Showing posts with label POW-MIA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label POW-MIA. Show all posts

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Southwest pilot brought to tears carrying Vietnam MIA remains home...his Dad!

update Vietnam War pilot whose son flew remains to Texas laid to rest: "Dad has come home"

Family members of Col. Roy Knight Jr. stand as the National Anthem is played during Knight's memorial service Saturday in Cool, just outside of Mineral Wells August 10, 2019. Knight was shot down over Laos in 1967 while serving as a U.S. Air Force pilot in the Vietnam War. In February, Knight's remains were recovered and identified, then flown home last week for burial at Holders Chapel United Methodist Church. (Photo: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News) read it here

Airline pilot flies dad's remains home from Vietnam 52 years after seeing him off at same Dallas airport

Doug Stanglin
Aug. 8, 2019
Proskow said the story Knight, who was subsequently promoted to colonel, and his son, Bryan, who also served in the Air Force, was announced over the airport intercom as the moving scene unfolded.

When Air Force Maj. Roy Knight, Jr., left Dallas for Vietnam 52 years ago, his 5-year-old son, Bryan, came to Dallas Love Field to see him off. On Thursday, Bryan, now a captain for Southwest Airlines, brought back his father's remains aboard a flight to the same Dallas airport.

Knight, born in Garner, Texas, was 36 when he was shot down while attacking a target on the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos on May 19,1967, according to White’s Funeral Home in Weatherford, Texas. Jackson Proskow, Washington bureau chief for Canada's Global News, was on a layover from El Paso to Washington on Thursday when he witnessed the moving ceremony at the airport. Proskow watched as the flag-draped casket was delivered into the arms of a military honor guard.

In a series of tweets, Proskow reported that the Dallas Love Field terminal came to a standstill.

"Incredible moment to watch," Proskow wrote. "The entire airport fell silent."
Southwest Airlines Captain Bryan Knight flew his father back home to Dallas Love Field for the final time more than 50 years after he was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1967. (Photo: Ashlee D. Smith, Southwest Airlines)

read it here

Saturday, July 6, 2019

VA got it right on religious freedom fight and faith won!

update History does not change just because people say it did.

This is the headline from The Washington TimesVA secretary rejects Obama religious expression rules:

That is not what actually happened. This is what happened.
But this issue had nothing to do with the Obama administration, found. The VA chapel in Iron Mountain had been found to be in noncompliance with Spiritual and Pastoral Procedures that were established by the Department of Veterans Affairs and most recently revised in July 2008, six months before Obama became president. Those procedures require chapels at VA facilities be maintained as “religiously neutral” whenever they are not being used by chaplains for services associated with a particular faith: The rules state that no permanent religious symbols are to be incorporated in the construction or renovation of chapels.
Back to the headline from The Washington Times VA secretary rejects Obama religious expression rules: 'They did not know the makeup of the force'
Robert Wilkie, the soft-spoken and managerial-minded secretary of Veterans Affairs, went public in a big way this summer when he said he refused to be “bullied” by a federal lawsuit claiming a Bible on display at a New Hampshire VA hospital violated the separation of church and state. In an interview with The Washington Times in his office at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Wilkie said displaying a Bible in a VA hospital is a matter of liberty and that the Obama administration erred in trying to eliminate religious symbols from the veterans health care system.
Not so much on reliable reporting on that one!

VA secretary moves to permit public display of religious symbols

Published: July 3, 2019
In addition to permitting public displays of religious symbols, the changes allow VA facilities to accept donations of religious literature and symbols, which can now be provided to patients and their families.
WASHINGTON — Citing a need to protect religious liberty, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie issued new policies Wednesday permitting displays of religious and spiritual symbols in VA facilities.
A Bible is part of a memorial table display at the veterans hospital in Manchester, N.H. KRISTIN PRESSLY/MANCHESTER VA MEDICAL CENTER VIA AP

Religious symbols will now be allowed in public areas of VA facilities, including lobbies, public entrances, security and information desks and nursing stations. In directives sent to VA facilities nationwide, Wilkie clarified that displays “should respect and tolerate differing views” and “should not elevate one belief system over others.”

“We want to make sure that all of our veterans and their families feel welcome at VA, no matter their religious beliefs. Protecting religious liberty is a key part of how we accomplish that goal,” Wilkie said in a statement. “These important changes will bring simplicity and clarity to our policies governing religious and spiritual symbols, helping ensure we are consistently complying with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at thousands of facilities across the department.”

An official announcement about the new rules cited a recent Supreme Court decision in which a 40-foot “Peace Cross,” a tribute to World War I dead, was permitted to remain at a public intersection in Maryland. The court rejected the argument that the cross was an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity, but justices didn’t reach an across-the-board consensus about how to handle religious imagery on public property.
read it here

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rolling Thunder took over Washington for last ride

Rolling Thunder takes its final ride in Washington

The Washington Post
By Jessica Contrera
May 26 at 4:26 PM
There was a line to see the man in charge.

“Artie,” people called.

“Artie, did you see?”

“Artie,” they said. “You gotta do something.”

It was the Sunday before Memorial Day, and in Washington, that has long meant that one of the world’s largest motorcycle rallies was in town. Every year since 1988, riders have roared into the District for “Rolling Thunder,” a demonstration in support of veterans, prisoners of war and service members who went missing in action. But this year, the organization’s leader, Artie Muller, had announced that the financial and logistical burden of making the rally happen had become too much; after 2019, the event in the nation’s capital would be no more.

The news inspired hundreds of thousands of bikers, likely a record-breaking number, to flock to the Pentagon parking lot Sunday morning, ready for their final ride into the city and around the National Mall.
read more here

Rolling Thunder's Last Ride in DC

Rolling To A Halt: Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally Ends 30-Year Tradition

May 25, 2019

Roll on, no more.

After a three-decade run, a veteran advocacy group will hold its last motorcycle demonstration ride — called "Rolling Thunder" — in the U.S. capital this Memorial Day weekend.
U.S. Marine Tim Chambers salutes to participants in last year's Rolling Thunder motorcycle demonstration. Jose Luis Magana/AP

The nonprofit that organizes the rally, Rolling Thunder Inc., was founded in the late 1980s to bring public attention to prisoners of war and those missing in action and to hold the government to account for veterans who never made it home.

"We signed basically a blank check that said, 'I'll give you up to – and including – my life to defend our Constitution and defend the American freedoms,' " Doc Stewart, the group's New England regional liaison, told NPR's Amy Held. " 'But the return is, you're going to ensure that I come home afterwards.' "

Every year, hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists converge near the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., then rumble through the city's downtown.

But next year's Memorial Day weekend will be a quiet one.

The main reason the organizers gave for calling it quits is financial; it costs them about $200,000 last year to hold the rally, WAMU's Mikaela Lefrak reports. A lot of that money went to the Pentagon for things like security, toilets and parking lot use, according to Rolling Thunder President Joe Bean.
read more here

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Other veterans rights being taken away at VA over POW MIA table?

Air Force veteran wants to force his rights by taking away from others?

What part of the Constitution keeps getting missed by those who want to force everyone else to comply with protecting their "free expression" of lack of faith?

Last I heard, Congress did not make a law establishing a religion. 

Vietnam veterans however, did in fact establish the POW MIA table and the ceremony. They established honoring those who served, risked their lives and did not make it back home to enjoy the freedom they sacrifices their lives to provide to others. 

Yes, the same folks who are so terrified they are not being represented for their non-beliefs, they want to make sure that no one else has the right to express their own protected by the whole part of this...

The Bill of Rights – Full Text

Amendment IThe Bill of Rights – Full Text Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The missing man table consists of the following elements:
  • A small table set for one, symbolising the isolation of the absent service member. The table is usually set close to, or within sight of, the entrance to the dining room. For large events, the missing man table may be set for six places representing each of the five armed services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard), with the sixth symbolising the civilians who died during armed conflict.[8] The table is round to represent the everlasting concern the survivors have for the missing.[9]
  • One or more head covers may be placed upon the table represent the armed service of the missing persons.[10]
  • A white tablecloth to symbolise the pure intentions of the service members who responded to the country's call to arms.[11]
  • A single rose in the vase symbolising the blood that service members have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of the United States of America. This rose also represents the family and friends who keep the faith while awaiting the return of the missing service members.[12]
  • The red ribbon represents a love of country that inspired the service members to serve the country.[13]
  • A slice of lemon on the bread plate that represents the bitter fate of the missing.[14]
  • Salt sprinkled on the bread plate that symbolises the tears shed by waiting families.[14]
  • An inverted glass to represent fact that the missing and fallen cannot partake.[12]
  • Bible represents the spiritual strength and faith to sustain the lost. This may be omitted in official displays.[15].
  • A lit candle symbolises a light of hope that lives in hearts to illuminate the missing's way home.
  • An empty chair to represent the absence of the missing and fallen[16]
But even they left it out here.

Manchester VA Medical Center, veterans battle over Bible display

New Hampshire Union Leader
May 7, 2019

MANCHESTER -- A Bible once owned by a prisoner of war -- and on display at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center -- has launched a battle over religious freedom.

An Air Force veteran filed a lawsuit Tuesday looking to remove the Bible displayed on a POW/MIA table.
This Bible on the POW/MIA table at the Manchester VA Medical Center has sparked a controversy. DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER

“We would all be outraged if the MVAMC only provided care to Christians, or denied care to non-believers, or those who worship their God in other ways,” attorney Lawrence Vogelman wrote in the seven-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Concord.

“The placement of a Christian Bible on this sacred table is just as objectionable,” he said.

Curt Cashour, press secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs, called the lawsuit “nothing more than an attempt to force VA into censoring a show of respect for America’s POW/MIA community.

“Make no mistake: VA will not be bullied on this issue,” he said in a statement.

Cashour also apologized to veterans for the VA temporarily removing the Bible a few months back.
read more here

Saturday, March 2, 2019

What part of "nor prohibit the free expression" do they not get?

Bible at center of dispute over display at Manchester VA Medical Center

Group says inclusion of Bible gives preference to one faith over another
Andy Hershberger
News Reporter
Feb 27, 2019

A Bible that was on display at the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center is at the center of a controversy.
 The Bible was carried by a prisoner of war in World War II and then made part of a memorial at the Manchester VA until a veterans group objected and it was removed. Now, there's an effort to put it back.

VA officials said they consider the Bible to be an historical artifact, but people on both sides of the debate said they believe it represents something much more

The Missing Man Table is intended to honor the nation's missing veterans and POWs, but a spokesman for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the organization received complaints about a Bible that was originally part of the memorial.

The group asked the VA to remove it, calling its presence intolerable and unconstitutional.
read more here

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

No one is stopping atheists, or anyone else, for believing what...or not they choose to. So why do they feel they have the right to "prohibit the free expression" of others to do the same?

They complain about everything because they believe in nothing, and that is OK. It is their right. The problem is, most of what they complain about has to do with what people raised funds to do, or began as an act of love, as with the POW MIA Table service.

In the case of the Manchester Bible, it was donated by a WWII POW veteran! So who protects the rights of Christians to "freely express" what they believe in?

As for the monuments the atheists, and freedom from religion crowd want taken down, they do have the right to build their own. But, since they believe nothing, here's a thought. Put up a statue of Ron Reagan.

When someone pushes to have it taken down, they can defend how they have the right to do it protected by the Constitution. Then maybe they'll value that right for everyone too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Veterans in other news October 10, 2018

Marine veteran among those killed in New York limo crash

 Published: October 9, 2018 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Marine Corps veteran Michael Ukaj was a helper.

Marine veteran Michael Ukaj was killed in a limo accident in Schoharie, NY, on Saturday, October 6, 2018, along with nineteen other people. FACEBOOK
He was the person his childhood friend, Bradley Armstrong, could count on to be there for him, even when he didn’t ask for it, and even if they were in different cities or states. When Ukaj’s brother, Jeremy Ashton, needed advice, he was the one to give it. He counseled Ashton about everything from breakups to whether he should argue with his landlord over a utility bill (he didn’t, on Ukaj’s guidance) and if he should join the Air Force or Marine Corps (he went with Marine Corps, also Ukaj’s suggestion). “He was a straight-shooter, an honest man who was always there when you needed him,” Ashton said. “Any time I needed clear advice, I would go to him. He would always cut through the bull---t and help me objectively look at something.” read more here

MIA no longer: Military sees surge in identifications of servicemember remains

Associated Press 
Published: October 10, 2018
Officials believe remains of nearly half of the 83,000 unidentified service members killed in World War II and more recent wars could be identified and returned to relatives.

In this Sept. 18, 2018 photo, Dr. Carrie Brown, forensic anthropologist and director of the USS Oklahoma Project at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) Identification laboratory, points to images on posters showing the names and photos of the victims of the USS Oklahoma, sunk by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor. NATI HARNIK/AP
BELLEVUE, Neb. — Nearly 77 years after repeated torpedo strikes tore into the USS Oklahoma, killing hundreds of sailors and Marines, Carrie Brown leaned over the remains of a serviceman laid out on a table in her lab and was surprised the bones still smelled of burning oil from that horrific day at Pearl Harbor. It was a visceral reminder of the catastrophic attack that pulled the United States into World War II, and it added an intimacy to the painstaking work Brown and hundreds of others are now doing to greatly increase the number of lost American servicemen who have been identified. It's a monumental mission that combines science, history and intuition, and it's one Brown and her colleagues have recently been completing at ramped-up speed, with identifications expected to reach 200 annually, more than triple the figures from recent years. read more here

Report: Pentagon weapons systems vulnerable to cyber attacks

Associated Press
Published: October 9, 2018

WASHINGTON — Defense Department weapons programs are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and the Pentagon has been slow to protect the systems which are increasingly reliant on computer networks and software, a federal report said Tuesday.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon has worked to ensure its networks are secure, but only recently began to focus more on its weapons systems security. The audit, conducted between September 2017 and October 2018, found that there are "mounting challenges in protecting its weapons systems from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats." Pentagon officials have acknowledged for years that the department, the military services and defense contractors are under persistent cyber probes and attacks, including from state actors seeking to steal data to gain an economic or technological advantage. read more here

New Netflix series to tell Medal of Honor stories

Published: October 10, 2018 

The stories of eight recipients of the nation's highest military honor will be told in the docudrama series "Medal of Honor" on Netflix. Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) and documentarian James Moll (The Last Days) are both part of the project, which will be available on the streaming service starting Nov. 9. The eight-part series will feature interviews with eyewitnesses to battle and the families of Medal of Honor recipients, as well as re-creations. "Medal of Honor is the ideal collaboration for us," Zemeckis said in a Netflix statement. "James’ documentary skills combined with our live action techniques bring to a compelling light the important recognition of these brave individuals. We can not think of a better way to give back to the military community than by telling these incredibly heroic true stories.” read more here


California veteran to be added to Vietnam memorial

October 09, 2018
A California veteran who died from health complications related to his time in Vietnam will be added to the state's Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Bakersfield Californian reports James E. Williams' name is one of the three that will be added to the memorial.
The names will be unveiled in an event scheduled Saturday in Sacramento. Spec. Williams grew up in Lamont and joined the Army in June 1966. He died 50 years after his tour of duty in Vietnam from complications believed to be connected to exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical compound.

Honor Flight: Valley veteran finds brother's name on Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Two siblings on the Central Valley Honor Flight got an opportunity they've waited for for years.
CBS47's Alex Backus has their touching story from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.


Veterans laid to rest in Boulder City long after their deaths

Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Briana Erickson
October 9, 2018
It took the longest for the burial of Army veteran Lyle Prescott, who died in 1948. “He spent 70 years sitting on a shelf?” said 82-year-old Navy veteran Peggy Randle, wondering out loud how that could be. “A lot of us attend military funerals every week. Before this, these guys didn’t have anybody to claim them.”
A dozen veterans and one military spouse were laid to rest Tuesday long after their deaths, thanks to newfound “family” members who determined their unclaimed remains were entitled to be buried at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City. “We all remember the military recruiters saying, ‘If you sign up, we’ll take care of you the rest of your life.’ In fact, this event is providing that last step,” Fred Wagar, deputy director of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, said at a Tuesday memorial service. “We say to them, ‘Welcome home. You are no longer missing.’” The remains of the veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War — all of whom made it home alive — had been in funeral homes for years after not being claimed by relatives. 
read more here

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Eighth graders discover "Incredibly Stupid" Vietnam veteran wise guy

Eighth-graders win second place for documentary about Vietnam veteran
Capital Journal Online
By Max Wirestone, Special to The Capital-Journal
Posted Sep 29, 2018
“There’s a lot people out there who do amazing things,” Christensen said. “But they don’t get credit or recognition for it. And I think they should.”
If there is a wave of student documentaries next year at Washburn Rural Middle School, gifted facilitators Lindsay McDowell and Alice Bertels will know why.

That is because two of their students — eighth-graders Megan Christensen and Meredith Kucera — won second place in the national Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes’ 2018 Discovery Award competition. The contest encourages middle and high school students to research and uncover the stories of positive role models whose contributions to history aren’t well-known.

Their winning documentary, “The Incredibly Stupid One,” is a profile of U.S. Navy veteran Douglas Hegdahl, who gathered critical intelligence from the North Vietnamese camp where he was held captive by pretending to be illiterate and mentally disabled.

The students were drawn to the project not because of the documentary aspect but because of their interest in the subject matter. read more here
Seaman Apprentice Douglas Hegdahl
Hegdahl, who was considered by the Vietnamese to be worthless in terms of intelligence information, was one of the first prisoners offered an early release. He didn't want to go and tried to behave so that he would be detained — at one point, when Tom Hayden was touring the prison camp, Hegdahl gave him the finger.

But his roommate pulled rank and ordered him to go, knowing that Hegdahl's remarkable memory would provide the government invaluable information and the families of prisoners immeasurable comfort. Hegdahl memorized the names of more than 300 fellow POWs, along with their Social Security numbers and an identifying trait such as a pet's name for confirmation.

Monday, September 3, 2018

POW-MIA chair will have honor guard for University of Nebraska games

POW/MIA Chair installed at Memorial Stadium
by Jennifer Schmidt
Sunday, September 2nd 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (FOX 42 KPTM) — The University of Nebraska at Lincoln has dedicated a chair in the stadium to POW and MIA soldiers.

The university says it's their way of commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

They say each game this season, a veteran of U.S. military service will stand next to the unoccupied chair to honor the more than 800 Nebraskans lost in combat, but whose fate remains "unknown."
read more here

Monday, January 22, 2018

Megyn Kelly schooled Jane Fonda!

'Our Souls at Night' Team: Jane Fonda-Robert Redford Film Is an Older "Coming-of-Age Story"

"While the story follows characters of an older generation, the cast and crew argue that the film will appeal to all audiences. "I think it's a film that has no particular limits," said Fonda."

The film ended up limited because of who they picked to be in it!

When I was watching Fonda's face freeze with the question about plastic surgery, all I could think of what the witch in the Wizard of Oz melting...

Megyn Kelly, on behalf of the Vietnam veterans I know, thank you very much for reminding people what she put them through!

Megyn Kelly slams Jane Fonda’s ‘poor-me routine’
NBC News
JAN 22 2018

The war of words between Megyn Kelly and Jane Fonda escalated Monday after Kelly delivered a stern rebuke to the actress and attacked Fonda's anti-Vietnam War activism.

In September, during an interview with Fonda during her hour of "Today," Kelly brought up Fonda's plastic surgery, and Fonda seemed to take offense. Fonda has subsequently criticized how Kelly handled the interview, joking about it on another hour of "Today" earlier this month. Then, over the weekend, Fonda described Kelly as a poor interviewer in a conversation with Variety magazine, suggesting she would come on the show again when Kelly had “learned her stuff.”

That led to Kelly's blast at the end of her show on Monday.
"This is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage. Look at her treatment of our military," Kelly told the audience, which clapped as the remarks continued.

Kelly mentioned that Fonda — an activist against the Vietnam War in the 1970s — had posed on an anti-aircraft gun that was used to shoot American pilots.

"She called our prisoners of war 'hypocrites and liars,'" Kelly said. "She referred to their torture as 'understandable.' She still says she is not proud of America. So the moral indignation is a bit much." read more here

UPDATE 1/25/2018
From Daily Mail
Insiders say Megyn Kelly 'got approval' from NBC bosses for Jane Fonda attack but execs are 'shocked at how far she went'

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Vietnam MIA Family Received Dog Tags and Closure

Sons receive missing dad’s Vietnam War dog tags
Florida Today
Rick Neale
November 25, 2017

Shortly after rescuing a downed American pilot behind enemy lines, Air Force Capt. Richard “Dick” Kibbey’s first daring mission of the Vietnam War proved to be his last — haunting his grieving family for the next half-century.

North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire raked the fuselage of Kibbey’s HH-3E helicopter, which burst into flames on Feb. 6, 1967. The doomed “Jolly Green Giant” slammed into a sheer limestone cliff near the mountainous Mu Ghia Pass on the Laos-North Vietnam border.

Kibbey was listed as missing in action after the crash. His wife, Mary Ann, moved that summer from Vero Beach to North Wherry Housing on Patrick Air Force Base for emotional support, and their four children went on to graduate from Satellite High.

The children say their mother died in 1979 of a broken heart, wondering whether her husband was alive.
read more here

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Orlando POW MIA Recognition Ceremony

This morning at Orlando City Hall, the annual POW MIA Recognition Ceremony was held with full honors to those who served this nation. For right now, here are the pictures. But tomorrow, you won't want to miss the videos. I am still editing them.
UCF AFROTC Practicing to make the Remembrance perfect 
John Murphy, President Semper Fidelis America and member of VFW Post 4287
John Mina, Orlando Chief of Police and Veteran
VFW Post 2093 Band
John Murphy with Daila "Dee" Espeut-Jones, Veteran and Mayor' s Veterans Advisory Council and member of Semper Fidelis America
Daughters of the American Revolution
Center, Andrew Ewasko Vice Chairman

Commissioner Regina I. Hill
Chief Roderick Williams
Behind Chief Mina, Michael Waldrop, Chairman Mayor's Veterans Council
The Highland Singers Lake Highland Preparatory 
Second from right, Vietnam Veteran Ex-POW Joseph William Kittinger II