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RRKore
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« Reply #175 on: March 17, 2014, 07:59:33 PM »

Great Americans who are mostly military men, then? 

Seems like such a high percentage are military that you ought to mention that in the title.
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« Reply #176 on: March 17, 2014, 08:07:16 PM »

Great Americans who are mostly military men, then? 

Seems like such a high percentage are military that you ought to mention that in the title.

I'm fine with the title the way it is.  Feel free to add your own contributions to the thread.  Or you can just keep complaining.  Doesn't matter to me. 
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« Reply #177 on: March 17, 2014, 08:15:54 PM »

I'm fine with the title the way it is.  Feel free to add your own contributions to the thread.  Or you can just keep complaining.  Doesn't matter to me. 

Seriously, I'm not complaining.  Just wondering why so many of your "great Americans" are military guys but if you were in the military yourself, that probably has a lot to do with it..

What service were you in and what did you do, if you don't mind saying?
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« Reply #178 on: March 17, 2014, 08:20:38 PM »

Seriously, I'm not complaining.  Just wondering why so many of your "great Americans" are military guys but if you were in the military yourself, that probably has a lot to do with it..

What service were you in and what did you do, if you don't mind saying?


No, it's just a lot of the stories that caught my eye involve people who have served.  That and a disproportionate number of Great Americans have worn the uniform.   

This thread isn't about me. 
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« Reply #179 on: March 17, 2014, 08:33:49 PM »

No, it's just a lot of the stories that caught my eye involve people who have served.  That and a disproportionate number of Great Americans have worn the uniform.   

This thread isn't about me. 

You don't want it to be about you, but since you're choosing these great Americans, that can't be helped. 

I take it that you don't want talk about your own service, though, and I think that's fine.
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« Reply #180 on: March 18, 2014, 10:53:03 AM »

Glance: 24 Army Vets Receiving the Medal of Honor
March 18, 2014 (AP)
By The Associated Press

A look at the 24 Army veterans receiving the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Most are of Hispanic or Jewish heritage. Eight fought in the Vietnam War, nine in the Korean War and seven in World War II. Only three are still living.

——

The living recipients are:

—Melvin Morris of Cocoa, Fla., born in Okmulgee, Okla., commended for courageous actions while a staff sergeant during combat operations in the vicinity of Chi Lang, South Vietnam, on Sept. 17, 1969.

—Spc. 4 Santiago J. Erevia of San Antonio, born in Nordheim, Texas, cited for courage during a search and clear mission near Tam Ky, South Vietnam, on May 21, 1969.

—Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela of San Antonio, born in Corpus Christi, Texas, cited for courage during combat operations in Phuoc Long province, South Vietnam, on Sept. 1, 1969.

——

The posthumous recipients are:

—Sgt. Candelario Garcia, born in Corsicana, Texas, for courageous actions during combat operations in Lai Khe, South Vietnam, on Dec. 8, 1968.

—Spc. 4 Leonard L. Alvarado, born in Bakersfield, Calif., died during combat operations in Phuoc Long province, South Vietnam, on Aug. 12, 1969.

—Staff Sgt. Felix M. Conde-Falcon, born in Juncos, Puerto Rico, killed during combat operations in Ap Tan Hoa, South Vietnam, on April 4, 1969.

—Spc. 4 Ardie R. Copas of Fort Pierce, Fla. killed during combat operations near Ph Romeas Hek, Cambodia, on May 12, 1970.

—Spc. 4 Jesus S. Duran of San Bernardino, Calif., for courageous actions during combat operations in South Vietnam on April 10, 1969.

—Cpl. Joe R. Baldonado, born in Colorado, killed during combat operations in Kangdong, North Korea, on Nov. 25, 1950.

—Cpl. Victor H. Espinoza of El Paso, Texas, for courageous actions during combat operations in Chorwon, North Korea, on Aug. 1, 1952.

—Sgt. Eduardo C. Gomez, born in Los Angeles, for courageous actions during combat operations in Tabu-dong, South Korea, on Sept. 3, 1950.

—Pfc. Leonard M. Kravitz, born in New York City, killed during combat operations in Yangpyong, South Korea, on March 6-7, 1951.

—Master Sgt. Juan E. Negron of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, for courageous actions during combat operations in Kalma-Eri, North Korea, on April 28, 1951.

—Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena, born in Newgulf, Texas, killed in action during combat operations in Waegwan, South Korea, on Sept. 4, 1950.

—Pvt. Demensio Rivera, born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, for courageous actions during combat operations in Changyong-ni, South Korea, on May 23, 1951.

—Pvt. Miguel A. Vera, born in Puerto Rico, killed during combat operations in Chorwon, North Korea, on Sept. 21, 1952.

—Sgt. Jack Weinstein of Saint Francis, Kan. for courageous actions during combat operations in Kumsong, South Korea, on Oct. 19, 1951.

—Pvt. Pedro Cano, born in La Morita, Mexico, for courageous actions during combat operations in Schevenhutte, Germany, on Dec. 3, 1944.

—Pvt. Joe Gandara, born in Santa Monica, Calif., for courageous actions during combat operations in Amfreville, France, on June 9, 1944.

—Pfc. Salvador J. Lara, of Riverside, Calif., for courageous actions during combat operations in Aprilia, Italy, May 27-28, 1944.

—Sgt. William F. Leonard, of Lockport, N.Y., for courageous actions during combat operations near St. Die, France, on Nov. 7, 1944.

—Staff Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza, born in Miami, Ariz., for courageous actions during combat operations on Mount Battaglia, Italy, on Oct. 4, 1944.

—Sgt. Alfred B. Nietzel, born in New York City, for courageous actions during combat operations in Heistern, Germany, on Nov. 18, 1944.

—1st Lt. Donald K. Schwab, born Hooper, Neb., for courageous actions during combat operations near Lure, France, on Sept. 17, 1944.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/glance-24-army-vets-receiving-medal-honor-22955611
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« Reply #181 on: March 19, 2014, 10:33:17 AM »

Calif. Teens Rescue 94-Year-Old Woman From House Fire
Mar 19th 2014

Three California high school students are being credited with saving an elderly woman from her burning home Monday.

KNTV reports the fire broke out at a home in San Ramon Monday morning. A 94-year-old woman and her 71-year-old daughter were inside when it caught fire.

The three teens told Bay Area News Group they noticed the house was on fire while they were skipping class and on their way to McDonald's for breakfast.

"As we're coming down the street, we see smoke rising from this house. Just throwing flames, smoke and everything."

The 71-year-old was able to make it out of the home with minor injuries, but the teenage boys went in to rescue the 94-year-old who was burned in the fire.

Also inside trying to help was the woman's 76-year-old neighbor. He said: "she would have been gone a minute and a half more. ... I don't think she could have survived. I went in there and couldn't see my hand in front of my face." (Via NBC)

And while the students may have been cutting class, their high school principal says he's proud of what they did.

"Exceptionally proud that the three young men would reach out and do something like that because they could've easily just kept walking."

According to KTVU, the unnamed 94-year-old is recovering in the burn unit at a San Francisco hospital. The three boys were also able to help rescue the woman's dog.

http://www.aol.com/article/2014/03/19/calif-teens-rescue-94-year-old-woman-from-house-fire/20852811/?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000058&
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« Reply #182 on: March 25, 2014, 10:39:49 AM »

Fallen heroes to receive medal
Four servicemen killed overseas will be posthumously honored by the Legislature on Tuesday
By William Cole
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Mar 24, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 04:00 p.m. HST, Mar 24, 2014


State Rep. Mark Takai, right, presented Sgt. Drew Scobie's Hawaii Medal of Honor to his wife, McKenna Panui-Scobie, and son, Duke Scobie, 5, on Friday at Kaka­ako Waterfront Park with Panui-Scobie’s mother, Pua Panui, at left.


McKenna Panui-Scobie, six months pregnant, will have her young son at her side Tuesday to accept Hawaii's heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice she never hoped she would make: the loss of her husband in Af­ghani­stan.

For the ninth year in a row, the state Senate and House will convene in joint session to honor service members with Hawaii ties who were killed in a war zone, and to pre­sent their families with the state Medal of Honor.

According to the office of state Rep. Mark Takai, a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard and the organizer of the annual recognition, 331 service members with Hawaii ties have been killed since the start of the Iraq War in 2003.

In early 2006, the first year the state Medal of Honor was given out, 120 names were read out, reflecting three years of war losses. The following year brought recognition of 66 more war dead. The year after that it was 31.

This year the loss of four will be memorialized.

They are Hawaii Army National Guard Sgt. Drew M. Scobie, Air Force Capt. Reid K. Nishi­zuka, Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli and Army Sgt. Tofiga J. Tau­tolo.

"Although four is too many, it's much better than the 66 we had in the second year," Takai said. "Eventually the plan would be to forgo the medal, but that's because we've lost no one."

The reduction in Hawaii casualties follows the end of the Iraq War in 2011 and ongoing drawdown in Af­ghani­stan.

For Panui-Scobie, though, there is no letup in the pain. Her husband, 25, was killed along with a Wyoming soldier and a civilian in the Jan. 10 crash of a twin-engine turboprop aircraft on a night mission in Af­ghani­stan.

The Kailua resident volunteered to deploy to Af­ghani­stan with other Hawaii Army National Guard soldiers and was an aerial sensor observer on a Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System aircraft, known as a MARSS, and based on a King Air 300.

The cause of the crash still is being investigated. Scobie left behind his 5-year-old son, Duke, his wife and a baby yet to be born.

"I'm devastated," Panui-Scobie said. "I didn't expect this or even think it was possible. I mean, of course I know his going into a war zone it's a possibility, but I really didn't think it was going to happen."

Like others who have experienced war losses, the 26-year-old said she takes it day by day. The days, with more distractions, are better than the quiet and lonelier nights.

Panui-Scobie said she has a "very strong family" with dozens of relatives in Hawaii, adding, "I'm constantly surrounded, me and my son."

"It's nice to talk about him, but it's hard, knowing he's not coming back," she said of her husband, struggling to keep her composure. "He had lots of goals. He volunteered for this deployment. He had a future plan. He wanted to buy a house, he wanted to go to school, further schooling, he wanted to become a pilot, and he was on track to become one."

Takai said three Hawaii National Guard soldiers died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Scobie was the first to be killed in Af­ghani­stan.

"This is a very painful loss to us," Takai said. "Every single one of them is painful, but for someone to dedicate his or her (service) to the National Guard and to end up sacrificing his life is quite significant not only to the entire United States, but also to the state of Hawaii. He (Scobie) was a citizen soldier. He signed up to protect not only the country, but also the state of Hawaii."

In 2005 the state Legislature passed House Bill 8, which created the Hawaii Medal of Honor. Recipients of the medal include members of the armed forces, the Reserves and the Hawaii National Guard who were residents of Hawaii, attended an educational institution here or were stationed here.

The recognition will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the House chambers.

During past ceremonies a ship's bell was tolled twice as the names of fallen service members were read and their families received the medal. The ceremonies concluded with a rifle salute outside, the playing of taps and a moment of silence.

"The medal is just a small token that we can provide as a state to (the families of the fallen) to let them know that we care deeply and that they will never be forgotten," Takai said.
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« Reply #183 on: March 25, 2014, 01:10:15 PM »

I am surprised this socialist traitor didn't try a rear naked choke on the soldier.
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« Reply #184 on: March 25, 2014, 06:58:16 PM »

Medal of Honor recipients hand out their own awards to civilians on national day of observance
By Perry Chiaramonte
Published March 25, 2014
FoxNews.com

MOH ceremony.jpg
March 25, 2014: A wreath laying ceremony for National Medal of Honor day is held at Arlington Cemetery. (CMOHF/BRENDAN KOWNACKI)
MOH ceremony 2.jpg
Each year on National Medal of Honor day, recipients award three civilians with their own medal for displaying valor and selflessly helping others. (CMOHF/BRENDAN KOWNACKI)

Living recipients of the National Medal of Honor spent the day named after the award paying tribute to others.

For the last six years on March 25, National Medal of Honor Day, the surviving medal holders honor three civilians for their own acts of courage. The ceremony, known as the Citizen Honors Awards, is held before a wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery by the veterans.

The three recipients are chosen from roughly 20 candidates each year. Between 25 and 30 Medal of Honor winners decide each year on the final three to receive the honor. The candidates must display an exemplary act of heroism that has made a difference in the lives of others.

“This is a chance to honor Americans who have gone above and beyond in the civilian world,” Medal of Honor recipient Barney Barnum said in a statement released Tuesday by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Ordinary individuals who, in a crisis situation, do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.”

This year’s award recipients include:

Michael Landsberry, a Nevada mathematics teacher who saved his students at Sparks Middle School when a 12-year-old boy opened fire in the school in October 2013. He approached the young boy once he noticed him entering with a gun and tried to talk him into handing it over. It gave his students enough time to run to safety, but the former marine was fatally shot in the process.
Connor Farland Stotts, an Eagle Scout in California who rescued three of his friends who were drowning in the ocean during a church barbecue in July 2011 in Oceanside.
Army veteran Troy Yocum, who since returning from service in Iraq in 2009 raised over a million dollars for other soldiers with PTSD and depression with a “Hike for Heroes,” where he walked nearly 8,000 miles across the U.S. to raise the money for 1,800 service families.
“It’s an absolute humbling experience,” Yocum told FoxNews.com after the ceremony. “The Medal of Honor recipients are the definition of heroes. They risked their lives in enormous danger.

“To meet all these men and be honored as their heroes…it is truly an honor.”

Yocum, who has also started another charity called Wounded Heroes, designed to prevent suicide among vets, said it was a Medal of Honor recipient he met when he was five-years-old who helped to shape his life.

“I met Herschel ‘Woody’ Williams and he told me that I could accomplish anything I dedicated my life to and those are words I have tried to live by ever since,” he said.

The CMOH Foundation sponsored the event after Medal recipients decided to start the Civilian Honors program.

“They recognize three average Americans who have displayed amazing acts of valor that are similar to the values attached to the Medal of Honor,” Ronald Rand, CEO of the Foundation, said to FoxNews.com. “The ceremony brings together the concept, saying that all Americans can display the same valor and make everyday life better for those around them. It ties together the National Medal of Honor Day with acts of valor from citizens as well.”

Other recipients from last year included teachers Victoria Soto and Lauren Rousseau, who died while trying to protect their students during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December 2012.

National Medal of Honor Day was first enacted by Congress in 1990. The date of March 25 was picked because it was the date that the very first medals were handed out in 1863. Since then 3,400 medals have been awarded with more than half given out posthumously.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/03/25/medal-honor-recipiants-handout-their-own-honorable-awards-to-civilians-on/?intcmp=latestnews
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« Reply #185 on: March 27, 2014, 01:33:27 PM »

On, off job, victims were imposing presences
By Eric Moskowitz and Laura Crimaldi 
GLOBE STAFF   MARCH 27, 2014

Boston Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy was a square-jawed, 33-year-old Marine Corps veteran who saw combat in Iraq and a first responder who rushed to treat victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. He spent days off roaring down the road on his motorcycle and pushing himself and others to the limits as a Crossfit trainer.

“He was a fun-loving guy,’’ said Don Matchem, a Brockton firefighter who had often run into Kennedy over the past three years. “And he always had a smile on his face. He was always willing to help you with your bike. He was just enjoying life.”


Fire Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. had tried a career in finance, but his passion was for firefighting. Nine and a half years ago, Walsh became a Boston firefighter, following in the footsteps of his late father, a lieutenant in the Watertown Fire Department.

Walsh, 43, was a married father of three children, two boys and a girl who were all under age 10. The family lives in West Roxbury, where Walsh played basketball on Sunday with his second-grade son and other children and parents at Holy Name Parish School.


On Wednesday, the two firefighters from the Boylston Street firehouse died in a fast moving blaze in a Beacon Street apartment building.


Boston Fire Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr.

At Sunday’s basketball game at Holy Name Parish, Walsh may have been the only person on the court who looked like a basketball player: towering height, an athletic build, and short cropped hair, said one of the parents, John M. Tobin, a former city councilor.

“He’s a big, tall, handsome guy. Just gigantic,” Tobin said.”If you didn’t know any better, you’d think he plays for the Celtics.”

Walsh and the other parents made it easy for their youngsters to steal the ball or dribble past them to the hoop. “It was a good day,” Tobin said.

He met Walsh last year in Tobin’s backyard at his son’s seventh birthday party in West Roxbury. Walsh lived two streets over on Keith Street.

“He was hard to miss in a crowd, just an imposing guy,” Tobin said. “But he has an easy smile and a quick laugh.”

In the hours after Walsh’s death, Boston police parked outside his family’s home in West Roxbury. An officer said the family was devastated and wished for privacy.

Walsh had deep family ties to firefighting, and to Watertown. “He was a great kid, a great firefighter, and a great family man,” Watertown Fire Chief Mario Orangio said.

“Ed Walsh was a gentleman,” said state Representative John J. Lawn Jr., who grew up with Walsh. “He just always had a smile and had his hand out.”

The Walsh family is still well known around Watertown, where Walsh’s late uncle Bill was a lieutenant with the Fire Department and his cousin Tom is a captain.

Watertown police escorted Walsh’s mother to Boston to meet family members at the hospital where Walsh’s body was taken, said Mark Sideris, the Town Council president.

On Wednesday night, Walsh was being remembered at Greg’s Restaurant, Sideris said.

“It’s a very sad evening here, and we’re already thinking about ways to help the three children that he’s left behind,” Sideris said. “Everybody’s very concerned right now.”

Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney, a governor’s councilor from Watertown, said she saw the fire while driving home from the State House. She said she prayed for the firefighters, not knowing she knew one of the victims.

Devaney’s late husband Jack served with Walsh’s father on the Fire Department.

“He would have been so proud to see his son on the Fire Department,” she said. “I’m in shock. I just can’t believe it. There are no words. I can’t even imagine. He was just the nicest young man.”


Boston Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy.

In his native Roslindale and in West Roxbury, Michael Kennedy was known first as Dork, a prankster and a freewheeling spirit, but also a volunteer who worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He led a Boston Fire Department contingent last month in traveling to Rhode Island to donate blood, join the bone marrow registry, and show support for a 6-year-old boy with leukemia, friends said.

“He was a tough guy, but he also had, like, the best sense of humor,” said Erik Bingel, a friend since middle school. “The party didn’t start until he showed up.”

A magnet for nicknames, Kennedy started as Kennedork, which morphed into Dork. As an adult, he would become Coach K to his Crossfit disciples and Wildman to his friends in the American Infidels, a motorcycle club populated by veterans.

“Everybody knew him, and if you didn’t know him, you knew who he was,” said Bingel, a former Boston police dispatcher who now lives in Las Vegas, recalling parties from their teens and 20s. “It was like when Norm walks into the bar in ‘Cheers.’ When he walked in, it was, Dork!”

He was a master at Texas Hold ’Em, and the kind of guy who would complete a hardcore obstacle course like Tough Mudder wearing a fake tuxedo T-shirt or post a picture to Facebook heeding the call of nature while in fatigues.

On the job, he was all action and discipline, friends said.

“He was one of the first men in,” said Melissa Nikolaides, a friend since their days bagging groceries at the West Roxbury Roche Brothers and attending Newton’s Trinity Catholic. Kennedy, who was single, lived in Hyde Park.


The body of one of the victims of Wednesday’s fire was escorted by fellow firefighters to the medical examiner’s office.

“I can guarantee you he didn’t think twice about running in there,” said Ashley Duckett, another old friend who met Kennedy through Nikolaides when they were teenagers.

Both noted his movie star looks. “Handsome, very handsome — I can’t stress that enough,” said Duckett. “He could be talking to you about anything from the dirt on the ground to the sun in the sky, and you’d catch eyes with him and you’re drawn in, you’re locked, you’re stuck.”

Kennedy dabbled in college before he enlisted in the Marines, which appealed to the sense of loyalty and duty that was always present beneath his goofball exterior, friends said. “He got a hero’s welcome when he came home, and he jumped right onto the Fire Department,” Bingel said. “He always wanted to be there to help to do the right thing. He just had such a kind heart.”

Kennedy joined the Fire Department 6½ years ago.

Derek Cloutier, a fellow veteran who met Kennedy riding with the American Infidels, said he was not the sort — few of them were — to talk much about his time in combat or his experience responding to the bombings in Boston last spring. This spring, friends said, he was training to run the Boston Marathon himself.

“He was down there [last year] tying tourniquets and doing everything else to help out, and he was dealing with that and overcoming that stuff,” said Cloutier, 32, a former Marine who lives in Leominster. “He was definitely one of the bravest guys I know.”

Cloutier said Wednesday night that he was struggling to process his friend’s death. “I’ve been kind of like off and on sobbing over the last couple hours,” he said, “and all I can think of is him sitting there saying: ‘Knock it off. Get out and live!’ ”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/03/27/off-job-victims-were-imposing-presences/1U4nxqHnSTUhgsnqKmv2qO/story.html
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« Reply #186 on: April 17, 2014, 11:38:55 AM »

Medal of Honor recipient returns to active duty; hero of 2009 ambush rejoins Army
By Douglas Ernst -The Washington Times Thursday, April 10, 2014

William Swenson

Only months after receiving the nation’s highest award for valor, Capt. William Swenson has left the civilian world and returned to active duty.

Capt. Swenson, who left the service in 2011, will be assigned to I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., The Army Times reported.

On Oct. 15, 2013, Capt. Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony for his bravery during a 2009 ambush in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

With little air support, the soldier repeatedly braved enemy fire to retrieve the bodies of those killed in action. His actions on Sept. 8, 2009 helped save lives on a day when five Americans, nine Afghan troops and an interpreter perished.

“Today, I stand with the Medal of Honor,” he said during his award ceremony, The Army Times reported. “But this award was earned with a team. A team of our finest: Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy and our Afghan partners, standing side by side. And now, that team includes Gold Star families who lost their fathers, sons and husbands that day. This medal represents them. It represents us.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/10/medal-honor-recipient-capt-william-swenson-returns/#ixzz2zAc3DMXv
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« Reply #187 on: April 21, 2014, 02:55:12 PM »



Remembering Pat Tillman … and his case for Canton

As America celebrates the 118th running of the Boston Marathon today—and the renewal of life a year after the terrorist attack there killed three and wounded 264—we also should remember that Tuesday is the 10-year anniversary of the death by friendly fire of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan.

Tillman is a unique player, and man, in recent NFL history. The only time I ever spoke with him was an hour or so before a Cardinals practice in 1998, in Tempe, Ariz. Tillman was a rookie safety, drafted in the seventh round from Arizona State to the team that was just a couple of miles from where he went to college. And he showed up for work that day—and for our interview—riding a 10-speed bike. That’s the only player I ever interviewed who arrived on a bike. The rest of the story is incredible, and incredibly sad. After 9/11, he chose to give up a potentially lucrative free-agent contract to join the Army and suit up to defend his country in Afghanistan. And while on duty April 22, 2004, Tillman was shot three times in the head by one or more of his countrymen. The circumstances around the death, which took place in a firefight with enemy forces near the Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan, remain a mystery.

However he died, Tillman was a hero to millions in the country for sacrificing his NFL career to serve in the military, and that legend only grew when he died. He is one the most memorable, and admirable, figures of our time. It would be just to take a moment tomorrow to remember Tillman and his service and his sacrifice.

Now, I hadn’t thought of the Hall of Fame part of it in several years, until Cris Collinsworth tweeted this on Sunday, after ESPN ran a tribute to Tillman:

Cris Collinsworth        ✔ @CollinsworthNBC
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If I live to be a million years old, I will never understand why Pat Tillman is not in the NFL Hall of Fame.  Thanks ESPN.  Great reporting.
8:33 AM - 20 Apr 2014


Collinsworth and I have discussed this. He remains unconvinced by my argument, which is this: Should all 26 NFL players who have died in service to our country—either in World War II, Vietnam or Afghanistan—be enshrined in Canton? Is one NFL player’s service worth more than others’? Should every player who served in wartime be enshrined, or put in a wing of the Hall of Fame? For instance, quarterback Eddie LeBaron was twice wounded in the Korean War, earned a Purple Heart, and came back to play in the NFL; he’s not in the Hall—should he be? And what about others who played football and went on to great things? Byron “Whizzer” White, a running back in the NFL, went on to be a Supreme Court justice. Jack Kemp quarterbacked the Bills, then became a nine-term Congressman and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Should they be in?

I think football players and coaches and executives should be in the Hall of Fame for what they accomplish as football players and coaches and executives, and not for anything else.

There is, by the way, a large area of the Hall devoted to NFL men who have served, including a big display for Tillman. I highly recommend seeing it when you visit Canton and see the vastly improved Hall.

http://mmqb.si.com/2014/04/21/2014-nfl-draft-rumors-monday-morning-quarterback/2/
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« Reply #188 on: May 13, 2014, 11:21:51 AM »

For Medal of Honor recipient, the costs of that day diminish excitement of award
By Jon Harper
Stars and Stripes
Published: May 12, 2014
     

Former Army Sgt. Kyle White talks to Stars and Stripes May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Va. He is scheduled to be presented with the medal at a White House ceremony on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.
RICK VASQUEZ/STARS AND STRIPES


Staff Sgt. Conrad Begaye awards Spc. Kyle White the Combat Infantryman Badge during a ceremony in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, Nov. 6, 2007. Photo courtesy of Kyle White

WASHINGTON — Former Army Sgt. Kyle J. White will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony on Tuesday. White, 27, will receive the award for his actions during a dismounted movement in mountainous terrain in Aranas, Afghanistan. White was serving as a Platoon Radio Telephone Operator assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, on Nov. 9, 2007, when his team of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers were ambushed by a much larger and more heavily armed Taliban force after a meeting with Afghan villagers. By the time the battle was over, six U.S. servicemembers had been killed and others were seriously wounded.

Before receiving the award, White sat down with Stars and Stripes to talk about the battle and life after the military.

Stars and Stripes: How did the ambush at Aranas begin?

White: As we were walking down the trail down in the valley you heard a single one shot, and two shots, and then the whole valley erupted, and then RPGs and fully automatic fire came in from it seemed like every direction … They had us outnumbered, that’s for sure … As the [enemy] fire kicked off, it kind of separated the patrol in two. And so after, you know, the initial shots, I didn’t see the [separated part] of the patrol [until the battle was over].

You were knocked unconscious by an enemy RPG, is that correct?

Yes … I fired my first magazine [and] I loaded another one, and as soon as I loaded another one it was lights out [when an RPG landed near my head] within the first probably 30 seconds of the firefight.

What was the situation when you regained consciousness?

As I picked my head up, an enemy round came in and hit that rock just inches from my face.

What did you do when you noticed that Spc. Kain Schilling was wounded?

After I kind of got my bearings together after the RPG, I looked over my shoulder and I could see Kain running down the trail towards like this little treetop … It wasn’t providing any cover from incoming rounds but just concealment … His right arm was just kind of dead and he had blood coming from his upper right arm, and so I saw that and I just moved to him. I just figured that’s where I need to be. And then went down there … and I put a tourniquet on his upper right arm … Towards the end of the ambush, Kain had again been shot again in the leg, and I put a belt on his leg as a tourniquet.

At one point during the firefight, Marine Sgt. Phillip Bocks was lying out in the open severely wounded. Can you describe what you did to try to save him?

I looked back up to the trail from where we were coming from and I could see Bocks still sitting up holding his weapon, but he had been shot in the leg and then his upper left shoulder and I could see, you know, some blood coming from his mouth. So I knew he was pretty severely wounded … So I decided to, you know, get up and go to him and try to pull him back to where we were … As I ran out there and grabbed him I started dragging him by the carry-handle [on his body armor]. And I noticed that … before I ran out to him there was rounds coming in around us but none of them were focused on him, but when I ran out there it seemed like, you know, all the fire was focused on us. And, you know, I kind of came to the conclusion that they weren’t trying to hit Bocks [but] they were trying to shoot me. And so I knew the longer I dragged him and they focused their fire on me, the greater [the] chance [of] him getting hit again was. And so what I did was just kind of dragged him like 5-10 feet … and then [I’d] run back to where Kain was just to try to draw their fire and have them follow me and leave him alone. And so, you know, I’d run back to Kain’s position [and] wait just a few seconds until [the Taliban] get distracted, and then repeat the movement until we got back to Kain, you know, behind the concealment of the tree canopy … [But] obviously some artery had been hit. So I tried to just control the bleeding as much as I could, but he ended up dying.

And you also went out into the open to try to save 1st Lt. Matthew Ferrara, who was wounded on the trail?

The way the trail was shaped, I could just see his helmet and then his assault pack but I couldn’t actually see like him laying there. And so I just wanted to go see what the issue was and go see if he’s OK … That’s where a lot of fire was still coming in, so I more like, you know, high-crawled [and] low-crawled out there to him. And I checked his pulse and he had already died.

What made you decide to put yourself in danger and risk your life so many times?

I told myself that I was going to die. You know, there’s no doubt in my mind I was not going to make it off that cliff that day. And so in my mind … it was, you know, if I am going to die I’m going to help my battle buddies until it happens … You also know that if the roles were reversed and it was you that was sitting out there, you know your battle buddy would come and get you.

You had another close call when you were trying to operate the radio, is that right?

I was pulling the hand mic off of [the] kit … [and] it just flew out of my hand and it wasn’t — you know, I didn’t quite understand what that was. And I picked it up again, and there was a bullet hole clean through it. And I was just like, ‘Really?’ … It was kind of the, you know, just that moment where you’re just like, “C’mon!”

How close was the friendly fire coming in?

Very close. And at one point … our mortar round landed about 20 [yards] down the trail from us … I remember just red hot chunks of metal like the size of my palm just flinging by your head.

After nightfall, were you afraid that the Taliban were going to overrun your position?

It was something I was worried about. You know, I was the only able-bodied American at my position. And trying to cover 360 [degrees] in the middle of a war zone, you get that — you get that very lonely feeling out there.

How long did it take for medevac to arrive and bring everyone out?

Once nightfall came, you know, a minute seemed like an hour, and I couldn’t tell you for sure.

When did the White House inform you that you were actually going to receive the Medal of Honor?

I got the call from President [Barack] Obama February 10th.

Were you allowed to tell anybody that you were going to be awarded the Medal of Honor before the White House made the official announcement?

[Officials] told me not to tell anybody. But, you know, you’ve got to tell your parents about that, so … [laughs].

What did President Obama say when he called you?

I’d like to say I can remember it word for word, but I can’t. You know, there’s something about when you get on the phone with the most powerful man in the world, you kind of, you know, lose track of what’s going on. But … I remember one thing he said about being an investment analyst. He was like, ‘So, you’re an investment analyst now. That has to be less exciting than being in the Army.’ And I was like, “Yeah, it is.”

Who did you invite to the White House ceremony?

I have a lot of my family coming — pretty much all of my family. A lot of the guys I served with and the guys that were there that day [including Kain Schilling]. And then some of the Gold Star family members who lost somebody that day.

Are you excited about receiving the Medal of Honor?

There’s lots of, you know, things you wouldn’t get to do normally, you know, like go see the White House and meet the President. So I mean, there’s a lot of exciting elements of it. But … the cost of, you know, actually receiving the award — knowing what happened that day, what everybody went through, it’s, you know, it kind of takes that excitement away for sure.

What is the significance of the bracelet you wear on your wrist?

Kain Schilling actually had it made for me, and he wears the same one. But it has the names of all those that were killed on 9 November 2007. And I just kind of wear it as a reminder. And it kind of motivates me as well. It’s like no matter what is going on in my life, like if something is hard or especially during school, like if you’re complaining about reading a chapter or something, you know, you look down and you’d be like, you know, these guys, if they were here right now they would not be complaining. And so I kind of just use it as like a motivational item for me. I know that what I want is that no matter what I accomplish in my life, I hope to just make them proud.

What has been the most difficult aspect of adjusting to civilian life?

I guess it’s just finding your own mission. That’s what I like to call it … You’re so used to in the military having everything structured, you know, this is your mission for today or for this hour or for this month [and] this is what you’re doing. And … then you go to you’re doing it all on your own [and] nobody is telling you what to do any more. And so that’s what kind of helped me do it was just making my own missions, like when [I was] going to school [I would think], hey, my mission is to get my degree, and then it’s a long process [and] these are the steps I have to take to get there. And so that was just kind of what I did. Set your own goals [and] make your own mission.

You’ve publicly discussed your PTSD diagnosis. When did you start noticing symptoms and what kind of symptoms were you having?

Probably right after the attack. And symptoms were mostly just … difficulty falling asleep and maintaining sleep. And then, you know, just the kind of the flashes here and there of one minute you’re doing something and you’re thinking and [then] you’re right back there at 9 November [in Afghanistan] … But for the most part I kind of found what — my own coping mechanisms, you know. My biggest one and the best one that works for me is exercise. You know, no matter what I’m feeling [or] dealing with, I can go in [the gym] and just clear my head. And that really works for me.

Do you think about the Aranas battle every day, or do you go through the daily routine of your life like most people and it’s not something that’s always in the back of your mind?

I still think about it every day. But as years go by, it’s not something I think about as often each day.

Looking forward, what are your goals for the future?

I’m going to take it day by day and see what happens. But what I want to do is I really want to kind of help educate servicemembers that are thinking about leaving the service and going back into the civilian world … about the post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the importance of an education and really, you know, how necessary it is for certain jobs out there.

http://www.stripes.com/news/for-medal-of-honor-recipient-the-costs-of-that-day-diminish-excitement-of-award-1.282669
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« Reply #189 on: May 21, 2014, 11:27:08 AM »

Marine to get medal of honor for blocking grenade
Published May 21, 2014
Associated Press

May 13, 2014: Medically retired Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter speaks to media at the Pentagon.AP

WASHINGTON –  Cpl. Kyle Carpenter remembers lying on his back on a rooftop in Marjah, Afghanistan, crammed up against sandbags alongside his friend and fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio.

It was Nov. 21, 2010, and his squad was trying push south into Taliban strongholds, working to set up patrol bases and establish a stronger U.S. Marine presence in the volatile region.

He doesn't recall the attack. He doesn't remember throwing himself in front of Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio to protect him from a grenade, an act that will make him the eighth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the few seconds between the blast and unconsciousness are clear.

The impact felt like his face and body had been hit with a two-by-four, he said, his vision was blurry and there was a loud ringing in his ears. The blood felt like warm water flowing over his face, and as he ran his tongue around his mouth, he couldn't feel his jaw.

"I remember my buddies yelling at me, it sounded like they were a football field away. I remember them yelling, you know, you're gonna make it, you're gonna make it. And I just kept trying to tell them that I was gonna die," Carpenter said in an interview with a small group of reporters at the Pentagon.

As he drifted off, he said he remembers realizing how devastated his family would be that he wasn't getting out of Afghanistan alive. And then, he said, "I asked for forgiveness ... I wanted to go to heaven."

The White House announced Monday that Carpenter, 24, will receive the medal of honor on June 19. He is the 15th recipient of the medal, which is the military's highest award.

He accepts the honor with a heavy dose of humility and Southern charm befitting a native of Flowood, Mississippi.

Asked to recount the incident, he's frustrated that he doesn't recall the details or what he was thinking as the grenade landed.

He and Eufrazio were ready for a fight. Carpenter's squad was trying to secure Patrol Base Dakota, and two Marines had been wounded in an enemy attack the day before. At about 10 a.m., insurgents threw three grenades. The third landed on the rooftop and, according to a Marine Corps report, Carpenter moved to shield Eufrazio.

Eufrazio received a shrapnel injury to his head, but Carpenter's body absorbed most of the blast.

Asked about his injuries, Carpenter glances skeptically at a notebook and smiles. "You're gonna need more room on that paper."

The list is long: He lost his right eye and injured his left, both eardrums were blown, most of his teeth were blown out and much of his jaw was missing. His right arm was shattered, his left arm, wrist and hand had multiple breaks, his right lung collapsed and he had shrapnel wounds in his legs.

Six weeks after the blast, he woke up in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

When he opened his left eye, he said, "the only thing I could really make out in my room was right in front of my bed on the wall. My mom had hung our whole family's Christmas stockings. So that was my first memory."

Over the next two-and-a-half years doctors rebuilt his teeth and face, and saved his arm. Surrounded by family and friends, and deluged with letters from all over the country, he said he viewed the recovery not as a struggle, but a goal.
The hardest part?

"Going from toting a machine gun in Afghanistan ... to using a bed pan and I can't even put my own socks on," he said. "It took eight months or so to be able to put my socks on, on my own, but it was a long eight months. But I guess that was the hardest part. Letting other people help me."

Now a student at the University of South Carolina, Carpenter says his time at Walter Reed gave him a new perspective on life. As he started to recuperate he took hospital-sponsored trips to ski and snowboard, he went skydiving, and last year he completed the Marine Corps Marathon. And he wants people to treat all veterans as heroes, the way he is being treated.

As for the White House ceremony in June, he's says he's proud of what he did. But, he quips about the grenade, "to be honest, I don't know why I didn't get that thing and punt it right back to them."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/05/21/marine-to-get-medal-honor-for-blocking-grenade/?intcmp=latestnews
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« Reply #190 on: May 21, 2014, 11:29:03 AM »

Marine to get medal of honor for blocking grenade
Published May 21, 2014
Associated Press

May 13, 2014: Medically retired Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter speaks to media at the Pentagon.AP

WASHINGTON –  Cpl. Kyle Carpenter remembers lying on his back on a rooftop in Marjah, Afghanistan, crammed up against sandbags alongside his friend and fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio.

It was Nov. 21, 2010, and his squad was trying push south into Taliban strongholds, working to set up patrol bases and establish a stronger U.S. Marine presence in the volatile region.

He doesn't recall the attack. He doesn't remember throwing himself in front of Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio to protect him from a grenade, an act that will make him the eighth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the few seconds between the blast and unconsciousness are clear.

The impact felt like his face and body had been hit with a two-by-four, he said, his vision was blurry and there was a loud ringing in his ears. The blood felt like warm water flowing over his face, and as he ran his tongue around his mouth, he couldn't feel his jaw.

"I remember my buddies yelling at me, it sounded like they were a football field away. I remember them yelling, you know, you're gonna make it, you're gonna make it. And I just kept trying to tell them that I was gonna die," Carpenter said in an interview with a small group of reporters at the Pentagon.

As he drifted off, he said he remembers realizing how devastated his family would be that he wasn't getting out of Afghanistan alive. And then, he said, "I asked for forgiveness ... I wanted to go to heaven."

The White House announced Monday that Carpenter, 24, will receive the medal of honor on June 19. He is the 15th recipient of the medal, which is the military's highest award.

He accepts the honor with a heavy dose of humility and Southern charm befitting a native of Flowood, Mississippi.

Asked to recount the incident, he's frustrated that he doesn't recall the details or what he was thinking as the grenade landed.

He and Eufrazio were ready for a fight. Carpenter's squad was trying to secure Patrol Base Dakota, and two Marines had been wounded in an enemy attack the day before. At about 10 a.m., insurgents threw three grenades. The third landed on the rooftop and, according to a Marine Corps report, Carpenter moved to shield Eufrazio.

Eufrazio received a shrapnel injury to his head, but Carpenter's body absorbed most of the blast.

Asked about his injuries, Carpenter glances skeptically at a notebook and smiles. "You're gonna need more room on that paper."

The list is long: He lost his right eye and injured his left, both eardrums were blown, most of his teeth were blown out and much of his jaw was missing. His right arm was shattered, his left arm, wrist and hand had multiple breaks, his right lung collapsed and he had shrapnel wounds in his legs.

Six weeks after the blast, he woke up in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

When he opened his left eye, he said, "the only thing I could really make out in my room was right in front of my bed on the wall. My mom had hung our whole family's Christmas stockings. So that was my first memory."

Over the next two-and-a-half years doctors rebuilt his teeth and face, and saved his arm. Surrounded by family and friends, and deluged with letters from all over the country, he said he viewed the recovery not as a struggle, but a goal.
The hardest part?

"Going from toting a machine gun in Afghanistan ... to using a bed pan and I can't even put my own socks on," he said. "It took eight months or so to be able to put my socks on, on my own, but it was a long eight months. But I guess that was the hardest part. Letting other people help me."

Now a student at the University of South Carolina, Carpenter says his time at Walter Reed gave him a new perspective on life. As he started to recuperate he took hospital-sponsored trips to ski and snowboard, he went skydiving, and last year he completed the Marine Corps Marathon. And he wants people to treat all veterans as heroes, the way he is being treated.

As for the White House ceremony in June, he's says he's proud of what he did. But, he quips about the grenade, "to be honest, I don't know why I didn't get that thing and punt it right back to them."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/05/21/marine-to-get-medal-honor-for-blocking-grenade/?intcmp=latestnews
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« Reply #191 on: May 21, 2014, 12:18:28 PM »

When u in process on Parris Island the first night the building where you line up has all the MOH citations and 99% all seem to have a dude jumping on a grenade. This has to be the first where the guy survived.
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« Reply #192 on: May 22, 2014, 11:31:01 AM »

When u in process on Parris Island the first night the building where you line up has all the MOH citations and 99% all seem to have a dude jumping on a grenade. This has to be the first where the guy survived.

Those boys are cut from a different cloth.  I'm thankful we have people willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 
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« Reply #193 on: June 30, 2014, 10:21:10 AM »

Former student interned in World War II gets high school honors

Don Miyada, a former Newport Harbor High student who couldn't graduate with his class in 1942 because he was sent to an internment camp, receives his diploma during Newport Harbor's 2014 commencement last week. (Scott Smeltzer / Daily Pilot)

HANNAH FRY SchoolsWorld War II (1939-1945)U.S. ArmyUniversity of California, IrvineAttack on Pearl Harbor (1941)Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Don Miyada remembers the classes he took, the carefree days with his high school classmates and the building excitement as graduation day approached.

But that moment never arrived.

A month before he was to put on his cap and gown and march with the Class of 1942, Miyada was pulled from class at Newport Harbor High School and sent — along with his family — to an internment camp in Arizona.

Although he later was awarded a diploma and went on to earn his doctorate in chemistry, Miyada always felt there was something missing.

 Graduation honors at last
"I never thought it would actually happen," Miyada says of his internment. "Being a citizen of the United States and taking civics classes, it surprised me that they were able to declare someone an enemy alien just with the sweep of a pen." (Scott Smeltzer / Daily Pilot)
This week, that memory was restored when he walked with the Class of 2014 — an 89-year-old retired university professor in a sea of teenagers, waiting to savor a moment he had been denied for 72 years.

"It's more honor than I deserve," Miyada said before accepting his diploma. "I'll be thankful to the Newport Harbor graduates that they included me in the graduation."

He was 17 when he was rounded up shortly after the bombing in Pearl Harbor during World War II, and sent with his family to Poston, Ariz., where more than 17,000 detainees were held on desert land several miles from the Colorado River.

Although he was aware that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had signed Executive Order No. 9066 dictating that people of Japanese descent on the West Coast would be detained in relocation camps, he was stunned when it occurred.

"I never thought it would actually happen," he said. "Being a citizen of the United States and taking civics classes, it surprised me that they were able to declare someone an enemy alien just with the sweep of a pen."

t surprised me that they were able to declare someone an enemy alien just with the sweep of a pen.
- Don Miyada
One day, Miyada said, he received a letter from one of his instructors, expressing his dismay at what had happened. It also contained his diploma.

Released after two years in the internment camp, Miyada moved to Michigan and was promptly drafted.

"I originally picked the Navy because I thought maybe I might see some of my fellow students and graduates of Newport Harbor, but they went through the form and put me in the Army," he said.

After serving in Europe, Miyada returned to the United States and earned a doctorate in chemistry from Michigan State University. He returned west and became a professor at UC Irvine.

In May, Miyada met Newport Harbor's principal, Sean Boulton, during a Memorial Day service at the high school and Boulton invited him to walk with the 560 seniors who would be graduating.

Boulton even found a copy of the program from what would have been Miyada's graduation day in 1942.

"My name was on there," Miyada said. "I wasn't able to attend, of course, but my name was there anyway. It was very emotional."

On Thursday, prior to graduation, he was among the inaugural inductees in Newport Harbor High School's Hall of Fame, along with Olympian volleyball player Misty May-Treanor and film producer Frank Marshall.

Miyada smiled and bowed as he received a standing ovation. He also returned the letter he had received from his long-ago instructor and thanked the students with whom he would be walking.

"It's their time to graduate and their time of honor," he said. "I'm happy they invited me to be one of them."

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-internment-graduate-20140622-story.html
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« Reply #194 on: July 14, 2014, 12:43:17 PM »

100-year-old WWII veteran to receive high school diploma in New York
By Cristina Corbin
Published June 26, 2014
FoxNews.com


George Hulka, who turned 100 in April, is pictured here at a Flag Day ceremony on June 14, 2014, in Corinth, N.Y.

He may not toss his cap in the air, but Saturday's commencement exercises will be extra special for one graduate of an upstate New York high school -- a 100-year-old World War II veteran set to receive his diploma at the same ceremony as his great-grandson.

George Hulka Jr., called "Papa" by all who know him, was drafted in 1941 and served as a combat infantryman in the Army, fighting the Nazis and surviving the D-Day invasion at Normandy as well as several battles abroad, including the Battle of the Bulge.

The Bronze star recipient and father of four, who turned 100 in April, will receive an honorary high school diploma at Schuylerville High School in Schuylerville, N.Y., where his 19-year-old great-grandson, Devin Stark, will also be graduating from.

"I never dreamed he'd be doing this. I’m just very, very proud."
- Karen Austin,daughter of George Hulka
The school will honor Hulka with a speech before the diploma will be handed by Devin to Hulka, who is in a wheelchair after breaking his leg, relatives said. The ceremony is set for 10 a.m. in the Saratoga Springs City Center.

For Hulka's children, the degree marks a milestone they never thought would happen.

"I’m pretty overwhelmed," Hulka's daughter, 67-year-old Karen Austin, told FoxNews.com.

"I never dreamed he'd be doing this. I’m just very, very proud," she said of her father, who has 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Hulka, one of nine children who grew up on a dairy farm in Saratoga, N.Y., attended a one-room schoolhouse, his family said. Following his graduation from the eighth grade, Hulka, the second oldest, became a hard-working farmhand as well as an auto mechanic. On Jan. 7, 1941, when he was 27, Hulka was drafted by the Army and served as a combat infantryman in north Africa and Europe for almost three years and battled the Nazis in eight combat campaigns, according to the Times Union newspaper, which first reported on Hulka's high school graduation.

After returning to Saratoga County following the war, Hulka met and wed his wife, Shirley, whom he was married to for 64 years. Austin said her father worked as a mechanic at the Pontiac dealership in Corinth, N.Y., where he managed all auto repair. Shirley Hulka died in 2010.

"They were very devoted to each other," said Austin, fighting back tears. "I know she would be so proud."

Hulka's graduation Saturday was made possible through the statewide program, "Operation Recognition," which permits school districts to issue diplomas to veterans living in New York state who attended but did not finish their schooling. Veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam are eligible for the honorary degree. Five other veterans will also be receiving their high school diplomas from Schuylerville school district on Saturday, Hulka's family said.

Austin and her brother, William Hulka, described their father as a "family man" who spoke little of his war-time heroics.

"He doesn’t like the public spotlight," Austin said. "He’s very humble about his service record, and he never talked much about what he did."

Hulka, who suffered hearing loss during the war, will return from the Wesley Community Center to his home in Corinth once his leg is fully healed, his daughter said.

With diploma in hand, Hulka will soon resume his normal routine: strictly supervising the vegetable garden he shares with his son and watching his favorite show, "The Wheel of Fortune," while enjoying roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, Austin said.

"He doesn’t like missing that. He’s very sharp," she said.

"He remembers things I wish he’d forget," Austin quipped. "And he has a really good sense of humor."

His daughter said Hulka is "so full of life," and illustrated it with a story she and her siblings relish when they speak of their father these days.

Austin said as Hulka was being wheeled to a room for surgery, after breaking his leg two days before his 100th birthday, "He told the nurse, 'This is a heck of a way to start my second hundred years.'"

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/06/26/100-year-old-wwii-veteran-to-receive-high-school-diploma-in-new-york/
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« Reply #195 on: July 21, 2014, 08:07:12 PM »

Medal of Honor goes to soldier 'who held the line'


Former staff sergeant Ryan M. Pitts received the Medal of Honor at the White House on Monday. President Obama praised the New Hampshire native for his unselfish heroism during an ambush in Afghanistan. VPC

Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY 7:10 p.m. EDT July 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — A former paratrooper who became the sole survivor of an Afghanistan outpost under heavy attack in 2008, choosing to fight on to the death with the bodies of six U.S. soldiers around him, survived to receive the Medal of Honor Monday in a White House ceremony.

"Against this onslaught, one American held the line, bloody but unbowed," President Obama said Monday of former Army staff sergeant Ryan Pitts. The soldier, who was 22 at the time, exemplified the virtues of integrity, humility and courage, the president said.

"For me, this was a team effort," Pitts told the Army Times. "I'm going to receive it. But it's not going to be mine. We did it together. No one guy carried that day."

Pitts received a medical discharge from the Army in 2009 and lives with his wife, Amy, and 1-year-old son, Lucas, in Nashua, N.H., where he works for a computer software company.

His wife and son, with dozens of other current or former soldiers who fought with him, stood by in the East Room of the White House on Monday as Obama draped the medal around Pitts' neck. It was Pitts' second wedding anniversary.

He is the ninth living recipient of the award from either the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. Sixteen of the medals have been awarded in the conflicts for recipients living or dead.

Pitts is the second soldier from the small unit he served with in Afghanistan — Chosen Company — to receive the honor. A Medal of Honor went to Kyle White in April for heroism during an ambush Nov. 9, 2007, that left six Americans and three Afghan soldiers dead.

Pitts and his fellow paratroopers were only a few weeks or days away from going home after a 15-month deployment when they fought on July 13, 2008, to defend a partially completed combat base adjacent to the village of Wanat in northeastern Afghanistan.

An estimated force of 200-300 Taliban fighters using machines guns, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire raked the compound defended by 48 Americans and a contingent of Afghan soldiers, according to an Army account.

The paratroopers had established an observation outpost on a ridge east of the base manned by Pitts, who was a sergeant at the time, and eight other soldiers.

The Taliban concentrated considerable fire on this location. Six men were killed in the action that immediately followed, including a platoon lieutenant and an Army specialist who had raced through enemy fire to reinforce the outpost. After other troops evacuated, Pitts found himself alone.

He fought on, denying enemy attackers the outpost position from where they could pour more fire directly into the base below.

"Pitts resigned himself to certain death, but remained determined to do as much damage as possible to the enemy before they overwhelmed the OP (observation post)," reads an Army account.

Obama called it one of the fiercest battles of the entire war in Afghanistan.

Enemy fighters were so close that other U.S. forces listening to Pitts communicating on the radio could hear their voices in the background, the account says.

"He (Pitts) whispered into the radio, 'I'm the only one left behind," Obama said.

The paratrooper "cooked off grenades" before lobbing them — meaning he held onto them after pulling the pin, allowing a fuse to burn down so that Taliban fighters would not be able to throw them back.

He also fired a rifle-mounted grenade launcher almost straight up in the air so the explosives would come down just a short distance away, where Taliban were concealed.

Ultimately, four other paratroopers from the combat base below reached him to help defend the outpost. Air support arrived and eventually ground reinforcements to drive back the Taliban. In all, nine paratroopers were killed that day and 27 wounded.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/21/medal-honor-ryan-pitts-obama-award-ceremony/12938319/
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« Reply #196 on: August 07, 2014, 01:26:18 PM »

News: Purple Heart recipients continue to serve


Purple Heart Sgt. Michael Selvage
The Purple Heart, the oldest American military decoration for military merit, is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who have been killed or wounded in action against an enemy. It is also awarded to soldiers who have suffered maltreatment as prisoners of war. Purple Heart day is dedicated to honoring service members, past and present, who have received the Purple Heart medal.

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – The Purple Heart medal is not an award many Soldiers aim to receive, but, for those who have, it may be one of the most honorable medals they wear on their chest.

On Aug. 7, 1782, General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, created the Badge for Military Merit. It consisted of a purple heart-shaped piece of silk edged with a narrow binding of silver with the word “Merit” stitched across the face in silver. The badge was presented to Soldiers for any singular meritorious action.

The Purple Heart was awarded to only three known Soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

In 1931, General Douglas MacArthur, hoped to reinstate the medal in time for the bicentennial of Washington's birth. On February 22, 1932, Washington's 200th birthday, the U.S. War Department announced the creation of the Order of the Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart, the oldest American military decoration for military merit, is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who have been killed or wounded in action against an enemy. It is also awarded to soldiers who have suffered maltreatment as prisoners of war.

The current Purple Heart displays a bust of Washington and his coat of arms.

Purple Heart day is dedicated to honoring service members, past and present, who have received the Purple Heart medal.

Sgt. 1st Class Rueda De Leon, a Camarillo, California native, first sergeant of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, received the Purple Heart when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb in 2005 while operating in southern Afghanistan.

He lost two friends during the attack and said it was one of the reasons he remained in the military.

“Many of my friends and family thought I was nuts for wanting to come back for another deployment, to include the wives of my two best friends,” said De Leon. “I felt that I needed to close out a missing puzzle piece and felt that as long as I can still carry a rucksack and fire a weapon, I would still be able to give something back and honor my two brothers.”

Some states have designated Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day. For example, the state of Wisconsin encourages the people and organizations to display the American flag as a public expression of recognition to those who were wounded or killed in action, fighting.

1st Sgt. Kenneth Hood, a Columbus, Ohio native, first sergeant for the 297th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 419th CSSB, received the Purple Heart after a high explosive round exploded approximately eight meters away from him in 2012 while in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in eastern Afghanistan.

He said he has three reasons why he continues to serve. One is that he feels it’s his responsibility to ensure the sons, daughters, mothers and fathers are trained and prepared for combat.

He felt it was his destiny to serve his country as a Soldier.

“The military was my life calling,” said Hood. “Since I was a child watching G.I Joe, I always knew somehow if given the chance I would become a Soldier in the Army.”

He said another reason he continued to serve was because he wanted his three sons to have a positive role model, which he says paid off since his oldest son is applying to the U.S. Military Academy in the near future.

For some Soldiers who have received the medal, this day may mean a lot to them.

“One thing I do know is that August 7 is a day I will always cherish and respect,” said De Leon.

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/138547/purple-heart-recipients-continue-serve#.U-PgWFY29uZ#ixzz39jvvE9fS
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« Reply #197 on: August 07, 2014, 01:35:51 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkS0aHSfCvE
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« Reply #198 on: August 27, 2014, 10:18:12 AM »

Long overdue: Obama to award Medal of Honor to Civil War soldier
1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing died at Gettysburg trying to repel Pickett’s Charge


Alonzo Cushing photo provided by the Wisconsin Historical Society shows First Lt. Alonzo Cushing. A Civil War soldier is to be honored with the nation's highest military decoration 151 years after his death.The White House announced Wednesday that President Barack Obama will give the Medal of Honor to Alonzo H. Cushing. His descendants and Civil War buffs have been pushing for the Union Army lieutenant killed at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to receive the award. (AP Photo/Wisconsin Historical Society)

Alonzo Cushing photo provided by the Wisconsin Historical Society shows First Lt. Alonzo Cushing. A Civil War soldier is to be honored with the nation’s highest military decoration 151 years after his death.The White House announced Wednesday that President Barack ... more >


By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2014
President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to 1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing, who gave his life at Gettysburg leading the effort to repel Pickett’s Charge, the White House said Tuesday in an announcement historians say corrects a glaring omission in the rolls of the nation’s top military honor.

Wounded in both his shoulder and stomach, Cushing manned the only remaining artillery piece, defending against the rebel charge that’s been called the high-water mark of the Confederacy. Cushing was cut down by a third wound as he successfully defended the spot, which has become known in military history lore as the Angle.

Those above and below him in rank already have been awarded the Medal of Honor, including Gen. Alexander S. Webb, who led the overall defense against Pickett’s Charge and approved Cushing’s request to advance, and Cushing’s own trusted Sgt. Frederick Fuger, who held up his wounded lieutenant so he could see the battlefield and served as Cushing’s megaphone, calling out the orders the senior officer could only whisper due to his two injuries.

“An awful lot of people have been very interested in seeing Alonzo gets this nation’s highest honor,” said David Krueger, who has served as point man for the Medal of Honor effort in Delafield, Wisconsin, where the Cushing family had a farm at the time of the war. “Standing at the Angle at Cemetery Ridge, what was at stake was the survival of our nation, and this young 22-year-old artillery officer held the line; the men with him held the line. If the line breaks at that point, the war could possibly have ended with a Confederate victory.”

The White House announcement brings to a close a decadeslong campaign by Cushing’s backers and comes as the Medal of Honor itself is increasingly under scrutiny.

1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing (left) poses with other Union troops during the Civil War. Cushing is expected to be awarded the Medal of Honor nearly 150 years after he died defending a Union position during Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. (Wisconsin Historical Society via Associated Press)
1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing (left) poses with other Union troops during the ... more >
Key lawmakers have questioned whether the process has become too politicized, saying there are other deserving troops from recent conflicts such as the Iraq war.

Usually, those pushing for honors for long-dead military men are descendants. In Cushing’s case, there are no direct descendants, and his cause was taken up by people with much more tenuous personal connections but who saw an injustice to be corrected.

One of those was Kent Masterson Brown, who chronicled the lieutenant’s story in his book “Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander.” Another is Margaret Zerwekh, a woman in her 90s who lives on part of what used to be the Cushing family’s farm, located along the Bark River in Delafield, west of Milwaukee.

She wrote her first letter on Cushing’s behalf in 1987, asking then-Sen. William Proxmire to take up the cause.

Congress had to play a role as well, waiving the time limits involved in the Medal of Honor so that Cushing would be eligible. The waiver came in last year’s defense policy bill.

On Tuesday the White House released a statement saying Cushing will finally get his due, along with two veterans of the Vietnam War.

One of those, Army Spc. Four Donald P. Sloat, was killed in action on Jan. 17, 1970, while using his body to absorb a grenade blast, saving the lives of three other soldiers.

The other, Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins, repeatedly braved intense hostile sniper and mortar fire to rescue wounded soldiers, then, despite suffering several wounds, fought off wave after wave of Viet Cong attacks on his position. Unable to reach the last evacuation helicopter, he rallied his comrades and fled into the jungle, where the group survived for two days until being rescued.

The Army, in its nomination for the Medal of Honor, estimated he killed up to 175 enemy troops and sustained 18 wounds himself.

Command Sgt. Maj. Adkins will attend a Sept. 15 ceremony at the White House along with his wife, Mary. Spc. Sloat’s brother will receive his medal at the same ceremony.

The White House said details on Cushing’s award will be announced separately.

Mr. Kreuger said one question is who would get the award, given he has no direct descendants. There is no clear-cut Pentagon protocol in this type of situation, Mr. Kreuger said.

Some residents have pushed for the medal to go to the city of Delafield.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/26/obama-to-award-belated-medal-of-honor-to-union-civ/#ixzz3Bc6ct9Z3
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« Reply #199 on: September 08, 2014, 04:42:07 PM »

Man, 88, awarded medals at JBLM 61 years after release from North Korean prison camp
BY ADAM ASHTON
Staff writerSeptember 3, 2014

WWII and Korean War veteran James Hayden of Lakewood is congratulated by Maj. General Terry Ferrell after being awarded medals for his service in Korea during special ceremonies at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.
TONY OVERMAN — Staff Photographer Buy Photo

Retired Army Master Sgt. James Hayden kept insisting that he didn’t want any fuss about him even as a two-star general leaned in to pin long-overdue Army service medals to his collar.

“I didn’t expect this,” said Hayden, 88. “I didn’t ask for any of it.”

But his family, friends and the Army insisted on the pageantry of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord ceremony.

Hayden earned it, they said, in the nearly three years he spent imprisoned by North Korean and Chinese troops during the Korean War.

On Wednesday, almost 61 years to the day since he was freed from the camp, the Army finally awarded Hayden medals he earned by serving during the Korean War and for enduring the physical and psychological hardships of a long imprisonment.

“Little slow in recognition, but it’s never too late,” said Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 7th Infantry Division.

The ceremony gave Ferrell and a few dozen other soldiers a chance to revel in Hayden’s story. They held the event in the headquarters of a battalion with a rich history in the Korean War and attracted Stryker soldiers who served recently as modern descendants of Hayden’s 9th Infantry Regiment.

They wanted to pay their respects to Hayden, who not only fought in Korea, but also received a Silver Star for valor he showed in battle fighting in Germany during World War II.

On the day that would lead to Hayden’s Silver Star - March 15, 1945 – Hayden was ordered to inspect a tunnel that his unit suspected was being used to hide German soldiers.

He hopped inside with a rifle. An enemy grenade damaged his rifle so much that Hayden could not return fire.

Hayden got another rifle, went back in and attacked.

His Silver Star commendation says he killed two German soldiers, wounded four more and single-handedly took 12 as prisoners.

“He put himself in harm’s way and he went back in,” Ferrell said. “He didn’t have to do that.”

Less than two months later, Hayden took a German bullet to the leg, ending his participation in that war. He received a Purple Heart for the wound.

Hayden’s service did not end there. He went to Fort Lewis after his recovery, where he met his wife, the late Dorothy Hayden. He stayed in uniform because he found that he liked military life.

By 1950, Hayden was back at war fighting to repel a North Korean and Chinese advance toward Seoul.

He was captured with more than 100 other soldiers on Dec. 1, 1950. Hayden remembered an all-night battle. By morning, the Americans were surrounded. Hayden’s commander chose to surrender rather than watch his soldiers die one-by-one.

As a prisoner, Hayden remembered receiving a cup of food in the morning and a cup in the afternoon. Temperatures in North Korea would drop to well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, making the weather one of the greatest threats to his survival.

Many did not survive. Hayden remembered burying fallen prisoners of war in cold, hard earth.

Hayden said he got by with the camaraderie of his fellow prisoners, and with his Catholic faith.

“Prayer,” he said, kept him alive.

He was not released until Sept. 5, 1953. He came home 65 pounds lighter and with bones so damaged by malnutrition that he spent a year in Madigan Army Medical Center while doctors tried to repair his spine.

“I was just doing my duty,” Hayden said.

“That’s what makes you special,” Ferrell told him.

Hayden would serve almost eight more years in the Army after he left Madigan, including another assignment in Germany. He retired with more than 18 years of total service.

After the Army, Hayden spent his years in Lakewood raising his three daughters and helping his wife manage a beauty salon.

He did not receive those Korean War medals until his family reached out to U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, and state Rep. Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way. The lawmakers helped file the paperwork so the Army would recognize Hayden’s service.

Over the years, Hayden also lost his Silver Star. Hayden believes his sister got it and did not return it.

It would be awfully nice to get that back, Hayden said, as he thanked Ferrell for the POW and Korean War medals.

“I will get you one,” Ferrell promised.

Less than half an hour later, a soldier in the division found a Silver Star that Ferrell could present to Hayden.

An officer read Hayden’s Silver Star commendation. Ferrell stood again to hand another medal to the long-retired veteran.

“I didn’t expect it, but I’m happy it happened,” Hayden said.

“Sometimes surprises are good, and this one you earned,” Ferrell said.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/09/03/3360524_man-88-awarded-medals-at-jblm.html?sp=/99/289/&rh=1#storylink=cpy
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