imagine our baby boy going off to
fight a war in a place we had never even heard of...

Days came and went. The letters were full of wonderful
memories of his childhood and telling me to be sure and
cook his favorite foods and think of him...He wrote about the
endless rain that kept them walking in soggy field of rice ...
and the heat that was relentless ... and of the people who
were so distrustful because of the Americans.

He also wrote of his pride in our country...
of believing in what he was doing.

And once he wrote a letter that ripped my heart into...he wrote

"Mom...there are times when I am in the foxholes and
I feel like I am not going to come out. I don't want you
to worry though, Mom because I believe I am going
to come home...deep inside of me. I am coming home, Mom."

Never before had I thought much about soldiers until
my son put on his uniform. And then I began to pray for them all...
and when I would see one my heart would fill with love for them.
I did not know all the horrors they saw or the pain they felt
but I knew they were laying down their very lives for the country we live in.

I knew there was no greater love.
Soon the calendar in our kitchen was filled with marks.

We were counting the days ...
and then the letters which had been coming stopped.

A couple of weeks after the letters had stopped and
my heart was growing so heavy...
it hurt to breathe. A mother knows. I gave him life.
He grew inside my body...and I knew. A part of my soul had died...
I knew before the two men knocked on our door that morning.
I did not hear much of their words...
all I knew was my baby boy was gone.
And I knew that my world would never be the same.

Many years have come and gone since that day in '69.
But whenever I pass a soldier on the street or see one on TV,
I stop and pray...

"Dear God...bless that young man...
protect him and let him know how grateful we are
for what he does. For what he is doing for this nation...
bless His life, dear God. Please keep him safe and
let him return home safe and sound..."

Today I laid a wreath and a flag on my son's grave.
I could hear his words still even after all these years...
"Mama, I am coming home."
And he did ... not the way I had prayed but my son is
home-in a place where there is no more death or sadness.
And He is home in his mother's heart...with every breath I breathe.

Each time I sing, "Our Country 'tis of Thee...Sweet Land of Liberty,"
I see my son, I see mothers and fathers who have lost their children...
I see wives who lost their husbands...
I see children who lost their Dads ...
and I see a flag waving in the wind over a land that is free.

And I know the cost of that freedom...
God bless our veterans ... each and everyday.

May they always know the price they paid is not forgotten ...
and the land they fought to save ...
may freedom always ring!




BALLAD OF THE CHOSIN
The nights were cold in the Korean soil.
But the night's been cold before.
And it's not so hard in your own back yard.
To be set for peace or war

But in history there's a chapter of a place called Valley Forge
Repeated one December on the Chosin Reservoir.

They had us all surrounded I could hear them scream and yell
My feelings at that moment No tongue could ever tell.

I saw the bursting mortar shells And the bullets around me flew
As all my strength had left me And all my courage too.

With the breaking of the morning Just before the dawn
I heard the sounding bugles And the big attack was on.

The cotton quilted uniforms Against our bullet spree
The screaming yelling banzai They called the human sea.

Baby faces bearded And chapped with hardenin' mud
Parkas that were dirty And stained with frozen blood.
Here a bunch of youngsters Who fought on 'til the end
In the battle of the Chosin Where boys were turned to men.
Twelve long miles of convoy Headed for the sea
Roadblocks at every turning Down through Koto-Ri.
The frost bite and the wounded With their dead and dying too
No matter what the objective be These boys were going through.

The Captain he informed us Perhaps he thought it right
That before we reach the river boys We're going to have to fight.

We're going out like Marines
In an organized withdraw
And no matter what the rumors say
It's no retreat at all.

We fought at least nine hours Before the strife was ore
And the like of the dead and wounded I've never seen before.

But the everlasting promise Kept along each bloody yard
No one leaves behind the wounded 'Cause there ain't no fight that hard.

The Chaplain collected dog tags In his hands were quite a few
There was Captain Smith's, McCloskies And Corporal Bryan's too.

And before we reached the river And fought our way back through
The Sergeant had the dog tags And he had the Chaplains too.

If I made you pause one moment And take a little time
Then I know it wasn't just in vain That I put these words to rhyme.

For there's just too many people Who take this all in stride
Who hear these tales of battles Then cast it all aside.

The nights were cold in the Korean soil But the night's been cold before
And it's not so hard in your own back yard To be set for peace or war

But in history there's a chapter of a place called Valley Forge
Repeated one December on the Chosin Reservoir.

Written by Frank Gross

The Ballad of Chosin was composed on December 29th 1950
and it is believed to be among the first ballads
to be composed on the war in Korea .




"To those warriors, who have passed on since and to those who gave their youth, their health and their peace of mind in the fight for freedom, particularly the freedom of speech. We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” ~ Orwell



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (28)

November 10, 2006

Thank You Veterans On This Veterans Day and Everyday!



Veteran’s Day is a time we set aside to remember, to honor and to pay respect to our nation's uniformed Patriots – American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen – who have, and continue to stand in harm's way that we might live in peace.

"Let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain." –Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is with eternal gratitude that we remember those who have paid the ultimate price in service to our nation. We encourage all our readers to remember those Patriots and their families, and to pray daily for those who continue to serve today.

These are difficult times for military families, particularly in light of those who vigorously attempt undermine our national security, and demean military service. It is worth remembering these timeless words John Stuart Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse."

Lex et Libertas — Semper Vigilo, Paratus, et Fidelis!


Posted by Wild Thing at 08:47 AM

WW11 P-47 Footage ~ Thank you WW11 Veterans







Thank you to all of our WW11 Veterans!

Posted by Wild Thing at 08:44 AM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2006

The Salute That Spoke Volumes


"The photo was taken at the Armed Forces Day Parade in Torrance, California on May 20, 2006. My Father Darron S., Vietnam Veteran, was sitting on the curb enjoying the parade. As the young solider came upon us I noticed him looking at my Father's Vietnam Veteran hat. He silently stopped in front of my Father and stood there deadlocked on his eyes and stiffened into a salute. My Father immediately jumped up and forwarded this young soldier the same. They both held the salute for what seemed like a solid minute. There were no words spoken when my Father broke the salute."




Thank you Tom for sending this to me.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (7)

June 27, 2006

Reveille ~ A Tribute To Veterans



I received this from a friend that is one of the Swift Boat Vets. Thank you Robert and thank you for your service to our country. This video is very touching and as soon as I saw it I just knew I had to share it with all of you.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (4)

June 06, 2006

D-Day ~ Never Forget


D-Day June 6th, 1944 Normandy France

It was on 6th June 1944 that Operation Overlord - the long anticipated Allied invasion of Nazi-held Europe - went into action. What came to be known as the 'D-day landings'.

On the French beaches and in those hedgerows, many making the ultimate sacrifice. Over two thousand Americans, British, Canadians, and Australians died that first day, trading their lives for a single ambition...so we could live free.

The allied commander of the D-Day invasion, Gen Dwight D Eisenhower gives the order of the Day.

"Full victory - nothing else" to paratroopers in England, just before they board their airplanes to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe.
….”In some sectors the area was so heavily occupied by the Germans the paratroopers were fired upon while in the plane, in decent, and after landing... Many men were wounded or killed during one phase or another... The illumination created by fires on the ground was a death sentence if you were caught in an open field... This great confusion created by the troopers, moving in all directions, completely baffled the Germans in that they could not establish how many allied paratroopers had landed, or determine where our front line was. The fact that we were scattered over many miles, (mistakenly,) became advantageous to our mission..”
The first wave of assault troops of the 29th Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore at H-hour, D-Day - 6:30 a.m., on June 6, 1944

The long-awaited liberation of France was underway. After long months in England, National Guardsmen from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia found themselves in the vanguard of the Allied attack. In those early hours on the fire-swept beach the 116th Infantry Combat Team, the old Stonewall Brigade of Virginia, clawed its way through Les Moulins draw toward its objective, Vierville-sur-Mer. It was during the movement from Les Moulins that the battered but gallant 2d Battalion broke loose from the beach, clambered over the embankment, and a small party, led by the battalion commander, fought its way to a farmhouse, which became its first Command Post in France.

The 116th suffered more than 800 casualties this day - a day that will long be remembered as the beginning of the Allies' "Great Crusade" to rekindle the lamp of liberty and freedom on the continent of Europe. They were part of the part of the National Guard

Utah Beach

"Members of an American landing party lend helping hands to other members of their organization whose landing craft was sunk be enemy action of the coast of France. These survivors reached Utah Beach, near Cherbourg, by using a life raft".

General Cota was second in command of the 29th Infantry Division. He had little faith in the accuracy of air and naval bombardment, thought it would do little good, and had wanted to make the landing under cover of darkness.

Cota landed at 0730 with the main command group of the 116th, Company K. Several in his LCVP were killed immediately as the ramp went down. When Cota got to the sea wall he made an immediate and critical command decision. He saw at once that the plan to go up the draws was obsolete. It simply could not be done. Nor could the men stay where they were. They had to get over the shingle, get through the heavily mined swamp, and climb the bluff to drive the Germans from their trenches and take the draws from the inland side.

Lieutenant Shea described Cota's actions:

"Exposing himself to enemy fire, General Cota went over the seawall giving encouragement, directions, and orders to those about him, personally supervised the placing of a BAR, and brought fire to bear on some of the enemy positions on the bluff that faced them. Finding a belt of barbed wire inside the seawall, General Cota personally supervised placing a bangalore torpedo for blowing the wire and was one of the first three men to go through the wire. At the head of a mixed column of troops he threaded his way to the foot of the high ground beyond the beach and started the troops up the high ground where they could bring effective fire to bear on the enemy positions."

Although the lead elements of the assault had been on the beach for almost an hour, none had progressed farther than the seawall. Most were clustered under the wall, pinned down by machine-gun fire. The beach was jammed with dead and wounded. General Cota had landed to fine a completely stalled attack. He went to work immediately.

Once on the beach, General Cota did move from group to group, encouraging the men to begin to move.

"Don't die on the beaches, die up on the bluff if you have to die, but get off the beaches or you're sure to die."
Cota found Schneider at his CP. Cota remained standing, even with the German firing; Schneider also stood up to converse. One witness remembers Cota saying to Schneider,"We're counting on your rangers to lead the way."

Omaha Beach

Father Joe Lacy

Father Lacy was described by one of the Rangers as a "small, old, fat Irishman." But there he was, on the beach that first terrible morning, tending to the wounded.

The Rangers had insisted that he would never be able to keep up with them in combat. They were finely tuned and in great physical shape, he was not. But he had insisted in coming along. On the transport on the night of June 5-6, he told the others:

"When you land on the beach and you get in there, I don't want to see anybody kneeling down and praying. If I do I'm gonna come up and boot you in the tail. You leave the praying to me and you do the fighting."

Once on the beach, the men saw Father Lacy:

"go down to the water's edge and pull the dead, dying, and wounded from the water and put them in relatively protected positions. He didn't stop at that, but prayed for them and with them, gave comfort to the wounded and dying. A real man of god."

On D-Day strange canvas covered bathtub looking vehicles came in from the ocean and landed on the beach. The vehicles were Sherman tanks fitted with a flotation device, which allowed them to drive off an LCT and into the ocean, and then navigate to the beach. One tank driver later said, "I still remember very vividly some of the machine gunners standing up in their posts looking at us with their mouths wide open."

These tanks were the brainchild of Maj. General Percy Hobart of the British Army. The floating tank, These tanks were the brainchild of Maj. General Percy Hobart of the British Army.

The Real "Saving Private Ryan" & Colonel Vandervoort

Ste,-Mere-Eglise was a quiet village with a couple of hundred gray stone houses. It was a village in which nothing much of consequence had happened for ten centuries. The road N-13 ran through the village, heading north to Cherbourg and east to Caen and onto Paris. Without the use of N-13 the Germans to the north would be cut off. If the Americans lost control many paratroopers would be cut off and the 4th Infantry Division would be unable to move off the beach to the west and north. Because of this the battle for the little village took on a great importance.

Colonel Vandervoort, despite a broken ankle during the parachute drop and having to be moved around in a wheelbarrow, moved his battalion into the village. Between them and another battalion, they did not have the men form a complete defensive perimeter so they decided to only defend both ends of the main road.

About 1pm on D-Day a Frenchman rode his bicycle up to them and announced in English that some American paratroopers were bringing in a large contingent of German prisoners from the north. Sure enough, when Vandervoort looked in that direction there was a column of troops marching in good order right down the middle of N-13, with what appeared to be paratroopers on either side of them waving orange flags (the American recognition signal on D-day).

Vandervoort grew suspicious when he noticed two tracked vehicles at the rear of the column. He told one of his men to fire a short machine gun burst to the right of the column. Sure enough the "prisoners" and "paratroopers" both jumped into ditches and began to return fire. The Germans outnumbered the Americans five to one and began to flank his position. He sent for reinforcements and ordered the men to begin a fighting withdrawal.

Finally only sixteen of his forty three men were in a condition to fight and they were preparing for a "last stand". Then a medic volunteered to stay behind and look after the wounded. Pvt. Julius Sebastain, Cpl. Ray Smithson, and Sgt. Robert Niland offered to form a rearguard to cover the retreat of the remainder of the platoon. The three were able to put up an energetic defense that actually stopped the German advance for a time and allowed the others to escape.

The twenty-eight badly wounded men which were left behind along with two of the three volunteers who stayed behind were captured. The third volunteer, Sgt. Bob Niland, was killed at his machine gun. One of his brothers, a platoon leader in the 4th Division, was killed the same morning at Utah Beach. Another brother was killed that week in Burma. Mrs. Niland received all three telegrams from the War Department announcing their deaths on the same day. Her fourth son, Fritz, was in the 101st Airborne and was pulled out of the front lines by the Army.

Lt. Col. Ben Vandervoort, and his 2nd Battalion (505th PIR, 82nd Airborne Division) later saw action at the Nijmegen bridge in Operation Market Garden (movie: A Bridge Too Far). His battalion was assigned to take the west end of the Nijmegen bridge while Maj. Julian Cook's 3rd Battalion took the east end, crossing the river in the small boats.

The 82nd was to then later play a major role in the defense of the allied position during the Battle of the Bulge.

Normandy Burial Ground

St. Mere Eglise ,was the principal objective of the 82nd Airborne on the early morning of June 6. It was the site of three days of intense fighting as the Germans repeatedly counter attacked in attempts to retake the strategic town from the occupying American paratroopers. The village is perhaps best remembered for its church, in the center of the town square, where Paratrooper John Steel of the 505th PIR became trapped when his parachute was ensnared by a steeple. He watched helplessly as the rest of his company was killed by the waiting Germans.


St. Mere Eglise

The stained-glass windows of the church are a tribute to those who liberated St. Mere Eglise:
* At the upper left are airborne wings.
* At the upper right is the parachute and glider that made up the badge of American Airborne Command.
* The lower left cut-out shows the insignia of the 82nd Airborne Division (AA for "All American Division").
* The faint parachutes at the lower right are a constant motif in the windows.
* The symbol of the Free French (the Cross of Lorraine) is shown bottom center.


Wild Thing's comment .......

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who gave their lives in this giant struggle and to those who were lucky enough to come back home.

We can only imagine the horror and the dying that took place. We need to perpetuate their story of sacrifice and glory for as long as we live.

Can you see the thousands of ships offshore that formed the most powerful armada that the world has ever seen? A huge salvo is being laid down prior to the invasion. Troops climb down rope ladders into landing craft. Many invasion force craft are circling around, grouping up, just before they make their final drive for the beach.

The Germans are entrenched in concrete bunkers and gun emplacements and are shelling the approaching landing craft. Many men never make it to the beach, but instead die in the churning surf. Those who do get to the beach and tumble out of their craft are subject to horrendous machine gun fire from pillboxes that rake the entire shore. There are the dead and the dying.

Valiant army engineers mount a superhuman effort to blow a hole in the concrete barricade so troops can move inland, away from the murderous fire coming from above them.

Those first few hours must have indeed been some of the longest ever faced by bold and courageous men. May their honor and sacrifice not be forgotten, and may this event in history go down not as just about death and dying, but as a turning point for the world, toward peace. God willing, it will never have to be repeated.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (6)

May 29, 2006

Can You Give One Day For Them?


In Honor of all our Veterans and our troops serving today.
This post will remain at the top until sunset on Memorial Day.

 



I want to take you to a place,
the weather is hot, beyond hot and sticky.
It is like wearing a scuba suit and
pouring hot Karo syrup down inside of it.
You give up wiping the sweat off your face and arms
because it does not do any good.
You learn to own it, the heat and humidity, the stickiness.
Own it and become it. Then it is bearable.............almost.

A boy really but a man because of the war
is laying in a hospital in a bed.
Not a hospital like we know, this is make shift .
He has his right leg gone, pieces of it left in the jungle.
His other leg missing just above the knee.
His right hand gone as well.
His shoulder a huge chunk gone so even with bandages
the deformity is obvious. His face, he may have been a great
looking heartthrob in the past, maybe a girl kissed his tender cheek on
a date and his soft lips lingering for just one more kiss at the door.
But now it was like mashed potatoes. The only thing noticeable
.................his eyes.

The thousand yard stare was there, but behind them the clear sharp
sight of what had happened. And the doubt of what his future held
for him if anything.

You take his hand and sit for hours, just being.
Trying to let him know you care.
The touch is all the words that need to be said. Then you start to
hum a song softly and the hand in yours tightens a little for approval.
Then the words of the song , and ever so gently you sing,
music from your heart right into his.

He is a Hero just as the soldier at the desk at the base is a hero. All
willing to serve their country and keep their land the land of the free.
--- Wild Thing

This soldier's name was Michael and I was the girl that was honored to get the chance to sit with him and sing to him. To hold his hand and let our hearts and souls speak of better times. A few days later Michael died. But Michael lives on with every breath in freedom that we take each day. His name will never be forgotten nor will he.

I am not in any way writing about this experience I had in Nam to compare Iraq and Vietnam. To me they are very different and should never be compared. But this is an experience that I will live in my heart and soul forever and it expresses best why we should never let one moment in time pass by without thanking our troops, and our Veterans. You may only get one chance and that moment will last a lifetime. They deserve more then a thank you but when those two words come from your heart they carry the weight of a proud and grateful Nation.

In a few days it will be MEMORIAL DAY. A day where the people of the United States pledge to remember those who gave their all. A day that had been set aside to remember all the sacrifice....and all the pain...and all the death that has kept this Nation safe. Please honor the sacrifices of our servicemen and women, they work so hard and take all the risks and live in tremendous danger 24/7 for our freedom, for our security.


It is NOT about a three day weekend.
It is NOT about picnic's and barbecue's.

It IS about this Nation keeping it's word.
It IS about remembering the Michael's in our past who gave up their future so everyone could be Free.

I guess the question is...can YOU give up one day for them????


Also I invite you to visit my Vietnam Page where I pay tribute to our Vietnam Veterans.



There is an awesome video titled' Until Then". I have ordered from this place, I hope you do to. They truly support our troops and are also grateful to our Veterans.
If you would like to get this and other videos on DVD you can contact GCS distributing

gcs@gcsdistributing.com

I have had email contact with a very kind lady, Elaine Clegg of GCS Distributing and she is very helpful.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (25)

May 25, 2006

Veterans Fight Decision Not To Observe Veterans Day




Veterans battle to keep their day

STAMFORD -- They've stormed the beaches of Normandy, fought the Vietcong and defended their country against the "axis of evil."

Now, local veterans are taking on the city's Board of Education, fighting its decision not to close for Veterans Day next year.

By requiring school children to attend classes, veterans say the board has decided not to observe the holiday.

Representatives of the local American Legion, Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars are planning to protest the change in the school calendar at the school board meeting Tuesday night at the Stamford Government Center.

"This is not Memorial Day for the guys who have been killed, to remember them. This is for the guys who are alive," said John Rubino of the local Marine Corps League. "Veterans Day is for living, breathing veterans of all armed forces. These guys have gone though a lot and they have earned that one day of the year."

Veterans say having school on the holiday is disrespectful to the men and women who served their country.

"Our day is a sacred day," said Pat Battinelli, chairman of Stamford's Patriotic and Special Events Commission and leader of the local Marine Corps League. "It's like taking Good Friday away from the church."

Opponents have set up a Web site, www.saveveteransday.com

The school board voted 8 to 1 Feb. 28 in favor of opening on Friday, Nov. 10, to cut one day off the end of the year in June. Friday is the holiday this year because Veterans Day falls on a Saturday.

School board President Susan Nabel said students should get a lesson in civics and history instead of a day off.

"We all felt the real meaning of Veterans Day has been lost for students for quite a few years," she said.

Board members also felt it was more productive to have an extra school day in November rather than June, she said.

Nabel said the two veterans on the board -- Archie Elam and Charles Conway -- voted for the change. She also said members of the Jewish War Veterans and the VFW had been consulted and approved of the plan.

"As a matter of fact, a couple of them said they were very much for it and said they wanted to be involved in the planning of the assemblies at the schools, so I am very distressed now that veterans groups are accusing us of disrespect and accusing us of making a hasty decision," Nabel said.

She said the discussion about whether to hold classes on Veterans Day began last summer.

If the holiday fell on a school day, Nabel said she personally would have opposed the change, but that's not the case this year.

"Veterans Day is actually Nov. 11. We are having school on Friday, Nov. 10. Having school that day in no way prevents students from participating in the events that happen on Veterans Day," she said. "They'll march in the parades and play in the orchestra with a better idea of why they are doing what they are doing."

Board member Martin Levine said the whole purpose was to create a Veterans Day curriculum for the schools.

"Now we seem to be accused of being unpatriotic for what was supposed to be a patriotic thing," he said.

Democrat Marggie Laurie was the only member to vote against the change. She said it would violate union contracts that give some school employees the day off.

At a Republican Town Committee nominating convention last week, Kurt Zimbler, commander of the local Jewish War Veterans post, voted against running two Republican school board members for re-election -- Angela Lorenti and Charles Conway -- because they voted for having school on Veterans Day.

The day's been lost in terms of the importance of it," said Conway, a former Marine. "Ask half the kids what Veterans Day is and they have no idea."

Lorenti said teaching students about veterans is a better way to honor their service to the country than giving kids a day off to play video games or go to the mall.

"Kids are not really acknowledging veterans on their day off. They are at home doing whatever," she said. "We were concerned that it's just another day off and no one was really honoring the veterans."

Public schools in Connecticut are not required to have the day off.

In Wilton, where the schools were in session last Veterans Day, students interviewed veterans, wrote letters to veterans or watched a video about the seriousness of war. School also was in session in New Canaan and Westport last Veterans Day.

"It can't happen here," Battinelli said. "We're not a little country-bumpkin town anymore, and the veterans take the holiday very seriously. There is the American way, and there is this way."

If learning about a holiday is a better way to celebrate than taking a day off, veterans say school should be in session on all holidays, including Labor Day, Columbus Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"How can you have that one school holiday stricken from the school calendar and not the others?" said Rubino, who will have two sons at Toquam Magnet Elementary School in the fall. "You could imagine the outrage if they tried to remove Martin Luther King Day and say, 'We are going to come to school and talk about who Martin Luther King was.' "

Wild Thing's comment.........

First of all, if kids are not acknowledging Veterans Day and we are being told they don't have a clue what it is about then WHY NOT! Why aren't they being taught what Veterans Day is about by their parents, and their teachers!!!!

And what the hell is this.............Democrat Marggie Laurie concerned it would "violate union contracts that give some school employees the day off".......She could care less about our Veterans she is ONLY worried about violating union contracts and that it might mess up their allowed days off???!!!!!

First we have to put up with, listen to, hear endlessly about the LEFTIES protesting the war and our troops. Having signs that say Kill your officers and we will support you crap and now we have to ignore Veterans Day? Ignore a day that is set aside, one freaken day out of the year to say Thank you from America to our Veterans.

Because they, the parents and the teachers did not want the extra day off, because they said the kids have no clue what Veterans Day is anyway? OMG!!!!

Well our TROOPS are NOT expendable, our VETERANS are NOT expendable and neither is Veterans Day expendable! The liberals will stop at nothing in their disdain for all things military or American.

They skip it this year when it's on a Saturday, then skip it next year when it's on a Sunday. Now they have a precedence for skipping it when it's on a weekday.

Here is a page at my website called......Veterans Never Forgotten
NO Veteran will ever be forgotten as long as I am alive. Thank you Veterans for serving our country. Thank you Troops today too.

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:27 AM | Comments (11)

May 23, 2006

Thieves Steal Personal Data of 26.5M Vets



WASHINGTON -- Thieves took sensitive personal information on 26.5 million U.S. veterans, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, after a Veterans Affairs employee improperly brought the material home, the government said Monday.

The information involved mainly those veterans who served and have been discharged since 1975, said VA Secretary Jim Nicholson. Data of veterans discharged before 1975 who submitted claims to the agency may have been included.

Nicholson said there was no evidence the thieves had used the data for identity theft, and an investigation was continuing.

"It's highly probable that they do not know what they have," he said in a briefing with reporters. "We have decided that we must exercise an abundance of caution and make sure our veterans are aware of this incident."

Veterans advocates expressed alarm.

"This was a very serious breach of security for American veterans and their families," said Bob Wallace, executive director of Veterans of Foreign Wars. "We want the VA to show leadership, management and accountability for this breach."

Ramona Joyce, spokeswoman for the American Legion, agreed that the theft was a concern. "In the information age, we're constantly told to protect our information. We would ask no less of the VA," she said.

Nicholson declined to comment on the specifics of the incident, which involved a midlevel data analyst who had taken the information home to suburban Maryland on a laptop to work on a department project.

The residential community had been a target of a series of burglaries when the employee was victimized earlier this month, according to the FBI in Baltimore. Local law enforcement and the VA inspector general were also investigating.

"I want to emphasize there was no medical records of any veteran and no financial information of any veteran that's been compromised," Nicholson said, although he added later that some information on the veterans' disabilities may have been taken.

Nicholson said he does not know how many of the department's 235,000 employees go thorough background investigations. He said employees who have access to large volumes of personal data should be required to undergo such checks, but he does not believe the VA employee was involved in the theft.

"We do not suspect at all any ulterior motive," he said.

The department has come under criticism for shoddy accounting practices and for falling short on the needs of veterans.

Last year, more than 260,000 veterans could not sign up for services because of cost-cutting. Audits also have shown the agency used misleading accounting methods and lacked documentation to prove its claimed savings.

"It is a mystifying and gravely serious concern that a VA data analyst would be permitted to just walk out the VA door with such information," Illinois Rep. Lane Evans, the top Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee, said in a statement signed by other Democrats on the panel.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is a Vietnam veteran, said he would introduce legislation to require the VA to provide credit reports to the veterans affected by the theft.

"This is no way to treat those who have worn the uniform of our country," Kerry said. "Someone needs to be fired."

The VA said it was notifying members of Congress and the individual veterans about the burglary. It has set up a call center at 1-800-FED-INFO and Web site, http://www.firstgov.gov, for veterans who believe their information has been misused.

It also is stepping up its review of procedures on the use of personal data for many of its employees who telecommute as well as others who must sign disclosure forms showing they are aware of federal privacy laws and the consequences if they're violated.

Deborah Platt Majoras, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, said her task force has reached out to the three major credit bureaus to be alert to possible misuse.

Other places regarding this:

Latest Information on Veterans Affairs Data Security


Wild Thing's comment.........

Is it just me or does it make your skin crawl when Hanoi Kerry's name is connected in any way to Veterans??!!!!
GRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I mean it is bad enough to have this kind of thing happen to our Veterans and then to have to see that piece of shits name ( Kerry) in the story about it makes me sick!!!

Here is some information:
You can order a copy of your DD214 online now. It usually will arrive within a week of your request if you fax in your signature. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s online:

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:55 AM | Comments (2)

April 08, 2006

~ Warning To Veterans ~




An organization called Veterans Affairs Services (VAS) is providing
benefit and general information on VA and gathering personal
information on veterans. This organization is not affiliated with VA
in any way.

http://www.vaservices.org/us/index.html

VAS may be gaining access to military personnel through their close
resemblance to the VA name and seal. Our Legal Counsel has requested
that we coordinate with DoD to inform military installations,
particularly mobilization sites, of this group and their lack of
affiliation or endorsement by VA to provide any services.

In addition, GC requests that if you have any examples of VAS acts
that violate chapter 59 of Title 38 United States Code, such as VAS
employees assisting veterans in the preparation and presentation of
claims for benefits, please pass any additional information to Mr.
Daugherty at the address below.


Michael.Daugherty2@va.gov

Michael G. Daugherty
Staff Attorney

Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of General Counsel (022G2)
810 Vermont Ave., Room 1106
Washington, D.C. 20420

(202) 273-8636

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2005

Veterans Never Forgotten

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.” -- Ronald Reagan


If you know a Veteran, someone in your family, friend of the family, neighbor, who served their country, take a brief moment of your day to thank them. Thank them for the sacrifice they made for the better good of their country. I am so very thankful for every service member in our military who has served our great nation. So, to the men and women who answered the call in both times of war and peace, I thank you. from Wild Thing

Thank you Barb at Righty in a Lefty State she was so kind and sent me this of the Stamps.

Gen. John L. Hines, Sgt. Alvin C. York, Gen. Omar N. Bradley and Lt. Audie L. Murphy.

Hines fought in the Spanish American War and was part of the battle of San Juan Hill. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his bravery and leadership in combat during World War I. He later became the Army Chief of Staff in 1924. He died at the age of 100 in 1968 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

York, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courageous acts. during World War I. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division. In one battle with the German army, York was credited for capturing 132 German soldiers, killing 25 German soldiers and silencing 35 enemy machine guns.

Bradley commanded the First U.S. Army during the 1944 Allied landing in Normandy during World War II. He served as the Army Chief of Staff in 1948 and became the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1949.

Murphy was the most decorated American combat soldier in World War II. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the soldiers in his company by single-handedly repelling a German attack.

Please visit my Veterans Never Forgotten page at my website.
It is my Tribute to all our Veterans from all our Wars.
This is a special Tribute to my Vietnam Veterans. This is for YOU, for you that have been to the Nam, for each of you that live inside my heart, for my Nam Vets and your wives and loved ones.

The tears I shed for our POWs and MIA's will never dry in my heart. Never Forget them as you read my POW-MIA page and carry them in your heart and prayers as well.



A BIG thank you to all the Bloggers that are Veterans. Thank you with all my heart for serving our country! You are why this is the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE.

Linked on this very special day to:
Righty in a Lefty State
Cao's Blog
Stuck on Stupid
The Political Teen
Big Dog's Blog
Something....and Half of Something
Basil's Blog
Soldiers' Angel

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:17 AM | Comments (8)