Veterans Day

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Postby Shapley » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:19 am

Remember, today is Peal Harbour day.

Take a moment today to reflect on your freedoms, and thank those who fought and died to preserve them for you.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:27 pm

http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2006/12/07/a-day-of-infamy/

Here's a really good summary of the attack on Pearl Harbor
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Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:03 pm

The U.S. certainly doesn’t have any monopoly on heroes



” A hero soldier who died saving seven comrades from Taleban gunfire has been awarded the highest recognition for gallantry, the Victoria Cross.

Corporal Bryan Budd, 29, of Ripon, North Yorkshire, was killed when he single-handedly stormed a Taleban position in Afghanistan, in August.
It is the first posthumous VC to be awarded since the Falklands war.”


I’ve always been fascinated by the VC since I saw the movie "Zulu" and saw in the credits that no other single action ever resulted in more VCs than those won by the defenders at the battle of Rorke's Drift.

Every VC is serialized and handmade from the bronze of a cannon captured during the Crimean war. Although it seems later they discovered that the origins of the cannons were Chinese and not Russian…and might not have been anywhere near the Crimea.

Regardless, there have only been 1355 (now 1356?) medals awarded including The US Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery; I found that to be oddly moving.

I didn't count but I suspect that the ratio of awards to the living vs. deceased is skewed towards the deceased.

History of the VC can be found here
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:38 pm

Concerns demonstrators might damage the Vietnam War Memorial

It started with this, sent by wired peaceniks: "On March 17, 2007, the 4th anniversary of the start of the criminal invasion of Iraq, tens of thousands of people from around the country will descend on the Pentagon in a mass demonstration to demand: U.S. Out of Iraq Now! 2007 is the 40th anniversary of the historic 1967 anti-war march to the Pentagon during the Vietnam War. The message of the 1967 march was 'From Protest to Resistance,' and marked a turning point in the development of a countrywide mass movement."

No problems, while I’m personally repelled I have no problem with that; First Amendment and all that.

However during a similar demonstration in DC in early January demonstrators vandalized the national capital building (little reported) and it was reported that the Capital Police Chief had directed the police not to react to the vandals’ (spray paint) actions. He has since issued a statement that strongly denied the reports. I certainly take him at his word that had he been aware of any vandals’ actions he would have had them arrested.

But, a perceived fact is fact in the mind of the perceivers and that “perceived fact,” a possibility demonstrators might vandalize the VWM while the police do nothing, has gone around the various military blogs and veterans’ emails like wildfire. I got several, all asking that vets show up to defend the VWM.

It seems inevitable that a lot of vets are going to be near the Vietnam War Memorial on 03/17/07. I also assume, human nature being what it is i.e. “Common sense” isn’t, that the vandals who believe they were successful in January could be emboldened to repeat their efforts in March.

Its conventional wisdom on the fringe Left that they can do virtually anything with little or no personal consequences here in the "Land of the Free."

If they do indeed try to do something, especially to the VWM, I fear their “conventional wisdom” handbook will need some serious revision.:rofl:
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby OperaTenor » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:48 pm

I've seen this rumor elsewhere.
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http://www.one.org
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Postby piqaboo » Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:21 am

Vandalism of a war memorial would be so insanely rude. Sheez! What in heck happened to good manners?
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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:58 pm

From just a little earlier today at the White House:

THE PRESIDENT: Welcome. I am pleased that you all are here on a very special day. Presenting the Medal of Honor is one of the great privileges for the President. The medal is the highest military decoration a President can confer. This medal is awarded for actions above and beyond the call of duty.



Today I am proud to bestow this medal on a daring pilot, a devoted soldier and a selfless leader, Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Crandall. I welcome Bruce and his wife, Arlene, back to the White House. I congratulate you on 50 years of marriage. She must be a patient woman. (Laughter.) I also am glad that their three sons and three of their grandchildren are here. Welcome. I'm especially pleased that some of Bruce's comrades have joined us.



As an officer, Bruce always put his men before himself. Today, his men are here for him. And this afternoon, 41 years after his heroic actions in Vietnam, America recognizes Bruce Crandall with our highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor.



….

The journey that brought Bruce Crandall to this day began 74 years ago in Olympia, Washington. Growing up, Bruce was a gifted athlete and a bit of a handful. (Laughter.) A teacher once observed that he had "a unique ability to get into trouble and out of trouble without any trouble at all." (Laughter.) At Olympia High School, Bruce was named an All American in baseball. He batted .612 for the league champs — I think we better check the scorecards. (Laughter.) His dream was to be drafted by the New York Yankees. Instead he got drafted by the U.S. Army. (Laughter.)

He was commissioned as an officer, trained as an aviator. His early career took him on mapping missions over Alaska, and North Africa, and Latin America. In 1963, he reported to Fort Benning to help lead a new unit that would become known as the air cavalry. Two years later, he arrived in Vietnam as a major, and as a commanding officer in the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion.

As a leader, Major Crandall earned the respect of his men with his honesty and his humor. He earned their admiration with his remarkable control over a Huey. His radio call sign was "Ancient Serpent 6," which his men shortened to "Old Snake." (Laughter.) Or sometimes, they used a more colorful nickname — (laughter) — which we better not pronounce. (Laughter.)

On the morning of November 14, 1965, Major Crandall's unit was transporting a battalion of soldiers to a remote spot in the la Drang Valley, to a landing zone called X-Ray. After several routine lifts into the area, the men on the ground came under a massive attack from the North Vietnamese army. On Major Crandall's next flight, three soldiers on his helicopter were killed, three more were wounded. But instead of lifting off to safety, Major Crandall kept his chopper on the ground — in the direct line of enemy fire — so that four wounded soldiers could be loaded aboard.

Major Crandall flew the men back to base, where the injuries could be treated. At that point, he had fulfilled his mission. But he knew that soldiers on the ground were outnumbered and low on ammunition. So Major Crandall decided to fly back into X-Ray. He asked for a volunteer to join him. Captain Ed Freeman stepped forward. In their unarmed choppers, they flew through a cloud of smoke and a wave of bullets. They delivered desperately needed supplies. They carried out more of the wounded, even though medical evacuation was really not their mission.

If Major Crandall had stopped here he would have been a hero. But he didn't stop. He flew back into X-Ray again and again. Fourteen times he flew into what they called the Valley of Death. He made those flights knowing that he faced what was later described as an "almost unbelievably extreme risk to his life." Over the course of the day, Major Crandall had to fly three different choppers. Two were damaged so badly they could not stay in the air. Yet he kept flying until every wounded man had been evacuated and every need of the battalion had been met.

When they touched down on their last flight, Major Crandall and Captain Freeman had spent more than 14 hours in the air. They had evacuated some 70 wounded men. They had provided a lifeline that allowed the battalion to survive the day.

To the men of la Drang, the image of Major Crandall's helicopter coming to their rescue is one they will never forget. One officer who witnessed the battle wrote, "Major Crandall's actions were without question the most valorous I've observed of any helicopter pilot in Vietnam." The battalion commander said, "Without Crandall, this battalion would almost have surely been overrun." Another officer said, "I will always be in awe of Major Bruce Crandall."

For his part, Bruce has never seen it that way. Here's what he said: "There was never a consideration that we would not go into those landing zones. They were my people down there, and they trusted in me to come and get them."

As the years have passed, Bruce Crandall's character and leadership have only grown clearer. He went on to make more rescue flights in Vietnam. He served a second tour, and he retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel. As a private citizen, he's continued to serve. He's worked in local government, and he speaks to students all across our country. One of his favorite stops is Midland, Texas. (Laughter.) It happens [to be] where Laura and I grew up. In fact, he's been to Midland so many times they gave him the key of the city. It's not exactly the Medal of Honor. (Laughter.) It's not a bad thing to have. (Laughter.) Maybe one day I'll get a key to the city. (Laughter.)

A few years ago, Bruce learned he was being considered for our nation's highest military distinction. When he found out that Captain Freeman had also been nominated, Bruce insisted that his own name be withdrawn. If only one of them were to receive the Medal of Honor, he wanted it to be his wingman. So when I presented the Medal to Captain Freeman in 2001, Bruce was here in the White House. Captain Freeman wished he were here today, but he got snowed in, in Iowa. His spirit is with us. Today the story comes to its rightful conclusion: Bruce Crandall receives the honor he always deserved.

In men like Bruce Crandall, we really see the best of America. He and his fellow soldiers were brave, brave folks. They were as noble and selfless as any who have ever worn our nation's uniform. And on this day of pride, we remember their comrades who gave their lives and those who are still missing. We remember the terrible telegrams that arrived at Fort Benning, the families devastated, the children who traced their father's name on panel three-east of the Vietnam Memorial wall.

Our sadness has not diminished with time. Yet we're also comforted by the knowledge that the suffering and grief could have been far worse. One of the reasons it was not is because of the man we honor today. For the soldiers rescued, for the men who came home, for the children they had and the lives they made, America is in debt to Bruce Crandall. It's a debt our nation can never really fully repay, but today we recognize it as best as we're able, and we bestow upon this good and gallant man the Medal of Honor


If you have not read the book We Were Soldiers Once... And Young, written by General Hal Moore and Joseph Galloway please do so. It is an amazing tribute to some amazing heros, including Crandall and Freeman.

In a bitter, bitter ironic turn of fate the person featured on the cover of the book is Rick Rescorla who died on 9/11 helping evacuate people from the (I think) first tower.

He was a junior officer during Ia Drang and was described by Hal Moore as "the best platoon leader I ever saw." He won the Silver Star, the third highest U.S. medal for valor. I hope some one makes his life into a movie.


As long as our military attract men like these (he was born in England) we will continue to be safe.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Shapley » Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:42 pm

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Postby analog » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:01 am

The horror.
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Postby analog » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:47 am

Your 'Lest We Forget' post is sobering.

Any helmsman knows to steer a straight course you need to look at your wake.

This old soldier's message, painful as it is even just to read about, needs to be told. Lest we forget of what we are capable.


Words fail me. I'm sorry.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:15 pm

I agree, it needs to be told. Sixty years ago, we would have hanged him if we'd known. I'm not sure we could have inflicted any worse punishment on him than the personal Hell he has condemned himself to. His efforts to redeem himself are admirable. Only God will know if they were enough.

V/R
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Postby barfle » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:37 pm

I'm sure his conscience is tortured, but the real crimes were committed by his commanders.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:48 pm

I concur. I wonder how many of those in charge were captured and punished. Given that he Navy was considered to be more humane, it is likely that they, too, escaped punishment.

I see that he still will not name his commanding officer. I would suspect that he has since died, whether as punishment for war crimes, through ritual suicide, or of old age long after the war. I suspect he does not name him out of respect for his family.

V/R
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Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:50 pm

From the WSJ

a less doubtful culture, Maj. Crandall's magnificent medal would have been on every front page, if only a photograph. It was on no one's front page Tuesday. The New York Times, the culture's lodestar, had a photograph on its front page of President Bush addressing governors about an insurance plan. Maj. Crandall's Medal of Honor was on page 15, in a round-up, three lines from the bottom. Other big-city dailies also ran it in their news summaries; some--the Washington Post, USA Today--ran full accounts inside.

Most schoolchildren once knew the names of the nation's heroes in war--Ethan Allen, John Paul Jones, Stephen Decatur, the Swamp Fox Francis Marion, Ulysses S. Grant, Clara Barton, Billy Mitchell, Alvin York, Lee Ann Hester. Lee Ann who? She's the first woman to win a Silver Star for direct combat with the enemy. Did it in a trench in Iraq. Her story should be in schools, but it won't be...


I couldn’t agree more. Shameful.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Shapley » Thu May 24, 2007 12:25 pm

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Postby piqaboo » Thu May 24, 2007 3:20 pm

Not to disagree here.
Most schoolchildren once knew the names of the nation's heroes in war--Ethan Allen, John Paul Jones, Stephen Decatur, the Swamp Fox Francis Marion, Ulysses S. Grant, Clara Barton, Billy Mitchell, Alvin York, Lee Ann Hester. Lee Ann who? She's the first woman to win a Silver Star for direct combat with the enemy. Did it in a trench in Iraq. Her story should be in schools, but it won't be...

Do you know the names of any of the women who served as a soldier in the US forces in the revolutionary or civil war ?
Remember the name of the first woman to fly a combat mission?
Remember who it was gonna be, before Tailhook?
Remember who won the first Silver Star in the Afghan conflict? In Iran (male, female or otherwise)?
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Postby Shapley » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:51 am

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Postby piqaboo » Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:04 pm

That's cool.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Shapley » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:09 am

Today is Pearl Harbor day.

Image

A good day to reflect and remember those who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Trumpetmaster » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:28 am

Shapley,
YES! thanks for reminding everyone.

I made sure our American Flag was put up today!

TM
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