Archive for the ‘Hero’ Category

Must read…

 

Eagle on cemetary stone

I’m a veteran, and I hate ‘Happy Memorial Day.’ Here’s why.

I have friends buried in a small corner of a rolling green field just down the road from the Pentagon. They’re permanently assigned to Section 60. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s 14 acres in the southeast corner of Arlington National Cemetery that serves as a burial ground for many military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are fresh graves there.

I spent my formative years in combat boots and all of my friends are in the military, were in the military, or married into the military. I have several friends buried at Arlington, and know of dozens more men and women interred in that hallowed ground.

via I’m a veteran, and I hate ‘Happy Memorial Day.’ Here’s why. – The Washington Post.

…a great read.

Soldiers recall Vietnam firefight that led to posthumous MoH for Cpl.

PHILADELPHIA — It was called a “fortress in the clouds.”

The 21st Regiment of the Second Division of the North Vietnamese Army had carved a stronghold into the steep slopes of Nui Chom, a mountain with rugged peaks covered by a towering jungle canopy that blocked the sky. There, the NVA had dug 250 machine-gun bunkers to defend a secret field hospital.

On Nov. 20, 1968, Michael J. Crescenz of Philadelphia walked into an ambush on Nui Chom. His squad was pinned down when he made a snap decision to grab an M60 machine gun and charge the bunkers. He took out three, killing six enemy soldiers who may have been dumbstruck in their last seconds to see a lone American running into their fusillade of bullets.

As he charged a fourth bunker, Crescenz, 19, was killed.

via Soldiers recall Vietnam firefight that led to posthumous MoH for Cpl. | Army Times | armytimes.com.

…the invasion of Europe began.

D-Day. June 6, 1944.

On that day, thousands of men and equipment stormed ashore at a place called Normandy.
Brothers in arms fought and died on those beaches by the thousands.
Their sacrifice was heavy, their victory was total.

I choke up thinking about the bravery that these men showed in the face of certain death. Many watched as their friends died right in front of them, or right next to them, wondering if they were next, but persevering until the beach was taken.

Some of those men would die in the heavy fighting that continued after the D-Day landings.

Never forget the sacrifices made by this greatest of generations. The survivors of World War II are dying at the rate of 600 a day. If you have the honor of seeing one, let them know you appreciate their service. Honor their sacrifice.

Please visit the Army’s website dedicated to the D-Day invasion. US Army June 6, 1944 D-Day

Of all the divisions that were involved in the D-Day invasion, I had the honor of serving in 5 of those divisions in my Army career. The 1st Infantry Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, the 4th Infantry Division, the 8th Infantry Division, and the 3rd Armored Division.

D-Day vet: “We made a difference”

By:O’Ryan Johnson

One of the Bay State’s dwindling number of D-Day veterans recalls the Normandy Invasion — 69 years ago today — as a day when he and other young men “made a difference.”

“I’m proud of it. I have a lot of personal satisfaction. If it weren’t for the Rangers, they would have lost the beach,” said James Gabaree, an old Ranger who fought and nearly died in the largest armed invasion in history, known as Operation Overlord.

“We made a difference,” said Gabaree, 88, who landed at Omaha Beach with the 5th Ranger Battalion, part of an invasion force of 160,000 American, British and Canadian troops who established a foothold in Nazi-occupied western Europe.

via D-Day vet: “We made a difference” | Boston Herald.

Remembering D-Day: As WWII veteran ranks thin, those who remain recall invasion

CHILLICOTHE — As Americans mark yet another solemn anniversary of the D-Day invasion, those who fought in World War II, including the ones who stormed the beaches of Normandy 69 years ago today, continue to slip away.

World War II veterans are dying at a rate of more than 600 each day, meaning tales of combat in Europe and the Pacific are more likely to come from a book or a website than from the veterans themselves.

Milestones such as the anniversary of D-Day — the airborne and amphibious assault that began June 6, 1944, launching the Allied forces’ invasion of German-occupied western Europe — underscore how many of these veterans are gone, but also illuminates the contributions of those who remain.

As a member of the Scioto Valley and Ross County veterans honor guards, Carl Jividen, 92, has paid tribute to more than his fair share of deceased veterans.

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Memorial Day seems to be forgotten for its original intent. Now people think it’s a long weekend signifying the start of summer and a time to break out the BBQs.

Please remember our fallen brothers and sisters this weekend. Fly the flag. Remember that your weekend BBQ came at a great price. Freedom is never free.

Memorial Day

By RU Rob

While Memorial Day in the United States often induces thoughts of the beginning of summer, BBQ’s and a long holiday weekend, it is not celebrated as intended. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being its birthplace but was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has sadly diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day as well as its importance to many who have lost someone in the service to the country. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected and have fallen into a state of disrepair. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50′s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights.

via Memorial Day – Rhino Den | Military Stories, MMA News, Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy.

…is well worth your time.

11 Facts About Medal of Honor Recipient Clinton Romesha

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
January 17, 2013 3:59 pm

Former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha (ROE-muh-shay), 31, will receive the Medal of Honor next month for heroic actions during the day-long attack on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan.

More than 300 Taliban attacked Keating early in the morning of Oct. 3, 2009, from all four sides and from higher ground. Armed with recoilless rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, machine guns, and rifles, the Taliban swarmed the site, occupied by only 53 Americans and two Latvians. A score of Afghans stationed there had abandoned the site. Mortars hit Keating every 15 seconds during the first three hours of the attack. Taliban breached the site and destroyed 70 percent of Keating with a fire.

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…rest in peace General.

They’ll be standing at attention at Fiddler’s Green as you roll in. Job well done General.
Desert Storm commander Norman Schwarzkopf dies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn’t care much for his popular “Stormin’ Norman” nickname.

The seemingly no-nonsense Desert Storm commander’s reputed temper with aides and subordinates supposedly earned him that rough-and-ready moniker. But others around the general, who died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., at age 78 from complications from pneumonia, knew him as a friendly, talkative and even jovial figure who preferred the somewhat milder sobriquet given by his troops: “The Bear.”

That one perhaps suited him better later in his life, when he supported various national causes and children’s charities while eschewing the spotlight and resisting efforts to draft him to run for political office.

He lived out a quiet retirement in Tampa, where he’d served his last military assignment and where an elementary school bearing his name is testament to his standing in the community.

Schwarzkopf capped an illustrious military career by commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in 1991 — but he’d managed to keep a low profile in the public debate over the second Gulf War against Iraq, saying at one point that he doubted victory would be as easy as the White House and the Pentagon predicted.

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…at the age of 88.

H/T Ace of Spades.

Rest in peace sir.

He was a highly decorated WWII veteran. His Senate career started in 1963.

His Medal of Honor citation:

Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

He loved America.