Showing posts with label WWII. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WWII. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Ukrainian women are volunteering to fight

Ukrainian women are volunteering to fight — and history shows they always have

Lauren Frayer
Iryna Matviyishyn
March 19, 2022
Kobzar's late grandmother was an army medic in World War II. It's become part of the family lore — how brave she was, treating soldiers on the front lines. So when Ukraine went to war again last month, Kobzar — a 49-year-old mother of two — decided to follow in her grandmother's footsteps. She left her office job in health care supply chains and enlisted in the army.
Tanya Kobzar's late grandmother was an army medic in World War II. It's become part of the family lore how brave she was, treating soldiers on the front lines. Tanya Kobzar
LVIV, Ukraine — In the lead-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Tanya Kobzar was having nightmares.

"I was waking up in the middle of the night, terrified. I would look at a black-and-white photo of my grandmother, which I have framed on a table," she recalls. "She reminds me of how brave a person can be."

Kobzar's late grandmother was an army medic in World War II. It's become part of the family lore — how brave she was, treating soldiers on the front lines. So when Ukraine went to war again last month, Kobzar — a 49-year-old mother of two — decided to follow in her grandmother's footsteps. She left her office job in health care supply chains and enlisted in the army.

"I did this for my children and for my country," says Kobzar, who's using her military nickname in this NPR interview, rather than her full surname, because she doesn't have permission from her commander to speak to the media.
read more here on NPR

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

WWII sailor kissing nurse statue vandalized with #MeToo

'#MeToo' spray-painted on iconic statue of WWII sailor kissing nurse

By Amanda Jackson
February 20, 2019

(CNN)Police in Florida are looking for the vandal who painted "#MeToo" on the leg of the nurse in the "Unconditional Surrender" statue.
Florida police released images of the graffiti on Tuesday.
The statue is modeled after an iconic photo taken in Times Square in 1945, showing a woman dressed in a white uniform being embraced and kissed by a sailor to celebrate the end of World War II.

The woman, identified as Greta Friedman, was 21 at the time, and she didn't know the sailor, who has been identified as George Mendonsa. He passed away on Sunday at the age of 95.
read more here

MOH Marine Maj. Henry Courtney Jr. belongs in hometown

Nonprofit in dispute over Marine’s Medal of Honor agrees in principle to hometown display

Published: February 20, 2019
The foundation’s board includes Medal of Honor recipient Army Col. Walter Marm Jr., who received the award for actions taken during the Vietnam War, and Doug Sheehan, the nephew of Doug Munro, the Coast Guard’s only medal recipient.
Marine Maj. Henry Courtney Jr. received the Medal of Honor posthumously for leading a daring assault on Okinawa's Sugar Loaf Hill on May 14-15, 1945. COURTESY OF COURT STORY
A Pennsylvania nonprofit dedicated to educating Americans about citizenship and community service has agreed — in principle — to send a Marine hero’s Medal of Honor back to his hometown for display following a protracted fight.

The family of Marine Maj. Henry Courtney Jr. has been seeking the return of his medal from the Valley Forge-based Freedoms Foundation since around 2015, family members previously told Stars and Stripes.

They accused the foundation of breaching the agreement over how the medal would be used and requested it be sent instead to the St. Louis County Historical Society’s Veterans Memorial Hall in Duluth, Minn., which has a substantial Courtney display.

At first, the Freedoms Foundation, which was founded in 1949 by a group that included future President Dwight Eisenhower, refused. Courtney’s family members then took their fight public.
read more here

Monday, February 18, 2019

Famous Kissing WWII Sailor passed away

George Mendonsa, Navy veteran identified as 'kissing sailor' in WWII photo, dies at 95

NBC News
By Erik Ortiz
February 18, 2019
"He was very proud of his service and the picture and what it stood for," Mendonsa's daughter said Monday.

George Mendonsa, a World War II veteran whose claim of being a sailor kissing a nurse in an iconic image was verified using facial recognition technology, died early Sunday, his daughter said. He was 95.

Mendonsa was living in an assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island, and had been suffering from severe congestive heart failure, daughter Sharon Molleur told NBC News. He would have turned 96 on Tuesday, she added.

Mendonsa, a retired fisherman, had maintained for years that he was the sailor locking lips in a picture taken on Aug. 14, 1945, by Alfred Eisenstaedt and published in Life magazine as a scene from "V-J Day in Times Square." On that day, Americans crowded the streets to celebrate the Japanese surrender to the Allies and the end of the war.
read more here

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Netflix on a big venture: a docuseries celebrating Medal of Honor recipients.

Bringing Medal of Honor Heroics to Life

Department of Defense
NOV. 13, 2018
This was Netflix’s first partnership with the DOD. We’re glad they decided to aim high for it! You can find the docuseries, aptly titled Medal of Honor, currently streaming on Netflix.
The Defense Department often partners with filmmakers to create accurate military portrayals, which is why we recently collaborated with streaming giant Netflix on a big venture: a docuseries celebrating Medal of Honor recipients.
The series highlights the lives and experiences of eight men who earned the honor since World War II. So naturally, several current and former service members were asked to offer their expertise behind the scenes and on camera.

“[The DOD] sent several active-duty soldiers to be background in an episode, but they also sent Humvees and other vehicles, which are valuable assets to have for authenticity,” said Marine Corps veteran Mike Dowling, who now works in the entertainment industry and did a lot of advising on choreography, tactics and weapons for the show.

Many of those soldiers were from the New York Army National Guard. One of the show’s highlighted recipients, Army Master Sgt. Vito Bertoldo, was a member of the 42nd Infantry Division during World War II, which is now part of the NYARNG. So, it made sense for them to be part of it.
For an episode on Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger, the Air Force reviewed the script, offered historical Vietnam footage to filmmakers and had historians consult on the reenactment scenes.

The other recipients highlighted are World War II soldiers Army Sgt. Sylvester Antolak and Army Sgt. Edward Carter, Korean War troops Army Cpl. Hiroshi Miyamura and Marine Corps Cpl. Joseph Vittori, and more recent recipients Army Spc. Ty Carter and Army Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha, who fought in Afghanistan.
read more here

Sunday, October 14, 2018

MOH Benjamin Wilson

No rifle, no problem — soldier single-handedly killed dozens of enemies, including 4 using his E-tool

Military Times
J.D Simkins
October 13, 2018
His mad scramble provided the time necessary for his unit to arrange an orderly withdrawal, during which time Wilson was wounded once again. Despite his mounting injuries, he continued to provide cover fire as his men moved down the hill. Wilson would go on to receive the Medal of Honor for his herculean feats that day, but his story doesn’t end there.
Benjamin Wilson was in Hawaii when the Japanese unleashed their infamous attack on Pearl Harbor during the morning hours of Dec. 7, 1941.
Benjamin Wilson received both the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross for actions that took place within a week of each other. (Army)
The Washington state native had enlisted in the Army as an infantryman only a year before the attack and found himself stationed at Oahu’s Schofield Barracks, watching as Japanese planes devastated the unsuspecting naval base.

Despite the timing of his enlistment, however, Wilson would miss combat entirely during World War II, attending Officer Candidate School in 1942 and getting subsequently assigned to stateside training roles despite multiple requests by the young officer to lead men into combat. At the war’s conclusion, Wilson would go back to Washington to work in a lumber mill, but the life didn’t agree with him, and the desire to serve called Wilson back to the Army.

Because the service was drawing down its officer ranks, Wilson signed back up as a private, but quickly rose through the ranks due to his previous experience.

It didn’t take long before he found himself as a first sergeant on the front lines of the Korean War, where he would become a legend among his men.
read more here

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Veteran finally got degree...after 80 years

‘Never too Late’: Bill Vogt at Age 105 Finally Claims SDSU Diploma
Times of San Diego
Chris Stone
AUGUST 16, 2018
“It was pretty spectacular,” said Sandra Cook, associate vice president for academic affairs. “We get requests for replacement diplomas for students all of the time. … We’ve never had one back that far. Everyone was excited about it.”
Reminiscing about his years at San Diego State University, Bill Vogt wishes he had back all the hours he’d wasted — trying to find booze.
SDSU President Adela de la Torre presents 105-year-old Bill Vogt his 1935 diploma. Photo by Chris Stone

That was more than 80 years ago. Some things never change.

But Vogt was honored for academic achievement Thursday, finally receiving his university diploma at the age of 105½.

The cause for the delay? He failed to pass his last needed class because of an “obstinate” professor and had to take another class in the fall. Consequently, he finished midyear, during the Great Depression, when no graduation ceremony was held.
After finishing his education, he entered the Navy and served during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
read more here

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Hero of D-Day Helped Make V-E Day

A Hero of D-Day Helped Make V-E Day Possible
By James C. Roberts
8 May 2018
Victory Day in Europe graphic. 
(U.S. Navy graphic by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cat Campbell)

James C. Roberts is president of the American Veterans Center.

In the course of heading the American Veterans Center for the last 20 years, it has been my privilege to get to know a multitude of our country's military heroes. As we commemorate V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945), one of these heroes stands out: Army 2nd Lt. Leonard "Bud" Lomell.

Then-1st Sgt. Lomell is indelibly connected to a second famous date: June 6, 1944 -- D-Day, the day American, British, Canadian and other Allied forces landed at Normandy on the French coast to begin the Liberation of Europe.

Without the success of the Normandy landings, there would likely never have been a V-E Day.

The D-Day landings were a massive undertaking -- possibly the largest the world will ever know -- comprising 7,000 ships and landing craft, 50,000 vehicles, 11,500 airplanes, and 156,000 troops. It was accomplished against great odds, including difficult weather and heavy seas.

Looking back on this near-miracle, historian Stephen Ambrose wrote that if he had to select one man most responsible for the success of D-Day, besides Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme allied commander of the operation, it would be Leonard Lomell.
read more here

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Medal of Honor recipient Michael Novosel

Medal of Honor recipient Michael Novosel saved more than 5,000 in Vietnam ― including his son
Vietnam Magazine
By: Doug Sterner
March 30, 2018
A month before the father was to return home, the son’s helicopter came under fire, and Novosel Jr. made an emergency landing. Novosel Sr., with wounded aboard his helicopter, dropped down to pick up his son and the grounded dustoff crew. One week later, Novosel Sr. and his helicopter were grounded. He recognized the pilot coming to the rescue him—it was his son. “I’ll never hear the last of this,” Novosel recalled saying.

“Dustoff.” In 1963 that was the call sign for helicopter pilots who pioneered emergency medical evacuations during the Vietnam War. About 3,000 pilots and crewmen flew unarmed air ambulances, often into heavy fire, to medevac more than 100,000 severely wounded men, and 33 percent became casualties themselves.

Michael “Mike” J. Novosel, a native of Etna, Pennsylvania, took a circuitous route to the cockpit of a UH-1H Huey medevac copter. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps (a predecessor to the U.S. Air Force) in February 1941 to become a pilot but was a quarter-inch shy of the 5-foot, 4-inch requirement for the aviation cadet program and found himself in a pay clerk’s job.

In his 1999 Dustoff: The Memoir of an Army Aviator, Novosel recounted his effort to beat the height requirement. He had read that people are tallest in the morning before they stand and the body compresses, so on the day of the measurement Novosel’s buddies transported him to the medical facility on a makeshift stretcher. He still came up short, but a compassionate medical officer “stretched” his height on paper.

After earning his wings in December 1942, Novosel became a B-24 pilot training aerial gunners in World War II. He placed a pillow behind him in the pilot seat so his feet could reach the rudder pedals. He later flew B-29s on four combat missions in the Pacific. During the Japanese surrender ceremony on Sept. 2, 1945, he was one of 500 pilots to fly in formation over Tokyo Bay.
read more here

Sunday, November 12, 2017

UK Remembrance Reminder of Only Faith that Mattered in War Was For Each Other

Reclaiming Remembrance: 'I thought it was a white event'

Alpha Ceasay
November 12, 2017

"I think it reduces hate between communities and helps community cohesion. If soldiers of different faiths could fight side by side 100 years ago, why can't we get on as community groups now?" Dr. Ifran Malik
Remembrance serves as a way to honour those who gave their lives for Britain in conflict, including during the two World Wars, but do all those who fought get the recognition they deserve?

Muslim soldiers offering prayers during World War One
It was a conversation with a patient researching the Commonwealth contribution to World War One that sparked Dr Irfan Malik's interest in finding out about his ancestors.
"Before I knew how much the Indians had contributed, growing up I thought it was very much a white war," he said.
"We weren't taught about the Indians in school."
It's a sentiment researchers at think tank British Future regularly come across in their efforts to highlight Muslims' participation in World War One and Two.
Some 1.3 million Indian soldiers who fought in the WW1, of whom 400,000 were Muslim. In World War Two, about 2.5 million Indian soldiers took part, including 600,000 Muslims.

Thursday, July 20, 2017



Twin homeless veterans Gary and Clifford Koekoek received an outpouring of support after our story detailing their struggle with homelessness aired last week.The twins, 84, have been homeless for the past two years, forced to sleep primarily in their car after their longtime residence was foreclosed on. The property listed under their names was repossessed in 2015, according to information available through Trulia.Since the story aired, donations poured in to a GoFundMe page intended to secure housing for the brothers, and Veterans Affairs was rumoured to be assisting the twins.Tara Ricks, the Chief Public Information Officer for Veterans Affairs of Northern California, confirmed that the VA is working with the brothers, but could not provide specifics due to privacy concerns.The GoFundMe page set-up for the brothers by a friend has far surpassed its original goal of $25,000, hitting approximately $125,000 in 8 days.
Click link for the rest of the story 


Homeless, 84-year-old war veteran twins helped by Veterans Affairs, donations from community

Homeless, 84-year-old war veteran twins say 'it's hell' after home foreclosed
Travis Fedschu
July 20, 2017

Clifford and Gary Koekoek, 84-year-old twins who've survived living under Nazi occupation and fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, are now in "hell" and sleeping in their car after a bank foreclosed on their California home in October.
Born in the Netherlands, Clifford and Gary grew up under Nazi rule before coming to the U.S., where the brothers worked in Hollywood and then served their new country at war. But the brothers told FOX 40 Sacramento nothing they've lived through compares to their current predicament.

"It's a lot of stress," Clifford said, holding back tears. "I’d rather go back to the war and get shot at, than this crap.”
read more here

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

“Protectors of Freedom,” Memorial from WWI to War on Terror

Toms River unveils elaborate monument to veterans
Asbury Park Press
Erik Larsen
Published June 26, 2017
“Over 16 million U.S. service members — 560,000 from New Jersey — answered the call to unconditionally defeat two of the most militarily powerful, hate-filled, racist and fanatical dictatorships the world has ever known,” Smith said.
TOMS RIVER - One hundred years to the day that the first U.S. troops arrived in France after America entered World War I, a monument was dedicated in town Monday honoring a century of service by the men and women who have served in uniform on behalf of the nation.
“Protectors of Freedom,” by local sculptor Brian Hanlon and funded through The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, features six service members representing conflicts from World War I to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Located in Bey Lea Park, the five statues (one includes two figures) depict a World War I “doughboy;” a poncho-clad soldier from the Korean War calling for support on a radio; a wounded World War II soldier being carried from the battlefield by his 21st century counterpart; and a Vietnam War infantryman escorting an Army nurse through hostile territory. Watch the video above to take a tour of the memorial.
read more here

Monday, December 19, 2016

Trumps Picks Army Secretary with Ties to Florida, and 101st

Army veteran Vincent Viola, billionaire owner of the Florida Panthers, named Trump’s Army secretary
Washington Post
Dan Lamothe
December 19, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated as his Army secretary Vincent Viola, an Army veteran who became a billionaire after founding an electronic trading firm and went on to buy the Florida Panthers hockey team.
Businessman Vincent Viola enters Trump Tower in Manhattan on Dec. 16.
(Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
Viola is a 1977 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and funded the creation of its highly regarded Combating Terrorism Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. A former infantry officer and Ranger School graduate, he has pressed for innovation in cyber warfare, saying at a conference five years ago that the Army of the future will be built on a “gestalt of geekdom.”
Viola was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., by Italian immigrants, and served in the 101st Airborne Division after the Vietnam War ended. His father and several uncles served in combat in World War II, and he grew up believing that serving in the military was a deeply honorable profession, he recalled in an interview for the West Point Center for Oral History.
read more here

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Thief Beat 94-Year Old WWII Female Navy Veteran

Judge tells man accused of beating woman, 94, 'Citizens of Chicago are not safe' with you on street

Josephine Regnier, a 94-year-old World War II Navy veteran, sits next to Jimmy, center, and Tommy Pieprzyca, who own Villa Rosa Pizza. The Pieprzycas offered a $5,000 reward that helped lead to the arrest of a man accused of beating and stealing from Regnier. (Judy Dusk) 

ABC News
Evelyn Holmes
December 8, 2016

"She's in the hospital right now with three fractured ribs, a black eye, a big goose egg on her head and a possible concussion," Dusk said.
Police are looking for a man who allegedly beat a 94-year-old woman, stole her purse and took off in a stolen vehicle before crashing it in Chicago's Garfield Ridge neighborhood.

The victim's daughter, Judy Dusk, said her mother, Josephine Regnier, is a World War II Navy veteran.

Dusk said she was waiting for one of her daughters outside her building in the 5100-block of South Long Avenue to pick her up to go to the dentist when she was attacked around 11:50 a.m. Wednesday. Police said a man pushed Regnier into the hallway of her building.

"This man just came in the gangway and assaulted her, beat the **** out of her, took her purse and ran," Dusk said.

Regnier was rushed to MacNeal Hospital, where police said her condition stabilized.
read more here

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor Veteran Says Soldiers Across Generations Can Unite

75 years after Pearl Harbor, a veteran says soldiers across generations can unite
Miami Herald
Jessica Campisi
December 6, 2016
“We slap our yellow ribbon magnets on our cars and say, ‘Thank you for your service,’ but society doesn’t actually understand what it means, and as a result doesn’t fully appreciate.” Craig Bryan
WASHINGTON For Lou Conter, the psychology of war is simple: It’s kill or be killed.
Lou Conter, of Alta Sierra, Calif., a survivor of the USS Arizona, salutes at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii, during the 72nd anniversary commemoration of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 2013. Courtesy of Lou Conter
The 95-year-old Pearl Harbor veteran remembers escaping the USS Arizona at age 20, after a Japanese bomb burned the ship to pieces. He remembers his patrol bomber being shot down, then hiding in the jungle with no choice but to survive. And he remembers the three weeks it took to get home to San Diego, and reflecting on everything he had seen.

Seventy-five years after Pearl Harbor, Conter, who now lives in Alta Sierra, California, credits those three weeks with preventing post-traumatic stress disorder and the intense military training he endured with helping to keep him alive.

“There was no turning around, no getting off (of duty) in six months or anything else unless you were in a coffin,” Conter said. “There are men today, calling their wives . . . then get(ting) off the phone to go cut someone’s throat. . . . I can’t imagine.”

Today, soldiers can more easily talk to their families while overseas or be back home within hours of stepping off the battleground, Conter said. After six months of deployment, soldiers are eligible for leave, according to the U.S. Army website. But at the end of the day, “war is war,” he said, and all conflicts boil down to the same thing: a fight for survival.

Even beyond the battlefield, service members from all time periods share a common notion of “the warrior identity” and their experiences before and after they served, added Craig Bryan, a clinical psychologist who’s the executive director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah.
read more here

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hacksaw Ridge Hero Desmond Doss Saved 75 Soldiers--Without A Gun

The Real 'Hacksaw Ridge' Soldier Saved 75 Souls Without Ever Carrying A Gun
NOV 4, 2016
Doss saved 75 men — including his captain, Jack Glover — over a 12-hour period. The same soldiers who had shamed him now praised him. "He was one of the bravest persons alive," Glover says in the documentary. "And then to have him end up saving my life was the irony of the whole thing."
Desmond Doss is credited with saving 75 soldiers during one of the bloodiest battles of World War II in the Pacific — and he did it without ever carrying a weapon. The battle at Hacksaw Ridge, on the island of Okinawa, was a close combat fight with heavy weaponry. Thousands of American and Japanese soldiers were killed, and the fact that Doss survived the battle and saved so many lives has confounded and awed those who know his story. Now, he's the subject of a new film directed by Mel Gibson called Hacksaw Ridge.

A quiet, skinny kid from Lynchburg, Va., Doss was a Seventh-day Adventist who wouldn't touch a weapon or work on the Sabbath. He enlisted in the Army as a combat medic because he believed in the cause, but had vowed not to kill. The Army wanted nothing to do with him. "He just didn't fit into the Army's model of what a good soldier would be," says Terry Benedict, who made a documentary about Doss called The Conscientious Objector.

The Army made Doss' life hell during training. "It started out as harassment and then it became abusive," Benedict says. He interviewed several World War II veterans who were in Doss' battalion. They considered him a pest, questioned his sincerity and threw shoes at him while he prayed. "They just saw him as a slacker," the filmmaker says, "someone who shouldn't have been allowed in the Army, and somebody who was their weakest link in the chain."
read more here

Friday, October 7, 2016

Jimmy Stewart Haunted by PTSD

EXCLUSIVE: How Jimmy Stewart's agony in It's a Wonderful Life came from extreme PTSD he suffered after he lost 130 of his men as fighter pilot in WWII
Daily Mail

Dan Bates
October 6, 2016

Actor Jimmy Stewart was haunted by his memories from his time in the Air Force and suffered from PTSD when he returned from World War II
Stewart wrestled with the guilt of killing civilians in bomb raids over France and Germany and felt responsible for the death of his comrades
Stewart never talked about his struggles and bottled up his emotions
But they came out when acting parts he chose when he returned to Hollywood
He tapped into his emotional distress during filming of It's a Wonderful Life, where his character George Bailey unravels in front of his family
Stewart's anguish is laid bare for the first time in Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the fight for Europe by author Robert Matzen

Actor Jimmy Stewart, pictured in 1945 after World War II combat
ended, was haunted by his memories from his time in the Air Force
Jimmy Stewart suffered such extreme PTSD after being a fighter pilot in World War II that he acted out his mental distress during 'It's a Wonderful Life'.

Stewart played George Bailey in the classic movie and channeled his anger and guilt into the scenes where he rages at his family.

Stewart was haunted by 'a thousand black memories' from his time as an Air Force commanding officer that he took with him back to Hollywood after the war.

Pilots who flew with him said that became 'Flak Happy' during World War II, a term to describe what is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Stewart wrestled with the guilt of killing civilians in bomb raids over France and Germany including one instance where they destroyed the wrong city by mistake.
read more here

Matzen's book, Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe, hits bookstores on October 24 and is available for order on Amazon

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Passengers Honor WWII Soldier Sacrifice With Glory!

Choir Sings ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ as WWII Soldier’s Remains Taken off Plane
Free Beacon
BY: Alec M. Dent
July 27, 2016

The Iowa Ambassadors of Music Choir found a unique way to honor a fallen World War II veteran.

The choir was on a flight returning from Germany to the United States, along with an Army private who was escorting the remains of a soldier who fought in World War II. 

After the plane landed in Atlanta, the pilot announced the private would be exiting the plane first, explaining his mission and that he would be continuing his trip to Houston, the fallen soldier’s final destination.
read more here

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Military Spends Fortune Training For Combat, Pittance To Come Home From It

Our military spends a fortune on war but little when our forces come home 
Washington Post
By Roger Boas
May 27, 2016

"The Army spends a fortune training its troops to kill but almost nothing to train us for coming home." Roger Boas is the author of “Battle Rattle: A Last Memoir of World War II.”
A recent study by the Rand Corp. concludes that the U.S. military is unable to provide adequate therapy sessions for thousands of soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The February study of 40,000 cases, the largest ever, found that only a third of troops with PTSD received the minimum number of therapy sessions needed after being diagnosed. As a veteran, I am appalled.

Though my war experience was 70 years ago, it haunts me to this day. I can still remember the sound that froze my blood. The stomach-churning whistle of a field artillery round, like a thousand shrieking pigs, increasing in a ghastly crescendo until it finally explodes — and bodies fly in every direction.

Anyone who has served in ground combat knows that sound. It’s our worst nightmare. You never know where the incoming projectile is going to hit. You’re either dead or you’ve managed to squeak out alive one more time, deeply shaken. It happens nonstop, any hour of the day or night. It seeps into your bones.
read more here