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Today, Tom Sullivan on talk radio interviewed Pearl Harbor survivors. Very touching..... not many of them left to tell the story

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This is a true story of 20 year old Bruce Carr, a fighter pilot shot down behind enemy lines in World War Two.

20 year old Bruce Carr, a fighter pilot

The dead chicken was starting to smell. After carrying it for several days, 20-year-old Bruce Carr still hadn't decided how to cook it without the Germans catching him. But as hungry as he was, he couldn't bring himself to eat it. In his mind, no meat was better than raw chicken meat, so he threw it away.

Resigning himself to what appeared to be his unavoidable fate, he turned in the direction of the nearest German airfield. Even POW's get to eat sometimes. And aren't they constantly dodging from tree to tree . .. .ditch to culvert? He was exhausted!

He was tired of trying to find cover where there was none. Carr hadn't realized that Czechoslovakian forests had no underbrush until, at the edge of the farm field, he struggled out of his parachute and dragged it into the woods.

During the times he had been screaming along at treetop level in his P-51 Angels Playmate' the forests and fields had been nothing more than a green blur behind the Messerchmitts, Focke-Wulfs, trains and trucks he had in his sights. He never expected to find himself a pedestrian far behind enemy lines.

The instant antiaircraft shrapnel ripped into the engine, he knew he was in trouble. Serious trouble. Clouds of coolant steam hissing through jagged holes in the cowling told Carr he was about to ride the silk elevator down to a long walk back to his squadron. A very long walk.

This had not been part of the mission plan. Several years before, when 18-year-old Bruce Carr enlisted in the Army, in no way could he have imagined himself taking a walking tour of rural Czechoslovakia with Germans everywhere around him. When he enlisted, all he could think about was flying fighters.

By the time he had joined the military, Carr already knew how to fly. He had been flying as a private pilot since 1939, soloing in a $25 Piper Cub his father had bought from a disgusted pilot who had left it lodged securely in the top of a tree. His instructor had been an Auburn, New York, native by the name of 'Johnny' Bruns.

"In 1942, after I enlisted," as Bruce Carr remembers it, "we went to meet our instructors. I was the last cadet left in the assignment room and was nervous. Then the door opened and out stepped the man who was to be my military flight instructor. It was Johnny Bruns!

"We took a Stearman to an outlying field, doing aerobatics all the way; then he got out and soloed me. That was my first flight in the military.

"The guy I had in advanced training in the AT-6 had just graduated himself and didn't know a damned bit more than I did." Carr can't help but smile, as he remembers: "which meant neither one of us knew anything. Zilch!

"After three or four hours in the AT-6, they took me and a few others aside, told us we were going to fly P-40s and we left for Tipton, Georgia. We got to Tipton, and a lieutenant just back from North Africa kneeled on the P-40s wing, showed me where all the levers were, made sure I knew how everything worked, then said, 'If you can get it started .. . go flying,' just like that!

"I was 19 years old and thought I knew everything. I didn't know enough to be scared. They didn't tell us what to do. They just said: 'Go fly!' so I buzzed every cow in that part of the state. Nineteen years old and 1,100 horsepower, what did they expect? Then we went overseas."

By today's standards, Carr and that first contingent of pilots shipped to England were painfully short of experience. They had so little flight time that today; they would barely have their civilian pilot's license. Flight training eventually became more formal, but in those early days, it had a hint of fatalistic Darwinism: if they learned fast enough to survive, they were ready to move on to the next step.

Including his 40 hours in the P-40 terrorizing Georgia, Carr had less than 160 hours flight time when he arrived in England.

His group in England was to be the pioneering group that would take the Mustang into combat, and he clearly remembers his introduction to the airplane.

"I thought I was an old P-40 pilot and the P-51B would be no big deal. But I was wrong. I was truly impressed with the airplane. I mean REALLY impressed! It flew like an airplane. I just flew the P-40, but in the P-51 I was part of the airplane. And it was part of me! There was a world of difference."

When he first arrived in England, the instructions were, 'This is a P-51. Go fly it. Soon, we'll have to form a unit, so go fly.' A lot of English cows were buzzed.

"On my first long-range mission, we just kept climbing, and I'd never had an airplane above about 10,000 feet before. Then we were at 30,000 feet with ‘Angels Playmate’ and I couldn't believe it! I'd gone to church as a kid, and I knew that's where the angels were and that's when I named my airplane Angels Playmate.'

"Then a bunch of Germans roared down through us, and my leader immediately dropped tanks and turned hard for home. But I'm not that smart. I'm 19 years old and this SOB shoots at me. And I'm not going to let him get away with it

"We went round and round. And I'm really mad because he shot at me. Childish emotions, in retrospect. He couldn't shake me, but I couldn't get on his tail to get any hits either.

"Before long, we're right down in the trees. I'm shooting, but I'm not hitting. I am, however, scaring the hell out of him. But I'm at least as excited as he is. Then I tell myself to calm down.

"We're roaring around within a few feet of the ground, and he pulls up to go over some trees, so I just pull the trigger and keep it down. The gun barrels burned out and one bullet, a tracer, came tumbling out and made a great huge arc. It came down and hit him on the left wing about where the aileron is. He pulled up, off came the canopy, and he jumped out, but too low for the chute to open and the airplane crashed. I didn't shoot him down, I scared him to death with one bullet hole in his left wing. My first victory wasn't a kill; it was more of a suicide."

The rest of his 14 victories were much more conclusive. Being a red-hot fighter pilot, however, was absolutely no use to him as he lay shivering in the Czechoslovakian forest. He knew he would die if he didn't get some food and shelter soon.

"I knew where the German field was because I'd flown over it, so I headed in that direction to surrender. I intended to walk in the main gate, but it was late afternoon and, for some reason, I had second thoughts and decided to wait in the woods until morning.

"While I was lying there, I saw a crew working on an FW 190 right at the edge of the woods. When they were done, I assumed, just like you assume in America, that the thing was all finished. The cowling's on. The engine has been run. The fuel truck has been there. It's ready to go. Maybe a dumb assumption for a young fellow, but I assumed so. So, I got in the airplane and spent the night all hunkered down in the cockpit.

"Before dawn, it got light and I started studying the cockpit. I can't read German, so I couldn't decipher dials and I couldn't find the normal switches like there were in American airplanes. I kept looking, and on the right side was a smooth panel. Under this was a compartment with something I would classify as circuit breakers. They didn't look like ours, but they weren't regular switches either.

"I began to think that the Germans were probably no different from the Americans in that they would turn off all the switches when finished with the airplane. I had no earthly idea what those circuit breakers or switches did, but I reversed every one of them. If they were off, that would turn them on. When I did that, the gauges showed there was electricity on the airplane.

"I'd seen this metal T-handle on the right side of the cockpit that had a word on it that looked enough like 'starter' for me to think that's what it was. But when I pulled it, nothing happened. Nothing.

"But if pulling doesn't work . . . you push. And when I did, an inertia starter started winding up. I let it go for a while, then pulled on the handle and the engine started!"

The sun had yet to make it over the far trees and the air base was just waking up, getting ready to go to war. The FW 190 was one of many dispersed through-out the woods, and at that time of the morning, the sound of the engine must have been heard by many Germans not far away on the main base.

But even if they heard it, there was no reason for alarm. The last thing they expected was one of their fighters taxiing out with a weary Mustang pilot at the controls. Carr, however, wanted to take no chances.

"The taxiway came out of the woods and turned right towards where I knew the airfield was because I'd watched them land and take off while I was in the trees.

"On the left side of the taxiway, there was a shallow ditch and a space where there had been two hangars. The slabs were there, but the hangars were gone, and the area around them had been cleaned of all debris.

"I didn't want to go to the airfield, so I plowed down through the ditch and then the airplane started up the other side.

“When the airplane started up . . . I shoved the throttle forward and took off right between where the two hangars had been."

At that point, Bruce Carr had no time to look around to see what effect the sight of a Focke-Wulf erupting from the trees had on the Germans. Undoubtedly, they were confused, but not unduly concerned. After all, it was probably just one of their maverick pilots doing something against the rules They didn't know it was one of OUR maverick pilots doing something against the rules.

Carr had problems more immediate than a bunch of confused Germans. He had just pulled off the perfect plane-jacking; but he knew nothing about the airplane, couldn't read the placards and had 200 miles of enemy territory to cross. At home, there would be hundreds of his friends and fellow warriors, all of whom were, at that moment, preparing their guns to shoot at airplanes marked with swastikas and crosses-airplanes identical to the one Bruce Carr was at that moment flying. But Carr wasn't thinking that far ahead.

First, he had to get there, and that meant learning how to fly the airplane. "There were two buttons behind the throttle and three buttons behind those two. I wasn't sure what to push, so I pushed one button and nothing happened I pushed the other and the gear started up. As soon as I felt it coming up and I cleared the fence at the edge of the German field, I took it down a little lower and headed for home.

"All I wanted to do was clear the ground by about six inches, and there was only one throttle position for me . . . full forward!

"As I headed for home, I pushed one of the other three buttons, and the flaps came part way down. I pushed the button next to it, and they came up again. So I knew how to get the flaps down. But that was all I knew.

"I can't make heads or tails out of any of the instruments. None. I can't even figure how to change the prop pitch. But I don't sweat that, because props are full forward when you shut down anyway and it was running fine."

This time, it was German cows that were buzzed, although, as he streaked across fields and through the trees only a few feet off the ground, that was not the intent. At something over 350 miles an hour below tree-top level, he was trying to be a difficult target as he crossed the lines. But he wasn't difficult enough.

"There was no doubt when I crossed the lines because every SOB and his brother who had a .50-caliber machine gun shot at me. It was all over the place, and I had no idea which way to go. I didn't do much dodging because I was just as likely to fly into bullets as around them."

When he hopped over the last row of trees and found himself crossing his own airfield, he pulled up hard to set up for landing. His mind was on flying the airplane. "I pitched up, pulled the throttle back and punched the buttons I knew would put the gear and flaps down. I felt the flaps come down but the gear wasn't doing anything. I came around and pitched up again, still punching the button. Nothing was happening and I was really frustrated." He had been so intent on figuring out his airplane problems, he forgot he was putting on a very tempting show for the ground crew.

"As I started up the last time, I saw our air defense guys ripping the tarps off the quad .50s that ringed our field. I hadn't noticed the machine guns before. But I was sure noticing them right then.

"I roared around in as tight a pattern as I could fly and chopped the throttle. I slid to a halt on the runway and it was a nice belly job, if I say so myself."

His antics over the runway had drawn quite a crowd, and the airplane had barely stopped sliding before there were MPs up on the wings trying to drag him out of the airplane by his arms. They didn't realize he was still strapped in.

"I started throwing some good Anglo-Saxon swear words at them, and they let loose while I tried to get the seat belt undone, but my hands wouldn't work and I couldn't do it. Then they started pulling on me again because they still weren't convinced I was an American.

"I was yelling and hollering. Then, suddenly, they let go, and a face drops down into the cockpit in front of mine. It was my Group Commander: George R. Bickel.

"Bickel said, 'Carr, where in the hell have you been, and what have you been doing now?'”

Bruce Carr was home and entered the record books as the only pilot known to leave on a mission flying a Mustang and return flying a Focke-Wulf. For several days after the ordeal, he had trouble eating and sleeping, but when things again fell into place, he took some of the other pilots out to show them the airplane and how it worked. One of them pointed out a small handle under the glare shield that he hadn't noticed before. When he pulled it, the landing gear unlocked and fell out. The handle was a separate, mechanical uplock. At least, he had figured out the important things.

Carr finished the war with 14 aerial victories on 172 missions, including three bailouts because of ground fire. He stayed in the service, eventually flying 51 missions in Korea in F-86s and 286 in Vietnam, flying F-100s.

That's an amazing 509 combat missions and doesn't include many others during Viet Nam in other aircraft types.

There is a profile into which almost every one of the breed fits, and it is the charter within that profile that makes the pilot a fighter pilot . . not the other way around. And make no mistake about it; Colonel Bruce Carr was definitely a fighter pilot.


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WWII Vet Receives POW Medal in Miami

December 21, 2010

Miami Herald

It was World War II and U.S. Army Air Corps 2nd Lt. Cornelius Reagan, shot down over the Indonesia jungle, survived for six month on his wits, tropical fruit and the flesh of raw animals.

Then Japanese forces found him and locked him away in a series of internment camps for more than three years.

Monday, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Miami honored that sacrifice by awarding Reagan, now 95, the Prison of War Medal -- 65 years after Reagan was released by the Japanese weighing just 92 pounds.

"I thought to myself, if I can just survive, I'll be able to get home," a beaming Reagan said at the ceremony, as he stood proudly with his new medal pinned to the lapel of his gray suit.

To gentle laughter, Reagan said he has been recognized before, with a presidential citation and a Purple Heart for being killed in action. Because he was missing so long, the military had presumed Reagan was dead -- and told his mother that during the war.

"We're here to set the record straight," Japhet Rivera, the VA's associate director, said Monday. "After so many years, he's here to receive the medal he earned."

The medal is awarded to anyone who, while serving with the U.S. Armed Forces, was taken prisoner and held captive after April 5, 1917.

"The service member must also have either been engaged in action against an enemy or involved in military operations involving conflict with an opposing force," the Miami VA said in a statement.

Reagan, an only child who was born in Lexington, Ky., joined the Army Air Corps cadets in 1940, after college at the University of Kentucky.

A plane he was piloting solo was shot down over the island of Java on March 1, 1942. He landed in a rice paddy on a mountain.

Traveling by night in a stolen boat, Reagan told The Miami Herald in 2002 that he survived on tropical fruit, roots and animals that he ate raw because he could not light a fire.

"I thought maybe if I got to the ocean I could maybe steal a boat and get to Australia," he said.

Eventually, natives found Reagan and turned him over to the Japanese. To hide that he was an American soldier, Reagan told his captors he was a war correspondent from Ireland, a country that remained neutral in the conflict.

As a war prisoner, Reagan was shuffled between several internment camps, slept on dirt floors, and was subjected to severe dietary restrictions. He was also put on burial detail.

At one camp, he was directed to read propaganda material over a public address system, and when he refused he was severely beaten and sent to Kempeitai for a trial, charged with sabotage. At his court martial, he was found guilty and sentenced to a life of hard labor.

Reagan, who picked up Javanese and Dutch during his years in captivity, said he felt lucky. Many of the 55 or so other prisoners in trial that day were given an immediate death sentence.

Soon after his sentencing, Reagan was transferred to a political prison located on the north coast of Java. He experienced forms of torture, he said, including having bamboo sticks placed under his fingernails and being forced to drink water "until you almost explode."

Reagan was finally released from confinement and rescued by the British military in September 1945 as the war ended. Reagan stayed in the military and retired to Miami with his family in 1961.

"My bedtime stories were his escapades in the island of Java, in installments, evading the Japanese," said Patrick Reagan of Weston, 63, the older of Reagan's two sons who attended Monday's ceremony.

Reagan, who lives in Cutler Bay, has had bouts of skin cancer, but appears in remarkably good shape for his age. He said he is still haunted sometimes by memories of his time as a war prisoner.

"Many times I have nightmares of the mental treatment that I had," he said.

He receives assistance at the VA and has told his story to military groups and high school students.

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Red Skelton Show from 41 years ago.... A "skit" from one of Red Skelton's 1969 T.V. shows...

WOW.....just think about it, he said this on his T.V. show in 1969 and had no clue his words would ever come to fruition. SAD, isn't it?

What a wonderful and worthwhile clip to watch and share with all your friends and acquaintances!

This is one that needs to be passed on to everyone.

The goal is 2,500,000 viewers. It should be 300 million.

http://media.causes.com/604250?p_id=42563578 <http://media.causes.com/604250?p_id=42563578>

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Greetings Golfers..an email I received...

No, we are not scheduling a mid-winter golf event. I just wanted to share a

recent golf experience with you.

Jane and I have just returned from a short trip to Disney in Orlando to

decompress from the Thanksgiving holiday. Our plan was to see the holiday

decorations at Disney and while Jane shopped, I would play a little golf.

On Monday, I played the Disney, Lake Buena Vista course. As usual the

starters matched me with three other players.

After a few holes we began to get to know each other a bit. One fellow was

rather young and had his wife riding along in the golf cart with him.

I noticed that his golf bag had his name on it and after closer inspection,

it also said "wounded war veterans". When I had my first chance to chat with

him I asked him about the bag. His response was simply that it was a gift. I

then asked if he was wounded and he said yes. When I asked more about his

injury, his response was "I'd rather not talk about it, sir".

Over a few holes I learned that he had spent the last 15 months in an army

rehabilitation hospital in San Antonio Texas . His wife moved there to be

with him and he was released from the hospital in September. He was a rather

quite fellow, however, he did say that he wanted to get good at golf. We had

a nice round and as we became a bit more familiar I asked him about the a

brand new set of Ping woods and irons he was playing. Some looked like they

had never been hit.

His response was simple. He said that this round was the first full round he

had played with these clubs.

Later in the round he told me the following.

As part of the discharge process from the rehabilitation hospital, Ping

comes in and provides three days of golf instruction, followed by club

fitting. Upon discharge from the hospital, Ping gives each of the discharged

veterans, generally about 40 soldiers, a brand new set of custom fitted

clubs along with the impressive golf bags.

The fellow I met was named Ben Woods and he looked me in the eye and said

that being fitted for those clubs was one of the best things that ever

happened to him and he was determined to learn to play golf well enough to

deserve the gift Ping had given him. Ben is now out of the service,

medically discharged just a month ago. He is as fine a young man as you

would ever want to meet.

Ping has the good judgment not to advertise this program. But the next time

I am in the market for a club, I know what I am going to buy.

God Bless America and the game of golf.

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Our American Dream: From Univision Executive to Decorated War Hero in Iraq

post-300-0-86350900-1296556996_thumb.jpgIn all fields of endeavor, across the United States, Latinos are working to uphold their place in American society. Fox News Latino is proud to present "Our American Dream" – a series of snapshots and profiles of Latino success stories.

Otto Padron is Superman.

By day he works for the Univision television network, by night he flies through Florida’s night sky as a U.S. Army reserve officer. If that weren’t enough, he is marrying his leading lady --the star of the Mexican version of Ugly Betty, TV star Angelica Vale -- all while going to school to complete his MBA.

On Presidents day in 2007, while sitting in his corner office of the Univision building in Miami, Padron, 47, was still trying to grasp his newest promotion to Senior Vice President of Programming for the network.

As he closed the door to his executive office behind him to toast the accomplishment with coworkers -- his cell phone rang.

post-300-0-17545900-1296557485_thumb.jpgHe picked up. It was his Army reserve unit.

“Capt. Padron, we have good news and we have bad news,” the voice said on the other end. “The good news is you are being promoted to Major. The bad news is you are being promoted to Major in Iraq.”

post-300-0-66927500-1296557552_thumb.jpgIn just two weeks time, he went from the confines of his executive office to the desert runway at Baghdad International Airport. Padron chose to accept the call for duty as part of the Iraq surge, putting his civilian career on hold.

“How do you tell your employer you are leaving in two and half weeks?”Padron said. “It was an amazing transition to make in a matter of 27 days,”

post-300-0-09583000-1296557634_thumb.jpgPadron, 47, has been in the Army reserves for 27 years, but his call up to Iraq was a life changing experience.

As the executive officer and an imbedded maneuver military advisor to the 2nd Iraqi Army Division in the Ninevah Province in Mosul, Major Padron and his team found themselves in harms way. An improvised explosive device, IED, detonated while he and his team were on patrol, blowing up the armored vehicle in front of his. The force of the explosion blew open Padron’s vehicle door while violently lifting the front of his vehicle.

For his engagement against insurgent attacks and for leading his patrol to safety, Padron received the Combat Infantryman Badge. He also received the Army Commendation Medal with a Valor device for his actions during an ambush at an Iraqi Police station, where he pushed his team forward and, despite the heavy fire, they escaped without injury.

“I have had an opportunity to represent both the Army and Latinos,” he said. “Since I first came to this country, I fell in love with the American dream and what it stood for. To have the opportunity to live and let live and to improve as much as your ability allows you to is what it’s all about.”

Major Padron was born in Cuba in the Matanzas Province.

“I was a street kid who played marbles and baseball,” Padron said. “I spent time on the countryside picking out mangos with my grandmother.”

Padron’s parents decided to leave Cuba for Madrid when he was about 6 years old. His mother, the teacher, and his father, the television engineer, had enough of the communist regime.

His mother looked out the window of their airplane bound for Spain with tears in her eyes. That day, she knew they were leaving their family for good.

“Look out the window son, this will be the last time you’ll see your homeland,” she told him.

They moved to the United States when Padron was 11. They struggled in Miami as his parents worked to support all three kids.

Padron was born into a TV family. His dad, Tito, is a broadcast electrical engineer, and both his brother and sister work in the field.

As a teenager, Padron followed his fathers natural path into the TV world. He started helping pull cables, doing audio and shading cameras. But eventually, he wanted more.

At 20, Padron began his military career.

“One day I said I didn’t want to be Tito’s son anymore,” he said. “I told myself I had to do something really dramatic to get off the path, so I sprung the military out of left field.”

He spent four years as an Army Airborne Ranger in the 75th Regiment and six as a Special Forces Guardsman. Traveling to countries like Honduras, Panama, Puerto Rico, Jordan, and Italy.

Today, he is second in command in charge of a battalion of drill sergeants. He helps manage this integral part of the Armed Forces.

He says the sergeants serve as the fingerprint, the first person and lasting impression for people that get off the block into the military.

Major Padron currently lives in Miami working on his MBA to remain competitive while continuing a 15-year career at Univision. He has two daughters and is scheduled to be married this Presidents Day weekend, coincidentally marking the four-year anniversary since he served in Iraq.

As for his military career, Padron wants to be a lieutenant colonel and says he will continue to serve as long as he can.

“Maybe one day I will march through the streets of Matanzas as an officer in military uniform,” he explained. “It’s a romantic thought, but I’ve always dreamt of liberating my hometown.”

post-300-0-19308600-1296557950_thumb.jpgTo all illegals if you want to live in American as an American this is how it's done or

get out!!!

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I Am Coming!


Dear Terrorists,

I am a Navy Aviator. I was born and raised in a small town in New England. I come from a family of five. I was raised in a middle class home and taught my values by my mother and father.

My dad worked a series of jobs in finance and my mom took care of us kids. We were not an overly religious family, but attended church most Sundays. It was a nice small Episcopal Church. I have a brother and sister and I am the youngest in my family. I was the first in many generations to attend college.

I have flown Naval aircraft for 16 years. For me the flying was never a lifelong dream or a 'calling;' it just happened. I needed a job and I liked the challenge. I continue to do it today because I feel it is important to give back to a nation which has given so much to me. I do it because, although I will never be rich, my family will be comfortable.

I do it because many of my friends have left for the airlines and someone has to do it.

My government has spent millions to train me to fly these multi-million dollar aircraft. I make about 70,000 dollars a year and after 20 years will be offered a pension.

I like baseball but think the players make too much money. I am in awe of firemen and policemen and what they do each day for my community, and like teachers, they just don't get paid enough.

I respect my elders and always use sir or ma'am when addressing a stranger. I'm not sure about kids these days, but I think that's normal for every generation.

I tell you all this because when I come for you, I want you to know me. I won't be hiding behind a woman or a child. I won't be disguised or pretending to be something I am not. I will be in a U.S. issue flight suit. I will be wearing standard US issue flight gear, and I will be flying a navy aircraft clearly marked as a US warplane. I wish we could meet up close in a small room where I could wrap my hands around your throat and slowly squeeze the life out of you, but unfortunately, you're hiding in a hole in the ground, so we will have to do this a different way.

I want you to know also that I am very good at what I do. I can put a 2,000 lb. weapon through a window from 10,000 feet up. I generally only fly at night, so you may want to start sleeping during the day. I am not eager to die for my country but I am willing to sacrifice my life to protect it from animals like you.

I will do everything in my power to ensure no civilians are hurt as I take aim at you.

My countrymen are a forgiving bunch. Many are already forgetting what you did on Sept 11th. But I will not forget!!

I am coming. I hope you know me a little bit better, see you soon...sleep tight.


A U.S. Navy Pilot

Our Soldiers are one of our greatest assets!

God Bless

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:thumbsupanim Great post Gar! President Obama should go clean those brave men and women's toilets for a week. God bless the United States Military! - Terry

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I've got mixed feelings on this one Gar. I'm thinking the guy was wrong in his choice of when and where to protest, because without explaination who would know what he's actually protesting, and obviously there was a struggle. He did not go limp - as I would have. I thank you for this post - and the chance to debate it! :thumbsupanim Terry

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She is now of the ruling class that will not put up with anything like this. If in fact he was doing nothing other than just standing there and showing the back of his shirt I think he was deprived of his constitutional right to free speech. I do not agree with what was on his shirt, but he has a right to express his values as long as it does no harm. From the speakers point of view it certainly seemed like he was doing no harm at all ...... 1776?

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McGovern, a veteran Army officer who also worked as a C.I.A. analyst for 27 years, was wearing Veterans for Peace t-shirt.

Obviously from his back ground above he knew what he was doing and was demonstrating what he knew

was going to happen even though he wasn't causing a commotion....the actions taken by security

speaks loudly about the lies spoken by Clinton..."demonstrate in Egypt but not in front of me"!!!!

Hey T..did being snowed in so long cause the "limp" problem? I would have thought it would have

been the other way around!!!! :inocent:

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that you have the right under the First Amendment to protest military funerals. I invite you to

start your protest in my front yard and we can see if your First Amendment is better than my Second Amendment.

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This is worth watching... about 2.5 mins. An entire crew of a B-29 (12 aviators) was rescued by a US submarine after their plane

was shot down in ~1945, 70 miles off the coast of Japan. The entire rescue was filmed in colour, but the film sat in a guy's

closet until now. This is a story from a Denver TV station of one of those rescued aviators to whom the video was delivered. It

also shows their transfer to another submarine that is likely headed back to port before the one that accomplished the rescue."

Can you imagine 65 yrs AFTER your rescue you get to watch it on film?!


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PT 658 - Last Restored PT Boat

We all know about the boat PT109 that Pres. Kennedy skippered in WW2 and was in a battle where she performed

heroically, also there is a converted PT boat operating out of San Diego for charter fishing. So there are a few still

around, but not like the PT 658.

A real piece of history, restored through incredible efforts by a team of fairly senior guys. A nice video to watch.


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That was a great video Don...thanks for sharing it. americanasmiley-1.gif

I restored a vintage 15' wood river boat (drift boat) and it took me nearly 2 years, so I can only imagine the time, cost and commitment it took to bring that PT back to operational condition.

Since it belongs to the US Navy, maybe they can take it for a cruise off the cost of Somalia? I can just imagine what those slimeball pirates would be thinking if they tried to capture it, and instead the Navy opened up on them with a couple of .50's. :brows:


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I agree Dizzy....but I think the Navy now has some boats and arms that would make the old PT look like a toy...we just need someone with the

gonads to get it started....

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I agree Dizzy....but I think the Navy now has some boats and arms that would make the old PT look like a toy...we just need someone with the gonads to get it started....

Always a catch, ain't there? :grr01:


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This is very interesting and has many facts ...... They are declaring this May the 50th anniversary of the Nam War. Post all of this :


Vietnam War: Facts, Stats & Myths

Credit: Capt. Marshal Hanson, USNR (Ret.)

and Capt. Scott Beaton, Statistical Source


9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975.

2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam.

Vietnam Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation.

240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1961. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.

58,148 were killed in Vietnam.

75,000 were severely disabled.

23,214 were 100% disabled.

5,283 lost limbs.

1,081 sustained multiple amputations.

Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21.

11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.

Of those killed, 17,539 were married.

Average age of men killed: 23.1 years.

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

The oldest man killed was 62 years old.

As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

97% of Vietnam Veterans were honorably discharged.

91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served.

74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.

Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.

Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.

87% of Americans hold Vietnam Veterans in high esteem.

There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study).

Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.

85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.


Common Myths Dispelled:

Myth: Common belief is that most Vietnam veterans were drafted.

Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers.

Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.

Fact: Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group.

Myth: Common belief is that a disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War.

Fact: 86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book "All That We Can Be," said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam "and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia, a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war."

Myth: Common belief is that the war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated.

Fact: Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers. Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better.

Myth: The common belief is the average age of an infantryman fighting in Vietnam was 19.

Fact: Assuming KIAs accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam, the average age of an infantryman (MOS 11B) serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth, it is actually 22. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20. The average man who fought in World War II was 26 years of age.

Myth: The common belief is that the domino theory was proved false.

Fact: The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America's commitment in Vietnam. Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism.

Myth: The common belief is that the fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II.

Fact: The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,148 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.7 million who served. Although the percent that died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II. 75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded, who survived the first 24 hours, died. The helicopter provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva Accords or 1962 would secure the border).

Myth: Kim Phuc, the little nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike near Trang Bang on 8 June 1972 (shown a million times on American television) was burned by Americans bombing Trang Bang.

Fact: No American had involvement in this incident near Trang Bang that burned Phan Thi Kim Phuc. The planes doing the bombing near the village were VNAF (Vietnam Air Force) and were being flown by Vietnamese pilots in support of South Vietnamese troops on the ground. The Vietnamese pilot who dropped the napalm in error is currently living in the United States. Even the AP photographer, Nick Ut, who took the picture, was Vietnamese. The incident in the photo took place on the second day of a three day battle between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) who occupied the village of Trang Bang and the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) who were trying to force the NVA out of the village. Recent reports in the news media that an American commander ordered the air strike that burned Kim Phuc are incorrect. There were no Americans involved in any capacity. "We (Americans) had nothing to do with controlling VNAF," according to Lieutenant General (Ret) James F. Hollingsworth, the Commanding General of TRAC at that time. Also, it has been incorrectly reported that two of Kim Phuc's brothers were killed in this incident. They were Kim's cousins not her brothers.

Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.

Fact: The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. General Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike (a professor at the University of California, Berkeley), a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.


Statistics from the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF) as of November 1993 (the CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, aka The Wall)

Average age of 58,148 killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database, only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action).

Deaths Average Age

Total: 58,148, 23.11 years

Enlisted: 50,274, 22.37 years

Officers: 6,598, 28.43 years

Warrants: 1,276, 24.73 years

E1 525, 20.34 years

11B MOS: 18,465, 22.55 years


Interesting Census Stats and "Been There" Wanabees:

1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 (census figures).

During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country was: 9,492,958.

As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between '95 and '00. That's 390 per day. During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE VIETNAM VETS ARE NOT.

The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S. military personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this errored index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the Department of Defense (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365).

Isolated atrocities committed by American Soldiers produced torrents of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations. From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and school teachers. - Nixon Presidential Papers.


The United States Did Not Lose The War In Vietnam, The South Vietnamese Did. Read On...

The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973.

How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 than there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. Thanks for the perceived loss and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation of the anti-War movement in the United States.

As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media misreported and misinterpreted the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered by some as ranking with Wellington, Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander. Still, militarily, the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts. It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total destruction of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam. The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the News front and the political arena. This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived truth. However, inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous.

Steve Wandt



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People in the States are whipping themselves into a tizzy over a little hole in the ceiling of a 737...look what

these true American Hero's would think about that!!!!

Quite a story.

A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943 between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II. An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded pilot then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named All American, piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron. When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress and left elevator were completely torn away.

The two right engines were out and one on the left had a serious oil pump leak. The vertical fin and the rudder had been damaged, the fuselage had been cut almost completely through – connected only at two small parts of the frame and the radios, electrical and oxygen systems were damaged. There was also a hole in the top that was over 16 feet long and 4 feet wide at its widest and the split in the fuselage went all the way to the top gunner’s turret. Although the tail actually bounced and swayed in the wind and twisted when the plane turned and all the control cables were severed, except one single elevator cable still worked, and the aircraft still flew, miraculously!

The tail gunner was trapped because there was no floor connecting the tail to the rest of the plane. The waist and tail gunners used parts of the German fighter and their own parachute harnesses in an attempt to keep the tail from ripping off and the two sides of the fuselage from splitting apart. While the crew was trying to keep the bomber from coming apart, the pilot continued on his bomb run and released his bombs over the target.

When the bombay doors were opened, the wind turbulence was so great that it blew one of the waist gunners into the broken tail section. It took several minutes and four crew members to pass him ropes from parachutes and haul him back into the forward part of the plane. When they tried to do the same for the tail gunner, the tail began flapping so hard that it began to break off. The weight of the gunner was adding some stability to the tail section, so he went back to his position.

The turn back toward England had to be very slow to keep the tail from twisting off. They actually covered almost 70 miles to make the turn home. The bomber was so badly damaged that it was losing altitude and speed and was soon alone in the sky. For a brief time, two more Me109 German fighters attacked the All American. Despite the extensive damage, all of the machine gunners were able to respond to these attacks and soon drove off the fighters.

The two waist gunners stood up with their heads sticking out through the hole in the top of the fuselage to aim and fire their machine guns. The tail gunner had to shoot in short bursts because the recoil from the gun was actually causing the plane to turn.

Allied P-51 fighters intercepted the All American as it crossed over the Channel and took one of the pictures shown below. They also radioed to the base describing the empennage was “waving like a fish tail” and that the plane would not make it and to send out boats to rescue the crew when they bailed out. The fighters stayed with the Fortress taking hand signals from the Lt. Bragg and relaying them to the base. Lt. Bragg signaled that 5 parachutes and the spare had been "used" so five of the crew could not bail out.

He made the decision that if they could not bail out safely, then he would stay with the plane and land it. Two and a half hours after being hit, the aircraft made its final turn to line up with the runway while it was still over 40 miles away. It descended into an emergency landing and a normal roll-out on its landing gear. When the ambulance pulled alongside, it was waved off because not a single member of the crew had been injured.

No one could believe that the aircraft could still fly in such a condition. The Fortress sat placidly until the crew all exited through the door in the fuselage and the tail gunner had climbed down a ladder, at which time the entire rear section of the aircraft collapsed onto the ground. The rugged old bird had done its job.



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This is so powerful! It is too bad we do not hear, or read, more about these heroes, instead of all the assholes that are in the news everyday.

This story is about Channing Moss, who was impaled by a live RPG during a Taliban ambush while on patrol. Army

protocol says that medivac choppers are never to carry anyone with a live round in him. Even though they feared it

could explode, the flight crew said dang the protocol and flew him to the nearest aid station. Again, protocol said

that in such a case the patient is to be put in a sandbagged area away from the surgical unit, given a shot of

morphine and left to wait (and die) until others are treated. Again, the medical team ignored the protocol. Here's

a short video put together by the Military Times, which includes actual footage of the surgery where Dr. John Oh, a

Korean immigrant who became a naturalized citizen and went to West Point, removed the live round with the help of

volunteers and a member of the EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) team. Moss has undergone six operations but is

doing well at home in Gainesville, GA. I think you'll find the video absolutely remarkable.


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