Browsing: Hero of the week

On September 12, 2001 America woke up to this iconic image. A huge flag was draped over the side of the Pentagon as military and civilian employees went back to work in the still-burning building, both actions serving to notify the world that our national resolve could not be shaken by random acts of terrorism. What most of us do not know is that a smaller version of the flag was posted on the roof on the night of 9/11. According to a news report by Laura Evans of Fox 5 out of Washington, D.C., she was approached by an…

Although there are Americans in harm’s way right now, and although we vow to never forget, I think that some of us do. And then, unexpectedly, we stumble upon a video that brings it all back again and renews our commitment to remember those who have fallen, those who bear the scars, and those who still serve in dangerous, far away places. Click on the video to watch a touching, dignified airport ceremony for a fallen Soldier. We who were in the military sometimes forget that there is an American spirit that resides within all of us – not just…

Anyone who rides a motorcycle will tell you that Sturgis is happening right now. For those not familiar with Sturgis, it is a small town in South Dakota that attracts thousands of riders each year for its motorcycle festival. This year, Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel (see video below) was injured in a crash on the way to the event. He went into surgery on Tuesday and is recovering at a local hospital. If you would like to send your best wishes to him, you can send him a card at: Gary G Wetzel PO Box 84 Oak Creek,…

From the USCG website: “The U. S. Coast Guard is simultaneously and at all times a military force and federal law enforcement agency dedicated to maritime safety, security, and stewardship missions. We save lives. We protect the environment. We defend the homeland. We enforce Federal laws on the high seas, the nation’s coastal waters and its inland waterways. We are unique in the Nation and the world. The Coast Guard has been in service in one form or another since August 4, 1790.” Now THAT is a mission statement! On August 4, 1790, President Washington authorized the, “…construction of ten…

Jack Davis, legendary cartoonist, diehard Georgia Bulldog, and Navy veteran, died last week at the age of 91. His death sent shock waves throughout the nation. He joined the Navy in World War II, serving in the far east. When he came home he embarked on one of the most successful illustration careers in modern times. He was one of the original “Gang of Idiots” at MAD Magazine, and was famous not only for his unique style, but also for being one of the fastest caricaturists on the planet. The New York Times ran a nice article about Jack, and…

I just received a beautiful brochure celebrating the retirement of Lieutenant Commander Dan Saulnier, who retired after thirty-six years of loyal and dedicated service to the Royal Canadian Navy. He was an engineer, and in his retirement program I found this excellent poem that dramatically describes life in the hole. The Men Who Sail Below Now each of us from time to time, has gazed upon the sea. And watched the warships pulling out, to keep this country free. And most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale. About the men who sail these ships, through…

Clarence Busch only spent twenty-three of his ninety-nine years in the Navy, but those twenty-three years left an indelible mark on him and those who knew him. Like most men his age, he served in World War II, but unlike many of his generation, he served before the war as well. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and was witness to the beginning of the great world conflict that was about to unfold. He saw the end of it too, as well as the entire Korean War. His goal had been to match Bob Hope and…

On June 30, 1863, 170,000 men approached a quiet Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg, having no idea that one of the bloodiest and most important battles in American history would begin within twenty-four hours. 75,000 of them – the Army of Northern Virgina – were under the command of General Robert E. Lee. They were being pursued by 95,000 Union troops under Major General George Meade, who was careful to keep his army positioned between the rebels and Washington, D.C. The South’s goal was to force an engagement against the Army of the Potomac and win, then sue for peace with…

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 and officially continues to this day. It is the story of a lightning fast surprise invasion by more than 100,000 North Korean soldiers that engulfed almost all of South Korea within a few days. It is also the story of a stubborn and desperate resistance in the southern tip of South Korea – the Puson Perimeter – after the initial invasion. The refusal to surrender prevented the North Koreans from consolidating their hold on the country, and kept the door open for the Inchon invasion in September. Other storylines emerged too. One…

The word passed quickly among old shipmates today that our Captain, Michael B. Ferguson, had passed away on Saturday. He died where he loved to spend time, on the sands of Dam Neck, Virginia. He was my first Commanding Officer. He took command of USS COOK (FF1083) right after her collision with USS MARS (AFS 1) in the summer of 1979 – one of the most challenging situations a ship’s Captain can inherit, since he would not only have to ensure major repairs were completed on time, but also heal the morale of a crew that invariably would suffer after…

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