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That is awesome! Kind of looks similar to the freedom rock in Iowa.

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During the 3-1/2 years of World War II that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and ended with the surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, "We the People of the U.S.A

World War II Purple Heart recipient Edward Murphy marked his 100th birthday Saturday in Georgia.   A World War II Purple Heart recipient who turned 100 says that age is only a number. “

A NEW CHRISTMAS POEM    

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This is a photo of the Global Hawk UAV

that recently returned from the war zone under it's own power.

( Iraq to Edward's AFB in CA) - Not transported via C5 or C17.

Note the mission paintings on the fuselage,

It's actually over 250 missions.

(And I would suppose 25 air medals.)

That's a long way for a remotely piloted aircraft.

Think of the technology as well as the required quality of the data link to fly it remotely from a source thousands of miles away.

Not only that, but the pilot controls it from a nice warm control panel at Edwards AFB, CA.

It can stay up for almost 2 days at altitudes above 60k.

The Global Hawk is controlled via satellite. It flew missions that went from Edwards AFB, CA. and back nonstop.

Basically, they come into the fight at a high mach # using military thrust power, fire their AMRAAMS, and no one ever sees them or paints with radar. There is practically no radio chatter because all the guys in the flight are tied together electronically and can see who is targeting who, and they have AWACS (Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems) direct input, as well as 360 situational awareness from that and other sensors.

The enemy had a definite morale problem before it was all over.

It is to air superiority what the jet engine was to aviation.

It can taxi out, take off, fly a mission, return, land and taxi back on its own.

There are no blackouts, pilot fatigue, relief tubes, ejection seats, and best of all, no dead pilots, and no POWs.

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Best Shot with a 1911. Ever !

by Phil Bourjaily

While compiling the timeline for “Pistol of the Century,” our tribute to the 1911 in the June issue of Field & Stream , I read through many accounts of the 1911 in combat. The most unusual shot,(and possibly the best ever) made in wartime with a 1911 pistol had to be the one fired by a USAAF B-24 co-pilot named Owen J. Baggett in March, 1943 in the skies over Burma. Of course, I am biased toward this one as it involves a flying target . .. ..

On a mission to destroy a railroad bridge, Baggett’s bomber squadron was intercepted by Japanese Zero fighters and his plane was badly damaged. After holding off the enemy with the top turret ..50s while the gunner tried to put out onboard fires, Baggett bailed out with the rest of the crew. He and four others escaped the burning bomber before it exploded.

The Zero pilots circled back to strafe the parachuting crewmen, killing two and lightly wounding Baggett, who played dead in his harness, hoping the Japanese would leave him alone. Though playing dead, Baggett still drew his .45 and hid it alongside his leg...just in case. A Zero approached within a few feet of Baggett at near stall speeds. The pilot opened the canopy for a better look at his victim.

Baggett raised his pistol and fired four shots into the cockpit. The Zero spun out of sight. Although Baggett could never believe he had shot down a fighter plane with his pistol, at least one credible report said the plane was found crashed, the pilot thrown clear of the wreckage with a single bullet in his head.

If Baggett really did shoot down a fighter with his 1911, it has to count as one of the greatest feats ever accomplished with a ..45.

Baggett survived two years in a Japanese prison camp in Singapore and eventually retired from the Air Force as a colonel.

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Personally, I do not doubt this story for a second! Another superb post Gar!

Best Shot with a 1911. Ever !

by Phil Bourjaily

While compiling the timeline for “Pistol of the Century,” our tribute to the 1911 in the June issue of Field & Stream , I read through many accounts of the 1911 in combat. The most unusual shot,(and possibly the best ever) made in wartime with a 1911 pistol had to be the one fired by a USAAF B-24 co-pilot named Owen J. Baggett in March, 1943 in the skies over Burma. Of course, I am biased toward this one as it involves a flying target . .. ..

On a mission to destroy a railroad bridge, Baggett’s bomber squadron was intercepted by Japanese Zero fighters and his plane was badly damaged. After holding off the enemy with the top turret ..50s while the gunner tried to put out onboard fires, Baggett bailed out with the rest of the crew. He and four others escaped the burning bomber before it exploded.

The Zero pilots circled back to strafe the parachuting crewmen, killing two and lightly wounding Baggett, who played dead in his harness, hoping the Japanese would leave him alone. Though playing dead, Baggett still drew his .45 and hid it alongside his leg...just in case. A Zero approached within a few feet of Baggett at near stall speeds. The pilot opened the canopy for a better look at his victim.

Baggett raised his pistol and fired four shots into the cockpit. The Zero spun out of sight. Although Baggett could never believe he had shot down a fighter plane with his pistol, at least one credible report said the plane was found crashed, the pilot thrown clear of the wreckage with a single bullet in his head.

If Baggett really did shoot down a fighter with his 1911, it has to count as one of the greatest feats ever accomplished with a ..45.

Baggett survived two years in a Japanese prison camp in Singapore and eventually retired from the Air Force as a colonel.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another of our hero's....

post-300-0-29778800-1310567603_thumb.jpg

This is a photo of the Global Hawk UAV

that recently returned from the war zone under it's own power.

( Iraq to Edward's AFB in CA) - Not transported via C5 or C17.

Note the mission paintings on the fuselage,

It's actually over 250 missions.

(And I would suppose 25 air medals.)

That's a long way for a remotely piloted aircraft.

Think of the technology as well as the required quality of the data link

to fly it remotely from a source thousands of miles away.

Not only that, but the pilot controls it from a nice warm control panel

at Edwards AFB, CA.

It can stay up for almost 2 days at altitudes above 60k.

The Global Hawk is controlled via satellite.

It flew missions that went from Edwards AFB, CA. and back nonstop.

Basically, they come into the fight at a high mach # using military thrust power, fire their AMRAAMS, and no one ever sees them or paints with radar.

There is practically no radio chatter because all the guys in the flight are tied together electronically and can see who is targeting who, and they have AWACS

(Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems) direct input, as well as 360 situational awareness from that and other sensors.

The enemy had a definite morale problem before it was all over.

It is to air superiority what the jet engine was to aviation.

It can taxi out, take off, fly a mission, return, land and taxi back on its own.

There are no blackouts, pilot fatigue, relief tubes, ejection seats,

and best of all, no dead pilots ...... and no POWs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Military Pay

CINDY WILLIAMS was appointed by Obama as an Assistant Director for NATIONAL SECURITY in the Congressional Budget Office...

This is an Airman's response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY; it should be printed in all newspapers across America.

Ms. Cindy Williams wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members' way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve.

A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.

"Ms. Williams:

I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GI's earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after.

I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for "Network Technicians" in the Washington , D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three yearsˆ™ experience in my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum............ I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.

Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN ; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience."

As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE's (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor.

Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't be nearly long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your open piece.

But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment right and every other right you cherish... On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

And you, Ms.. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve?

A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC

IF YOU AGREE, PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN.

If you get this more than once, feel honored that you know more than one person who supports our military and appreciates what they do.

If you don't forward it, you don't deserve their sacrifice.

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Military Pay

CINDY WILLIAMS was appointed by Obama as an Assistant Director for NATIONAL SECURITY in the Congressional Budget Office...

This is an Airman's response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY; it should be printed in all newspapers across America.

Ms. Cindy Williams wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members' way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve.

A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.

"Ms. Williams:

I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GI's earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after.

I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for "Network Technicians" in the Washington , D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three yearsˆ™ experience in my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum............ I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.

Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN ; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience."

As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE's (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor.

Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't be nearly long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your open piece.

But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment right and every other right you cherish... On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

And you, Ms.. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve?

A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC

IF YOU AGREE, PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN.

If you get this more than once, feel honored that you know more than one person who supports our military and appreciates what they do.

If you don't forward it, you don't deserve their sacrifice.

:thumbsupanim Bump!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Postage and Handling...a disgrace

The United States is home of the brave, but not necessarily the grateful. A South Dakota news station says when Army Sergeant Major Rob Dickerson finally received his Purple Heart in the mail -- 4 years late -- it came with $21 postage due. The retired vet said -- quote -- "COD is how I received my Purple Heart."

Dickerson was seriously wounded by a rocket blast in Iraq in 2007. Because of a paperwork mix-up, the medal was late and he did not get a pinning ceremony.

Dickerson did get an apology and a refund check for the postage. But he couldn't cash it because it was made out to "Roy" instead of "Rob."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/special-report/2011/08/05/wounded-vets-purple-heart-comes-cod#ixzz1ULeBZLFZ

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Johhno... thank you so very much for digging that up.

One thing I do not agree with is that I still feel it was a just war as so many good Vietnamese people hated the communist and wanted freedom to reign, that is why I joined and volunteered to go there.

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Gotta love what he always does with his troops! He gets much respect from vets for his continual respect for the Military. Thanks for finding and posting that

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  • 2 weeks later...

Military - US

Memorials Set as Former Marine Gets Medal of Honor

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dakota Meyer saved 36 lives from an ambush in Afghanistan and the former Marine will collect the nation's highest military honor at the White House on Thursday. While he is receiving the Medal of Honor, Meyer's fallen comrades will be memorialized in hometown ceremonies at his request.

His hero's moment was his darkest day. Meyer lost some of his best friends the morning of Sept. 8, 2009, in far-off Kunar Province.

"It's hard, it's ... you know ... getting recognized for the worst day of your life, so it's... it's a really tough thing," Meyer said, struggling for words.

Meyer charged through heavy insurgent gunfire on five death-defying trips in an armored Humvee to save 13 Marines and Army soldiers and another 23 Afghan troops pinned down by withering enemy fire. Meyer personally killed at least eight insurgents despite taking a shrapnel wound to one arm as he manned the gun turret of the Humvee and provided covering fire for the soldiers, according to the military.

President Barack Obama will bestow the medal at a White House ceremony. The two have also met privately, having a beer on a patio outside the Oval Office on Wednesday.

"Over the weekend, the President's staff called Meyer in preparation for Thursday's Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House. Meyer asked the staffer if he could have a beer with the President. POTUS invited Dakota to come by the White House this afternoon," spokesman Jay Carney tweeted.

In Afghanistan, Meyer was part of a security team supporting a patrol moving into a village in the Ganjgal Valley on the day of the ambush.

Meyer and the other Americans had gone to the area to train Afghan military members when, suddenly, the village lights went out and gunfire erupted. About 50 Taliban insurgents on mountainsides and in the village had ambushed the patrol.

As the forward team took fire and called for air support that wasn't coming, Meyer, a corporal at the time, begged his command to let him head into the incoming fire to help.

Four times he was denied his request before Meyer and another Marine, Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, jumped into the Humvee and headed into the fray. For his valor, Rodriguez-Chavez, a 34-year-old who hailed originally from Acuna, Mexico, would be awarded the Navy Cross.

"They told him he couldn't go in," said Dwight Meyer, Dakota Meyer's 81-year-old grandfather, a former Marine who served in the 1950s. "He told them, `The hell I'm not,' and he went in. It's a one-in-a-million thing" that he survived.

With Meyer manning the Humvee's gun turret, the two drew heavy fire. But they began evacuating wounded Marines and American and Afghan soldiers to a safe point. Meyer made five trips into the kill zone, each time searching for the forward patrol with his Marine friends -- including 1st Lt. Michael Johnson -- whom Meyer had heard yelling on the radio for air support.

With Meyer and Rodriguez-Chavez ready to test fate a fifth time in the kill zone, a UH-60 helicopter arrived at last to provide overhead support. Troops aboard the chopper told Meyer they had spotted what appeared to be four bodies. Meyer knew those were his friends and he had to bring them out.

"It might sound crazy, but it was just, you don't really think about it, you don't comprehend it, you don't really comprehend what you did until looking back on it," Meyer said.

Wounded and tired, Meyer left the relative safety of the Humvee and ran out on foot.

"He just really took a chance," Dwight Meyer said.

Ducking around buildings to avoid heavy gunfire, he reached the bodies of Johnson, a 25-year-old from Virginia Beach; Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 30, of Roswell, Ga.; Corpsman James Layton, 22, of Riverbank, Calif.; and Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr., a 31-year-old gunnery sergeant from Columbus, Ga.

Meyer and two other soldiers dodged bullets and rocket-propelled grenades to pull the bodies out of a ditch where the men had died while trying to take cover.

The deaths of Meyer's comrades prompted an investigation into events that day, and two Army officers were later reprimanded for being "inadequate and ineffective" and for "contributing directly to the loss of life." Along with Meyer's friends, a fifth American -- Army Sgt. Kenneth W. Westbrook, 41, of Shiprock, N.M. -- was fatally wounded in the ambush.

Meyer said he'll be humbled by the memory of his fallen comrades as he receives the award Thursday. One of the memorials will be at a Columbus cemetery for gunnery sergeant Johnson, a father of three who served nearly 13 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Will Duke, one of the organizers, said the memorials spoke volumes about Meyer.

"I can tell by his actions, not only the actions he took in earning the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan but also the actions he is taking now. Essentially by requesting these memorial services for his fallen comrades, he's saying this is about them," Duke said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/15/memorials-set-as-ex-marine-gets-medal-honor/#ixzz1Y1lAQW9O

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Boatlifters: The unknown story of 9/11

Sep 9, 2011 11:31 EDT

9/11 | world trade center

By Katharine Herrup

The opinions expressed are her own.

Much has been written and said about September 11, 2001, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, but one story much less known is the one about the band of boats that came together to rescue nearly 500,000 New Yorkers from the World Trade Center site on the day the towers collapsed.

It was the largest boatlift ever to have happened – greater than the one at Dunkirk during World War II. Yet somehow a story of such large scale became lost in all the rubble. But a new 10-minute documentary called Boatlift by Eddie Rosenstein captures the boat evacuations that happened on 9/11. The film is part of four new short documentaries that were created for the 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C.

“Boats, usually an afterthought in most New Yorkers minds, were, for the first time in over a century, the only way in or out of lower Manhattan,” says Tom Hanks, the narrator of the film.

New Yorkers don’t really think of Manhattan as an island since everything from the basics to beyond your wildest imagination is so accessible — not typically a feature associated with island life. But on September 11, 2001, those trapped below the World Trade Center site who could not escape without swimming or being rescued by a boat were acutely reminded of that fact.

#!

“People were actually jumping into the river and swimming out of Manhattan. Boats were very nearly running them over,” saysNY Waterway Captain Rick Thornton in the film.

The captains and crew of the fleet of boats who rescued so many on 9/11 came together with no idea what they would be getting into and no idea whether Manhattan would be attacked again let alone their very own boats. All they knew were that desperate people were in need of help and they couldn’t turn their backs on them, even if that meant putting their own lives at risk.

“If it floated, and it could get there, it got there,” engineer of the Mary Gellatly Robin Jones recalls.

“I never want to say the word ‘I should have’,” says Vincent Ardolino, captain of the Amberjack V. “I tell my children the same thing, never go through life saying you should have. If you want to do something, you do it.”

The New York Waterway, the Coast Guard, ferries, tug boats, private boats, party boats, small professional diving boats, and more ferried hundreds of thousands of people to Staten Island, Brooklyn, upper Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens in less than nine hours. Their crews are typical (in every best sense of the word) New Yorkers and ordinary civilians who came together after a distress call came in from the U.S. Coast Guard in New York.

“I’ve never seen so many tug boats all at once,” captain of the Staten Island Ferry James Parese says. “I worked on the water for 28 years, I’ve never seen that many boats come together at one time that fast. One radio call and they just all came together,” Jones said.

Perhaps one of the most amazing aspects of this mass-scale operation was that were no evacuation plans for such a rescue. “You couldn’t have planned nothing to happen that fast that quick,” Jones said.

It was the ethic code of the seas that made the boat rescues such a success. If a boat needed refueling, another one would pull up alongside it and give it 10,000 gallons of fuel with no questions asked or no one asking for payment. If a woman in a wheelchair needed to be lifted over the fence on the water’s edge to get into one of the boats, there were more than enough hands to help lift her. If people were stranded on a ledge by the water, they would get picked up by a boat. No one was left behind.

One of the arresting images in the film was of a massive throng of people pressed up against and even hanging over the rails along the water waving their hands, hoping someone would come to their rescue. They were at land’s end in downtown Manhattan, no easy place to conduct any sort of boat rescue since there aren’t many docking places or spots to put a boat ramp.

It was a day that lots of local, ordinary people become heroes. It was a day that was supposed to tear America apart, but instead brought Americans together. It was a day that brought out the best in many people.

“We wanted to tell a story that reminds Americans that this is a country that bounces back from adversity,” the President of the Center for National Policy Stephen Flynn, who had been a U.S. Coast Guard officer, told me. “Our national DNA is resilience. The key for us is to move forward with some key lessons and one of the lessons missing is the strength of civil society and how it responded when 9/11 happened.”

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Many good compassionate people that day came together to save their fellow man....it took courage and guts

to do the impossible and they did it.....the whole world can be proud of the New York boat people...all hero's...

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