Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts

Monday, April 22, 2019

Protesters in Paris shouted "Kill yourselves!" at police officers

Outrage after some French protesters urge police suicides

By The Associated Press PARIS
Apr 21, 2019

Police unions held silent protests Friday after two officers killed themselves last week. Unions say police ranks have seen 28 suicides so far this year, compared to 68 over all of 2018.
Police advance on protestors during a yellow vest demonstration in Paris, Saturday, April 20, 2019. French yellow vest protesters are marching anew to remind the government that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn't the only problem the nation needs to solve. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
With French police suicides on the rise, Paris authorities are investigating yellow vest protesters who encouraged police to kill themselves.

Radical protesters have clashed with police nearly every weekend for five months on the margins of largely peaceful yellow vest demonstrations demanding more help for France's beleaguered workers, retirees and students.

On Saturday, Associated Press reporters heard some protesters in Paris shouting "Kill yourselves!" at police firing tear gas and rubber projectiles and charging the crowd to contain the violence at the 23rd weekend of yellow vest demonstrations.

Police unions denounced the protesters' call as an unacceptable insult to the officers who have killed themselves and their suffering families. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called it a "disgrace" and pledged his support for police and their loved ones, who have been under extra strain as the yellow vest protests have sometimes turned quite violent.
read more here

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Heroic Iraq Veteran/Police Officer killed in France

French officer who swapped places with a hostage in terror attack dies
Nicole Chavez, associate writer CNN Digital
By Hilary Clarke and Nicole Chavez
March 24, 2018
Married with no children, Beltrame had served in the French military police and received a number of awards for bravery. He served in Iraq in 2005, and was given an award for bravery in 2007, Macron said. For four years, he was a commander in the Republican Guard, which provides security at the Élysée Palace, home of the French president.
(CNN)A police officer who swapped places with a female hostage during an attack by an ISIS supporter on a supermarket in southern France has died of his wounds, French authorities said.

Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, 45, was shot in the neck Friday after offering to take the place of a woman during a gunman's assault on the Super U supermarket in Trèbes.

Police found two unexploded homemade bombs, a 7.65 mm pistol and a hunting knife when they searched the market after the attack, a French judicial source told CNN.

The attacker, Radouane Lakdim, 26, a Moroccan-born French national, was a petty criminal already on the radar of French police for his links to radical Salafist networks, authorities said.
read more here

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Angry Army Wives Stage Protest of Their Own

Angry army wives protest in Paris over military working conditions

August 26, 2017
Several hundred women married to French soldiers are holding a demonstration in Paris to denounce the "deplorable working conditions" in the army.
The protest was organised by the group Angry Soldiers' Wives, which has nearly 5,200 members.
AFP/GETTY IMAGES Members and supporters of the Angry Soldiers' Wives group pictured at the protest
Mercedes Crépin, who helped set it up, said some troops on anti-terror duty were being housed in damp hangars infested with cockroaches and lice.
Around 500 people were expected to join the protest, Le Figaro reported.
After the Islamist attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, the French government deployed more than 7,000 soldiers to guard prominent public places and events.
French news sites reported on Saturday that one soldier linked to the operation had shot himself dead on Friday night.
The military wives have several concerns - among them, the lack of support for the families of soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"We feel completely helpless, we do not know how to cope with the condition, how to support our men," said Ms Crépin, whose husband has PTSD after serving in Afghanistan.

Wonder how many would turn out here if we actually fought for our families in this way?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

French Soldiers Guarding Mosque Targeted by Driver

Man runs his car into soldiers guarding French mosque, injured when soldier fires on him
Associated Press
by Elaine Ganley
Posted Jan 1, 2016
“Even if this happened near a mosque, the target was the soldiers,” Mayor Daragon
PARIS – A man rammed his car into four soldiers guarding a mosque on Friday in the southeast French city of Valence, but was stopped when a soldier fired and wounded him, authorities said.

His motives were unclear, but with France on high alert after the co-ordinated attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, determining what, or who, was behind the attack carried a sense of urgency.

One soldier was slightly injured in the leg, and a passerby was hit in the leg by a stray bullet, the interior and defence ministers said in a joint statement.
read more here

Monday, December 21, 2015

Paris Attack Hero Waits for PTSD Help He Can Understand

Hero Brit who survived Paris attacks faces months waiting for counselling
Express UK
By Jake Burman
Sun, Dec 20, 2015
His French girlfriend Sara Badel Craeye, 28, said: "In France we started to see the therapists right away, they say you need to talk about soon otherwise there can be issues in the long run."

"Michael needs the support in English, you can't find the words for trauma in your own language, never mind another language."
Mr O'Connor saved his girlfriend Sara by laying on top of her
Michael O'Connor was hailed after he lay on top of his girlfriend to protect her during the massacre at the Bataclan Theatre during the November 13 atrocities.

More than a month after the harrowing attack the former chef, from South Shields, Newcastle, says he feels "completely alone" after returning to the UK in the hope of getting specialist help.

The 30-year-old faces a 6 week wait to speak to a therapist about the horrific trauma he suffered, when he got in touch with the Talking Matters Cognitive Therapy service run by Insight Healthcare in partnership with Northumberland and Tyne and Wear NHS.

But health bosses insists they are following guidelines which recommend a "watchful waiting" period.

The furious victim said: "It is a real indictment of how bad mental health services are.

"The embassy told me I would get the care I needed back at home.

“My GP has been brilliant and so have victim support but it is disappointing I haven't been able to speak to specialist. I feel completely alone."
read more here

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

MOH Capt. Florent Groberg receives tribute at Disneyland

VIDEO: Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg receives tribute at Disneyland
OC Register
Mark Eades
Nov. 22, 2015

Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg got to go to Disneyland on Saturday. He was there to be honored by the Disneyland Resort at its Flag Retreat Ceremony.

Captain Groberg received the Medal of Honor from President Obama on November 12, 2015, for actions in saving lives in Afghanistan in August 2012.

According to the mission report, Groberg was assigned as part of a security detachment for Task Force Mountain Warrior, which was responsible for the safety of 28 coalition military personnel, and civilian officers.
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Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Captain Florent Groberg honored at Disneyland

Sunday, November 15, 2015

West Point Remembers Lives Lost in France

Support for France displayed at West Point 
Army Times
By Stephen Weigand, Staff writer
November 15, 2015
An Army spirit tank with the French flag. (Photo: Eric S. Bartelt/USMA PAO)
Signs of support for the people of France were on display this weekend at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after Friday's deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

French flags could be seen in the stands and on the field Saturday as the Black Knights faced Tulane. The academy's Flickr account shows a photo of a cadet holding the French national flag in the stands, while another shows a spirit tank that was adorned with the Tricolour on the sidelines.

But perhaps the act that grabbed the most attention was when Army defensive back Caleb McNeill carried a French flag onto the Michie Stadium field alongside a French exchange cadet before the game.
read more here

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Medal of Honor Presentation to Captain Florent Groberg

U.S. President Barack Obama awards retired U.S. Army Captain Florent Groberg the Medal of Honor. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the President in Medal of Honor Presentation to Captain Florent Groberg, United States Army

East Room
11:11 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, and welcome to the White House.  A little more than three years ago, as Captain Florent Groberg was recovering from his wounds as a consequence of the actions that we honor today, he woke up on a hospital bed, in a little bit of a haze.  He wasn’t sure, but he thought he was in Germany, and someone was at his bedside talking to him.  He thought it was the lead singer from the heavy metal band Korn.  (Laughter.)  Flo thought, “What’s going on?  Am I hallucinating?”  But he wasn’t.  It was all real.
And so today, Flo, I want to assure you, you are not hallucinating.  You are actually in the White House.  Those cameras are on.  I am not the lead singer from Korn.  (Laughter.)  We are here to award you our nation’s highest military honor -- distinction, the Medal of Honor.  
Now, Flo and I have actually met before.  Three years ago, I was on one of my regular visits to Walter Reed to spend some time with our wounded warriors -- and Flo was one of them.  We talked.  It turns out he liked the Chicago Bears -- so I liked him right away.  (Laughter.)  And I had a chance to meet his parents who could not be more gracious and charming, and you get a sense of where Flo gets his character from.  It is wonderful to see both of you again.  
I also want to welcome Flo’s girlfriend Carsen, who apparently, Flo tells me, he had to help paint an apartment with just the other day.  So there’s some honeydew lists going on.  (Laughter.)  His many friends, fellow soldiers and family, all of our distinguished guests.  A day after Veterans Day, we honor this American veteran, whose story -- like so many of our vets and wounded warriors -- speaks not only of gallantry on the battlefield, but resilience here at home. 
As a teenager just up the road in Bethesda, Flo discovered he had an incredible gift -- he could run.  Fast.  Half-mile, mile, two mile -- he’d leave his competition in the dust.  He was among the best in the state.  And he went on to run track and cross country at the University of Maryland. 
Flo’s college coach called him “the consummate teammate.”  As good as he was in individual events, somehow he always found a little extra something when he was running on a relay, with a team.  Distance running is really all about guts -- and as one teammate said, Flo could “suffer a little more than everyone else could.”  So day after day, month after month, he pushed himself to his limit.  He knew that every long run, every sprint, every interval could help shave off a second or two off his times.  And as he’d find out later, a few seconds can make all the difference. 
Training.  Guts.  Teamwork.  What made Flo a great runner also made him a great soldier.  In the Army, Flo again took his training seriously -- hitting the books in the classroom, paying attention to every detail in field exercises -- because he knew that he had to be prepared for any scenario.  He deployed to Afghanistan twice; first as a platoon leader, and then a couple of years later when he was hand-picked to head up a security detail.  And so it was on an August day three years ago that Flo found himself leading a group of American and Afghan soldiers as they escorted their commanders to a meeting with local Afghans.  It was a journey that the team had done many times before -- a short walk on foot, including passage over a narrow bridge.  
At first, they passed pedestrians, a few cars and bicycles, even some children.  But then they began to approach the bridge, and a pair of motorcycles sped toward them from the other side.  The Afghan troops shouted at the bikers to stop -- and they did, ditching their bikes in the middle of the bridge and running away. 
And that’s when Flo noticed something to his left -- a man, dressed in dark clothing, walking backwards, just some 10 feet away.  The man spun around and turned toward them, and that’s when Flo sprinted toward him.  He pushed him away from the formation, and as he did, he noticed an object under the man’s clothing -- a bomb.  The motorcycles had been a diversion. 
And at that moment, Flo did something extraordinary -- he grabbed the bomber by his vest and kept pushing him away.  And all those years of training on the track, in the classroom, out in the field -- all of it came together.  In those few seconds, he had the instincts and the courage to do what was needed.  One of Flo’s comrades, Sergeant Andrew Mahoney, had joined in, too, and together they shoved the bomber again and again.  And they pushed him so hard he fell to the ground onto his chest.  And then the bomb detonated. 
Ball bearings, debris, dust exploded everywhere.  Flo was thrown some 15 or 20 feet and was knocked unconscious.  And moments later, he woke up in the middle of the road in shock.  His eardrum was blown out.  His leg was broken and bleeding badly.  Still, he realized that if the enemy launched a secondary attack, he’d be a sitting duck.  When a comrade found him in the smoke, Flo had his pistol out, dragging his wounded body from the road.  
That blast by the bridge claimed four American heroes -- four heroes Flo wants us to remember today.  One of his mentors, a 24-year Army vet who always found time for Flo and any other soldier who wanted to talk -- Command Sergeant Major Kevin Griffin.   A West Pointer who loved hockey and became a role model to cadets and troops because he always “cared more about other people than himself” -- Major Tom Kennedy.  A popular Air Force leader known for smiling with his “whole face,” someone who always seemed to run into a friend wherever he went -- Major David Gray.  And finally, a USAID foreign service officer who had just volunteered for a second tour in Afghanistan; a man who moved to the United States from Egypt and reveled in everything American, whether it was Disneyland or chain restaurants or roadside pie -- Ragaei Abdelfatah.  
These four men believed in America.  They dedicated their lives to our country.  They died serving it.  Their families -- loving wives and children, parents and siblings -- bear that sacrifice most of all.  So while Ragaei’s family could not be with us today, I’d ask three Gold Star families to please stand and accept our deepest thanks.  (Applause.)   
Today, we honor Flo because his actions prevented an even greater catastrophe.  You see, by pushing the bomber away from the formation, the explosion occurred farther from our forces, and on the ground instead of in the open air.  And while Flo didn’t know it at the time, that explosion also caused a second, unseen bomb to detonate before it was in place.  Had both bombs gone off as planned, who knows how many could have been killed.  
Those are the lives Flo helped to save.  And we are honored that many of them are here today.  Brigadier General James Mingus.  Sergeant Andrew Mahoney, who was awarded a Silver Star for joining Flo in confronting the attacker.  Sergeant First Class Brian Brink, who was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor for pulling Flo from the road.  Specialist Daniel Balderrama, the medic who helped to save Flo’s leg.  Private First Class Benjamin Secor and Sergeant Eric Ochart, who also served with distinction on that day.  Gentlemen, I’d ask you to please stand and accept the thanks of a grateful nation, as well.  (Applause.)  
At Walter Reed, Flo began his next mission -- the mission to recover.  He suffered significant nerve damage, and almost half of the calf muscle in his left leg had been blown off.  So the leg that had powered him around that track, the leg that moved so swiftly to counter the bomber -- that leg had been through hell and back.  Thanks to 33 surgeries and some of the finest medical treatment a person can ask for, Flo kept that leg.  He’s not running, but he’s doing a lot of CrossFit.  I would not challenge him to CrossFit.  (Laughter.)  He’s putting some hurt on some rowing machines and some stair climbers.  I think it is fair to say he is fit.
Today, Flo is medically retired.  But like so many of his fellow veterans of our 9/11 Generation, Flo continues to serve.  As I said yesterday at Arlington, that’s what our veterans do -- they are incredibly highly skilled, dynamic leaders always looking to write that next chapter of service to America.  For Flo, that means a civilian job with the Department of Defense to help take care of our troops and keep our military strong.  
And every day that he is serving, he will be wearing a bracelet on his wrist -- as he is today -- a bracelet that bears the names of his brothers in arms who gave their lives that day.  The truth is, Flo says that day was the worst day of his life.  And that is the stark reality behind these Medal of Honor ceremonies -- that for all the valor we celebrate, and all the courage that inspires us, these actions were demanded amid some of the most dreadful moments of war. 
That’s precisely why we honor heroes like Flo -- because on his very worst day, he managed to summon his very best.  That's the nature of courage -- not being unafraid, but confronting fear and danger and performing in a selfless fashion.  He showed his guts, he showed his training; how he would put it all on the line for his teammates.  That’s an American we can all be grateful for.  It’s why we honor Captain Florent Groberg today. 
May God bless all who serve and all who have given their lives to our country.  We are free because of them.  May God bless their families and may God continue to bless the United States of America with heroes such as these.   
MILITARY AIDE:  The President of the United States of America, authorized by act of Congress, March 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Captain Florent A. Groberg, United States Army.
Captain Florent A. Groberg distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a personal security detachment commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior, Fourth Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Asadabad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on August 8, 2012.  
On that day, Captain Groberg was leading a dismounted movement consisting of several senior leaders to include two brigade commanders, two battalion commanders, two command sergeants major, and an Afghanistan National Army brigade commander.
As they approached the provincial governor’s compound, Captain Groberg observed an individual walking close to the formation.  While the individual made an abrupt turn towards the formation, he noticed an abnormal bulge underneath the individual’s clothing.  Selflessly placing himself in front of one of the brigade commanders, Captain Groberg rushed forward using his body to push the suspect away from the formation.  Simultaneously, he ordered another member of the security detail to assist with removing the suspect.  At this time, Captain Groberg confirmed the bulge was a suicide vest.  And with complete disregard for this life, Captain Groberg, again, with the assistance of the other member of the security detail, physically pushed the suicide bomber away from the formation.
Upon falling, the suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest outside of the perimeter of the formation, killing four members of the formation and wounding numerous others.  The blast from the first suicide bomb caused the suicide vest of a previously unnoticed second suicide bomber to detonate prematurely with minimal impact on the formation.
Captain Groberg’s immediate actions to push the first suicide bomber away from the formation significantly minimized the impact of the coordinated suicide bombers’ attack on the formation, saving the lives of his comrades and several senior leaders.
Captain Groberg’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of his life on keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, Fourth Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division, and the United States Army.  (Applause.)
[The benediction is offered.]
THE PRESIDENT:  That concludes the formal portion of this ceremony.  I need to take some pictures with the outstanding team members, as well as the Gold Start families who are here today, as Flo reminds us this medal, in his words, honors them as much as any honors that are bestowed upon him.  And on Veterans Day Week, that is particularly appropriate.   
I want to thank all of our servicemembers who are here today, all who could not attend.  And I hope you enjoy an outstanding reception.  I hear the food is pretty good here.  (Laughter.)  
Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)  Give Captain Groberg a big round of applause again.  (Applause.)  Thank you.
11:28 A.M. EST

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Army Capt. Florent Groberg Dedicates Life To Those Died

Medal of Honor recipient Groberg: 'Now I have a big responsibility'
Stars and Stripes
By Corey Dickstein
Published: October 28, 2015

WASHINGTON — Army Capt. Florent Groberg left Afghanistan in 2012 with a mangled left leg that required more than 30 surgeries and confined him to a hospital bed for three months. It was the most difficult time of his life.

“All you can do is sit there with your own thoughts for hours and hours and hours and hours,” he told Stars and Stripes on Monday. “You don’t sleep, you’re on drugs for the pain and things like that.

“All I could think was just, ‘How?’”

In Afghanistan, Groberg was charged with protecting a formation of senior leaders on Aug. 8, 2012. When an insurgent armed with a suicide vest attacked the group, Groberg tackled him, and the vest exploded. The Army said his actions that day saved many lives.

For his heroics, Groberg will receive the Medal of Honor on Nov. 12 from President Barack Obama.
During the tedious hours of recovery, Groberg discovered the answer: He was alive. And he realized he could dedicate his life to honor the four people who did not survive the attack in Abadabad: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin, Air Force Maj. Walter David Gray, Army Maj. Thomas Kennedy and Ragaei Abdelfattah, a USAID foreign-service officer.
read more here

Oct 28, 2015
US Army Capt. Florent Groberg talked about the anticipation of receiving the Medal of Honor during an interview at the Pentagon. Groberg will be honored with the medal on November 12, 2015, by President Barack Obama after being recognized for his bravery for tackling an Afghan suicide bomber who aimed to harm his fellow servicemen

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fort Carson MOH Says Medal Opportunity to Talk of Lives Lost

Fort Carson Medal of Honor recipient: Medal belongs to those who died
The Gazette
By: Tom Roeder
Updated: October 23, 2015

Capt. Florent "Flo" Groberg says the Medal of Honor that President Barack Obama will hang around his neck Nov. 12 will never truly be his own.
Capt. Florent Groberg watches the Change of Command ceremony for the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at the Fort Carson Special Events Center. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
The retired Fort Carson officer says the medal is really for the four men who died Aug. 8, 2012, after Groberg tackled a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

The Army says Groberg's actions, which left him with severe wounds to his legs, saved the lives of other soldiers and set an example of valor and gallantry that will be honored through history. Groberg, in a telephone interview from the Pentagon, says he was just doing his job for Fort Carson's 4th Brigade Combat Team.

"I don't feel really comfortable with it," he said of America's highest decoration for combat valor. "But it gives me a chance to talk about the four guys that were lost and their families."
Those four are Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray, 38, of Conyers, Ga.; Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, N.Y.; Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, 45, of Laramie, Wyo. and State Department worker Ragaei Abdelfattah, 43, of Annapolis, Md.
read more here

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

French Native To Receive US Medal of Honor

Soldier who fought in Afghanistan will receive Medal of Honor
Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
October 14, 2015
U.S. Army 1st. Lt. Florent A. Groberg, officer in charge for personal security detail, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division enjoys the view from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter traveling over the Kunar province July 16, 2012. U.S. ARMY
WASHINGTON – A French-born soldier will become the tenth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Afghanistan, the White House announced Wednesday.

Capt. Florent Groberg, 32, will be awarded the nation’s highest military honor by President Barack Obama during a ceremony planned for Nov. 12.

He was engaged in combat in Kunar Province – a deadly double-suicide attack that killed four – and injured while serving as commander of a personal security detachment for a task force in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, according to media reports and the White House.
read more here

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Spencer Stone's Condition Upgraded After Stabbing

Before stabbing, famed airman was inside where 'whole club was cheering' 
The Sacramento Bee (Tribune News Service)
By Tony Bizjak, Sammy Caiola and Bill Lindelof
Published: October 10, 2015
A promoter at the club introduced Spencer to the club DJ, who also is in the military. “They pulled him up onstage and introduced him to the crowd, and the crowd was cheering,” Scharffer said. “After he got on stage, everybody wanted to talk to him. The whole club was cheering.”
Spencer Stone, Sacramento’s Air Force hero, was reported up on his feet and in good spirits at UC Davis Medical Center on Friday, two days after being stabbed three times on a midtown street when a celebratory night turned suddenly violent.

Police continued their search for his attackers, saying in a press release Friday they are looking for two Asian men and a woman who fled the scene in a Toyota Camry moments after Stone was stabbed during a 12:45 a.m. fight in the intersection at 21st and K streets.

Doctors upgraded Stone’s condition from serious to fair on Friday after surgery on three stab wounds.

Stone, 23, made international headlines two months ago when he and Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, boyhood friends from Sacramento, tackled and subdued a would-be terrorist on a Paris-bound train. The man was armed with an AK-47, a Luger pistol and a box cutter. Stone suffered cuts to the neck and a deep wound on a thumb in that incident.
read more here

Saturday, August 22, 2015

US Military Heroes Stop Attack on Train in Belgium

2 members of U.S. military stop Islamist attacker on train in Belgium
By Ralph Ellis, Jessica King, Peter Dailey and Archith Seshadri
August 22, 2015

Story highlights
Member of the Oregon National Guard was involved, Guard official says
Two members of the U.S. military overpower attacker on a train en route to France
Incident occurs on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris

(CNN)The train was speeding through Belgium when the man emerged from the train bathroom, shirtless with a rifle -- possibly an AK 47 -- slung over his shoulder, the Americans said.

The three men -- a member of the Air Force, an inactive National Guard member and a civilian -- responded quickly, possibly preventing a deadly attack on the high-speed Thalys train.

The suspect had a box cutter or some other bladed weapon, authorities said.

"My friend Alek (Skarlatos) yells, 'Get him,' so my friend Spencer (Stone) immediately gets up to charge the guy, followed by Alek, then myself," Anthony Sadler said in an interview with CNN.

"The three of us beat up the guy," Anthony said. "In the process Spencer gets slashed multiple times by the box cutter, and Alek takes the AK away.
read more here

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, January 9, 2015

The best within some defeats the worst a few can do

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 9, 2015

It always seems to end this way. Someone decided to use their time and energy to make the world a worse place but they end up making it better. How many times have we gone through  horrific acts only to rediscover the best of what we can offer each other?

It happened right after the first bomb went off in Boston at the marathon. One bomber was killed and the other is getting ready to go on trial.

The Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent related shootings were a series of attacks and incidents which began on April 15, 2013, when two pressure cooker bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon at 2:49 pm EDT, killing 3 people and injuring an estimated 264 others. The bombs exploded about 12 seconds and 210 yards (190 m) apart, near the finish line on Boylston Street.

Instead of running away after the first bomb went off, people ran to help the wounded.

Twelve seconds later, another bomb exploded. More ran to help not knowing if there would be another one or not. The will to help overcame their fear.

It happened in France. The murderers didn't get away with it. Oh, not just the crime itself but they didn't get away with what their goal must have been. Sure people were afraid but they overcame that fear, gathered together while the murderers were still running around and they sent a message. "Not Afraid"

I Am Charlie’: ’Je Suis Charlie’ goes viral after France attack People gather in solidarity of the victims of a terror attack against a satirical newspaper, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Masked gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar!" stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people, including the paper's editor, before escaping in a getaway car. It was France's deadliest terror attack in living memory. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

I have a feeling they were at least a little afraid but their need to show they were not willing to live in fear was remarkable.

Now it looks as if there has been some closure.
France: Raids kill 3 suspects, including 2 wanted in Charlie Hebdo attack
By Greg Botelho
Updated 3:01 PM ET, Fri January 9, 2015

(CNN)A pair of dramatic raids Friday in France led to the killing of three terrorists -- one suspected in the fatal shooting of a policewoman, the other two in the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine -- and to the freeing of at least some of those they were holding hostage.

The French government's work is not over. There's still a lot of healing to do, a lot of questions to answer about how to prevent future attacks, and the fact that a woman wanted in the policewoman's shooting remains at large.

Still, as Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said, "The nation is relieved tonight."
read more here

Closure for the murderers anyway. As for the people, this will go on and on long after the names of the murderers have slipped off memories of the days people stood up to murderers and said WE WIN! Not defeated. Not forced to hide their love for other humans, the need to be connected with mercy and compassion.

That is what murderers never really understand. They can take a life but they can't take the best we have out of the living.

Average people do it all the time. Some run to help while others, understandably, run away. It is just the need to help is stronger than self-preservation.

It happens in the military when average men and women decide they want to do whatever they can to be of service to others. Among the many careers they could train for, they pick the hardest one of all.

They join during peacetime like they did between the major wars Gulf War (1991) and Afghanistan (2001) and Somalia (1993) Haiti (1994) Kosovo (1999) They did it all even after veterans of Vietnam were mistreated by the public for years.

There were many examples of compassion in Vietnam. Because brave photojournalists we were shown exactly what that looked like.
For everyone of the wounded, many more decided to risk their lives to help them survive. In this picture there are at least 7 others risking their lives for this 1 wounded soldier.

It is the depth of their ability to care for others more than themselves that causes so much pain and grieving.  The more they feel, the more they feel it all.

It is by that same strength they can overcome the worst that is happening inside of them.  That same strength can help them heal.  They just need to look at things in a different way because while they were focusing on the worst man was capable of doing to others, the best man was busy doing all he could do for others.

There is no cure for PTSD but no one is frozen the way they are today.  They can heal.  They can get better and live happier lives.  They still have a lot more to give to others and thank God they do because the best that is within them has not seen the end of their story.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

WWII Nurse Receiving French Foreign Legion of Honor

Veteran Army nurse to receive French Legion of Honor
Rusty Rice will receive France's highest award for her service in the Army during WWII
Reporter Nadine Maeser Nadine Maeser
December 26, 2014

A Blacksburg woman will be recognized for her service to our country on Saturday.

Rusty Rice served as a nurse in World War II and nearly 70 years later, she's receiving the highest honor from France.

Rice, 94, is set to receive the French Legion of Honor.

She is the second veteran in Virginia to receive it.

“I'm nervous,” she said.

Rice, a New Jersey native, worked as a registered nurse in a maternity ward before joining the Army in her early 20's.

"I was an Army nurse and I happened to be stationed where the Battle of the Bulge was occurring and it was a very difficult time."

Rice said she loved serving her country.

"Much to my mother's horror she wouldn't hear of it, but then my brother was drafted,” she said.

Rice gained her mother’s approval after she explained there might not be enough nurses to care for her brother.
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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Victoria Cross For Bravery in WWI 1st Muslim Soldier

Story of the first Muslim soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross
As two former heads of the Army call for greater recognition of Khudadad Khan, the first Muslim soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross, we outline who he was and the actions that led to his medal
Telegraph UK
By Edward Malnick
31 Oct 2014
Sepoy Khudadad Khan was awarded the Victoria Cross during World War One
Photo: GETTY

It was an extraordinary act of bravery. Finding himself among the few surviving members of a force sent to repel a German advance at Ypres, a soldier manned a single machine gun to prevent the enemy making the breakthrough it needed.

Continuing to fire until he was the last man remaining, his actions helped to ensure that two vital ports used to supply British troops with food and ammunition from England, remained in Allied hands.

Now, 100 years on from being awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery, a series of military leaders, MPs, peers and Muslim leaders are calling for wider recognition of Khudadad Khan's role in the First World War. The call forms part of a plea for greater appreciation of the contribution of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim soldiers who fought for Britain in the war.

On Friday, unveiling a commemorative stone which will be laid at the National Memorial Arboretum in Khan’s honour, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the communities minister, will hail his “exceptional loyalty, courage and determination in Britain’s fight for freedom”.

Khan, who was born in the village of Dab in the Punjab province of present day Pakistan, was a 26-year-old machine gunner in the 129th Duke of Counaught’s Own Baluchis when the regiment was sent to France to aid the exhausted troops of the British Expeditionary Force.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

France Presents Legion of Merit to Boston WWII Veteran

Boston WWII veteran to receive France’s highest honor
Boston Globe
By Kiera Blessing
OCTOBER 10, 2014

David Charter is pictured (right) in this undated photo.

A 90-year-old World War II veteran from Boston is to be named a Knight of the French Legion of Honor, the highest distinction in France, on Thursday.

David Charter, born and raised in Dorchester, enlisted in the US Army Air Forces at 18 and flew 43 missions, fighting in infamous battles like D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.

“I was always frightened,” Charter said of his time at war. But “it was a job that had to be done, and I did it. ... France understood what we had to go through.”

The Legion of Honor, established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, was opened to US military veterans 10 years ago, on the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Charter is one of hundreds of veterans in New England to have received the honor since, and one of about 100 from Boston, said Timothy Deer, assistant to the consul general at the French consulate in Boston.
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

WWII soldier buried with enemy no longer MIA

US soldier killed in WWII finally being laid to rest
Stars and Stripes
By Matthew M. Burke
Published: August 13, 2014

The remains of a U.S. World War II soldier, identified by French scientists earlier this year, are to be interred Wednesday on the 70th anniversary of his death.

Army Pfc. Lawrence Gordon was one of two soldiers killed on Aug. 13, 1944, when his M8 armored car was struck by a German anti-tank shell near Carrouges, France. His remains were first interred in an American cemetery as “unknown,” despite the fact that his bloody wallet was sent home to his family and the man killed next to him was identified.

The remains were then reburied seven months later as an unknown in a German cemetery in France because the body was found with German clothing or equipment.

Despite years of research and evidence compiled by an amateur research team that the remains actually belonged to the U.S. soldier, accounting officials at the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command decided against exhuming and testing the remains last year. Instead, Gordon was positively identified Feb. 13 by France’s national crime laboratory with the support of German authorities.
“Thank God he was in a German cemetery,” Henry said Tuesday, still en route to Eastend. “If he was in an American one, there is no chance in hell he’d be home right now getting buried. He’d still be an unknown.”
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Friday, March 28, 2014

US WW II veterans receive Legion of Honour in France

France bestows Legion of Honor on 14 U.S. vets for WWII efforts
Stars and Stripes
By Chris Carroll
Published: March 28, 2014

WASHINGTON — They were willing to fight and risk death in France’s time of need, and this week in Washington, a grateful ally gave thanks.

Thirteen U.S. veterans of the Second World War pinned on the Legion of Honor, France’s highest decoration, in a ceremony at the French Embassy. Relatives of a 14th veteran who died days before the ceremony received the award in his name.

“In the darkest hours of our history, if you had not been by our side, France would not have been liberated,” Olivier Sérot-Alméras, French consul general in Washington, told the men. “We know, and we will always remember what the price was — 60,000 American soldiers were laid to rest on French soil.”

France has long given the Legion of Honor to U.S. veterans who made particular contributions to freeing the country from German occupation, but there is a special resonance to the ceremonies this year.

With the 70th anniversary of D-Day fast approaching, the number of living U.S. veterans who fought in France is in sharp decline, and many fewer are likely to see the next major anniversary of the invasion. Of those honored Wednesday, the youngest was 88, while most were in their 90s.

Despite the intervening years, their memories of war — of both horrors and triumphs — remain incredibly vivid for several of the veterans who spoke to Stars and Stripes at the ceremony.
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