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Monday, July 30, 2007

A Long-Coming Round Up

Here are some of the articles that have caught my eye the last few days:


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday's Hero

This Weeks Solider Was Suggested By Robert

Lt. General Lewis B.
Lt. General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
June 26, 1898 - October 11, 1971

Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller was a colorful veteran of the Korean War, four World War II campaigns, and expeditionary service in China, Nicaragua, and Haiti. He is the only Marine to win the Navy Cross five times for heroism and gallantry in combat earing him the distinction of being the most decorated Marine in the history of the USMC.

A Marine officer and enlisted man for 37 years, General Puller served at sea or overseas for all but ten of those years, including a hitch as commander of the "Horse Marines" in China. Excluding medals from foreign governments, he won a total of 14 personal decorations in combat, plus a long list of campaign medals, unit citation ribbons and other awards. In addition to the Navy Crosses, the highest honor the Navy can bestow, he holds its Army equivalent, the Distinguished Service Cross. A list of his awards can be found here.

Born 26 June 1898, at West Point, Virginia, the general attended Virginia Military Institute until enlisting in the Marine Corps in August 1918. He was appointed a Marine Reserve second lieutenant 16 June 1919, but due to force reductions after World War I, was placed on inactive duty ten days later. He rejoined the Marines as an enlisted man to serve with the Gendarmerie d'Haiti, a military force in that country under a treaty with the United States. Most of its officers were U. S. Marines, while its enlisted personnel were Haitians.

After almost five years in Haiti, where he saw frequent action against the Caco rebels, Puller returned in March 1924 to the United States. He was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant that same month, and during the next two years, served at the Marine Barracks, Norfolk, Virginia, completed the Basic School at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and served with the 10th Marine Regiment at Quantico, Virginia.

In July of 1926, Puller embarked for a two-year tour of duty at the Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor. Returning in June 1928, he served in San Diego, California, until he joined the Nicaraguan National Guard Detachment that December. After winning his first Navy Cross in Nicaragua, he returned to the United States in July 1931 to enter the Company Officers Course at the Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. He completed the course in June 1932 and returned to Nicaragua the following month to begin the tour of duty that brought him a second Navy Cross.

In January 1933, Puller left Nicaragua for the United States. A month later he sailed from San Francisco to join the Marine Detachment of the American Legation at Peiping, China. There, in addition to other duties, he commanded the famed "Horse Marines." Without coming back to the United States, he began a tour of sea duty in USS AUGUSTA of the Asiatic Fleet. In June 1936 he returned to the United States to become an instructor in the Basic School at Philadelphia. He left there in May 1939 to serve another year as commander of the AUGUSTA's Marine Detachment, and from that cruiser, joined the 4th Marine Regiment at Shanghai, China, in May 1940.

After serving as a battalion executive and commanding officer with the 4th Marines, Puller sailed for the United States in August 1941. In September, he took command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune. That Regiment was detached from the 1st Division in March 1942 and the following month, as part of the 3rd Marine Brigade, sailed for the Pacific theater. The 7th Regiment rejoined the 1st Marine Division in September 1942, and Puller, still commanding its 1st Battalion, went on to win his third Navy Cross at Guadalcanal.

The action that brought him that medal occurred on the night of October 24-25 1942. For a desperate three hours his battalion, stretched over a mile-long front, was the only defense between vital Henderson Airfield and a regiment of seasoned Japanese troops. In pouring jungle rain the Japanese smashed repeatedly at his thin line, as General Puller moved up and down its length to encourage his men and direct the defense. After reinforcements arrived, he commanded the augmented force until late the next afternoon. The defending Marines suffered less than 70 casualties in the engagement while 1400 of the enemy were killed and 17 truckloads of Japanese equipment were recovered by the Americans.

After Guadalcanal, Puller became executive officer of the 7th Marines. He was fighting in that capacity when he won his fourth Navy Cross at Cape Gloucester in January 1944. There, when the commanders of the two battalions were wounded, he took over their units and moved through heavy machine-gun and mortar fire to reorganize them for attack, then led them in taking a strongly fortified enemy position.

In February 1944, Puller took command of the 1st Marines at Cape Gloucester. After leading that regiment for the remainder of the campaign, he sailed with it for the Russell Islands in April 1944. He went on to command it at Peleliu in September and October 1944. He returned to the United States in November 1944, named executive officer of the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Lejeune in January 1945, and took command of that regiment the next month.

In August 1946, Puller became Director of the 8th Marine Corps Reserve District, with headquarters at New Orleans, Louisiana. After that assignment, he commanded the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor until August 1950, when he arrived at Camp Pendleton, California, to re-establish and take command of the 1st Marines, the same regiment he had led at Cape Gloucester and Peleliu.

Landing with the 1st Marines at Inchon, Korea, in September 1950, he continued to head that regiment until January 1951, when he was promoted to brigadier general and named Assistant Commander of the 1st Marine Division. That May he returned to Camp Pendleton to command the newly reactivated 3rd Marine Division in January 1952. After that, he was assistant at division commander until he took over the Troop Training Unit, Pacific, at Coronado, California, that June. He was promoted to major general in September 1953, and in July 1954, assumed command of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune. Despite his illness, he retained that command until February 1955, when he was appointed Deputy Camp Commander. He served in that capacity until August, when he entered the U. S. Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune prior to retirement.

In 1966, General Puller requested to return to active duty to serve in Vietnam, but was turned down because of his age. He died 11 October 1971 in Hampton, Virginia, after a long illness. He was 73.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

That's Why They're the Professionals

Here are some headlines that the editors obviously okayed.
Strange Newspaper Headlines With Double Meanings

March Planned For Next August

L.A. Voters Approve Urban Renewal By Landslide

Patient At Death's Door - Doctors Pull Him Through

Queen Mary Having Bottom Scraped

Prostitutes Appeal to Pope

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years

Never Withhold Herpes Infection From Loved One

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Reagan Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

We need to add this one (found at Misha's).
Tiny brain no obstacle to French civil servant

Hello, Tower?

Here are some quotes to and from ATC:

"Air Force '45, it appears your engine has...oh, disregard...I see you've already ejected."

"Citation 123, if you quit calling me Center, I'll quit calling you twin Cessna."

"About three miles ahead, you've got traffic 12 o'clock, five miles."

"If you hear me, traffic no longer a factor."

"I am way too busy for anybody to cancel on me."

"You're gonna have to key the mic. I can't see you when you nod your head."

"It's too late for Louisville. We're going back to O'Hare."

"Put your compass on 'E' and get out of my airspace."

"Don't anybody maintain anything."

"Climb like your life depends on it...because it does."

"If you want more room, captain, push your seat back."

"For radar identification, throw your jumpseat rider out the window."

"Hello flight 56, if you hear me rock your wings.." "OK TOWER, IF YOU HEAR ME ROCK THE TOWER!!"

The controller working a busy pattern told the 727 on downwind to make a three-sixty. The pilot of the 727 complained, "Do you know it costs us two thousand dollars to make a three-sixty in this airplane?"
Without missing a beat the controller replied, "Roger, give me four thousand dollars worth!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday's Hero

Cpl. Clinton Warrick
Cpl. Clinton Warrick (Soldier On The Left)
Medic with the 2nd Platoon, 300th Military Police Company

Even after having been thrown several meters, knocked unconscious, set aflame and buried under rubble all as a result of a suicide-vehicle-borne IED, a Fort Riley medic braved small-arms fire to save the lives of fellow Soldiers and Iraqi policemen last year.

Cpl. Clinton Warrick received the Army's third highest award for valor during a June 18, 2007 ceremony at Riverside Park for his actions during a Sept. 18, 2006, insurgent attack at the Al Huryia Iraqi Police Station.

Maj. Gen. Carter Ham (soldier on the right), commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, present Cpl. Warrick the Silver Star and other awards before his family and friends, and his former 300th MP Co. platoon leader, company commander and first sergeant.

"This is one of Fort Riley's great Soldiers - one of our real, no-kidding heroes," Maj. Gen. Ham said at the ceremony. "It is right and proper that we come here to present you this award for valor. It is heroes like this who make our Army the best in the world and our nation so strong."

You can read the rest of Cpl. Warrick's story here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday's Hero

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Sunni Kay

Ryan Rahe has been active in the Special Olympics since he was in Middle School. The now 25-year-old has won quite a few medals over the years, but not all of his medals are at his Tennessee home. Some of them have been sent, by Ryan, to soldiers fighting the War On Terror for "good luck".

Jayne Rahe, Ryan's mother, said the idea of sending support to the soldiers in harm's way came about when she and Ryan were talking about news coverage of the war in Iraq. Jayne visited and discovered how she and Ryan could let the men and women in Iraq know their efforts are appreciated.

Ryan, named 2006 Special Olympics Athlete of the Year for the Blount County Sports Hall of Fame, said he felt good when he received the box from the soldiers. He said if he could talk with them face to face, he would say, "Thank you."

The Rahes plan to continue sending care packages to soldiers, including the medals.

"Ryan is a pretty generous fellow," Jayne said. "He doesn't mind giving things to people."

In a letter that Ryan received, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anthony W. Grillett wrote:
"I and the Battalion can never thank you enough for sending us your medals. They have brought us luck and good fortune, and now as we prepare to deploy home we send them back to you with our eternal gratitude.

That you would send us something so precious is a reflection of your character. As you called us heroes; to me you are the hero. For I believe it is not who you are, or what you are that makes you a hero, it is the ability to give all especially when it is never asked.

Your courage to face the challenges required earning those medals and then so freely send them to us here in Iraq will forever make you a hero to me. I will never be able to truly express in words how honored I was when I read the letter from your Mother. It truly humbles me and shows me that what I fight for in our country will always be worth the small sacrifices asked of me. Thank you again."

Sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices everything in their life to help others. And sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices nothing more than their time.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Hello? Is Anyone Home?

So... the people who bought the house close in less than a week. Thus explaining my lack of posting. I've been up to my eyeballs in boxes and stuff.

Blah blah blah. I know... but I'll be back in a few more days. I promise.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Here are some quotes worth noting.
  • Where liberty dwells, there is my country. ~Benjamin Franklin
  • My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson
  • May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country! ~Daniel Webster
  • We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ~William Faulkner
  • How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy. ~Paul Sweeney
  • I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not. ~John Adams
  • It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. ~John Adams

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