Showing posts with label D-Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label D-Day. Show all posts

Monday, April 20, 2020

"More than a footnote" inspirational story of Martha Gellhorn

More than a footnote

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 20, 2020

My buddy Gunny likes to try to top me on discovering things I did not know. Well, he succeeded this morning. He told me about Martha Gellhorn. Funny thing is, he stumbled on her looking for something else.

As I listened to him tell me a little bit about her, I thought it would be a very inspirational story to share, especially while most of the country is under shelter at home restrictions. We all need something to inspire us, and yes, that includes me too.

It is very hard to even attempt to find something inspirational to share, when you do not even want to get out of PJs. Lately either I have been on Facebook sharing videos on cats, dogs or other animals from my sweet friends...or really sick jokes I am usually embarrassed by how hard I am laughing.

Anyway, before I get too carried away with that, back to Martha. She was married to Ernest Hemingway. Noteworthy as it is, they met while she was a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. She was on the beach on D-Day after being a stowaway and got her hands on a nurses uniform. The list of accomplishments in her life goes on and on, but the thing that got me was, for all she accomplished, she still felt like a footnote in Hemingway's life.

That is exactly how my buddy Gunny found her a footnote.
The writer Martha Gellhorn, who reported on the Spanish Civil War for The New Yorker, and from the beaches of D Day in a nurse’s uniform. Photograph from AP / Shutterstock

Martha Gellhorn, Daring Writer, Dies at 89

New York Times
By Rick Lyman
Feb. 17, 1998
Martha Ellis Gellhorn, who as one of the first female war correspondents covered a dozen major conflicts in a writing career spanning more than six decades, died on Sunday at her home in London. She was 89.

Ms. Gellhorn was a cocky, raspy-voiced maverick who saw herself as a champion of ordinary people trapped in conflicts created by the rich and powerful. That she was known to many largely because of her marriage to Ernest Hemingway, from 1940 to 1945, caused her unending irritation, especially when critics tried to find parallels between her lean writing style and that of her more celebrated husband.

''Why should I be a footnote to somebody else's life?'' she bitterly asked in an interview, pointing out that she had written two novels before meeting Hemingway and continued writing for almost a half-century after leaving him.

As a journalist, Ms. Gellhorn had no use for the notion of objectivity. The chief point of going to cover anything, she felt, was so you could tell what you saw, contradict the lies and let the bad guys have it.

"Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival."Martha Gellhorn

Right now, it is hard to get through all of this but that quote is something we should hang onto. "Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival." No matter how bad it is right now, when you think about all the things this woman went through, she survived all of it and lived to a good old age.

If it sucks for you right it does for most of us, try to think back about other times when it sucked. When you didn't know how you would get passed it and then suddenly you did. We will get passed this too and there will be joy again. We will see our family and friends again. We'll be able to hug our kids and grandkids. We will get through this because right now there are angels moving all around us to make this world a better place in whatever way they can.

Enjoy the following about Martha and trust me, you jaw will go back into place when you are done with this.
read it here

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

“Candy Bomber” — will always be a hero in the eyes of the German children

'Candy bomber' joins tens of thousands on base for 70th anniversary of Berlin Airlift’s end

Published: June 10, 2019

WIESBADEN, Germany — Retired U.S. Col. Gail Halvorsen — better known in these parts as the “Candy Bomber” — will always be a hero in the eyes of the German children who grew up in postwar Berlin, no matter how old they grow.
Retired U.S. Col. Gail Halvorsen greets spectators after arriving at the 70th anniversary commemoration of the end of the Berlin Airlift at Clay Kaserne airfield, Monday, June 10, 2019. BRIAN FERGUSON/STARS AND STRIPES

Seventy years after the lifting of the Soviet blockade that cut off the German capital from food, fuel and other essential supplies, those children still remember the delight of a chocolate bar tied to a makeshift parachute dropping from the sky.

On Monday, amid a grand celebration at Clay Kaserne airfield to commemorate the end of the Berlin Airlift, some of those children, now well into their 70s, thanked Halvorsen for an act that not only took the edge off their hunger but gave them hope during the bleak years after World War II.

“I’m very, very thankful,” Vera Mitschrich, who was 5 when the largest postwar relief operation began, told Halvorsen on Monday. “I’m so proud of you. You gave us hope. You gave us food. I never, never will forget you.”
read more here

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Paratrooper Veteran Jumps In D-Day Rerun at 97!

97-Year-Old U.S. Paratrooper Veteran Jumps In D-Day Rerun

NBC News
Published on Jun 5, 2019

Tom Rice was with the 101st Airborne Division on 6th June 1944 as they parachuted into Nazi-occupied France, at night and under fire.

'Ready! Go!': I Jumped Out Of A Vintage WWII Plane For D-Day

June 6, 2019

Luke Sharrett is a freelance photographer and contributor to NPR. He is based in Louisville, Ky., and has had a lifelong interest in World War II.

This week, the world is marking 75 years since the D-Day invasion. On June 6, 1944, wave after wave of American, British, Canadian and French military personnel descended upon northern France's coast by air and sea in one of the largest military operations in history — a tipping point for World War II.

As the anniversary approached, I started planning a pilgrimage to the hallowed shores and hedgerows of Normandy. I needed to pay my respects to the brave men who cracked Adolf Hitler's Atlantic Wall of defenses.

This desire propelled me into the ranks of the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team. Based in Frederick, Okla., the team is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to remembering, honoring and serving the memory of our ever-dwindling WWII veteran population. We accomplish this by performing round-canopy static line parachute jumps dressed in authentic WWII equipment at air shows and veterans' events around the United States and Europe.
Two British World War II airborne veterans shake hands on the flight line at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. Luke Sharrett for NPR

read more here

Friday, May 31, 2019

Florida veteran saved from suicide marking D Day as alive day

'We Saved the World.' Veteran saved from suicide ready to mark D-DAY's 75th

First Coast News
Author: Jeannie Blaylock
May 30, 2019

Kevin Crowell, a veteran himself, will jump from a plane in Normandy on the 75th Anniversary of D-DAY to honor his fellow veterans from 1944.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Kevin Crowell stands in awe of the soldiers, paratroopers, and sailors who fought on D-DAY in Normandy. "We saved the world. We saved the world from tyranny," he says in reference to the might of the American military effort on June 6th, 1944.

Crowell says it's his time to say thank you to the young men who volunteered to fight off Hitler. "And think of this," Crowell says. "The Americans who died left their homes and left their farms and left their families and left their town to fly across a giant ocean and go serve."

Crowell is particularly focused on the paratroopers. Some 13,000 American paratroopers jumped behind enemy lines to clear the canals, bridges, and gun nests of the Germans to enable the soldiers' assault onto the Beaches.

According to Dr. Rob Citino, Senior Historian for The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, the paratroopers were critical. "They discombobulated the Germans."

Crowell is fired up about making a jump this D-DAY in a drop zone in Normandy. As a veteran member of the 82nd Airborne himself, he says he's practiced jumping in replica drop zones at Ft. Bragg. Now, in France, he'll jump into the real ones.

Crowell is also celebrating his own personal victory. He came home from Iraq to face a major struggle with PTSD. He'd seen his buddies blown up in an IED attack. He even planned a suicide attempt.

It failed, though. "I passed out and found myself the next morning. I felt it was my second chance." He says his service dog, Bella, from K9s for Warriors is a huge factor to his turning his life completely around. Bella even wore a cap and gown at Crowell's college graduation.
read more here

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

D-Day and the heroes who were there

101st Airborne Division in History: D-Day June 6, 1944
June 6, 2018
Clarksville NowGen. Dwight Eisenhower gives the order of the day “Full victory – Nothing else” to paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division at the Royal Air Force base in Greenham Common, England, on June 5, 1944, just hours before the men board their planes to participate in the first assault wave of the invasion of the continent of Europe. (Photo: AP)
The Invasion of Normandy started as a landing operation on June 6, 1944 on the beaches of Normandy, France by Western Allied forces during World War II against German-occupied western Europe. 

The initial assault was marked as D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history. 

A staggering 156,000 British, American, and Canadian forces landed on the five beaches of the Normandy region. The Battle of Normandy lasted from June to mid-July 1944, resulting in the liberation from Nazi Germany.
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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Veteran of WWII and Korean War Proves PTSD is Not New

A veteran's life of triumph and tragedy
WUSE 9 News
Bruce Leshan
November 4, 2016
Next Thursday, the French Embassy will give Col. Gabriel one of its highest honors: a French knighthood, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
ALEXANDRIA, VA (WUSA9) - On Veterans Day next week, Colonel Arnald Gabriel will be just where he's been for decades: conducting a symphony and remembering lost comrades.

In his 91 years, the Army and Air Force vet has seen several lifetimes worth of triumph and tragedy.

He is one of the few vets left to remember what it was like to land on the beaches of Normandy in that first wave on D-Day.

He didn’t think he would survive.

“Gosh no,” he said. “Scared to death.”

Gabriel was a 19-year-old machine gunner. He said there are no words or movie that can give any of us a sense of chaos.

“If you watch Private Ryan and multiply it by 100, maybe that will come close to what the carnage was really like,” he said.

He marched across Europe to Germany with his two buddies, Harry Ashoff and Johnny Arrowsmith. On Jan. 9, 1945, a German shell hit the trench where they were sheltering.

“Those two buddies will remain with me forever,” he said, his voice breaking.

In a book just out, The Force of Destiny, Gabriel's son describes how he returned home and buried himself in work to deal with the mental anguish now called post-traumatic stress disorder.

When the Korean War broke out, Gabriel volunteered again. This time as a conductor for the Air Force Band. And for 34 years, Gabriel was a military band director. He played with some of the biggest stars of the day.

“Shirley Temple, Edward G Robinson, Peter Graves,” Gabriel said.
read more here

Friday, July 22, 2016

WWII Veteran Banged Up During Ride to VA

90-year-old Veteran injured in Medicaid funded wheelchair van ride
I-Team: Transport company has troubling past
ABC Action News
Adam Walser
July 21, 2016

“His arm was bloodied and he had a lump on his head from a blow to the head,” said Schaer. “My father's on blood thinners, so I know a blow to the head like that could kill him.”
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Blood, a bump on the head and dehydration were the result of a wheel chair van ride Vernon Johnson recently took home from his doctor's appointment.

Your tax dollars paid for that ride, but the company that gave it has had other trouble in the past.

In 90 years Jacobson has had plenty of close calls , starting with D-Day.

As a young Coast Guardsman, he drove troops to shore on a barge.

But it’s his latest close call that had the potential to do the most damage.

“The wheels must have left the ground,” he said, describing the wild ride.
read more here

Monday, June 6, 2016

WWII D-Day Veteran Proves PTSD Far From New

Las Vegas D-Day veterans will never forget June 6, 1944
June 5, 2016

Firecrackers on the Fourth of July or even the smell of diesel fuel is enough to trigger horrible flashbacks that have been etched in Onofrio Zicari’s mind since June 6, 1944.

World War II veteran Milton Duran holds up the front page of the Onaway newspaper at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center on Friday, June 3, 2016.
(Loren Townsley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
An Army private in the 5th Amphibious Brigade, he landed in the fifth wave on Omaha Beach during that deadly Tuesday on France’s Normandy coast.

“The last man off the boat got hit. The boat got knocked out. Three sailors and my buddy got killed,” he said Friday, during one of his regular post-traumatic stress disorder classes at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center.

“I was scared, man. I was scared,” he said.

Those from his outfit who made it through nearly neck-high water to reach “Red Easy” beach were pinned down for five hours by machine-gun fire from a German pillbox on a cliff.

“I said a confession and said, ‘Lord, take me, take me,’” he said. “I wasn’t afraid to die, But I was scared.”

Bleeding from shrapnel wounds in his knee and shoulder, he “looked over and saw this G.I. sitting on his helmet,” Zicari recalled.

“And he’s just holding his guts … He kept laughing at me and saying, ‘I’m going home! I’m going home!’ I don’t know if he ever made it. He was a redhead. I’ll never forget him,” said Zicari, a draftee from Geneva, New York.
read more here

Friday, June 5, 2015

Patriotic Video Needed No Words Said

Tomorrow is a reminder of the men and women putting their lives on the line everyday. It happened on June 6, 1944 D-Day
On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. The cost in lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat Adolf Hitler’s crack troops.
A coworker shared this video with me this morning. She knew I'd get a bit misty eyed. It was a Food City commercial for July 1, 2013.

It shows a large group of people getting ready for a 4th of July BBQ. Great reminder that while we all seem so ready to celebrate the time off of work, it is also a great time to remember what the real day is all about. July 4th is about our Independence and we cannot forget the men and women who put their lives on the line since then to retain it.
"At Food City, we honor those people that serve and protect our country, and we know that without the men and women who watch out for us, we would not have any of the luxuries we do. We are the land of the free because of the brave and we salute you!"

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Chicago WWII Veteran Receives France's Legion Of Honor

France honors Chicago-area World War II veteran
Chicago Tribune
By Gregory Pratt
March 7, 2015

Almost 71 years ago, Leonard Goldstein stormed a Normandy beach during the D-Day invasion. On Saturday, the 100-year-old veteran received the Legion of Honor from the French government for his bravery.

Goldstein, who was born in Chicago and raised his family in Skokie, was one of many soldiers who fought to liberate France during that battle that changed the course of history.

Vincent Floreani, the French consul general in Chicago, pinned the medal to Goldstein's chest after a ceremony at Alden Estates in Barrington where he thanked Goldstein and all the American soldiers "who were ready to sacrifice their lives for France and Western Europe" during World War II.

"Many did not return, but they are in our hearts and fortunately, Mr. Goldstein, you are among us to help us remember," Floreani said.

The Legion of Honor was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is the "highest honor" the French can bestow.
read more here

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dr. Keith Ablow insulting article on PTSD veterans

Returning home from D-Day when PTSD did not exist
By Dr. Keith Ablow
Published June 06, 2014
To do what they did, they had to withstand crashing waves of the fight-or-flight neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Yet they ultimately had to control their fears, with millions of neurons in their brains pouring out substantial amounts of the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. If their minds were made of muscles, theirs were running the equivalent of a full marathon.

Just because he doesn't know something was going on doesn't mean it wasn't. The government had been doing all sorts of things to WWII veterans.
After WWII, vet endured a life of shell shock
By Elizabeth Shestak
Posted: Monday, Jan. 09, 2012

When Bill Johnson returned from World War II, his family immediately knew there was something different about him.

In letters his mother wrote to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, she spoke of his restlessness, inability to hold a conversation, difficulty making friends, and new behavioral ticks.

"If you could know this boy now and before he went in the service, you couldn't believe it was the same boy. It is hard on me to watch him every day with no improvement. I have hoped so hard," she wrote.

She wrote this in 1950, nearly five years after he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after serving a tour in Italy. His family, namely his mother, spent decades petitioning the U.S. Army to acknowledge the changes in Johnson and claim them as service-related. It seemed simple to them - he was one way before entering the army, and another afterwards, going from "normal" to debilitated and dependent.
read more of this here

WWII Shell Shock YouTube videos has plenty of videos you can see. Another movie to watch about this is The Best Years of Our Lives from 1946.

My husband's Dad and his uncles fought in WWII. One was killed at the age of 19. Another was on a merchant Marine ship hit by a kamikaze pilot. He ended up with shell shock but back then veterans like him were given a choice. Be institutionalized for the rest of his life or go live on a farm with other veterans. He picked the farm.

My Dad was a Korean veteran but my uncles served in WWII as well. They understood PTSD and combat. The night my Dad met my husband he said, "He seems like a really nice guy but he's got shell shock."

Here is yet one more story to show that Dr. Ablow owes PTSD veterans an apology, but I doubt they'll ever get it.
Report: VA lobotomized 2,000 disturbed veterans
Army Times
December 11, 2013

The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans — and likely hundreds more — during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal.

“They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy,” Roman Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot, told the newspaper in a report published Wednesday. “To hell with them.”

Tritz said the orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned him to the floor, and he initially fought them off. A few weeks later, just before his 30th birthday, he was lobotomized.

Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals, according to the report.
read more of this here

D-Day for veterans

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 6, 2014

This should be Veterans D-Day in more ways that one. Veterans are the reason Americans live free. So why is it that politicians expect them to just settle for what they get no matter how bad it is?

Some people are shocked with what has been going on at the VA but truthfully veterans and families are not that shocked since we live with it everyday. We follow the news all the time. We know that this isn't about Democrats or Republicans being in control over our destiny.

We saw it, lived it and paid for politicians telling us that veterans and their families mattered for too many generations.

Just since troops were sent into Afghanistan and Iraq we saw it get worse as more money was being spent because no politician planned for the return of disabled veterans.

Anthony Principi became Secretary of Veterans Affairs in 2001. Replaced by Jim Nicholson who walked into $1 billion mess of underfunding.
"Within months of taking office at the VA, Nicholson had to deal with a $1 billion shortfall at the agency, requiring the administration to appeal to Congress for emergency spending.

James Peake replaced Nicholson in 2007.
The VA's backlog is between 400,000 and 600,000 claims, with delays of 177 days.

Nicholson in May pledged to cut that time to 145 days, but he has made little headway with thousands of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan returning home.

Veterans were dying waiting for their claims to be approved all those years and the years that followed but no one seemed interested in actually fixing anything. We knew it wasn't about one party over another. The last two years of the Bush Administration, Democrats had control of the House and the Senate. We saw what the Bush Administration left the Obama Administration, just as we saw what the Clinton Adminstration left Bush.

Let the rest of the population play politics. Veterans are still a debt owed no matter who is in control. Stop leaning left or right and start standing up for yourself. Vote as if your life depends on it knowing the lives of those who come after you depend on it too.

When you hear a politician say that veterans matter on days like today remember they have yet to prove it.
D-Day Draw: Why Normandy Still Lures Americans, 70 Years Later
June 6, 2014

Americans still arrive by the score on the sands of Normandy more than 70 years after Allied forces stormed the shore there -– drawn by a desire to connect with the audacious landing that happened, for many, well before they were born.

Normandy’s beaches, cliffs, gun bunkers and cemeteries -– site of the June 6, 1944 Allied landings that turned the tide of World War II –- mark a place where Americans truly stood together, according to sightseers and guides.

“We won there, but we won at tremendous sacrifice,” said Thom Cartledge, who visited Normandy in 2011 to honor his uncle, Thomas J. Sullivan –- an Army private killed in action during the operation.

“To make all of that possible, folks back in America had produced airplanes and ships at record speed. They worked overtime. They didn’t demand extra wages. Everybody pulled together. That’s not a sentiment we see a lot today,” Cartledge added. “Some people come because, for them, that’s also what Normandy represents –- it dawns on them that America really is a pretty cool country."

Or, as Edward Piegza, founder of Classic Journeys travel firm, describes Normandy: “It’s a unifying place for our country, an uplifting place where there is a common feeling of right over wrong.”

Each year, about 1 million people stroll the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, according to the American Battlefield Monuments Commission. That makes the memorial, the final resting place for 9,387 troops, the most visited graveyard among the 25 cemeteries tended by that federal agency.

“There are so few battlefields that Americans can name. But everybody knows the Normandy beaches,” said Mark Sullivan, France editor for Fodor’s Travel Guides.

Some of that historic resonance flows from the miles of film shot on D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history. That morning in 1944, some 60,000 Americans, Brits, Canadians and other Allies stormed a 50-mile swath of the Nazi-fortified coastline from more than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft.
read more here
Veterans have been suffering for decades.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Marine Gen. John Kelly Gave An Amazing D-Day Anniversary Speech

Marine Gen. John Kelly Gave An Amazing D-Day Anniversary Speech
San Francisco Gate
Geoffrey Ingersoll
provided by Business Insider
Saturday, June 8, 2013

A few days ago, I posted a speech Marine General John Kelly gave to eulogize two brave Marines who greeted certain death with a handful of hot lead and a pair of wide open eyes.

Well, just yesterday, Kelly gave another unforgettable speech at the 5th Marine Regiment Operation Enduring Freedom Memorial Dedication ceremony.

In a thick Boston accent, Kelly touched on the inherent multiculturalism in the Marine Corps, as well as the very nature of military service, best characterized by the word "sacrifice."

Then he eulogized all the lost Marine infantrymen of the 5th Marine Regiment ( — next to the dirty 1st — ) the most decorated and experienced regiment in the Marine Corps.

Kelly himself lost a son to combat in Afghanistan, and he related directly with the families of those who fell in America's most recent wars.
read more here

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Dirty Dozen" World War II hero James "Jake" McNiece passed away

WWII Hero, Inspiration for 'The Dirty Dozen,' Dies
Jan 23, 2013

World War II hero James "Jake" McNiece, whose behind-the-lines exploits helped inspire the film "The Dirty Dozen," has died, family members said. He was 93.

McNiece, a retired postal worker who spent most of his adult life in Ponca City, Okla., but lived his last years near family in Springfield, Ill., passed away Monday, The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported.

McNiece led a group of soldiers nicknamed "The Filthy 13" on a paratroop mission behind German lines in the hours before the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion by Allied forces.

Their mission was to destroy bridges and prevent German reinforcements from moving into Normandy and retreating forces from leaving.
read more here

Monday, November 1, 2010

Soldier's remains repatriated after 66 years

Soldier's remains repatriated after 66 years
Oct 26, 2010

By J.D. Leipold

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 26, 2010) -- Just 10 days after the sand and blood of Normandy's beaches, on the heels of D-Day, 2nd Infantry Division Ranger Staff Sgt. John R. Simonetti lay prone in the hedgerows on the outskirts of the sleepy, deserted town of St. Germain d'Elle, zeroing in with his grenade launcher on a German machine-gun nest.

As the New Yorker sighted in on his target, a German sniper hidden in the town's church bell tower was squinting through his scope's cross-hairs on the 26-year old. Before the GI could pull off his round, the German squeezed off his.

Zzzzip... the bullet tore through Simonetti's throat, tumbling down, taking out a rib, lodging in his lower abdomen, killing him instantly. On the day Simonetti lost his life -- June 16, 1944 - more than a third of the remaining 300 men in his company would go down, and before the war ended, the 2nd Infantry Division would spend 337 days in action in five campaigns and loose 2,999 Soldiers.

The fighting was nothing short of brutal. Back and forth went the momentum, but eventually the American troops prevailed. Following what become known as the Battle of the Hedgerows and the capture of St. Germain d'Elle, the townspeople returned to what was left of their buildings and homes, the little church with the bell tower destroyed, the milk factory leveled.

Worse than the destruction of the village was the countless dead American and German Soldiers, lying in grotesque positions where they'd fallen, sometimes next to each other, victims of each other's weapons.

read more here

Soldier's remains repatriated after 66 years

Monday, June 7, 2010

WWII vets, observers mark D-Day anniversary

WWII vets, observers mark D-Day anniversary

The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Jun 6, 2010 13:14:14 EDT

COLVILLE-SUR-MER, France — Veterans and those grateful for their sacrifices have marked the 66th anniversary of the D-Day landings, remembering the invasion that turned the tide of World War II.

U.S. Army veteran William Duane Bush, wearing a military jacket, raised the American flag at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, which overlooks Omaha Beach. It was the first time Bush, 93, of Lincoln, Neb., had returned to Europe since the war’s end.
read more here
WWII vets, observers mark D-Day anniversary

Monday, June 8, 2009

Veterans lament low number of Central Florida D-Day events

Veterans lament low number of Central Florida D-Day events
By Eloísa Ruano González Sentinel Staff Writer
June 7, 2009

Queen Elizabeth wasn't the only person disheartened about the 65th anniversary of the World War II D-Day landings after she initially wasn't invited to join President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy for a commemoration at the Normandy beaches.

Veterans in Central Florida were more disappointed when little was done Saturday to remember the thousands of U.S. troops who died during the massive Allied invasion. With the exception of a two-day celebration at the DeLand airport that kicked off Saturday, special events were absent throughout the region.

While some residents — many who served in other wars — planned to hang American flags to honor the soldiers, other people swarmed shopping centers and malls with little knowledge of the event that happened more than half a century ago.

"Veterans find that very disturbing," Cmdr. Thomas Roberts of the Winter Park American Legion said. "It was the greatest invasion that took place ... thousands died."
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Veterans lament low number of Central Florida D-Day events

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

D-Day veteran: "The horror I saw"

D-Day veteran: "The horror I saw"

US veteran Robert Sales was dropped on the beaches of Normandy as part of the D-Day landings, a crucial turning point in the war with Nazi Germany.

In one of the biggest military exercises in history, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops on 6 June 1944. On D-Day alone up to 3,000 Allied soldiers died, with 9,000 wounded or missing.

As the world prepares to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the operation, Mr Sales reflects on his experience, admitting, "I had never dreamed of a disaster like this".

Friday, May 29, 2009

UK:WWII veteran finally diagnosed with PTSD

Perhaps one of the most troubling things about PTSD is the lack of awareness veterans have. They may not know exactly what is "wrong" with them, the cause of their suffering, but they are acutely aware they are suffering. It is not just that they can remember in detail something that happened years ago, it's that they cannot forget any of it. How can they when nightmares bring it all back? When flashbacks bring it all back triggered by anniversaries of the event, smells, sounds, movies and TV reports?

All you need to do is to go to any of the memorials for the fallen and watch a veteran as he or she spots a name of someone they knew to witness the ravishing pain they carry while they are transported back in time to the days when they lived side by side.

PTSD is not new. It's as ancient as mankind. Throughout the centuries man has gone into combat and survivors have carried the scars within their soul. Read any account of military campaigns from ancient Romans and Greeks and see the wound. Read the Old Testament and the accounts of warriors from Moses, to Judges, Kings and the psalms of David. Read the accounts of Native Americans and see this wound exposed. There is no escaping PTSD unless we can escape being human.

The military is still attempting to train the troops to be "resilient" and toughen their minds to overcome PTSD but in the process they are telling the troops if they are wounded by PTSD, it's their own fault, they were too weak to prepare, they are mentally deficient and not as good as the rest of their company. The basis for this problem is that the military does not seem to have the ability to understand anything about PTSD to know what kind of damage they have been doing with program like Battlemind.

Battlemind begins by telling them they can prevent PTSD as if this is possible. Is it possible to stop being human? To stop being a caring person, sensitive to others? It is no more possible to prevent being wounded by PTSD than it is to repel a bullet headed for exposed body parts. The only thing they can prevent is PTSD claiming so much of the soul of the warrior that it become irreversible. While PTSD comes with different level of cuts, much like an infection eats away until antibiotics are applied, PTSD eats away at the individual until therapy is applied. Between the onslaught of the trauma and the time they begin to talk about it, it is claiming more and more of territory. One traumatic event followed by another cuts deeper into the soul. If the first cut is not treated the open wound allows a pathway for the invader to have free access.

We have to remember that PTSD does not come from within. It comes from an outside force and enters into the soldier. Much like PTSD enters into a police officer, firefighter, victim of crimes, accidents and natural disasters, the difference is the number of strikes received. Warriors are wounded deeper because of the number of times they come into contact with traumatic events. The cuts are more numerous than what a police officer or firefighter encounters but they also suffer from PTSD, yet we are more likely to understand the trauma affecting a civilian following a criminal act than understanding them being exposed to it over and over and over again.

George McMahon's actions 65 years ago were rewarded with the Military Cross and PTSD. He knew there was something wrong but was never treated for the wound he carried away with him. He is a testament to the heart of the warrior, strength to carry on while walking wounded through life and his family is testament to the suffering of families across generations also wounded by the wounded.

McMahon proved courage in battle eliminating any thoughts of the uninformed that PTSD has anything to do with not being courageous enough. He is also an example of it never being too late to seek help. The sooner treatment of this wound begins the better the outcome but even after 65 years there is hope of him healing some of the scars he has carried all these years.

Mr McMahon's son-in-law Bill Tyson, 54, said: "They told us George is likely to be suffering from PTSD.

"Personally, I feel guilty that he has suffered for so many years without us realising it.

WWII vet told he has war illness

A D-DAY hero has been told he is suffering a stress related illness picked up in battle — 65 years AFTER he was the first Brit to storm an enemy beach.

WWII vet George McMahon, who was the first soldier on Sword Beach in Normandy, France, had revealed he is still suffering terrifying flashbacks from June 6, 1944.

And Army docs have told the 89-year-old war hero he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) picked up during WWII.

Mr McMahon's family first sought help from docs when the ex-soldier talked vividly about the war in the lead-up to the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

Mr McMahon of Kirk Ella, Hull, was then visited by the Service Personnel and Veterans' Agency — part of the Ministry of Defence — who said he was displaying PTSD symptoms.

The Scotland-born Army vet who served with The King's Regiment Army was awarded the Military Cross for storming two machine-guns.

He said of his D-day flashbacks: "It is still so fresh in my mind. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning.

"I was the first man to land. I was not going to wait to be shot, so I jumped off the side of the landing craft into the water and ran."

Although not able to discuss Mr McMahon's case MoD officials said: "Anniversaries tend to trigger an increase in people coming forward for help to deal with their trauma.
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WWII vet told he has war illness

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Normandy D-Day Monument unveiled

Monument honoring Navy's D-Day efforts is unveiled in Normandy
By Matt Millham, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Sunday, September 28, 2008

SAINT-MARIE-DU-MONT, France — It’s been more than 64 years since Irving Shapiro was last in Normandy, and he had at least a couple of good reasons for not wanting to go back.

Each of them earned him a Purple Heart on D-Day, June 6, 1944, when, as a sailor aboard LST 492, he made two trips to and from Omaha Beach —Bloody Omaha, as it’s sometimes called — to drop off men and equipment and to pick up the dead and wounded.

Now in a wheelchair, something drew him back to Normandy and to the memories he said he’s tried hard not to think about.
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