Veterans Day

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Re: Veterans Day

Postby barfle » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:44 pm

Perhaps that's why the flag is at half-mast at the PTO.

Every once in a while, I sneak a peek out the window, and see the flag is half up (or is it half down?). They never tell us why. but sometimes it's in the news.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Shapley » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:54 pm

It's hard to say, any more. Around here, some businesses and schools seem to fly their flags at half-staff at random intervals. It seems that some of them have completely dispensed with protocol and fly the flag at half-staff over the deaths of just about anyone.

In the month following President Ford's death, about half the flags were kept at half-staff the entire 30 days, and others were raised at different times.

Additionally, some place flew their American flags at half-staff while flying other flags (State flag, corporate flag, POW/MIA, etc.) at full-staff or at a higher elevation. Local veterans would usually go inside and point out the error. Apparently, we either have not been teaching our children flag etiquette, or it has been practiced so little that many have forgotten it.

The American flag should always be raised first. It is raised quickly to the top of the pole. If other flags are to be flown alongside it, they should then be raised, first to the top of the pole, and then lowered to half-staff. The American flag is lowered last, slowly, to the half-staff position.

When lowering the flag at the end of the day, it is first raised to full-staff. If there are other flags, they are then lowered. The American flag is lowered last, and slowly.

No flag should be flown higher than the American flag.

I see lots of people raise the flag directly to half-staff and lower it from half-staff without raising it to full-staff. I also see people lower the flags in no particular order. I've even seen people lower the flag, wad it up and carry it into the building with out folding it. (This is frequently done when bringing the flag in from the rain, which may be excusable, but this was in fair weather.) I've no idea if the flag was folded up once it was inside.

It wouldn't hurt for companies that fly the flag to send those employees charged with tending the flag to the local VFW for instructions in flag etiquette. I'm sure the veterans would be happy to provide the instruction.

V/R
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Shapley » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:09 pm

Memorial Being Sought for 'Soldier Bear'

A pretty interesting story.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby analog » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:34 pm

more on the bear.

http://www.iranchamber.com/podium/histo ... r_bear.php

Sounds like a Lt Kija story...
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby jamiebk » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:37 pm

fascinating story.....
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:34 am

Texas Woman Wins Silver Star


A 19-year-old medic from Texas will become the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest medal for valor.

Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province in April 2007, the military said.

After the explosion, which wounded five soldiers in her unit, Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away, the military said.

"I did not really think about anything except for getting the guys to a safer location and getting them taken care of and getting them out of there," Brown told The Associated Press on Saturday at a U.S. base in the eastern province of Khost.

Brown, of Lake Jackson, Texas, is scheduled to receive the Silver Star later this month. She was part of a four-vehicle convoy patrolling near Jani Kheil in the eastern province of Paktia on April 25, 2007, when a bomb struck one of the Humvees.

"We stopped the convoy. I opened up my door and grabbed my aid bag," Brown said.
She started running toward the burning vehicle as insurgents opened fire. All five wounded soldiers had scrambled out.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:59 am

Today is National Medal of Honor Day

Read some stories. one of my favorites a man who kept turning it down so another could "win" it. This was from the actions made famous in the book "We Were Soldiers Once, and Young" and the movie "We Were Soldiers Once"

Bernie Fisher has always been one of my favorites. He disobeyed his orders (no one talks about that after the fact) and lands to pick up a buddy.

I do feel glad that we have the same type of heroes today, even if we don't seem to hold them in the same honor we once might have.
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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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Shapley » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:13 am

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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:08 am

Today is Pearl Harbor Day

67 years ago today my parents' lives - as I'm sure many of yours - were forever altered as the United States was plunged into war that now seems to have been inevitable even though some were trying to avoid it.

About 900 U.S. WWII vets die each day, my father passed away in Jun 2001 - in hindsight, that was a blessing; 9/11 would have killed him.

We are currently engaged in a conflict with consequences equally as vast and as important as those that led to WWII; freedom of religion.

I am gratified that we have our own, newest "greatest generation."

But for today I will remember that first Greatest Generation.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

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Re: Veterans Day

Postby jamiebk » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:58 pm

Pearl changed my father's life forever. Drafted of course, he served honorably on Saipan as a munitions sargent. He still lives with it.
Jamie

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Re: Veterans Day

Postby dai bread » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:45 pm

Just idly wondering, did any of your fathers (or mothers for that matter) come here for R&R in WW2?
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby jamiebk » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:51 pm

dai bread wrote:Just idly wondering, did any of your fathers (or mothers for that matter) come here for R&R in WW2?


My father never made it to your wonderful part of the planet until my brother moved to Australia for a 2 year stint about 8-10 years ago. Mom and dad visited him there then and they did a side trip to NZ...loved it!
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby shostakovich » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:40 pm

I recall a story my uncle told of the attack. When he first spotted a plane he assumed it was U.S. He watched it fly over an oil tank and drop a bomb. His first thought was "That dumb son-of-a-bitch is gonna get Hell when he comes down".
Shos
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:19 am

shostakovich wrote:I recall a story my uncle told of the attack. When he first spotted a plane he assumed it was U.S. He watched it fly over an oil tank and drop a bomb. His first thought was "That dumb son-of-a-bitch is gonna get Hell when he comes down".
Shos


Shos,

You should write that down somewhere. I never got my father to talk about anything that happened during the war (well, once) and I've bitterly regretted it. My uncle, my father's younger brother,John captured several battles his destroyer engaged in and I personally believe his children and grandchildren will remember him probably long after Dad's memory fade.

Write it down Shos!!
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Shapley » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:38 am

dai bread wrote:Just idly wondering, did any of your fathers (or mothers for that matter) come here for R&R in WW2?


My uncle may have. He was the only one in my family that served in the Pacific Theatre, to the best of my knowledge. Unfortunately, he didn't live to see the war end. He died in a Kamikaze raid on the USS Birmingham. He was buried on Guam (I believe), but his body was later returned home for reburial.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby barfle » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:04 pm

It's surprising to me that so few of our WWII vets like to tell war stories, including my own father. I've asked him a few times, and although he doesn't outright declare that he wont' talk about it, getting stories about the time from him is like pulling teeth out of a duck.

I know he worked on the Burma Road, and spent some time in China, but telling the stories of his own life just doesn't interest him. When the WWII Memorial opened in deecee, he wanted to visit it, and met with some vets who had also served roughly where he did, but even in my attempts to eavesdrop on conversations between those who had been there, details just never happened.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby jamiebk » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:13 pm

No doubt, there were some good times and stories to tell, but I think in most cases, WWII is something our fathers work hard to forget. Many lives were impacted...some in very negative ways.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Shapley » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:46 pm

I used to work with a gentleman, B.C. Horton, who was stationed in New Guinea during the war. He used to talk about it all the time, the good, the bad, the ugly. Mostly, he says, it was boring. The only combat he ever reported seeing was when he was coming ashore. They were in the landing craft, with nothing to do but hunker down and watch. He had several shot out from under him. The just floated in the water until the next craft picked them up.

He used to love to tell about the kamikaze attack: The plane came roaring in, headed straight for the Landing ship, but missed by about 100 yards, splashing harmlessly (well, harmless to everyone except the pilot) in the sea. He found that amusing.

He told us how he and a group were waiting to board the landing craft, when a Japanese plane attacked, bullets pinging on the metal all around them. They stood there and watched it, there was nowhere to take cover and, he says, the only ones he saw get shot were the ones that tried to run. It wasn't bravery, he says, so much as it was numbness to what was going on.

Once they got to the island, there was very little battle, to here him tell it. The Japanese were retreating to the jungles, or evacuating. Most of the battle at sea was covering the retreat, apparently. Once they got settled, and had set up camp, it was mostly boredom. They few incidents were the result of sniper fire, usually the results of stupidity, he claims - souvenier hunters, patrols that got lost and wandered outside the secured areas, etc.

I knew a few others that talked about their experience, as well. Mostly support personnel, cooks, supply guys, etc., Most are dead now, or I've lost contact with them. In nursing homes, I suppose, if they are alive. Sad.....
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby Shapley » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:30 pm

Lt. Col. Grossman's 1996 study on the use of weapons in war indicates that, prior to Vietnam, only about 15 - 20% of combat soldiers actually fired their weapons at the enemy. I'm not sure what the percentage of soldiers sent to war are actually combat soldiers. Many are cooks, supply handlers, medical corps, etc.

I wonder if the reluctance of some veterans to talk about their duty stems from a desire to not tarnish their image as 'heroes' by reporting their own lack of combat experience, or for those who experienced combat, their own true nature in combat. I'm not talking about cowardice, but rather a perception by those veterans that their own apprehensions, hesitations, or outright fear would qualify them as cowards. None of us knows, until faced with it, how we will hold up in combat. I suspect that few of us would perform as John Waynes, charging down the machine gun nest. Rather, I suspect the majority of us, like the majority of most humans, would heed our instincts for self-preservation and approach to the situation with fear and caution.

When the smoke clears, those who had the fortune to survive the battle will be hailed as heroes for their participation, or perhaps more for their presence, in the skirmish. Many, perhaps, feel the label is undeserved for themselves, but do not want to take away from the heroism of their associates, so they respond to questions about 'what it was like' with a shrug.

I feel blessed to have grown up in the company of many World War II veterans, and that so many of them were willing to talk about their experiences. Some, I'm sure, were partly fabricated, others probably left out the worst of it. Men like B.C. Horton, however, were willing to tell most, if not all, and so I came early in life to understand how men can be both heroes and villains. I learned how low men can sink, and how high they can rise, and for that I am grateful.

May God bless them all, the sinners and the saints.
Last edited by Shapley on Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Veterans Day

Postby analog » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:08 pm

Rather, I suspect the majority of us, like the majority of most humans, would heed our instincts for self-preservation and approach to the situation with fear and caution.


My Uncle Bud comes to mind. He never talked much about his service - Army Air Corps. I think he thought it boring, perhaps in his mind it was when compared to the movies.
I recall seeing, as a child, slides of his tent in Panama where he flew a Bell Airacobra watching for submarines around the canal. He said that was boring duty, except one day when weather forced him to land on a beach somewhere. Some friendly folks running a plantation there invited him in for a meal and to wait out the storm, after which he flew back to the base.
Sounds to me like a great adventure - a Missouri country boy maybe twenty two years of age, zooming around the Caribbean with a 1500 horsepower airplane???
Then there was the trek in a P38 island hopping from Hawaii to Tinian, trying to stay not too far ahead of the supply ships. They subsisted a couple weeks on just canned salmon when the supply ship was delayed, and he would never touch the stuff again.
They flew photo recon for the B29's, apparently those were solo missions in unarmed planes(recon version Lightnings). He only said 'i could get up where the Zeroes couldn't go - it's awfully cold, and spooky when the sky turns black'.
He photographed Hiroshima that morning but after even forty years was reluctant to speak of it. Only said "It looked about like Tokyo but just one bomb set the whole town on fire."
I guess that one was a bit classified.
He died in '94.
He was a good man. Strong and kind. I think the war made a lot of those.

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