Showing posts with label military history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label military history. Show all posts

Saturday, May 23, 2020

This is for those who choose to honor and remember them!

Memorial Day: Time to remember and honor sacrifice

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 23, 2020

Memorial Day, may be considered as the kick off of summer and a time to enjoy our lives to some, but for others, it is a day to remember members of our families and friends no longer here physically. The memory of them remains.

My husband and I are both second generation Americans. Our grandparents came here from Greece, Italy, and Canada. They raised their children to value this county enough they would pay any price to defend it.

My husband's Dad and Uncles fought in WWII. He lost one of his uncles, who was a 19 year old Marine. Another uncle was a Merchant Marine and he was rescued when his ship was hit. He never really recovered but was able to live out his life along with other "shell shock" veterans on a farm. My husband and his nephew fought in Vietnam.

For my Dad, it was Korea and my uncles it was WWII.

Memorial Day means a lot more to us, while for others, a three day weekend to enjoy, or go shopping. It is not a time to think about what we want to do, but is a time to honor what they did, and what so many others did for the sake of all of us.

Today we are being asked to stay home as much as possible and in public, practice being distant from others while wearing a mask. We are asked to do this to protect others from what we may pass onto them with COVID-19 pandemic claiming so many lives. Fast approaching 100,000 deaths, it seems the least we can do.
Coronavirus live updates: New York eases restrictions on gatherings in time for Memorial Day weekend; US nears 100,000 deaths
Some people protest about their rights to do what they want to do, without considering anyone else, even as the numbers continue to grow. Sad when considering all other generations were asked to do for the sake of others.

There will always be selfish people in this country and, God willing, there will always be those who put the lives of others above their own. This is for those who choose to honor and remember them!
This report provides war casualty statistics. It includes data tables containing the number of fatalities and the number of wounded among American military personnel who served in principal wars and combat actions from 1775 to the present. It also includes information such as race and ethnicity, gender, branch of service, and, in some cases, detailed information on types of casualties and causes of death. (read the report here)

Vietnam war deaths 1956-1975
The First and the Last
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.

First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961.

The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.
Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131.
This is from 2010. The numbers are higher now and the debt we owe them has still not been paid yet.
John 15:13 King James Version (KJV) 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

PEW Think Tank: About 300,000 U.S. World War II veterans are alive in 2020, 14,500 of them are female

On 75th anniversary of V-E Day, about 300,000 American WWII veterans are alive

PEW Research Think Tank
Katherine Schaeffer
May 8, 2020

A World War II veteran participates in a Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2019, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
May 8 marks the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, when World War II came to an end in Europe. In the United States, V-E Day commemorations will honor the 16 million Americans who served during the war, even as only a small share of those veterans are alive today.

About 300,000 U.S. World War II veterans are alive in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has published projections of the number of living veterans from 2015 to 2045. WWII service members’ numbers have dwindled from around 939,000 in 2015. Most living veterans from the war are in their 90s, though some are considerably older.

Of the 350,000 women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the war, about 14,500 are alive today.
read it here

Friday, May 8, 2020

Push for MOH: Private Kenneth David actions saved lives May 7th, 1970

Efforts being made to award Medal of Honor to Girard veteran

WFMJ 21 News
by Derek Steyer
May 7th 2020
While seven men died, 13 made it home, much in part to David's heroic efforts.

On the 50th anniversary of heroically saving numerous men in Vietnam, there are renewed efforts to award the Medal of Honor to a Girard veteran.

It was in the early morning hours of May 7th, 1970 when Private Kenneth David's company came under an intense attack on a mountaintop in Vietnam. David remembers like it was yesterday.

"I could see the explosions going off, I could see my buddies getting killed, it was one big nightmare," David said.

David didn't know it at the time, but he was one of only two men left alive to defend his portion of the perimeter.

"Explosions would go off and you see a face in front of you and you just shoot it," David said. "I had RPG shrapnel in my back, both my eardrums blown out."

Still, he unleashed a barrage of fire and for several hours single handily resisted enemy efforts and secured a landing zone so casualties could be extracted.
read it here

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

Friday, March 20, 2020

The general public has twisted ideas about female veterans...time to change the conversation

Kathie Costos on Remember The Fallen

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 20, 2020

Last night I was the guest on Remember The Fallen Podcast with one of my buddies, Sgt. Dave Matthews who was with the Florida National Guard.

The topic was military women and veterans. You would think that since women have fought for this country...before it was one, they would not be regarded as second class anything, but they are.

The general public has twisted ideas about them. Take a man and woman, sitting together, each with a military hat on, the male is thanked for his service, while the woman is lucky to get a reluctant smile. It is the same when they hear about a female veteran with PTSD.

Hear about a male veteran with PTSD and right away, folks assume combat. Hear about a female veteran with PTSD and they think sexual assault. Even now researchers and reporters point to that when offering facts, instead of acknowledging that women are exposed to most of the same traumas males endure...and males are also exposed to sexual assaults too!
In this episode, Dave mentioned a woman during the Revolutionary War who strapped down her breasts so that she could serve next to the males. We did not get to talk more about her, but this is the woman we were talking about.
Deborah Sampson became a hero of the American Revolution when she disguised herself as a man and joined the Patriot forces. She was the only woman to earn a full military pension for participation in the Revolutionary army.
When we talk about our fabulous females, all things are considered and they are equally worthy of honor for their service. The percentage, while growing, remains a barrier to healing, that does not have to be there. We are doing what we can to break that down by helping you #BreakTheSilence so you hear it is possible to #TakeBackYourLife and be defined by what you decide to do from this moment onward!

HEAR HER ROAR on Remember The Fallen Podcast

Monday, March 9, 2020

Women in Military Service for America Memorial

3 remarkable women warriors to honor

Connecting Vets
MARCH 09, 2020

        Rear Admiral Grace Hooper--- Corporal Jessica Ellis---Brigadier General Hazel Johnson-Brown
Women veterans are the fastest-growing segment of the veteran population and have been serving in the Armed Forces since the Civil War. This is why we think it's only right to recognize a few of the women who dedicated their lives to serving their country, some of them making the ultimate sacrifice.
Here are three notable women buried in Arlington Cemetery and whose information is stored in the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.
read it here

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Determined Combat Photographer Marine Did Not Give Up

Female Marine combat photographer paves the way

We Are The Mighty
Jessica Manfre
Mar. 04, 2020
The Marine Corps has the longest boot camp out of all of the armed forces and arguably the toughest to graduate from. In 2004 when she wanted to join, only 6% of enlisted Marines were female. Kirk-Cuomo did part of the physical fitness test right then and there in front of that recruiter.

Erin Kirk-Cuomo dreamed of being a combat photographer. She interviewed with multiple companies and publications within the civilian world, but none of them were willing to hire a female photographer for that position.

So, she decided to join the military.

She chose to go into the United States Marine Corps. When she opened the doors to the Armed Forces recruitment office in 2004, she was ready to raise her right hand and do just that. But Kirk-Cuomo was told she couldn't be a combat photographer, because she was female.
read it here

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Female Marines make history with howitzers

Two female Marine cannoneers are now howitzer section chiefs

Military Times
Phillip Athey
March 3, 2020
The two trailblazing cannon cockers join a long line of female Marines who continue to break barriers in jobs they were once barred from
Two female Marines have passed the Corps’ howitzer section chief course ― accomplishing another milestone for female integration in the Marine Corps nearly four years after combat jobs were first opened to women.
Cannoneer Marine Cpl. Shannon Lilly is bitten by military working dog, Robby, during a bite demonstration on the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Kearsarge (LHD 3) in May 2019. (Sgt. Aaron Henson/Marine Corps)
A howitzer section chief is the artillery equivalent of a squad leader, responsible for maintaining, aiming and firing the Corps’ M777 155 mm howitzer along with leading a crew of eight to 10 Marines required to fire the gun.

The first female Marine to pass the demanding course was Cpl. Shannon Lilly with with Gulf Battery, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, a Marine Corps spokeswoman told Marine Corps Times on Monday.

Lilly passed the course in December 2019, according to 2nd Marine Division spokeswoman Sgt. Gloria Lepko.
read it here

Friday, February 7, 2020

Kentucky legislators push bill for Female Veterans' Day

This Kentucky legislator wants to create a Women Veterans Day

Courier Journal
Sarah Ladd
Feb. 5, 2020

The bill's language boasts, "women have proudly served their country throughout all periods of the history of the United States, whether disguised as male soldiers during the American 4 Revolution and Civil War, as nurses in World War I, or as combat helicopter pilots in 5 Afghanistan."

A Kentucky legislator wants to set aside a date for Women Veterans Day, and she has a lot of support from her colleagues.

Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green, introduced a bill Tuesday into the Kentucky Legislature that asks for June 12 to be set aside to honor women in Kentucky who've served in the military.

And more than 70 Legislators have signed on as co-sponsors.

Minter told The Courier Journal she's been "overwhelmed and excited" about the support from her colleagues, which has transcended political party and gender.

Minter, who is not a veteran, said setting aside a day for female veterans would be both "celebratory and educational."

When she was first sworn into the General Assembly, Minter was assigned to a committee that worked with veterans. Through that work, she said she was "educated" by women veterans about the "unique challenges" faced by service women.
read it here

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Tennessee boasts 32 of the Medal of Honor Recipients

A look at Tennessee's Medal of Honor recipients and their stories

Chattanooga Times Free Press
by Sabrina Bodon
February 1st, 2020
The state of Tennessee boasts 32 of the medal's 3,525 honorees thus far, including a Signal Mountain native for whom the new Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center is named.
Medal of Honor awards are displayed during the third annual Celebration of Valor luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn. / Staff file photo

On multiple occasions, while awarding the Medal of Honor, President Harry S. Truman remarked, "I would rather have the blue band of the Medal of Honor around my neck than to be president of the United States." But when Congress attempted to award the badge to him in 1971, he wrote to the House that he did " ... not consider that I have done anything which should be the reason of any award, Congressional or otherwise."

Truman continued, saying the medal was for combat bravery, and awarding it to him would detract from that significance.

"This does not mean I do not appreciate what you and others have done, because I do appreciate the kind things that have been said and the proposal to have the award offered to me," Truman wrote. "Therefore, I close by saying thanks, but I will not accept a Congressional Medal of Honor."
Fifty-two medals have been awarded for acts of valor that occurred in and around Chattanooga, including one to Mary Edwards Walker, the only female recipient. read it here

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Washington Post did not notice research should be about facts, not just what they see?

Washington Post got military suicide research wrong

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 19, 2020

One would think that an article on something as serious as military suicides would require diligent research, before presenting it as such. So, why did Washington Post not notice research should be about facts, not just what they see?

The Houston Chronicle posted from The Washington Post, Can historical analysis help reduce military deaths by suicide? by Jeffrey Allen Smith, Michael Doidge, Ryan Hanoa and B. Christopher Frueh, January 17, 2020,
"At the dawn of a new decade, it is time to broaden the scope of research and use history to inform our problem-solving and the policies we develop as result. Incorporating historical data can help scientific researchers recognize and separate chronic forces from acute factors affecting suicide rates. Instead of analyzing military suicide over the past 20, 50 or 70 years, what if we examined available records and documents from the past 200? We did just this in a recently published study."
but the problem is, others have been looking at historical facts for a lot longer. While these are great questions,
"Examining historical patterns can assist policymakers and the military in addressing the factors causing it. For example, we must now ask ourselves what is different and unique about the war on terrorism? Why do the best efforts of the Defense Department, modern psychiatry and dramatically expanded mental health programs not result in lower suicide rates, instead of higher ones? What is different about today's force than yesterday's?"
the rest of the article did little to answer them, especially when so much was wrong with the article itself.
"Following World War II, to maintain commitments abroad, the United States drafted a standing army larger than ever before. To enhance retention and keep the U.S. military competitive with the private sector, President Dwight Eisenhower championed expanded access to housing and health care for service members and their families in his 1954 State of the Union address. Improvements to both followed in the years ahead."
Well, they had the draft in other wars all the way up to Vietnam. It omitted why the rate went down, and that is because during WWII, when a service member showed signs of mental health stress, they were sent back home. During the Korean War, they were treated by clinicians embedded with the troops. If they could return to duty after therapy, they did, otherwise, they were sent back home.

As for Vietnam, the DEROS deployments took care of that because when their year was up, they were on their way back home, before they could understand something was clearly wrong. When asked about any problems before discharge, they denied they had any problems so they could go home.

They also did not notice this article from U.S. Army Medial Department
Incidence of Mental Disorders
Rates of hospitalization for mental disorders in Army personnel during the postwar period (1920-30) ranged from 11 to 12 per 1,000 men per year.19 These rates included admissions for "mental alienation" (dementia praecox, manic depressive psychosis, general paresis, alcoholic and other organic psychoses, mental deficiency, constitutional psychopathic states, hypochondriasis) and various neurotic disorders (hysteria, neurasthenia, psychasthenia, psychoneurosis, neurocirculatory asthenia). The incidence of psychotic disorders during this period was from 2 to 3 per 1,000 per annum. Excluded from the preceding mental disease categories were admissions for neurological diseases, drug addiction, and acute and chronic alcoholism. Admissions for alcoholism alone during this 10-year period were from 7 to 8 per 1,000 per annum, a marked decrease from rates of approximately 16 per 1,000 per annum for alcohol admissions in the decade prior to World War I (1907-16) before the establishment of the National Prohibition Act. That mental disorders constituted a major medical problem in the postwar era is indicated by the following data:
1. Suicide was the leading cause of death in military personnel in this decade (over 0.5 per 1,000 strength per annum).

2. Mental disorders as a class were the largest cause for medical discharge with a rate of 6 to 7 per 1,000 strength per annum, which indicated that more than one-half of the admissions eventuated in discharge.

3. Dementia praecox was the leading single disease cause for medical discharge (2 to 3 per 1,000 strength per annum).

4. In general, mental disorders, excluding alcoholism and drug addiction, were first as a cause for discharge, fifth or sixth as a cause for hospital admissions, and third or fourth in producing loss of duty time for medical reasons.

5. Mental disorders were the leading cause for medical evacuation from oversea stations.
As for OEF and OIF, the increase in suicides was predicted by Wounded Times back in 2009, following the release of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness.
If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them.
And this was part of that article on Wounded Times
Ever notice the vast majority of the men and women you command end up carrying out the mission they are given, fighting fiercely and showing great courage even though they are already carrying the wound inside of them? They fulfill their duty despite flashbacks and nightmares draining them because their duty comes first to them. Do you understand how much that takes for them to do that? Yet you think telling them their minds are not tough enough will solve the problem? What kind of a tough mind do you think they needed to have to fight on despite this killing pain inside of them?
As with everything else, facts are still facts, no matter if they are acknowledged or not.
"This relatively stable paradigm lasted until the beginning the 21st century and the dawn of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, when the suicide rate increased once more, eventually spiking at 29.7 per 100,000 in 2012. By February 2007, medical cost-cutting and rising numbers of traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses had overwhelmed the military."
They left out how Vietnam veterans came home and fought for all the research and funding going toward understanding PTSD. They left out how many "efforts" produced billions in increased funding, along with "awareness" at the same time suicides did in fact increase. Not just within the military, but among those in the veteran community.

And they got this wrong too!
While the Army's active duty suicide rate has dropped from the 2012 peak, it has remained around 20 to 30 per 100,000. While in the past, periods of war seem to have lowered suicide rates, that correlation became inverted first during the decades-long conflict in Vietnam and the almost-two-decade wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Correlation is not causation, but the current elevated rates appear to be indicative of a bedeviling new paradigm.
Naturally they omitted that in 2012 there were less serving because the size of the military was cut due to sequestration and the end of the War in Iraq. This is from PolitiFact in 2015.
In 2012, the Army had about 570,000 soldiers. Reductions over several years have taken it down to its current size of about 490,000. Rubio was referring to the Army’s announcement in July that it plans to cut the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 by fiscal year 2018, or a total of 40,000 positions.‎
They keep getting Vietnam wrong too, considering it was claiming lives of US service members since the 50's and the last to be killed came in 1975.

This is from the DOD yearly report on military suicides.

Add Active Duty with Reserve Components. It has averaged 500 a year since 2012. Nothing will ever change until reporters get serious about what they put out as facts!

Friday, January 17, 2020

MOH Robert Howard nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions in Vietnam

This Army Special Forces veteran was nominated for the Medal of Honor three times

We Are The Mighty
Blake Stilwell
Jan. 16, 2020
In all, Robert Howard fought in Vietnam for 54 months, where he was wounded 14 times. For eight of those wounds, he received a Purple Heart. He also earned the Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star, and four Bronze Stars. When he retired, he was the most decorated soldier in the Army and was the most decorated of the entire Vietnam War. He remains the only soldier to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions, all in a 13-month span.

On Dec. 30, 1968, Robert Howard was the platoon sergeant for a joint unit of U.S. Army Special Forces and South Vietnamese forces. Their mission was to rescue soldiers who were missing in action behind enemy lines. As they moved out onto their objective, they were attacked by what had to be two companies of enemy troops. 1st. Lt. Howard was wounded by an enemy grenade almost immediately. He lost his weapon to the explosion, and his platoon leader was down.

His luck only got worse from there.

This is how Robert Howard earned his Medal of Honor. It was one of three for which he was nominated. The men who fought with him fervently believed he deserved all three. The battle for which he received the nation's highest military honor was one hell of a slugfest. At Kon Tum, South Vietnam, that day in 1968, things went awry from the get-go.

"We took casualties on the insert," Howard said. "I finally got with the platoon leader and said we need to secure this LZ... I got three men behind me, I remember being fired at and I fell backward and they killed three men behind me."

One of the helicopters had even been shot down with troops still aboard it. The platoon began taking fire from the flanks, and Howard knew he had to tell his lieutenant the landing zone was hotter than they thought. Just as he got close to his officer, however, the unit was ambushed.

"When I come to, I was blown up in a crump on the ground," Howard recalled. "My weapon was blown out of may hand, I remember seeing red, and saying a prayer hoping I wasn't blind. I couldn't see and I was in a lot of pain."
read it here

Friday, September 20, 2019

They were “Donut Dollies,” young women who volunteered to fly to combat zones

Meet 'Donut Dolly' Judy Squire, one of Vietnam's forgotten veterans

By: Craig McKee
Sep 17, 2019 

She didn't fight. She wasn't a nurse. But she was in the thick of it.

Judy Squire didn’t live to see herself recognized as an honorary Vietnam veteran. The certificate welcoming her to Vietnam Veterans of America arrived in August, two months after her death of congestive heart failure.

But getting it all was a victory, her family said. Women like Squire spent decades unsure if they even had the right to ask for their service with the Red Cross Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas program to be counted alongside that of soldiers, nurses and other members of the armed forces.

“She probably would never have told us she got it,” Squire’s sister, Mary Catherine Schneider, said.

They weren’t military. They were “Donut Dollies,” young women who volunteered to fly to combat zones as part of a morale-boosting effort during the war. There, in the heat and mud, they wore sky-blue dresses, served snacks and attempted to provide “a touch of home” that would distract soldiers from their daily losses. Smiling was required. So were perfect hair and makeup.

None of it protected them. In a 2017 interview with PBS, former Dolly Rachel Torrance recalled crouching behind barricades as artillery fired around her. Squire would later tell her family about a day she returned from serving lemonade in the field to discover her house had been bombed.
read it here

Monday, September 9, 2019

Two Army Generals made history....because they are sisters!

These 2 women are the first sisters ever to become Army generals

Mallory Hughes
September 7, 2019

(CNN)The US Army has plenty of famous examples of generals who were brothers. But sisters? Now that's another story.
Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett presenting Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi a beret with one-star rank insignia as a tribute to the history of women serving in the Army and the historic moment of sisters serving together as General Officers.

Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi became what the Army believes to be the first pair of sister generals.

Because women sometimes change their last names after marriage, the Army would have had to look at every single woman general, as well as their siblings, to compare names and determine if they were sisters. An Army spokesperson told CNN that it wasn't possible to do that.

"But since there haven't been that many women generals, it's a safe bet that they're the first," the spokesperson said.

The military didn't start accepting women into its ranks until the Army Nursing Corps was established in 1901.
Maj. Gen. Barrett is the Commanding General of NETCOM. She graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and was commissioned through the Army ROTC program as a Second Lieutenant in 1988.

Her younger sister, Brig. Gen. Lodi, was promoted in July and is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at the Office of the Surgeon General. She is a Distinguished Honor Graduate of the Naval War College and has master's degrees in public administration, military arts and science, and national security and strategic studies.
read it here

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Widow discovered husband's secret life...diary of PTSD and POW

Discovery of WWII diary revives a Sarasota widow’s trauma

Herald Tribune
Billy Cox
September 6, 2019
Lorraine Glixon recently discovered her late husband’s World War II diary. Harry Glixon was a POW who was part of a historic prisoner exchange with Nazi Germany in 1944.

SARASOTA — Struggling through Parkinson’s disease, dementia and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, Harry Glixon spent the last decade of his life racing the undertaker, pecking away at the keyboards with the two-fingered intensity that characterized his typing skills.

His widow, Lorraine, describes him as “obsessed” as the old warrior demanded more and more of her time to edit the manuscript he would call “My Story.” Over the years, she would sometimes hear him coming to terms with what he’d done and seen, raising his voice in his study, “I can’t do this! I can’t do this!” And Lorraine discovered she couldn’t do it, either.

After Lorraine gave up, Harry relied on three outside editors/writers to advance his memoir to an abrupt ending in 1962. That’s how far he’d gotten when, in 2006, 11 years into “My Story,” Harry took a spill in his motorized wheelchair and never recovered. He died a year later, at age 86.

The unfinished work that Harry Glixon left behind was so raw — and in so many ways, unflattering — that he requested in the preface that “the contents of my book be kept from the children until at least their 25th birthday.”

He had hoped, according to that preface, that his accounting would “demonstrate that I was a good person and not selfish.” But he also feared his journey through the past would “regenerate old demons and impact and diminish my current happiness.” And that, according to Lorraine, is exactly what happened.

Of the unfinished memoir’s 304 pages, roughly 80 are devoted to World War II, during which Harry Glixon earned two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star with V for Valor and a recommendation for the Distinguished Service Cross. He also made history in such unprecedented fashion, it played on newsreels that cheered audiences in both the U.S. and Germany.
read it here

Thursday, September 5, 2019

History made as Airman becomes Army Ranger...oh yes she did!

First female Air Force airman earns Army Ranger tab

Air Force Times
By: Diana Stancy Correll
September 3, 2019

“Ranger School is truly not for the weak or faint of heart. It speaks well of all those who persevere to find that inner grit and motivation to push through all that Ranger School throws at them,” said Lt. Col. Walter Sorensen, Air Force Security Forces Center chief of training, in an Air Force news release.
Air Force 1st Lt. Chelsey Hibsch has become the first female airman to graduate from Army Ranger School in Fort Benning, Georgia. She is now a flight commander in the 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California. (Machiko Arita/Air Force)
Nearly 300 airmen have earned the Ranger tab since the Army started accepting airmen into its school 64 years ago. But none have been women — that is, until Air Force 1st Lt. Chelsey Hibsch became the first female airman to earn the tab last week.

Hibsch, a former enlisted airman who previously served with the 374th Security Forces Squadron at Yokota Air Base in Japan, pinned on the tab at the Army Ranger School graduation at Fort Benning, Georgia, Aug. 30.

She was eligible to take the Army Ranger Course after she attended the Air Force’s Ranger Assessment Course, which is hosted by the Air Force Security Forces Center and based on the first two weeks of the Army Ranger Course. She also attended the Tropic Lightning Academy at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

Hibsch described the Air Force’s Ranger Assessment Course as “an unmatched learning experience on leadership and followership," and prepared her for Ranger School because it provided an “understanding of how you function when you’re hungry, tired, wet, cold and worse, then you have to lead a team of individuals feeling the exact same way."

“You really find out a lot about your teammates and yourself in these stressful situations,” Hibsch said, according to an Air Force news release.
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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Paratrooper Veteran Jumps In D-Day Rerun at 97!

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

NBC News
Published on Jun 5, 2019

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

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

June 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hear a 98-year-old Marine veteran tell her story

'I've been a helper all my life': Hear a 98-year-old Marine veteran tell her story

River Towns
By Hannah Black
May 29, 2019

In 2017, Fremont was honored for her service at an annual Marine Corps birthday ball in Washington D.C. She was the oldest Marine in attendance and shared a piece of cake with the youngest Marine at the ball, a tradition meant to symbolize the passing of knowledge on to a younger generation.

June Fremont is pictured at Woodbury Senior Living on May 9, 2019, in Woodbury. Photo courtesy of Margaret Wachholz1
WOODBURY — Sitting in an armchair in her apartment at the Woodbury Senior Living villas, June Fremont flipped through a scrapbook, landing on a page that featured group photos of four young women. On the bottom left, the women stood in front of a backdrop of palm trees, all wearing grass skirts. In the photo above, they all held coconuts, one jokingly holding it up to her ear as if listening to it.

"When we got off the train, they ... took us all over Hawaii doing publicity shots," Fremont said.

It was 1945 and she was stationed at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, just four years after the Japanese military had attacked the naval base. Fremont, 98, had volunteered to be part of the first wave of U.S. Marine Corps women to serve "overseas," as Hawaii wouldn't become a state until 1959.
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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day
Among the many military holidays celebrated each year is Armed Forces Day. Celebrated the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day falls during Military Appreciation Month and joins Memorial Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) as another May military-themed holiday.

The History of Armed Forces Day
On Aug. 31, 1949, Defense Secretary Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the armed forces under one agency -- the Department of Defense.

In a speech announcing the creation of the day, President Truman "praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas." He said, "It is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace."

In an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Truman stated:

"Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, toward the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense."
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Monday, March 18, 2019

Fort Jackson’s 51st Commanding General marks 100 years of family service

This general’s family: From segregation to command in 100 years

The Associated Press
By: Christina L. Myers
March 17, 2019
"That was one thing I did reflect on. Somebody at some point in time said your particular race can't do that," Beagle said. "At some point our ancestors fought so we could be in those front-line units and those combat units."
Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., commander of Fort Jackson, South Carolina, speaks to the president of the Sgt. Isaac Woodard Historical Marker Association following the dedication ceremony in Batesburg-Leesville, S.C., last month. The general is descended from a soldier who served at Camp Jackson in a segregated Army more than a century ago. (Christina Myers/AP)
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Pvt. Walter Beagles arrived at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, in 1918, an African American draftee in a segregated Army that relegated black soldiers to labor battalions out of a prejudiced notion that they couldn’t fight.

More than 100 years later, his great-grandson now serves as Fort Jackson’s 51st commanding general.

Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr., a combat veteran who took command last June, admits that it gets to him, knowing he’s serving where his ancestor served but under vastly different circumstances.

"It does become pretty surreal to know that the gates my great-grandfather came through are the same gates I come through," Beagle said. "You always reflect back to you're standing on somebody's shoulders. Somebody put that stair in place so you can move one more rung up."

Beagle hails from the same town where his great-grandfather came from: Enoree, South Carolina. The family dropped the "s'' from the end of its name during his grandfather's lifetime.

He says he felt compelled to enter the infantry as a young man at least partly because African Americans once were largely shunted aside — considered inferior and unsuited to combat.
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