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Please take a few moments to watch this extraordinary video of one man, > > placing one flag every mile across the US for every one of our > > military who gave their lives serving this

SIX BOYS & 13 HANDS   

0930 here so it's 0530 CST and I haven't found any mention on the Internet of Pearl Harbor Day. Being PC doesn't erase it from my memory. Thanks to all who gave all and those that survived that terr

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what a crack up!

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Air Force expert on Benghazi

Those Americans were left to die....outrageous!

I would say every US fighter pilot, retired or on active duty, knows that Panetta and Dempsey both are full of crap when they said there was no time to send help to Benghazi. They claim it was a problem of "time/space." All my friends and I said, "
bullcrap
." We know they could have gotten F-16s there from Aviano.


"Hands" Handley is a well-respected USAF fighter pilot. Here is his short resume and what he just wrote about Benghazi below that. If anything, Handley is pessimistic in his timeline of when F-16s could have reached Benghazi . I think they could have been airborne even sooner and turned quicker at Sig. The decision to not try was not based on capability. We had the operational capability in every way. I hope Handley's taxes are in order. His IRS audit is forthcoming.


Eagle Biography Colonel Phil "Hands" Handley


Colonel Phil "Hands" Handley is credited with the highest speed air- to-air gun kill in the history of aerial combat. He flew operationally for all but 11 months of a 26-year career, in aircraft such as the F-86 Sabre, F-15 Eagle, and the C-130A Hercules. Additionally, he flew 275 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia in the F- 4D and F-4E. His awards include 21 Air Medals, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Silver Star.


Betrayal in Benghazi

Phil "Hands" Handley Colonel, USAF (Ret.)


The combat code of the US Military is that we don't abandon our dead or wounded on the battlefield. In US Air Force lingo, fighter pilots don't run off and leave their wingmen. If one of our own is shot down, still alive and not yet in enemy captivity, we will either come to get him or die trying.


Among America 's fighting forces, the calm, sure knowledge that such an irrevocable bond exists is priceless. Along with individual faith and personal grit, it is a sacred trust that has often sustained hope in the face of terribly long odds.


The disgraceful abandonment of our Ambassador and those brave ex-SEALs who fought to their deaths to save others in that compound is nothing short of dereliction-of-duty.


Additionally, the patently absurd cover-up scenario that was fabricated in the aftermath was an outright lie in an attempt to shield the President and the Secretary of State from responsibility.


It has been over eight months since the attack on our compound in Benghazi . The White House strategy, with the aid of a "lap dog" press has been to run out the clock before the truth is forthcoming.

The recent testimonies of the three "whistle blowers" have reopened the subject and hopefully will lead to exposure and disgrace of those responsible for this embarrassing debacle. It would appear that the most recent firewall which the Administration is counting on is the contention "that there were simply no military assets that could be brought to bear in time to make a difference" mainly due to the unavailability of tanker support for fighter aircraft.


This is simply BS, regardless how many supposed "experts" the Administration trot out to make such an assertion.


The bottom line is that even if the closest asset capable of response was half-way around the world, you don't just sit on your penguin ass and do nothing.


The fact is that the closest asset was not half-way around the world, but as near as Aviano Air Base, Italy where two squadrons of F-16Cs are based.


Consider the following scenario (all times Benghazi local): When Hicks in Tripoli receives a call at 9:40 PM from Ambassador Stevens informing him "Greg, we are under attack!" (his last words), he immediately notifies all agencies and prepares for the immediate initiation of an existing "Emergency Response Plan."


At AFRICON, General Carter Ham attempts to mount a rescue effort, but is told to "stand down". By 10:30 PM an unarmed drone is overhead the compound and streaming live feed to various "Command and Control Agencies" and everyone watching that feed knew
darn
well what was going on.


At 11:30 PM Woods, Doherty and five others leave Tripoli, arriving in Benghazi at 1:30 AM on Wednesday morning, where they hold off the attacking mob from the roof of the compound until they are killed by a mortar direct hit at 4:00 AM.

So nothing could have been done, eh? Nonsense. If one assumes that tanker support really "was not available" what about this:


When at 10:00 PM AFRICON alerts the 31st TFW Command Post in Aviano Air Base, Italy of the attack, the Wing Commander orders preparation for the launch of two F-16s and advises the Command Post at NAS Sigonella to prepare for hot pit refueling and quick turn of the jets.


By 11:30 PM, two F-16Cs with drop tanks and each armed with five hundred 20 MM rounds are airborne. Flying at 0.92 mach they will cover the 522 nautical miles directly to NAS Sigonella in 1.08 hours. While in-route, the flight lead is informed of the tactical situation, rules of engagement, and radio frequencies to use.


The jets depart Sigonella at 1:10 AM with full fuel load and cover the 377 nautical miles directly to Benghazi in 0.8 hours, arriving at 1:50 AM which would be 20 minutes after the arrival of Woods, Doherty and their team.


Providing that the two F-16s initial pass over the mob, in full afterburner at 200 feet and 550 knots did not stop the attack in its tracks, only a few well placed strafing runs on targets of opportunity would assuredly do the trick.


Were the F-16s fuel state insufficient to recover at Sigonelli after jettisoning their external drop tanks, they could easily do so at Tripoli International Airport , only one-half hour away.


As for those hand-wringing naysayers who would worry about IFR clearances, border crossing authority, collateral damage, landing rights, political correctness and dozens of other reasons not to act" screw them. It is high time that our "leadership" get their priorities straight and put America's interests first.


The end result would be that Woods and Doherty would be alive. Dozens in the attacking rabble would be rendezvousing with "72 virgins" and a clear message would have been sent to the next worthless POS terrorist contemplating an attack on Americans that it is not really a good idea to "tug" on Superman's cape.


Of course all this would depend upon a Commander In Chief that was more concerned with saving the lives of those he put in harm's way than getting his crew rested for a campaign fund raising event in Las Vegas the next day. As well as a Secretary of State that actually understood "What difference did it make?", or a Secretary of Defense whose immediate response was not to the effect that "One of the military tenants is that you don't commit assets until you fully understand the tactical situation." Was he not watching a live feed from the unarmed drone, and he didn't understand the tactical situation?


Ultimately it comes down to the question of who gave that order to stand down? Whoever that coward turns out to be should be exposed, removed from office, and face criminal charges for dereliction of duty. The combat forces of the Untied States of America deserve leadership that really does "have their back" when the chips are down.


WE CAN NEVER ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN AGAIN AND WHOEVER GAVE THE "STAND DOWN" ORDER NEEDS TO BE EXPOSED!!!!

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Here! Here! Ultimately the BUCK stops at the 'supreme' commanders desk! Obama is responsible and should be acknowledged as such.

Mike F

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This was around the net awhile ago. Seems like a friend has started it again. I was in country when this epic battle happened.

You're a 19 year old kid.

You're critically wounded and dying in

the jungle somewhere in the Central

Highlands of Viet Nam .

It's November 11, 1967.

LZ (landing zone) X-ray.

Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy

fire is so intense from 100 yards away, that your CO (commanding officer)

has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in.

You're lying there, listening to the enemy

machine guns and you know you're not getting out.

Your family is half way around the world,

12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again.

As the world starts to fade in and out, you

know this is the day.

Then - over the machine gun noise - you

faintly hear that sound of a helicopter.

You look up to see a Huey coming in. But..

It doesn't seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it.

Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you.

He's not MedEvac so it's not his job, but he

heard the radio call and decided he's flying his Huey down into the machine

gun fire anyway.

Even after the MedEvacs were ordered not to

come. He's coming anyway.

And he drops it in and sits there in the

machine gun fire, as they load 3 of you at a time on board.

Then he flies you up and out through the

gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety.

And, he kept coming back!! 13 more times!!

Until all the wounded were out. No one knew

until the mission was over that the Captain had been hit 4 times in his legs and left arm.

He took 29 of you and your buddies out that

day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey.

Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed

Freeman, United States Air Force, died last Wednesday at the age of 70, in Boise , Idaho

May God Bless and Rest His Soul.

I bet you didn't hear about this hero's

passing, but we've sure seen a whole bunch about Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods and the bickering of congress over Health Reform.

Medal of Honor Winner Captain Ed Freeman

Shame on the media !!!

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This was around the net awhile ago. Seems like a friend has started it again. I was in country when this epic battle happened.

You're a 19 year old kid.

You're critically wounded and dying in

the jungle somewhere in the Central

Highlands of Viet Nam .

It's November 11, 1967.

LZ (landing zone) X-ray.

Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy

fire is so intense from 100 yards away, that your CO (commanding officer)

has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in.

You're lying there, listening to the enemy

machine guns and you know you're not getting out.

Your family is half way around the world,

12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again.

As the world starts to fade in and out, you

know this is the day.

Then - over the machine gun noise - you

faintly hear that sound of a helicopter.

You look up to see a Huey coming in. But..

It doesn't seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it.

Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you.

He's not MedEvac so it's not his job, but he

heard the radio call and decided he's flying his Huey down into the machine

gun fire anyway.

Even after the MedEvacs were ordered not to

come. He's coming anyway.

And he drops it in and sits there in the

machine gun fire, as they load 3 of you at a time on board.

Then he flies you up and out through the

gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety.

And, he kept coming back!! 13 more times!!

Until all the wounded were out. No one knew

until the mission was over that the Captain had been hit 4 times in his legs and left arm.

He took 29 of you and your buddies out that

day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey.

Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed

Freeman, United States Air Force, died last Wednesday at the age of 70, in Boise , Idaho

May God Bless and Rest His Soul.

I bet you didn't hear about this hero's

passing, but we've sure seen a whole bunch about Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods and the bickering of congress over Health Reform.

Medal of Honor Winner Captain Ed Freeman

Shame on the media !!!

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  • 1 month later...
Watch this crowd. In the beginning when he started to sing, they were not even aware he was singing the national anthem
Since the words to the anthem were written in 1814, I have a hard time understanding why today's Washingtonians say that In "God We Trust" should be taken off our money, etc. Could it be that they are just plain ignorant of history and a whole lot more! !

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America is a poorer place today, a place whose reservoir of valor and determination has been depleted, because George “Bud” Day passed away over the weekend at the age of 88. He was a synecdoche for heroism, a military man’s military man. At Medal of Honor get-togethers, his fellow recipients, all of whom had accomplished legendary feats of bravery of their own, would pay special attention when Bud Day appeared.

Bud was at war on behalf of America most of his life and never called a truce even as age and infirmity slowed him down. He was a 17-year-old high school junior in Sioux City, Iowa when he dropped out to join the Marines in 1942. He spent nearly three years in the Pacific as a member of a 130 mm gun battery, then came home to get his diploma, attend college and get a law degree. He passed the bar in 1949, but felt that the weak, piping time of peace would be a brief interlude. He joined the Iowa Air National Guard and after pilot training was called to active duty during the Korean War as a fighter jock. After two tours, he decided to become a “lifer” in the Air Force.

In the spring of 1967, Day, by then just a year away from retirement, decided to volunteer for a tour in Vietnam. In June, he became commander of an all-volunteer fighter wing operating out of the Phu Cat Air Base. He and his men were flying F-100 Super Sabres as part of a top secret program to act as Forward Air Controllers for U.S. fighter bombers operating over North Vietnam, selecting targets and calling in air strikes on them.

On August 26, Day, who now had 65 missions, was directing a flight of F-105s striking an enemy surface-to-air missile site near the DMZ in North Vietnam. His plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire, destroying its hydraulics and sending it into a death spiral. As he ejected, he smashed into the fuselage, breaking his arm in three places and injuring his back. North Vietnamese militiamen below watched his parachute bloom and were waiting for him when he landed. They marched him to a camouflaged underground shelter and began a violent interrogation. When Day refused to answer their questions, his captors staged a mock execution, then hung him from a rafter by his feet. After several hours, the North Vietnamese, believing him to be so badly hurt that he wouldn’t try to escape, let Day down and tied him up with a loosely knotted rope.

Four days later, as a pair of distracted teenaged soldiers stood guard, Day managed to untie himself and escape. He headed south at the beginning of one of the most remarkable episodes of resistance and survival of the Vietnam war.

On his second night on the run, Day, feverish from his wounds, was dozing in thick undergrowth when a renegade bomb or rocket landed nearby. The concussion left him bleeding from his ears and sinuses and lanced one leg with shrapnel. Day collected himself and continued to hobble south, eating berries and frogs he trapped while successfully evading the enemy patrols on his trail.

Sometime between the twelfth and fifteenth day after his escape — by then Day had lost track of time — he heard helicopters and stumbled toward the sound. It was U.S. choppers evacuating a Marine unit and he limped toward the landing zone. But the helicopters left before he got close enough to get their attention. The next morning, still heading south, the delirious Day was spotted by an enemy patrol. He tried to hide in the jungle, but was shot in the hand and leg. He was recaptured within a mile or so of the U.S. Marine firebase at Con Thien.

Taken back to the camp from which he had escaped, he was subjected to starvation, staged execution and torture; his right arm was rebroken. He was held in an archipelago of camps as he was moved north, finally reaching the “Hanoi Hilton.”

When he arrived at the prison, his untreated wounds were infected, and he was suffering from malnutrition and unable to perform even the most rudimentary task for himself. The fingers on both hands had curled into fists; he regained some motion by peeling them back, flattening them against the wall of his cell and leaning into them with all his weight. His cellmate was John McCain, who himself had recently been nursed through his own physical nightmare. McCain, who would routinely refer to Day as “the bravest man I ever knew,” put together a homemade split to help heal Day’s damaged arm.

Over the next five years, Day earned his reputation as one of the Hanoi Hilton’s hard men by offering maximum resistance 24 hours a day for all the days of his imprisonment. Subjected to unremitting torture, he gave his captors only false information. He provided leadership to the other POWs by his example and by his words, helping create the patriotic elan that would see them through their captivity and immunize them against anti-American despair when they came home. On one well-remembered occasion in 1971, when rifle wielding guards burst into the cell where some of the prisoners were holding a forbidden religious service, Day moved closer to stare into the muzzles of the guns and began to sing The Star Spangled Banner. The other men, including James Stockdale, ranking U.S. officer in the prison, joined him. They always credited him with sharpening their own will to resist and to survive.

Bud Day was released on March 14, 1973. Three years later President Gerald Ford presented him with the Medal of Honor. By then he was one of America’s most highly decorated servicemen.

His service to his country and its military men never stopped. Working as an attorney after his retirement from the Air Force, he filed a class action suit against the U.S. in 1996 on behalf of retired servicemen who were stripped of medical benefits at age 65 and instructed to apply for Medicare. It was a fight he ultimately won.

In 2004 Bud Day returned more explicitly to the battle when he joined others in Swift Vets and POWs for Truth in attacking John Kerry’s slander of the military in his unrelenting campaign for public office after Vietnam and for his dishonesty in characterizing the war. And in the years that followed, Day continued to warn about Islamic extremism and against the efforts to disarm the U.S. in the fight against the jihad whose sole objective, he said, was to “make America kneel.”

A warrior and a patriot, Bud Day has now joined John Stockdale, his comrade in defiance at the Hanoi Hilton, and Alvin York, Jimmy Doolittle, Audie Murphy, and all the others, fallen now, who also wore the Medal of Honor and for whom, as Admiral Chester Nimitz said, uncommon valor was a common virtue.

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Four times in 69 years!!

HOW did this guy ever get in?

SHAME ON AMERICA FOR ELECTING A NON-VETERAN PRESIDENT WHO DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF:

HE IS ABSOLUTELY A DISGRACE TO ALL WHO FOUGHT FOR THIS NATION AND GAVE THEIR LIVES.

VETERANS - PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO YOUR VETERAN FRIENDS AND CONTACTS!!!!!!

June 6, 2013, the 69th anniversary of "D-Day", the largest invasion ever attempted, where 200,000 Americans stormed the beaches at Normandy to begin the final push to defeat Nazi Germany in WWII. D-Day marked the turning point in WWII in Europe, where the Nazis were engaged in mass murder of Jews and minorities by the thousands.

Today, European heads of state make it a point to recall and honor the sacrifices of those who landed in Normandy, as do our Presidents....
well, most of them....

In the 69 years since D-Day, there are four occasions when the President of the United States chose not to visit the D-Day Monument that honors the soldiers and sailors killed during the Invasion.

The occasions were:

1. Barack Obama, 2010

2. Barack Obama, 2011

3. Barack Obama, 2012

4. Barack Obama, 2013

For the past 69 years, every American President except Obama have taken the time to honor the memory and sacrifices of the 6,000 American soldiers killed on D-Day. ...Except Obama!

June 6 2010, Obama had no events scheduled.

June 6, 2011, Obama met with the National Security team and was interviewed by WEWS Cleveland and WDIV in Detroit about the auto industry - FAR too busy to visit the D-Day memorial.

June 6, 2012, instead of honoring our fallen men, Obama made a campaign trip to California on Air Force 1 (at our expense) to raise funds for (his) upcoming election.

June 6, 2013, Obama was doing ANOTHER fund raiser with the multimillionaires in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Palo Alto CA, once again at our expense.

America - Aren't you proud?

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Plain and simple....the Lair in Chief hates American exceptionalism........he is a disgrace to freedom!

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This is just plain unbelievable. Blackon white crime is getting so bad under the present leadership when hope and change should have done just the opposite

http://www.kxly.com/news/spokane-news/elderly-man-dies-after-being-attacked-outside-ice-arena/-/101214/21574858/-/9flm7iz/-/index.html

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Second suspect arrested in death of WWII veteran

SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane, Wash., police say they have arrested a second teenage suspect in the fatal beating of an 88-year-old World War II veteran.

The victim, Delbert Belton, was attacked and robbed in the parking lot of an Eagles Lodge in North Spokane last Wednesday night. One of the teens surrendered to authorities Thursday night, and he was being held on charges of robbery and first-degree murder. His identity has not been released because he is a juvenile.

Police say they arrested the second suspect, a 16-year-old, in a basement apartment in Spokane just after 3 a.m. Monday. The Associated Press is withholding his name because of his age.

Several other people with him were arrested for investigation of rendering criminal assistance.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/26/second-suspect-arrested-in-death-wwii-veteran/#ixzz2d5HWb3KJ

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Funeral for beaten World War II veteran draws hundreds of mourners

delbertbeltonfuneral12.jpg

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of a World War II veteran who police say was beaten to death by two teens last week in a random robbery.

88-year-old Delbert Belton was buried with full military honors Thursday at a cemetery in Spokane.

Friends remembered Belton as a kind man who loved to dance, play pool and work on cars. Dozens of American flags flew near his grave and a vocalist sang "We'll Meet Again."

Known as "Shorty" because he was barely 5 feet tall, Belton was wounded in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa. He later worked 30 years at an aluminum factory in Spokane.

Belton's family told NWCN.com that turnout at Thursday's service, which included more than 500 motorcycles, was overwhelming.

“It was overwhelming, I just can't believe it,” Belton’s nephew, Ty Bennett, told the station. “It's breathtaking and leaves me speechless this turn out. How many people just care in the community.”

Pastor Homer Todd, who led the crowd in prayer for the service, said despite Belton's age and declining health, he always made time to dance with friends at events in Spokane and Mead.

“There are a lot of gals that will miss having a partner at those events,” he said.

Two 16-year-old boys, Adams-Kinard and Demetrius L. Glenn, have been charged with first degree murder in Belton's death.

Police said Belton, who was wounded in the Battle of Okinawa, was beaten in his vehicle as he waited for a friend in the parking lot of an Eagles Lodge in north Spokane. Officers found Belton with serious head injuries, and his wallet had been taken. He died in the hospital Thursday.

Adams-Kinard reportedly suggested that the attack came after the veteran shorted him and Glenn on a sale of crack cocaine. The allegation was sharply refuted by friends of Delbert Belton and police said they have no evidence to support the drug deal claim.

The teens will be tried as adults, and Spokane County District Judge Debra Hayes on Tuesday ordered Adams-Kinard moved from a juvenile jail to the Spokane County Jail.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/01/funeral-held-for-beaten-wwii-veteran/?test=latestnews#ixzz2de4Zml9V

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I hope those two sub humans never taste freedom again

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  • 2 weeks later...

SgtWoods.jpg

Nearly 50 years after his plane was shot down over Cambodia in October 1964, the remains of a Fort Campbell soldier have finally been identified, according to his family.

Lisa Szymanski of Fort Myers, Fla., said officials with the Past Conflict Repatriations Branch at Fort Knox, Ky., notified her on Tuesday that remains found at a crash site are those of her father, Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods.

Fort Knox spokesman Bill Costello told The Associated Press that officials contacted Szymanski, but the identification won't be official until the family is briefed.

Woods was a member of the 5th Special Forces Group based at Fort Campbell, Ky., when he shipped out to Vietnam in 1963. His plane was shot down on Oct. 24, 1964, with eight crew members aboard.

Subsequent searches located seven bodies, but not Woods' remains. Details of how his remains were located and identified were not immediately available.

The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reported that family members were relieved to learn what happened to Woods, but struggling to comprehend information they weren’t sure they would ever receive.

“I still can’t comprehend that this is really happening,” Szymanski told the newspaper. “God, I really thought I would die not knowing.

His son, Steve Woods, of Clarksville, Tenn., recalled the notifications his mother, who raised three children by herself, received after his father's death.

“My mom got two telegrams. One in 1964 that said he was missing, and another one in 1965 that said he was (presumed) dead,” Woods told the newspaper.

Woods said that other family members gave up thinking that his father would ever be found, but he never did. He said Tuesday was "the happiest day of my entire life."

“I never gave up on that. I held onto that," he said. "After all these years, I can close the chapter on the book of his life. The precious Lord gave me a miracle.”

SonSteveWoods.jpg


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/20/vietnam-soldier-remains-found-nearly-50-years-after-plane-shot-down/#ixzz2fRHfSFTt

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Remains of Memphis soldier missing since 1969 to be buried at Arlington
Published September 20, 2013
FoxNews.com

An Air Force major who was killed in a crash and listed as missing in action for more than 40 years will finally be laid to rest when he is buried at Arlington National Cemetery Sept. 23.

Maj. Howard Andre Jr., was killed in a 1969 crash in Vietnam while on a armed reconnaissance mission, and records show he was listed as a prisoner of war until April of 2013 when his remains were found and identified, MyFoxMemphis.com reported.

Andre and Maj. James E. Sizemore of Illinois were killed when the A-26A Invader aircraft they were flying in crashed.

“We have made a commitment as a state and country to never forget the sacrifices of Prisoners of War and those still Missing In Action,” Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder told MyFoxMemphis.com.

More than 83,000 Americans are still missing or unaccounted for since World War II, MyFoxMemphis.com reported.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/20/remains-memphis-war-vet-missing-since-16-to-be-buried-at-arlington/#ixzz2fXZMeKLV

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WWII soldier's letter finally makes it to daughter

PatriotGuard.jpg

RENO, Nevada – A World War II soldier's heartfelt letter to his daughter has finally reached her, seven decades after it was written.

Peggy Eddington-Smith received the letter penned by her father, Pfc. John Eddington, as well as his Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, during an emotional ceremony Saturday in Dayton, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Reno.

The father she never met wrote the three-page letter shortly after she was born and shortly before he died in Italy in June 1944. He sent it while stationed in Texas, just before he was sent overseas.

Getting his medals was nice, but the letter meant more because it made her feel closer to her father, Eddington-Smith said. She knew little about him since her mother could rarely bring herself to discuss the love of her life.

"The letter gave me more knowledge of who he was," she told The Associated Press. "He poured out his heart to me, and a lot of men don't put that kind of emotion in writing. I'm just overwhelmed by everything, trying to absorb everything."

Donna Gregory of St. Louis found the soldier's letter and other World War II memorabilia in a box 14 years ago while helping her then-husband clean out his grandparents' home in Arnold, Mo., a St. Louis suburb.

Gregory's voice cracked with emotion as she read the letter Saturday, bringing tears to Eddington-Smith and many in the crowd of about 150.

The soldier devoted the first page to his wife, saying he hoped she did not find it "silly" that he was writing a letter to a child who could not read.

Addressing the next two pages to his "darling" daughter, he wrote that while she may not see him "for some time," he wanted her to know that she was always on his mind.

"I love you so much," the letter says. "Your mother and daddy ... are going to give you everything we can. We will always give you all the love we have."

Eddington urged his daughter to "always treat your mother right. You have the sweetest mother on the Earth."

He closed the letter by writing, "I love you with all my heart and soul forever and forever. Your loving daddy."

Eddington-Smith and Gregory are unsure what connection the soldier had to the couple who owned the house where his memorabilia was found. Eddington was from Leadwood, Mo., about 75 miles southwest of St. Louis.

Gregory tracked down Smith in June after a search that involved libraries and the Internet. Both women cried during their initial phone conversation that left the daughter shocked by the items' discovery.

Eddington-Smith knew her father died in the war. She was unaware of the letter and other contents of the box, including 16 letters from Eddington to his mother, his draft card and military dog tags, his high school diploma and newspaper clips.

An only child, she grew up in St. Louis and lived there until her mid-20s. She moved with her four children to Nevada in 1972 after a divorce. Her mother, Helen, never remarried and died in 1997.

"I would ask my mother why she didn't get remarried and her only comment was that she found the perfect man and will never again find the perfect man," Eddington-Smith said.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/22/wwii-soldier-letter-finally-makes-it-to-daughter/#ixzz2fcS56rUn

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Vietnam-era fliers buried side-by-side at Arlington

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  • Sept. 23, 2013 Flags are folded over the caskets of Air Force Maj. Howard V. Andre Jr., left, of Memphis, Tenn., and Air Force Maj. James E. Sizemore, right, of Lawrenceville, Ill., during their burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. (AP)

Buried for more than 40 years inside the plane they were flying when they were shot down over Laos in 1969, Major James Sizemore and his navigator Major Howard Andre made their final journey home Monday to Arlington National Cemetery, where they were laid to rest just the way they flew: side by side.

A single bugler played TAPS as the families of the airmen gathered and two horse drawn caissons made their way through the cemetery.

Overhead, eight civilian pilots performed a tribute flyover at their own expense after the Air Force said it couldn’t perform a traditional flyover due to sequestration budget cuts.

“I would hope that somebody would have done the same for me had I not made it back home from my tours overseas,” said retired Marine pilot Lieutenant Colonel Art Nalls, who flew an F-39 trainer over the cemetery.

Sizemore and Andre first met at Georgia Tech before enlisting in the Air Force and being sent to Vietnam. They were killed in action while flying missions against truck convoys supplying the Viet Cong.

Their remains were found a year ago and identified in April by the Pentagon's POW/MIA Accounting Command Task Force.

But once the burial was scheduled at Arlington, the Air Force told their families the U.S. government could not afford to honor the men with a traditional flyover due to budget cuts.

“Following numerous requests to volunteer units, the Air Force is unable to support the flyover request for Major Sizemore due to limited flying hours and budget constraints,” Air Force spokesman Captain Rose Richeson wrote in a statement. “However, the Air Force is providing an Aerial Control Team to assist with the two civilian warbird flyovers planned for today's event.”

That's when a group of volunteer pilots from the non-profit Warrior Flight Team (http://www.warrioraviation.org/external-link.png) stepped in and agreed to fly in formation above the Arlington ceremony in their own planes, on their own dime.

Eight civilian pilots honored the veterans, arranging permission from the Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service, and FAA with an aerial tribute above Washington.

They even flew a Douglas A26 Invader - the same plane that the two friends from Georgia were flying when they were shot down 44 years ago. It was flanked by 2 P51 Mustangs.

The estimated fuel cost: of fuel alone for the ceremonial flyover is more than $24,000.

“We're here today to honor some fallen veterans,” said retired Air Force Brigadier General Jeff Johnson, who flew over Arlington as part of the ceremony. “Do I feel like those two heroes deserved a flyover? Yes, I do, and that's why we did what did today.”

“I would hope somebody would come after me,” said Nalls. That means a lot to the individual service member to know that you're not going to be left behind.”

With a government shutdown looming, the military may have to rely increasingly on these volunteer airmen to honor the nation's fallen.

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