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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Archive for American Heroes
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Archive for the “American Heroes” Category

I’m working today (after all, aren’t all vets supposed to?), but on the way home, I’ll stop by a cemetery and spend a few moments looking at the plain marker in the ground and planting a small flag. It isn’t particularly different than any other marker, it includes a name, Wallace Coleman, birth date and date of passing to his Eternal Reward. Also inscribed on that small piece of granite is World War 2.

I came to know Wally, as I finished my State Police Auxiliary Trooper training and was assigned as a probationary officer. Wally was my platoon leader during this initial 6-months evaluation period, before receiving my permanent appointment.

At the time each platoon, in addition to their assigned evening shift, was also assigned to a Sunday day shift during the “beach” season, to assist with the extensive traffic along the I-95 corridor. Wally being of one of those nearly indeterminate ages, was having some vision problems, and barely able to complete the firearms re-qualifications required of all sworn troopers. As such, Wally chose not to drive during his day and evenings shifts and I found myself being his driver/partner during those Sunday day-shift patrols.

Wally was a stern, yet gentle leader, that commanded respect in a quiet manner. His sheer size, with no neck, 5-lb ham–sized fists and shiny dark teak-colored skin also gave him a tough look in spite of the close-cropped gray haircut. His uniform was alway immaculate and it was immediately understood that anyone not appearing as sharp as he did, would be written up and the item corrected before leaving the troop.

As we got to know each other better, he learned that I had been in the Navy Submarine Service and he opened up a little. I learned that he had grown up in the deep south and saw the Navy as an opportunity to better himself, learn a useful trade and serve his country in spite of it’s blemishes of the ongoing racism, still prevalent in society. The memory is a bit faded but I recall, Wally joined sometime in 1940 and decided that the Submarine Service was the way to go. Our military at the time, continued to be segregated in that blacks were severely limited to the ratings they could serve in and Wally was assigned to Steward (Cook/Waiter) school in a class of 50 others.

He graduated and was assigned to the fleet and completed his submariner’s qualifications in record time, and was advanced in rank accordingly. During this pre-war period, the Navy also found another talent Wally had, boxing. The Navy’s policy encouraged physical fitness and boxing was highly enjoyed by all, with unofficial wagering on the outcome of various tournaments that were held in-port. Wally quickly advanced to and became the All-Pacific Champion and also prevailed over the Australian All-Navy Champion as his boat was home-ported in San Diego but forward deployed to Darwin Naval Base.

Wally loved the land down under, as his color had no impact on what and where he was permitted. Also he met and fell in love with a girl that would later become his wife while there. December 7, 1941 broke up the idyllic life of a sailor in the south Pacific theater and he found himself on war patrol, often engaged in special missions, moving about and retrieving the courageous Aussie Coast Watchers. Moving into littoral waters on these missions put the boats at risk without sufficient depth to submerge and avoid the enemy. During the war years, Wally was a crewman on three subs, the first two being sunk by enemy action and he was lucky enough to survive along with a few shipmates each time and received decorations for each. (I suspect one was the Navy Cross, indirectly learned by a few old mates at the funeral, but typical of his personality, he refused to admit it). His comment was “I just did what I had to, helping my shipmates.”

With the end of the war, Wally now advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer decided to continue his Naval Service and was assigned to Submarine Base New London. As an aside, he was one of only 4 of his original Steward training classmates that survived. He completed numerous tours of both the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas. He became extremely fond of the UK, and Scotland in particular, as visiting there he received a King’s Welcome among his fellow Freemasons.

Wally and his wife quietly lived and raised two children, became a deacon in a local church, joined the State Police and following his Navy retirement took a part-time job “to keep busy” in his words, at the newly built casino nearby. He was first and foremost a man of quiet dignity, that respected each man as he deserved. In spite of his increasing years he never lost the immense strength of that young man the boxer. I personally witnessed him stiff-arming a 200 lb miscreant onto the hood of a cruiser, sliding him hard enough to knock the goblin out against the windshield.

Wally developed further medical complications and reluctantly he was de-certified for patrol duties and spent the rest of his service to the state in administrative capacities.

In 1992, the L_rd called Wallace Coleman home. Another veteran of the ‘Greatest Generation’ was called home to his Creator and shipmates. He was afforded a full-military funeral from the State Police with Honor Guard, Pipers and a Firing Squad along with the Masonic Funeral rituals. I was honored to be a pall-bearer, taking my old friend to his final rest. The crack of the rifles brought a finality to our mortal friendship.

So to my friends here, today when you think of the millions of Vets that have gone before, put in a word for Wallace A. Coleman, Chief Steward, USN. I’m sure he’s rather busy, keeping St. Peter’s sailors in good chow and hot coffee.

Fair Winds and Following Seas my friend, save me a good rack will ya?

Comments 8 Comments »

At 11:00 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent. The costliest war in human history to that point was over. Men who just a few moments ago would have killed each other cautiously stood in their trenches and entered no mans land. The War to End All Wars was over.

Thus eventually began the holiday of Armistice Day, to commemorate the service of all the Dough Boys, Marines and Sailors who had fought in WWI. After the hopeful optimism that war itself had ended was proven to be false in 1939-45, and again in 1950-53, the holiday was changed to Veterans Day to remember all who have ever served our nation. Our Canadian brethren celebrate November 11th as Remembrance Day, their version of our Memorial Day.

While Memorial Day is to honor those warriors who have paid the last full measure of devotion, today is for the living. Today we honor all those who have worn the uniform. Or at least thats what it is supposed to be. However in far to many parts of the country it’s just another federal holiday, a day to grumble that the banks are closed and that the post office won’t be delivering our daily quota of bills and junk mail.

But not to the people of Dos Palos California. In this small enclave of patriotism and American values nestled in the Central Valley, they remember. They know. And they have decide that Veterans Day will not just be one day where the students of Bernhard Marks Elementary School host a parade. It will be remembered every day. For you see in this small town of forty-eight hundred souls, of true patriots where both the Mayor and Police Chief are Marines, they have erected a $50,000 granite Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the elementary school.

The 28 foot long, 7 feet high, and 8 inch thick memorial bears the names of over 1200 of Dos Palos’ sons who have served since the Civil War. One of those is Don Sorg. He and four of his brothers served during WWII in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. “I’m the only one left” he said. “This is end, I’m 89, and I just love to see this, kind of tore me up a little bit”. Don isn’t the only one. Since it’s unveiling, misty eyed vets can be seen at most all hours scanning the names inscribed on the wall, searching for the school friend they served with; seeing their own name, once again being transported back through time to when they were young, and when they bore the heavy burden of guarding freedom lightly upon their then strong shoulders; once again wearing their nations uniform with pride.

So while the patriotic Veterans Day parade happens but once a year, the memorial will serve as a daily reminder to the students of Marks Elementary of service to something greater than ones self, an attribute in abundance in Dos Palos.

This memorial, this sacred shrine, has been erected entirely through private donations, including over $4,000 raised by the students of Marks Elementary School. The Memorial Committee has so far raised about $35,000, and is in need of another $15,000. Donations can be made by calling the school at (209)392-2311.

By the way, one of the names on that granite wall, one of those Dos Palos sons who proudly bore the burden of freedoms defense, is our own beloved LC Caveman, to whom I owe the credit for this post. Because you see, if it had not been for him I, like you, would never have known just how much the true greatness of this nation is alive and well in a small town called Dos Palos.

Thank You Caveman, and a hearty and grateful Thank You to all of my fellow veterans who have ever worn the uniform of the armed forces of the United States of America.

los-palos-vets-memorial-5.jpg

Comments 13 Comments »

I first discovered the Rottweiler in November of 2004, just as Operation Al Fajir, the Second Battle of Fallujah, was beginning. MOUT fighting, or Military Operations in Urban Terrain, is the most dangerous and difficult type of warfare there is. From Stalingrad, to Aachen, to Hue City, house to house combat is up close, savage, and brutal. I knew that the Marines and soldiers clearing the vipers nest of Islamofascists in Fallujah were doing it down and dirty when I saw a photo of Marines preparing to clear a house. Each and every one had a bayonet attached to their rifle. In this age of push button warfare, laser and GPS guided bombs, and UAV’s which can read a license plate from 20,000 feet, these grunts were destroying the enemy with the oldest weapon in the infantryman’s arsenal, cold steel. Cold steel, and an even stronger resolve.

As I watched the battle unfold live on network TV, I told my son that there would be stories of heroism coming out of that battle that would rival any from any previous war. And so it was with Sgt. Rafael Peralta, USMC.

Give us more, O Emperor! »

Comments 19 Comments »

As many of you are aware, Gen. Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, passed away in Columbus Ohio Thursday. On August 6 1945, his crew dropped an atomic bomb named “Little Boy” on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, which combined with the dropping of “Fat Man” on Nagasaki three days later forced the Japanese to surrender. Every US soldier, sailor, and Marine waiting to invade Japan breathed a sigh of relief. Many of them were veterans of past amphibious assaults and held no illusions about what awaited them. One of them was my uncle Ed who remained convinced until the day he died that his number was up if they had to invade. Like he had told me, “A man has just so much luck, and I burned through what I had on Iwo.” Instead he passed a quiet tour of occupation duty in Nagasaki.

Later, the anti-nuke crowd and historical revisionists would try and cast aspersions on the “morality” of using nukes on an entrenched and fanatical enemy who preferred death over surrender. The Smithsonian even tried to change a display on the Enola Gay into an ant-war, anti-nuke propaganda hit piece. Protests from WWII vets ended that, even though the curators remained unapologetic over their slandering of a true hero.

The Japanese were determined to fight on. They had an untouched air force hidden in caves, still had millions of men under arms, and were even training school children to fight with bamboo spears. If we had been forced to invade, easily 1 million Americans would have been killed or wounded, and I believe the entire Japanese race would have been destroyed. By dropping that bomb, the war was ended and lives saved. Period.

In Col. Tibbets’ own words, “I didn’t bomb Pearl Harbor. I didn’t start the war, but I was going to finish it.”

Unfortunately, the Hate America Firsters have decided that we were a vengeful nation and that Japan was a victim. Tibbets has requested that there be no funeral or headstone, fearing it would give his detractors a place to protest.

My uncle would have a few choice “words” for anyone who dared desecrate the memory of this great man.

Sleep Well General Paul Tibbets, and know that many who would surely have died, American and Japanese alike, lived and loved because of you and your crew.

Requiescat in pacem .

Comments 52 Comments »

It’s been a long time coming.A lot of blood..a lot of grief, the crackle of weapons fire, faces..names..videos of deaths that have sickened even the most hardened of men, creating a visceral, gut tearing hate and white hot rage.

They sought to sow seeds of terror and destruction..they were answered in soldier’s coin, one by one, the 3rd Cavalry hunted them down and wiped them out..or engaged them in battle and forced them to flee, like the craven, cowardly heartless scum that they are.

In the heat of the desert sun, over the roar of the engines, the hum of the radios..the tramp of weary feet in the streets of Baghdad, Ramadi, Al Anbar, Fallujah….over them all comes a triumphant call to victory.

A lined, weatherbeaten face, worn down by years of sandstorms, grief, fear, terror…and finally, he lifts his eyes unto God and exuberantly cries with joy.

CAN YOU HEAR HIM, O MIGHTY WARRIOR?

Hear him, ye fierce of heart..and know that your loved ones, and many you never know, are bursting with pride, our eyes filled with tears of elation,you are so far, far away…and our gratitude and love knows no limits.

Here is the sound of victory, here is what you have worked so hard for,..what you have fought for..bled for..died for…

This is why we fight.

Link

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city.

Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.

NAJIM ABDULLAH ABID AL-JIBOURI
Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq
October 29, 2007

(Note: Added “blockquotes” it for clarity—B.)

Comments 65 Comments »

Another Monday, another installment in LC 0311 Crunchie, Imperial Military Historian’s excellent series. I do believe that this one is going to make the room you sit in feel like it suddenly got full of dust, because that’s certainly what it did for me.

Take it away, Crunchie:

“Greater Love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.
St. John 15:3

I often think of these words, spoken about our Lord Jesus Christ, when I read of our warriors’ heroics and contemplate what motivates them to do the deeds they do. Is it really possible for a man to so love his comrades that he willingly sacrifices his life for them? And I do not mean in an abstract way by losing his life while serving his country, but in the visceral, immediate, and deliberate choice to willingly lay down his own life so that others may live.

Diving on a grenade to save your buddies may seem an overused cliché from jingoistic war movies of days gone by, but it has in fact happened so often as to give you pause and make you say “My God, they really did that”.

Twenty-two Medals of Honor were awarded to Marines and Navy Corpsman (and one Navy LCI commander) during the three week long battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, nearly a quarter of all the Medals of Honor awarded to Marines during WWII. Of those, an amazing eight of them were for Marines who willingly dove on grenades to save their comrades. Think of that for a second. You are in a fighting position, or a shell crater, huddled with your brothers in arms when a sizzling instrument of death lands amongst you. Could you, in a half a heartbeat, make the decision to smother it with your own body to save the others? What could possibly motivate those that do? That instant of self sacrifice can not be a thought out decision, but an immediate indicator of the true nature of ones character.

I believe that it is not hate that motivates the American warrior to do what he does, but love. Love of his fellow Marine or soldier. Love of his nation and the ideals it strives towards. And love of us. Each and every one of us, the American citizen peacefully enjoying the freedom they pay for.

Give us more, O Emperor! »

Comments 20 Comments »

It’s Monday, and so LC Crunchie 0311’s excellent series, “Unsung Glory”, continues with the story of SFC Paul R Smith. Take it away, Crunchie!:

Last week you read of Lt. Michael Murphy being posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. On Tuesday President Bush will formally present the medal to Lt. Murphy’s family in a ceremony at the White House.

Most of you know that the Medal of Honor is the highest award for battlefield valor that our nation can bestow, awarded to individuals who distinguish themselves “…conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States…” and is held in such esteem that it is presented personally by the President in the name of Congress. Often mistakenly called the Congressional Medal of Honor, due to it being the only medal to be presented in their name, over the years it has become almost iconoclastic in the reverence for which it is held. So much so that President Truman once said “I would rather have the blue band of the Medal of Honor around my neck than be president”.

When our nation was first formed there were no medals for bravery, they being viewed as “smacking too much of European affectations” and contrary to the egalitarian ideals of the Revolution. There were however three Badges of Military Merit awarded by Gen. Washington during the war. These were the original genesis for the Medal of Honor today. On December 12, 1861 President Lincoln signed Public Resolution 82 which created the Medal of Honor for the US Navy and Marine Corps. On June 12 1862 an Army medal was authorized by Congress and both were made permanent in 1863.

Prior to WWI the criteria for receiving a Medal of Honor were not as stringent as they are today. In fact, there were 1522 awarded in the Civil War, compared to only 124 for WWI, 464 for WWII, 131 in Korea, and 245 in Viet Nam. In 1916 the War Department, in an effort to curtail abuse of the Medal and ensure its prestige and prominence, reviewed every citation for the Medal of Honor and revoked 911 of them in what became know as the “Purge of 1917”.

To illustrate the prestige the War Department sough to protect, since its inception, 3459 medals have been awarded to 3,444 individual recipients, (including nine unknowns). That is 144 years, seven major wars, and countless smaller engagements in which millions of our nation’s sons have gone in harms way, and only 3459 acts sufficient to be awarded the Medal.

There are currently only 109 living recipients, and the last Medal of Honor awarded to a living recipient was presented to Lt. Bruce Crandall on February 26th 2007 for his actions of November 14, 1965 at the Battle of Ia Drang (memorialized in the book and movie “We Were Soldiers Once…”). Since the Viet Nam war, there have been, including Lt. Murphy’s, only 5 acts of bravery for which the Medal of Honor has been awarded. All five have been posthumous.

Which brings us to the subject of this week’s Unsung Glory, Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith.

Give us more, O Emperor! »

Comments 19 Comments »

It’s Monday, so it’s time for another of LC Crunchie 0311’s excellent posts praising the heroes that the MSM wants us to forget about. In this case, the New York Slimes (may their stock value continue to plummet) took the “prize” for refusing to mention today’s hero with a single word.

But hey, we’re sure that the New York Seditionists have a staff full of Medal of Honor recipients (awarded for bravely not passing out from paper cuts or withstanding the unholy terror of brain freeze at the water cooler), so it’s probably no big deal to them.

Anyway, who cares about the New York Al-Qaeda Times? Today is about Lt Michael Murphy.

Take it away, LC Crunchie:


LT Michael “Mikey” Murphy
It was a warm summer afternoon of June 28, 2005 in the Konar province of Afghanistan. Laying in hiding on a ridge of the 10,000 foot tall Sawtalo Sar Mountain was a four man team of Navy SEALs led by 29 year old Lt. Michael Murphy from Patchogue NY. Also in Lt. Murphy’s SEAL Team 1 of elite warriors were Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny Dietz, 25, a communications expert from Colorado, Petty Officer Matt Axelson, 29, a scratch golfer from Cupertino CA known as the “perfect sniper”, and Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, 29, a karate expert from Texas, whose back bore a tattoo of half of a trident, the SEAL insignia. His twin brother, also a SEAL, wore the other half.

Their mission, dubbed Operation Red Wing was to capture or kill a high ranking jihadist know as Ahmad Shah. Under the nom de guerre of Muhammad Ismail, the 30 something year old terrorist led a group of Pashtun fighters known as the “Mountain Tigers”.

Before it was over, the mission would result in the worst loss of life in the SEALs 45 year history, with a total of 11 SEALS killed in action, along with eight soldiers from the Army’s 16th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), the “Nightstalkers”.

Give us more, O Emperor! »

Comments 26 Comments »

It’s Monday, so it’s time for this week’s installment of Unsung Glory, courtesy of LC Crunchie 0311.

This week’s story doesn’t involve charging into a hail of fire, but it’s no less heroic because of that. As a matter of fact, to one little Iraqi boy and his family, U.S. troops will forever be their biggest heroes.

Without further ado, we hand it over to Crunchie:

Heroism isn’t always about acts of courage on the field of battle. Very often though they do center on saving the life of another.

Everyone knows the Marine Corps official motto, Semper Fidelis. A lesser known unofficial motto, or perhaps description is a more appropriate word, is “No greater enemy, no better friend”. To quote Maj. Gene Duncan, “Civilians will never understand how a Marine can kill with one hand and caress with the other”. Marines have always had a soft spot for children, especially in the war zones they have found themselves in since 1775, which brings us to this weeks Unsung Heroes.

On March 9, 2007 Marines from Scout Platoon, HQ and Service Co., 4th Tank Battalion (coincidentally the same Battalion Crumb Crunchie is to be assigned to once he learns how to shoot a $180,000 TOW missile without killing himself) were traveling down a main road in the area of Fallujah when they stopped to investigate a possible IED. Marines posted on security watched through binoculars as a car further down the road lost control and flipped several times, finally landing on its roof.

Now there was a dilemma. They had a suspected IED, and a car crash. Was one, or both, a diversion for an ambush? Were they in the kill zone now? Was there a kill zone at the scene of the accident?

The patrol maintained its perimeter and soon determined that the IED was a false alarm. They then raced to the scene of the accident and set up perimeter security. Petty Officer 3rd Class Maurell D. Higginbottom was the 22 year old Corpsman assigned to the patrol. He began to asses the family who had been riding in the car and were now sitting in shock at the side of the road. Several Iraqis were also trying to help the family.

Then the father pointed at the overturned car and yelled “Baby!” Alarm bells went off in the Marines heads and several rushed to the car and began a frantic search for the missing child. They could not find one however.

Refusing to give up the search for an injured baby, Marines crowded around the overturned car and lifted it on its side, discovering the badly wounded body of a 5 year old boy. Staff Sgt. Juan Verdura, a 29-year-old platoon commander from Miami, grabbed the boy and yelled for Doc Higginbottom.

Doc Higginbottom immediately went to work, opening the boy’s airway and treating him for shock. The boy was breathing now but badly injured.

Sgt. Christopher P. Olloqui, the Patrol Commander called for a Medevac and within minutes a CH46 Sea Knight was inbound. All of the family had varying degrees of injuries from the accident and were taken aboard the chopper and flown to Camp Taqaddum Surgical Center.

S/Sgt Verdura flew with the family to Camp Taqaddum;

“When the doctor came out and told me everyone was stable I felt a wave of relief pass through me,” he said. “Looking at the little boy, who (resembled) my little nephew really hit home to me.”

Sgt. Olloqui, the 23 year old Patrol Commander, told Lance Cpl. Randall Little, a Combat Correspondent for Regimental Combat Team 6; “I’m very glad we were there to help these people. That’s the whole reason why we’re here.”

Considering the limited emergency services available in Iraq, if Sgt. Olloqui, Doc Higginbottom, and the rest of those Marines had not been there, it is very likely that the little boy would have died.

A minor and inconsequential incident in a large war. Unless you’re that family, or more so a 5 year old boy who is still alive thanks to the Unsung Heroes of HQ and Services Co., 4th Tank Battalion.

Note: To all the Dog Faces out there, I promise this will not be a Marine exclusive feature, it’s just harder to find acts of Army heroics :) Just kidding, I have plenty of ‘em.

Comments 32 Comments »

Our very dear friend, LC Crunchie 0311, was reading “No True Glory” by Bing West and, at the end, got to thinking:

What happened to telling the stories of our heroes? Everybody knows about famous, historical battles all the way back to Troy, and you would think that with the possibilities that today’s technology carries with it, it would be the easiest thing in the world to make sure that our warriors’ noble and heroic deeds would live on forever in the minds of generations present and future.

Of course, that doesn’t quite fit with the pussified “progressive” mindset that we’re all supposed to embrace today (not to mention that it most certainly wouldn’t fit with the political agendas of most of the “storytellers” with the biggest bullhorns, i.e. the MSM), Heaven forbid that we should ever glorify such brutal, dirty, un-nuanced business as fighting and dying! Best to just let those uneducated brutes go about their necessary business while the rest of us safely ignore the fact that there’s a dangerous, nasty world outside our comfy gates, and that we only reside in safety here thanks to the warriors whose deeds we so shamelessly ignore and refuse to give credit to.

There are snapshots of Slutney Spears’ snatch to plaster all over the front pages, after all.

Anyway, Crunchie had an idea and, true to form, it was annoyingly brilliant. So annoyingly brilliant, in fact, that I promptly had to steal it. And as if that wasn’t enough, I then proceeded to volunteer him to do the footwork required for its implementation while stealing all the credit for it. Oh yes, I am that evil! Except my little scheme might have worked better if I hadn’t just told you all about it.

Let’s have a weekly tribute to one of our heroes, let us share the story of a warrior of ours, because that is all a warrior craves. To be remembered. He wants no riches, he wants no personal glory, he just wants for him and his brothers in arms to be remembered. Well, we can do our bit to help there, can’t we?

So with a lot of help from Crunchie to whom the credit should go for the write-up, here’s our first hero:

SGT Aubrey McDade Jr., USMC, receives the Navy Cross for bravery “in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and performed in such a manner that it set him apart from his or her shipmates or fellow Marines.”

At the time of his actions, SGT McDade was a machine gunner attached to 1st Plt, Bravo Co. 1st Bn. 8th Marines during Al Fajr, the second battle of Fallujah. It was November 11, 2004, one day after the 231st birthday of the Corps. That was a birthday the Marines in Fallujah, like so many Marines before them, had celebrated under fire. They still performed the cake cutting tradition whenever the ebb and flow of combat permitted, but with MRE pound cake instead of the more delicate and sweet fare of previous, more peaceful Birthday Balls.

And today, the day after the celebrations, the Hajis were planning to spoil the occasion. A sister company had been bogged down in an ambush, and Bravo Co. rushed up to help their comrades. On the way, they themselves came under fire from Hajis wearing Iraqi Security Forces uniforms, yet another violation of the Geneva Conventions that the liberals think should only apply to our forces, and within minutes three Marines had been severely injured by enemy fire.

Making things worse, the rest of Bravo Co. was still under heavy fire, fire intensifying furiously whenever somebody tried to move from cover to help their injured brothers. Without regard for his own safety, SGT McDade decided that he was going to go get ‘em, no matter what. His Gunny told him that, were he to be injured out there, they’d be unable to get him out of there immediately.

“That’s OK”, SGT McDade answered, “just don’t let me die out there.”

With that he stripped off all of his gear except for his Kevlar helmet, flak jacket and M16, and dashed into the fire swept alley, relying on speed to carry him the few hundred feet to the closest of the wounded Marines. Enemy fire was so intense that it was catching the dry bushes around him on fire as he stripped the gear off of Lance Corporal Andrew Russell, whose leg had been nearly severed by the enemy fire.

McDade slung Russell over his shoulder and ran the gauntlet of fire to his own position, enemy rounds cracking by every step of the way. “The rounds were getting real close to me, so I just tossed Russell as far as I could and just laid down in the road,” McDade later said. “When it lightened up, I drug him the rest of the way to the CCP.”

But there were still two more Marines out there, so McDade wasn’t done yet. After having miraculously survived an almost suicidal dash to get to his brothers once, he ran, dove, and crawled from cover to cover until he reached the next Marine, L/Cpl Christian Dominguez. “He was a little-bitty fellow, so I made him take off all of his gear, had him keep his weapon, put him on my shoulder and ran as fast as I could,” Sgt. McDade recalled.

Cpl. Nathan Anderson was the last Marine. By the time Sgt. McDade was ready to go back out for his third trip, tank support had arrived and had cleared a path to the grievously wounded Marine. Compared to the first two trips, the last was a cake walk. But it was unfortunately too late for Cpl. Anderson, who was already dead when Sgt. McDade reached him. Many of the Marines there with Sgt. McDade that day thought that Anderson was dead before McDade made his first run, but McDade insisted on going anyway.

McDade didn’t want the medal at first, because he knew that he would receive accolades for the medal, not for what he and his Marines had done. When he later accepted it, he made it clear that: “I got it for the Marines who have fallen and for all the Marines who have done great things and never been recognized. This award, I’m accepting it for me, but at the same time I’m accepting it for all the Marines who go before and after me.

”Now a drill instructor, McDade shares the story with his recruits, but while other DI’s tell McDade’s story early on, he himself waits until the Crucible.

“I don’t want them to listen to me because I have a medal,” he said. “I want them to listen to me because I’m a Marine.”

Semper Fi, SGT McDade. You’re a credit to the uniform, an invaluable asset to our nation and an example for all of us to follow.

And you are right. You are but one of many. May we never forget.

OO-RAH!

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