American Heroes

This category contains 54 posts

When Veterans Day Became Real

As I’ve aged, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for our military veterans.

I don’t know why, exactly?

Maybe it’s because, with my childhood Life plans having failed, due to my leg disability, I was unable to join the largest, least-exclusive club in the World (Service Veterans).  And I’ve been able to observe, albeit from a distance, the brotherhood, camaraderie and sacrifice imbued in those men and women.

ValorAnd with the addition of the instant news cycle, see some of the physical damage caused to them.

On previous Veterans Days (when I was employed) I made it a point to walk around on break and shake hands of those I knew had served and say “Thank You!”  I know it’s not much, especially for persons my age who returned from Vietnam and were denounced as war criminals and spat-upon.  And the Korean War Vets who were (and are) pretty much largely ignored by the media.

I was accompanying my roommate to another of her doctor’s appointments on November 11 this year, and there was an older guy (my age?) with the jacket and cap, embroidered with his service particulars.  I didn’t see what they were.  I made a point to walk over to him and shake his hand.  It was the very least I could do.

After her appointment, J. wanted to get a bite-to-eat, so we stopped at a restaurant we sometimes frequent. And before our meal arrived, in walked another veteran.  Also with an embroidered cap and patched jacket. Significantly older.  A larger man, with silver hair.  With his wife.

After they were seated and had placed their orders, I got up and walked over to them.  I excused myself, apologized for interrupting, and explained I just wanted to thank him for his service.  He smiled, shook my hand vigorously, and his wife beamed.

Then I saw the identifying patch on his sleeve.

US Patches_0011a

I left hurriedly back to our table, so he wouldn’t see me cry.

Remember The Living

vetToday is Veteran’s Day.

A day set aside to remember those who fought in service to this country. many of whom still remain with us, many still fighting demons, bureaucracies and political enemies.  And those who are not.

The Living Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Seamen and Marines.  Some remaining in service; some who left it, but all who have not forsworn their oaths.

As we take time to remember those who have passed in service on Memorial Day, please take a moment today to remember The Living.

Call, visit, and if possible shake the hands of those with us, and say, “Thank you for your service!”

Rob, Lonnie, Glenn, Glenn, Mark, John, Stan, Jim, Jodie, Ardith, John, and Gloria.


“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”  –  George Orwell

In The News

No, not the story you thought…

(Although my thoughts and prayers are with the dead, wounded and their families and friends in Oregon.)

Brian Terry

Associated Press

A jury has found two men guilty of murder in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death exposed the botched federal operation known as Fast and Furious.

The jury found Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza guilty of all counts. Jurors had begun deliberations Wednesday afternoon, a week after the trial began in federal court in Tucson.

Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, and Soto-Barraza were part of a five-man crew that planned on robbing drug smugglers when they encountered Agent Brian Terry and three others on Dec. 14, 2010.

(Reports are they will receive life in prison…)

additionally, from Fox News

The killing led to intense political rhetoric as Republicans sought to hold the Obama administration accountable over the Fast and Furious operation. They conducted a series of inquiries into how the Justice Department allowed guns to end up in the hands of criminals.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt after he refused to divulge documents for a congressional investigation into the matter. Since then, the Justice Department has focused on arresting and trying all suspects involved.

About f’n time!
Now, what about the charges against Holder et al for complicity, conspiracy and obstruction?I’m not holding my breath…

A Not-So-Gentle Reminder

For those not paying attention to the calendar…

sept 11


And prayers and good thoughts for the victims, first responders and survivors.

And woe be to those who committed and continue to commit such heinous acts!

The World Turned Upside Down, Part Dos…

A report at The Navy Times in July confirmed that one of the Marines shot during the Chattanooga terrorist attack exchanged fire with the terrorist. Navy Lt. Cmdr Timothy White also shot back at the terrorist.

But rather than being celebrated as a hero, Lt. Commander White may be charged for discharging a firearm on federal property.

Allen West reported this week that Lt. Commander Timothy White

This is obscene!  Nothing more needs to be said.
(courtesy of Brock Townsend)
THIS JUST IN – The Navy reports they are NOT going to charge Lt. Commander White!  I wonder if this is a reversal of opinion, or the story was previously misreported?


Memorial-Day-Dog-3In memory of all who served;

Some gave all…


ALL who gave all in service to The Republic.

It’s more than barbeques, people!

“Everything That Is Not Licensed Is FORBIDDEN”

or verboten!

In Massachusetts:

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rules that a stun gun is a “dangerous and unusual” weapon, and thus not protected by the Second Amendment, so banning them is fine.

Given that police are issued tasers, I’d say that qualifies as “in common use”  (Say Uncle)

minutemenFunny.  I seem to remember a bunch of guys named Adams, Hancock and Revere who were all BOSTONIANS!

I wonder what THEY would say regarding how their State has devolved into The Land of Petty Power and Control?

RE:  The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts…


The Foul Legacy Of Thomas Jefferson


Now, I’ve said before numerous times in this blog (and in real life) that I love this Nation, warts-and-all!  I understand that so doing can be a complex, and sometimes confusing endeavor.

Yes, Jefferson owned slaves.  And he even took Sally Hemmings to Europe.  And may have fathered a child with her. (DNA evidence does not exclude his brother as the father, which was also a possibility).  And yes, she was a slave – had absolutely no choice.

But, I’m not here to debate this.

Jefferson was a great mind, who coalesced theoretical ideas of John Locke (that Social Contract guy) into one of the great documents in human history – The Declaration of Independence.  He and the Founding Fathers designed this Nation, and he devised the 3/5 compromise, setting the stage to grow this country as a confederacy and for freeing the slaves a couple of generations later.

Yes, he was human.  A widower.  And alone much of his life.

Now comes this:

Citizen offers Proclamation to rid Charlottesville of the “foul legacy” of Thomas Jefferson (link)

Send In The Clowns: The Charlottesville Circus(link)

 The “council meeting” at Charlottesville is an example of the war strategies of the enemies of freedom and the South. It isn’t a deep, intricate strategy but it is effective. It goes something like this:

1. Call a meeting of the local governing group to ostensibly hear the “voice of the People.”

2. Make sure that the “People” who support the agenda of the governing group (or at least its majority) know that they will have free rein in that meeting no matter what “opening remarks” are made calling for civility and proper conduct.

3. Fill the audience with people for whom “civility and proper conduct” has no meaning other than the restraints under which their opponents will be held.

4. Permit the meeting to degenerate into chaos with the larger and louder group shouting down and intimidating those who have come to participate in what they thought was the democratic process; it isn’t.

5. Have the media carry the story that whatever “plan” is being considered by the “governing body” has the approval of the people and that those who objected were “racists” or in a small minority.

Result? They win (again), we lose (again) and the cultural genocide goes on. We have got to stop thinking that such spectacles as the Charlottesville “meeting” represent a condition of social anarchy and that these “meetings” simply indicate the failure of local government to control the attendees. No such thing! It is as orchestrated as a ballet with the exception that those who are not “in” on the program find themselves trying to make order out of chaos and because most of the time our side is well bred, polite and considerate, we get our collective backsides kicked from here to Sunday.

You should really go and read all of it.

That way, you can determine from where this “foul legacy” truly emanates.  (Here’s a hint –  It’s NOT Jefferson!)

h/t Free North Carolina

McCain = Kerry

Conservative media folk like to paint John Kerry as a defacto traitor.  Or at least as a wimp.  His Swift Boat companions did derail him, albeit temporarily.  And now he’s out there making innocuous statements about war, terrorism and Iran.  As the United States’ Secretary of State.

Who knew?

Speaking of who knew (this is what’s known as a segue – albeit a poor one) RINO Arizona Senator John McCain has always been a mystery to me.  Sometime-Republican, sometime-conservative, sometime NOT, the man has made more waffles than the WAFFLE HOUSE!

And now THIS:

The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.

Eighteen months ago, TAC publisher Ron Unz discovered an astonishing account of the role the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, had played in suppressing information about what happened to American soldiers missing in action in Vietnam. Below, we present in full Sydney Schanberg’s explosive story.

* * *

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

Mass of Evidence
I always thought that the guy (or gal) who occupied Barry Goldwater’s Senate seat should be more conservative.  or at least more principled.  Perhaps he’s just as crooked as his opposite number, Hillary Clinton!?

A Humble Remembrance

A loyal and (sometimes) vocal follower of this tiny blog pointed me in a direction I’d somehow overlooked, in local history:

35 years later, we should remember fallen firefighter

Ed Gaiki

Ed Gaiki

Ed Gaiki.

I’d not heard or thought of his name in many years.  Thirty-five years ago, I was still living in this town, before I got married and a year later bought a house with the wife and moved to ‘the big city’.

(excerpted from the above link)

Ed was the only firefighter to die in the line of duty in this town’s firefighting service in it’s history.

…As they arrived, smoke was rising from the roof of the Jumbo Bagel Deli, at the end of the strip center.

Within five minutes of the call, Gaicki and eight other firefighters would go into building to search for people and the source of the smoke. Within 15 minutes, the roof collapsed, flaming wood pancaking down onto the nine firefighters.

Deputy Chief Gary Ells, the only remaining active firefighter who was there that night, was one of those trapped. Four of the men got out quickly. News reports at the time describe how four others, including then-Capt. Ells, had to crawl through the building, beneath the remnants of the flaming roof, eventually having to share an air tank before they were rescued.

One man didn’t make it out alive.  (January 15, 1980)

He was 27 years old.

A memorial service on the anniversary of his death will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Gaicki Park, 5616 South McClintock Drive. (January 15, 2015)

“… I think it’s also important to keep the story alive as a reminder to the rest of us, of the men and women who serve us every day and sometimes pay dearly for it.”  – Deputy Chief Gary Els

Since that time, much personal history has passed.  We had a daughter, got divorced, lost the house, and our daughter passed away.  And I never got to go into ‘public service’, as I had wanted.  I probably didn’t remember, as I’d been just married two weeks before (January 1).

Regardless, we should always remember those who gave their all, whether in the armed services, police or the fire departments.  We owe them that measure, minimally.

Thanks, Ed.

h/t The Arizona Republic, KM

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw



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