Author Topic: OUR MILITARY.  (Read 109715 times)

Offline capthale

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #510 on: May 20, 2018, 12:54:12 AM »
HAPPY armed forces day
Retired merchant marine officer
U.S. Army Vet

Nycfire.net

Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #510 on: May 20, 2018, 12:54:12 AM »

Offline 68jk09

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Offline manhattan

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #512 on: May 23, 2018, 09:11:38 PM »
The United States Merchant Service - an all-too-often forgotten, but critical, part of our national defense.

https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/national-maritime-day-remembering-our-past-focusing-on-our-future#gs.LB3jpM4

National Maritime Day - Remembering our Past, Focusing on our Future 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 09:18:24 PM by manhattan »


Offline 68jk09

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #514 on: June 01, 2018, 01:08:23 AM »

Offline manhattan

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #515 on: June 01, 2018, 01:44:37 AM »
Well done, Chief.  Thank you for posting this.

Online mikeindabronx

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #516 on: June 13, 2018, 08:42:45 AM »
Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday dies at age 94

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/12/navajo-code-talker-samuel-tom-holiday-dies-at-age-94.html?intcmp=ob_article_sidebar_video&intcmp=obnetwork


Kayenta,AZ    The Burger King Has a nice Navajo Code Talker exhibit, my wife & I stopped in to see it
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 08:52:30 AM by mikeindabronx »

Offline 68jk09

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #517 on: June 18, 2018, 01:16:39 AM »
To those who have served, you will understand. To those who haven’t, perhaps this will help you understand why we take the flag and our national anthem so seriously. God bless.

by Lt. Col. George Goodson, USMC (Ret)

It was late 1967. I had just returned after 18 months in Vietnam. Casualties were increasing. I moved my family from Indianapolis to Norfolk, rented a house, enrolled my children in their fifth or sixth new school, and bought a second car.

A week later, I put on my uniform and drove 10 miles to Little Creek, Virginia. I hesitated before entering my new office. Appearance is important to career Marines. I was no longer, if ever, a poster Marine. I had returned from my third tour in Vietnam only 30 days before. At 5'9", I now weighed 128 pounds - 37 pounds below my normal weight. My uniforms fit ludicrously, my skin was yellow from malaria medication, and I think I had a twitch or two.

I straightened my shoulders, walked into the office, looked at the nameplate on a Staff Sergeant's desk and said, "Sergeant Jolly, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Goodson. Here are my orders and my Qualification Jacket."

Sergeant Jolly stood, looked carefully at me, took my orders, stuck out his hand; we shook and he asked, "How long were you there, Colonel?" I replied "18 months this time." Jolly breathed, "You must be a slow learner, Colonel." I smiled.

Jolly said, "Colonel, I'll show you to your office and bring in the Sergeant Major. I said, "No, let's just go straight to his office." Jolly nodded, hesitated, and lowered his voice, "Colonel, the Sergeant Major. He's been in this job two years. He's packed pretty tight. I'm worried about him." I nodded.

Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major's office. "Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Officer." The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand and said, "Good to see you again, Colonel." I responded, "Hello Walt, how are you?" Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.

I sat down with the Sergeant Major. We had the obligatory cup of coffee and talked about mutual acquaintances. Walt's stress was palpable. Finally, I said, "Walt, what the hell's wrong?" He turned his chair, looked out the window and said, "George, you're going to wish you were back in Nam before you leave here. I've been in the Marine Corps since 1939. I was in the Pacific 36 months, Korea for 14 months, and Vietnam for 12 months. Now I come here to bury these kids. I'm putting my letter in. I can't take it anymore." I said, "OK Walt. If that's what you want, I'll endorse your request for retirement and do what I can to push it through Headquarters Marine Corps."

Sergeant Major Walt Xxxxx retired 12 weeks later. He had been a good Marine for 28 years, but he had seen too much death and too much suffering. He was used up.

Over the next 16 months, I made 28 death notifications, conducted 28 military funerals, and made 30 notifications to the families of Marines that were severely wounded or missing in action. Most of the details of those casualty notifications have now, thankfully, faded from memory. Four, however, remain.

MY FIRST NOTIFICATION
My third or fourth day in Norfolk, I was notified of the death of a 19 year old Marine. This notification came by telephone from Headquarters Marine Corps. The information detailed:
*Name, rank, and serial number.
*Name, address, and phone number of next of kin.
*Date of and limited details about the Marine's death.
*Approximate date the body would arrive at the Norfolk Naval Air Station.
*A strong recommendation on whether the casket should be opened or closed.

The boy's family lived over the border in North Carolina, about 60 miles away. I drove there in a Marine Corps staff car. Crossing the state line into North Carolina, I stopped at a small country store/service station/Post Office. I went in to ask directions.

Three people were in the store. A man and woman approached the small Post Office window. The man held a package. The store owner walked up and addressed them by name, "Hello John. Good morning Mrs. Cooper."

I was stunned. My casualty's next-of-kin's name was John Cooper!

I hesitated, then stepped forward and said, "I beg your pardon. Are you Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper of (address)?

The father looked at me - I was in uniform - and then, shaking, bent at the waist, he vomited. His wife looked horrified at him and then at me. Understanding came into her eyes and she collapsed in slow motion. I think I caught her before she hit the floor.

The owner took a bottle of whiskey out of a drawer and handed it to Mr. Cooper who drank. I answered their questions for a few minutes. Then I drove them home in my staff car. The store owner locked the store and followed in their truck. We stayed an hour or so until the family began arriving.

I returned the store owner to his business. He thanked me and said, "Mister, I wouldn't have your job for a million dollars." I shook his hand and said; "Neither would I."

I vaguely remember the drive back to Norfolk. Violating about five Marine Corps regulations, I drove the staff car straight to my house. I sat with my family while they ate dinner, went into the den, closed the door, and sat there all night, alone.

My Marines steered clear of me for days. I had made my first death notification.

THE FUNERALS
Weeks passed with more notifications and more funerals. I borrowed Marines from the local Marine Corps Reserve and taught them to conduct a military funeral: how to carry a casket, how to fire the volleys and how to fold the flag.

When I presented the flag to the mother, wife, or father, I always said, "All Marines share in your grief." I had been instructed to say, "On behalf of a grateful nation...." I didn't think the nation was grateful, so I didn't say that.

Sometimes, my emotions got the best of me and I couldn't speak. When that happened, I just handed them the flag and touched a shoulder. They would look at me and nod. Once a mother said to me, "I'm so sorry you have this terrible job." My eyes filled with tears and I leaned over and kissed her.

ANOTHER NOTIFICATION
Six weeks after my first notification, I had another. This was a young PFC. I drove to his mother's house. As always, I was in uniform and driving a Marine Corps staff car. I parked in front of the house, took a deep breath, and walked towards the house. Suddenly the door flew open, a middle-aged woman rushed out. She looked at me and ran across the yard, screaming "NO! NO! NO! NO!"

I hesitated. Neighbors came out. I ran to her, grabbed her, and whispered stupid things to reassure her. She collapsed. I picked her up and carried her into the house. Eight or nine neighbors followed. Ten or fifteen minutes later, the father came in followed by ambulance personnel. I have no recollection of leaving.

The funeral took place about two weeks later. We went through the drill. The mother never looked at me. The father looked at me once and shook his head sadly.


ANOTHER NOTIFICATION
One morning, as I walked in the office, the phone was ringing. Sergeant Jolly held the phone up and said, "You've got another one, Colonel." I nodded, walked into my office, picked up the phone, took notes, thanked the officer making the call, I have no idea why, and hung up. Jolly, who had listened, came in with a special Telephone Directory that translates telephone numbers into the person's address and place of employment.

The father of this casualty was a Longshoreman. He lived a mile from my office. I called the Longshoreman's Union Office and asked for the Business Manager. He answered the phone, I told him who I was, and asked for the father's schedule.

The Business Manager asked, "Is it his son?" I said nothing. After a moment, he said, in a low voice, "Tom is at home today." I said, "Don't call him. I'll take care of that." The Business Manager said, "Aye, Aye Sir," and then explained, "Tom and I were Marines in WWII."

I got in my staff car and drove to the house. I was in uniform. I knocked and a woman in her early forties answered the door. I saw instantly that she was clueless. I asked, "Is Mr. Smith home?" She smiled pleasantly and responded, "Yes, but he's eating breakfast now. Can you come back later?" I said, "I'm sorry. It's important. I need to see him now."

She nodded, stepped back into the beach house and said, "Tom, it's for you."

A moment later, a ruddy man in his late forties, appeared at the door. He looked at me, turned absolutely pale, steadied himself, and said, "Jesus Christ man, he's only been there three weeks!"


Months passed. More notifications and more funerals. Then one day while I was running, Sergeant Jolly stepped outside the building and gave a loud whistle, two fingers in his mouth....... I never could do that..... and held an imaginary phone to his ear.

Another call from Headquarters Marine Corps. I took notes, said, "Got it." and hung up. I had stopped saying "Thank You" long ago.

Jolly, "Where?"

Me, "Eastern Shore of Maryland . The father is a retired Chief Petty Officer. His brother will accompany the body back from Vietnam ...."

Jolly shook his head slowly, straightened, and then said, "This time of day, it'll take three hours to get there and back. I'll call the Naval Air Station and borrow a helicopter. And I'll have Captain Tolliver get one of his men to meet you and drive you to the Chief's home."

He did, and 40 minutes later, I was knocking on the father's door. He opened the door, looked at me, then looked at the Marine standing at parade rest beside the car, and asked, "Which one of my boys was it, Colonel?"

I stayed a couple of hours, gave him all the information, my office and home phone number and told him to call me, anytime.

He called me that evening about 2300 (11:00PM). "I've gone through my boy's papers and found his will. He asked to be buried at sea. Can you make that happen?" I said, "Yes I can, Chief. I can and I will."

My wife who had been listening said, "Can you do that?" I told her, "I have no idea. But I'm going to break my ass trying."

I called Lieutenant General Alpha Bowser, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, at home about 2330, explained the situation, and asked, "General, can you get me a quick appointment with the Admiral at Atlantic Fleet Headquarters?" General Bowser said, "George, you be there tomorrow at 0900. He will see you."

I was and the Admiral did. He said coldly, "How can the Navy help the Marine Corps, Colonel." I told him the story. He turned to his Chief of Staff and said, "Which is the sharpest destroyer in port?" The Chief of Staff responded with a name.

The Admiral called the ship, "Captain, you're going to do a burial at sea. You'll report to a Marine Lieutenant Colonel Goodson until this mission is completed..."

He hung up, looked at me, and said, "The next time you need a ship, Colonel, call me. You don't have to sic Al Bowser on my ass." I responded, "Aye Aye, Sir" and got the hell out of his office.

I went to the ship and met with the Captain, Executive Officer, and the Senior Chief. Sergeant Jolly and I trained the ship's crew for four days. Then Jolly raised a question none of us had thought of. He said, "These government caskets are air tight. How do we keep it from floating?"

All the high priced help including me sat there looking dumb. Then the Senior Chief stood and said, "Come on Jolly. I know a bar where the retired guys from World War II hang out."

They returned a couple of hours later, slightly the worse for wear, and said, "It's simple; we cut four 12" holes in the outer shell of the casket on each side and insert 300 lbs of lead in the foot end of the casket. We can handle that, no sweat."

The day arrived. The ship and the sailors looked razor sharp. General Bowser, the Admiral, a US Senator, and a Navy Band were on board. The sealed casket was brought aboard and taken below for modification. The ship got underway to the 12-fathom depth.

The sun was hot. The ocean flat. The casket was brought aft and placed on a catafalque. The Chaplain spoke. The volleys were fired. The flag was removed, folded, and I gave it to the father. The band played "Eternal Father Strong to Save." The casket was raised slightly at the head and it slid into the sea.

The heavy casket plunged straight down about six feet. The incoming water collided with the air pockets in the outer shell. The casket stopped abruptly, rose straight out of the water about three feet, stopped, and slowly slipped back into the sea. The air bubbles rising from the sinking casket sparkled in the sunlight as the casket disappeared from sight forever....

The next morning I called a personal friend, Lieutenant General Oscar Peatross, at Headquarters Marine Corps and said, "General, get me out of here. I can't take this anymore." I was transferred two weeks later.

I was a good Marine but, after 17 years, I had seen too much death and too much suffering. I was used up.

Vacating the house, my family and I drove to the office in a two-car convoy. I said my goodbyes. Sergeant Jolly walked out with me. He waved at my family, looked at me with tears in his eyes, came to attention, saluted, and said, "Well Done, Colonel. Well Done."

I felt as if I had received the Medal of Honor!

'A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including their life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'

I am honored to pass this on and I hope you feel that way too.

Offline bigcheese

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #518 on: June 18, 2018, 11:15:23 PM »
Thanks Jack. God bless America.

Offline CFDMarshal

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #519 on: June 19, 2018, 10:41:15 PM »
Thanks for sharing Chief!

Offline JOR176

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #520 on: June 20, 2018, 12:54:29 PM »
Outstanding Chief,going to take a few to let my eyes dry.

God Bless America.    USA Viet Nam 66,  Korea  66-68.

Offline 68jk09

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #521 on: June 20, 2018, 05:51:41 PM »
WW2 TWINS REUNITED 74 YRS AFTER DEATH.....Twin brothers reunited 74 years after WWII death at Normandy
By MARK D. CARLSON and VIRGINIA MAYO | Associated Press

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France – For decades, he was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II American cemetery in Belgium where he was interred.


On Tuesday, Julius Heinrich Otto "Henry" Pieper, his identity recovered, was laid to rest beside his twin brother in Normandy, 74 years after the two Navy men died together when their ship shattered while trying to reach the blood-soaked D-Day beaches.

Six Navy officers in crisp white uniforms carried the flag-draped metal coffin bearing the remains of Julius to its final resting place, at the side of Ludwig Julius Wilhelm "Louie" Pieper at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

The two 19-year-olds from Esmond, South Dakota, died together on June 19, 1944, when their huge flat-bottom ship hit an underwater mine as it tried to approach Utah Beach, 13 days after the D-Day landings.

While Louie's body was soon found, identified and laid to rest, his brother's remains were only recovered in 1961 by French salvage divers and not identified until 2017.

A lone bugler played taps as the casket was lowered in an end-of-day military ceremony attended by a half-dozen family members, closing a circle of loss. Each laid a red rose on the casket and two scattered American soil over it.

The Pieper twins, both radiomen second class, are the 45th pair of brothers at the cemetery, three of them memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the cemetery. But the Piepers are the only set of twins among the more than 9,380 graves, according to the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The cemetery, an immaculate field of crosses and Stars of David, overlooks the English Channel and Omaha Beach, the bloodiest of the Normandy landing beaches of Operation Overlord, the first step in breaching Hitler's stranglehold on France and Europe.

"They are finally together again, side by side, where they should be," said their niece, Susan Lawrence, 56, of Sacramento, California.

"They were always together. They were the best of friends," Lawrence said. "Mom told me a story one time when one of the twins had gotten hurt on the job and the other twin had gotten hurt on the job, same day and almost the same time."

The story of how the twins died and were being reunited reflects the daily courage of troops on a mission to save the world from the Nazis and the tenacity of today's military to ensure that no soldier goes unaccounted for.

The Pieper twins, born of German immigrant parents, worked together for Burlington Railroad and enlisted together in the Navy. Both were radio operators and both were on the same unwieldy flat-bottom boat, Landing Ship Tank Number 523 (LST-523), making the Channel crossing from Falmouth, England, to Utah Beach 13 days after the June 6 D-Day landings.

The LST-523 mission was to deliver supplies at the Normandy beachhead and remove the wounded. It never got there.

The vessel struck an underwater mine and sank off the coast. Of the 145 Navy crew members, 117 were found perished. Survivors' accounts speak of a major storm on the Channel with pitched waves that tossed the boat mercilessly before the explosion that shattered the vessel.

Louie's body was laid to rest in what now is the Normandy American Cemetery. But the remains of Julius were only recovered in 1961 by French divers who found them in the vessel's radio room. He was interred as an "Unknown" at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neuville, Belgium, also devoted to the fallen of World War II, in the region that saw the bloody Battle of the Bulge.

Julius' remains might have stayed among those of 13 other troops from the doomed LST-523 still resting unidentified at the Ardennes cemetery. But in 2017, a U.S. agency that tracks missing combatants using witness accounts and DNA testing identified him.

Lawrence, the niece, said the brothers had successfully made the trip across the English Channel on D-Day itself, and "they had written my grandparents a letter saying, do not worry about us we are together."

"My grandparents received that letter after they got word that they (their sons) had passed away," she said.

The Pieper family asked that Louie's grave in Normandy be relocated to make room for his twin brother at his side.

The last time the United States buried a soldier who fought in World War II was in 2005, at the Ardennes American Cemetery, according to the American Battle Monuments Commission.

___

God bless the greatest generation. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Although 74 years ago, it still tugs at our hearts for the way you marched into the jaws of death, so that an entire continent can be liberated. Today, hundreds of millions of people owe you a debt of gratitude.

Online nfd2004

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #522 on: June 22, 2018, 12:03:46 PM »
 In 1973 the Viet Nam War was still going on. In that year a song came out by a guy named Tony Orlando from New York City. It became very popular within a very short period of time.

 As a result of that song, you could ride down many streets across America and see yellow ribbons tied around trees in the neighborhood.

 Here is Tony Orlando as he tells his story years later, after receiving a phone call from the late and very famous celebrity, Mr Bob Hope.

  

 For those who forgot the song or who have never heard it, this is the song that Tony Orlando is referring to. It became very popular with the military and their families and friends.

 It's called: "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'round the ole Oak Tree".

 

Offline manhattan

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Re: OUR MILITARY.
« Reply #523 on: June 25, 2018, 02:12:51 AM »
Chief and Bill,

Once again you've each out done yourselves.  What you've shared should be required annual reading for every American above the age of ten.

Thank you.