Veterans Interest - Page 12
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Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you.   Jesus Christ  and  The American G.I.
"One died for your soul, the other for your freedom!"


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-- Department of Veterans Affairs are censoring GOD
-- A New Can of Whupass
-- Letter To Obama
-- B-17 - Mid Air Collision 1943
-- The only functional, restored, PT boat
-- Trip to Vietnam Revives Hatred of Communism - 2/15/11
-- UK Army Dog May Have Died From Broken Heart

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 Veterans' Cemetery in Houston Accused of Censoring Religious Speech Wednesday, June 29, 2011

By Susan Jones From The Houston Chronicle: Local veterans and volunteer groups say officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs are censoring their religious speech ó including the word "God" -- at Houston National Cemetery.

In one example, cited in documents filed this week in federal court, cemetery director Arleen Ocasio reportedly told volunteers who attend veterans' funerals to stop telling families "God bless you." The volunteers say they also were told to remove the words "God bless" from condolence cards.

"It's just unfair that somebody would ask us to take God out of our vocabulary," the newspaper quoted one volunteer as saying.

 Letter To Obama at Whitehouse Sent from 95 year Old Pearl Harbor Survivor !! Fantastic!!

95 year old hero!    This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii
for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president.


Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don't believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos'n Mate. Now I live in a "rest home" located on the western end of Pearl Harbor , allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can't figure out what country you are the president of. You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like: " We're no longer a Christian nation" or " America is arrogant" - (Your wife even announced to the world," America is mean- spirited. " Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I'd say shame on the both of you, but I don't think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said," America hasn't lived up to her ideals."

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn't mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don't think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don't, I'll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue .... You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don't want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don't mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don't want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you're the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you're not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you're thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.
You're not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That's not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.
And I sure as hell don't want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle...

Sincerely,
Harold B. Estes
Snopes confirms as true:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/haroldestes.asp

When a 95 year old hero of the "the Greatest Generation" stands up and speaks out like this, I think we owe it to him to send his words to as many Americans as we can.     Please pass it on.

Provided by friend Tom Nugent

 B-17 - Mid Air Collision 1943

Posted 5/30/2011  Received from a from friend Tom Nugent

The term "Greatest Generation" doesn't mean just people but can be equally applied to some of the finest aircraft designs of all time; the C-47 transport, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning, both superb fighters! And of course the B-24 Liberator, the F4U Corsair (the Navy's greatest carrier fighter), the P-51 Mustang (arguably the finest fighter aircraft of its time) and finally the B-17 who's crews said would bring them home in almost any condition and here's one of those conditions! Tough Bird

A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943 between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II... An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded pilot then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named All American, piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron.

When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress and left elevator were completely torn away. The two right engines were out and one on the left had a serious oil pump leak. The vertical fin and the rudder had been damaged, the fuselage had been cut almost completely through connected only at two small parts of the frame and the radios, electrical and oxygen systems were damaged. There was also a hole in the top that was over 16 feet long and 4 feet wide at its widest and the split in the fuselage went all the way to the top gunnerís turret.

Although the tail actually bounced and swayed in the wind and twisted when the plane turned and all the control cables were severed , except one single elevator cable still worked, and the aircraft still flew-miraculously! The tail gunner was trapped because there was no floor connecting the tail to the rest of the plane. The waist and tail gunners used parts of the German fighter and their own parachute harnesses in an attempt to keep the tail from ripping off and the two sides of the fuselage from splitting apart.


While the crew was trying to keep the bomber from coming apart, the pilot continued on his bomb run and released his bombs over the target.  When the bomb bay doors were opened, the wind turbulence was so great that it blew one of the waist gunners into the broken tail section. It took several minutes and four crew members to pass him ropes from parachutes and haul him back into the forward part of the plane. When they tried to do the same for the tail gunner, the tail began flapping so hard that it began to break off. The weight of the gunner was adding some stability to the tail section, so he went back to his position.

The turn back toward England had to be very slow to keep the tail from twisting off. They actually covered almost 70 miles to make the turn home. The bomber was so badly damaged that it was losing altitude and speed and was soon alone in the sky. For a brief time, two more Me109 German fighters attacked the All American. Despite the extensive damage, all of the machine gunners were able to respond to these attacks and soon drove off the fighters. The two waist gunners stood up with their heads sticking out through the hole in the top of the fuselage to aim and fire their machine guns. The tail gunner had to shoot in short bursts because the recoil was actually causing the plane to turn.

Allied P51 fighters intercepted the All American as it crossed over the Channel and took one of the pictures shown. They also radioed to the base describing the empennage was waving like a fish tail and that the plane would not make it and to send out boats to rescue the crew when they bailed out. The fighters stayed with the Fortress taking hand signals from Lt. Bragg and relaying them to the base. Lt. Bragg signaled that 5 parachutes and the spare had been "used" so five of the crew could not bail out. He made the decision that if they could not bail out safely, then he would stay with the plane and land it.

Two and a half hours after being hit, the aircraft made its final turn to line up with the runway while it was still over 40 miles away. It descended into an emergency landing and a normal roll-out on its landing gear. When the ambulance pulled alongside, it was waved off because not a single member of the crew had been injured. No one could believe that the aircraft could still fly in such a condition. The Fortress sat placidly until the crew all exited through the door in the fuselage and the tail gunner had climbed down a ladder, at which time the entire rear section of the aircraft collapsed onto the ground. The rugged old bird had done its job.

 

 PT Boat 658 - The only functional, restored, PT boat left in the world! Operating out of Portland, Oregon.

To review click here

 Trip to Vietnam Revives Hatred of Communism

2/15/2011 By Dennis Prager

 
It was difficult to control my emotions -- specifically, my anger -- during my visit to Vietnam last week. The more I came to admire the Vietnamese people -- their intelligence, love of life, dignity and hard work -- the more rage I felt for the communists who brought them (and, of course, us Americans) so much suffering in the second half of the 20th century.

Unfortunately, communists still rule the country. Yet, Vietnam today has embraced the only way that exists to escape poverty, let alone to produce prosperity: capitalism and the free market. So what exactly did the 2 million Vietnamese who died in the Vietnam War die for? I would like to ask one of the communist bosses who run Vietnam that question. "Comrade, you have disowned everything your Communist party stood for: communal property, collectivized agriculture, central planning and militarism, among other things. Looking back, then, for what precisely did your beloved Ho Chi Minh and your party sacrifice millions of your fellow Vietnamese?"

There is no good answer. There are only a lie and a truth, and the truth is not good.

The lie is the response offered by the Vietnamese communists and which was repeated, like virtually all communist lies, by the world's non-communist left. It was (and continues to be) taught in virtually every Western university and was and continues to be spread by virtually every news medium on the planet: The Vietnam communists, i.e., the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, were merely fighting for national independence against foreign control of their country.

First, they fought the French, then the Japanese and then the Americans. American baby boomers will remember being told over and over that Ho Chi Minh was Vietnam's George Washington, that he loved the American Constitution, after which he modeled his own, and wanted nothing more than Vietnamese independence.
Here is the truth: Every communist dictator in the world has been a megalomaniacal, cult of personality, power hungry, bloodthirsty thug. Ho Chi Minh was no different. He murdered his opponents, tortured only God knows how many innocent Vietnamese, threatened millions into fighting for him -- yes, for him and his blood soaked Vietnamese Communist Party, backed by the greatest murderer of all time, Mao Zedong. But the moral idiots in America chanted "Ho, ho, Ho Chi Minh" at antiwar rallies, and they depicted America as the real murderers of Vietnamese -- "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?"

The Vietnamese communists were not fighting America for Vietnamese independence. America was never interested in controlling the Vietnamese people, and there is a perfect parallel to prove this: the Korean War. Did America fight the Korean communists in order to control Korea? Or did 37,000 Americans die in Korea so that Koreans could be free? Who was (and remains) a freer human being -- a Korean living under Korean communist rule in North Korea or a Korean living in that part of Korea where America defeated the Korean communists?

And who was a freer human being in Vietnam -- those who lived in non-communist South Vietnam (with all its flaws) or those who lived under Ho, ho, Ho Chi Minh's communists in North Vietnam?

America fights to liberate countries, not to rule over them. It was the Vietnamese Communist Party, not America, that was interested in controlling the Vietnamese people. But the lie was spread so widely and so effectively that most of the world -- except American supporters of the war and the Vietnamese boat people and other Vietnamese who yearned for liberty -- believed that America was fighting for tin, tungsten and the wholly fictitious "American empire" while the Vietnamese communists were fighting for Vietnamese freedom.

I went to the "Vietnam War Remnants Museum" -- the Communist Party's three-floor exhibit of anti-American photos. Nothing surprised me -- not the absence of a single word critical of the communist North Vietnamese or of the Viet Cong; not a word about the widespread threats on the lives of anyone who did not fight for the communists; not a word about those who risked their lives to escape by boat, preferring to risk dying by drowning, being eaten by sharks or being tortured or gang-raped by pirates, rather than to live under the communists who "liberated" South Vietnam.

Equally unsurprising is that there is little difference between the history of the Vietnam War as told by the Communist Party of Vietnam and what just about any college student will be told in just about any college by just about any professor in America, Europe, Asia or Latin America.

I will end with the subject with which I began -- the Vietnamese. It is impossible to visit Vietnam and not be impressed by the people. I hope I live to see the day when the people of Vietnam, freed from the communist lies that still permeate their daily lives, understand that every Vietnamese death in the war against America was a wasted life, one more of the 140 million human sacrifices on the altar of the most bloodthirsty false god in history: communism.

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 UK Army Dog May Have Died From Broken Heart

Published March 10, 2011

Liam and Theo were a team, fast friends doing a dangerous job -- searching out roadside bombs laid by insurgents in Afghanistan.

The jovial British soldier and his irrepressible dog worked and played together for months, and died on the same day. On Thursday they came home, flown back to Britain in a somber repatriation ceremony for the soldier remembered for his empathy with animals and the companion he loved.

Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, a dog handler with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was killed in a firefight with insurgents in Helmand Province on March 1 as he searched for explosives with Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel mix. The dog suffered a fatal seizure hours later at a British army base, likely brought about by stress.

Military officials won't go so far as to say Theo died of a broken heart -- but that may not be far from the truth.

"I think we often underestimate the grieving process in dogs," said Elaine Pendlebury, a senior veterinarian with animal charity PDSA. "Some dogs react very severely to their partner's loss."

She said it was not uncommon for pets to respond to an owner's death by refusing food and becoming sick -- and the bond between working dogs and their handlers is especially close.

"The bonding that I have seen between soldiers or police and their dogs is fantastic. When you see them working together, it's really one unit."

A military Hercules plane carrying Tasker's body and Theo's ashes touched down Thursday at a Royal Air Force base in southwest England. As the funeral cortege of black vehicles drove slowly away, it was saluted by a long line of military dog handlers, their dogs at their sides. A black Labrador retriever sat quietly beside its handler as the hearse carrying the flag-draped coffin disappeared from view.

At the nearby town of Wootton Bassett, where people line the streets in a mark of respect each time a dead solder is repatriated, dozens stood silently -- some with dogs at their feet -- as Tasker's friends and family laid roses atop the hearse.

The Ministry of Defense said Theo's ashes would be presented to Tasker's family later at a private ceremony.

Tasker, 26, from Kirkcaldy in Scotland, spent six years as an army mechanic before joining the military working dog unit in 2007. He felt he had found his calling.

"I love my job and working together with Theo," Tasker said in a profile of the pair released by the Ministry of Defense before his death. "He has a great character and never tires. He can't wait to get out and do his job and will stop at nothing."

The soldier and the 22-month-old dog had been in Afghanistan for almost six months, uncovering roadside bombs and weapons in a dangerous daily routine.

Theo became a bit of a military celebrity last month after the defense ministry released photos and video of him and Tasker to highlight the lifesaving work of military dogs. The footage, now deeply poignant, shows Theo -- energetic, ears cocked, tail wagging -- alongside Tasker searching a compound for explosives.

The ministry said then that Theo had been so successful -- finding 14 hidden bombs and weapons caches, a record for a team in Afghanistan -- that the dog's tour of duty had been extended by a month.

Tasker was the 358th British soldier to die in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Theo was the sixth British military dog killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001.

There are calls for Theo to receive the Dickin medal, which since 1943 has recognized wartime bravery by animals, from carrier pigeons to a World War II commando collie.

The loyalty of some dogs is legendary, from Greyfriars Bobby, a 19th-century Skye terrier who guarded his master's Edinburgh grave for 14 years, to Hachiko, a Japanese dog who awaited his owner's return at a train station every day for years after the man's death. Both are commemorated with statues.

Tasker's father, Ian, said Theo would have been devastated by Liam's death.

"I truly believe when Theo went back to the kennel, that that would have a big, big impact because Liam wasn't there to comfort him," he told ITV news.

Tasker's mother, Jane Duffy agreed. "I'm not nurse or a vet (but) I would like to believe (Theo) died of a broken heart to be with Liam," she told the broadcaster.

Tasker's colleague's recalled the soldier's bond with his dog and zealous attention to duty in tributes released by the defense ministry.

"A natural with animals, he had an affection for his dog that truly was a window to his soul," said Maj. Alexander Turner, a commander of Tasker's unit.

He "was here to save life, finding explosive devices that kill more farmers than combatants in our area," Turner said. "His fortitude and zeal for that perilous task was humbling; it imbued us all with confidence. He used to joke that Theo was impossible to restrain but I would say the same about Lance Corporal Tasker."

Tasker's uncle, Billy McCord, said the soldier had been due to leave Afghanistan soon and worried about being separated from Theo.

"He actually said at one point that when he finished his tour he was not sure what would happen to his dog and that he could be separated from his dog," McCord told the local Courier newspaper in Scotland. "That was preying on his mind, but they are not separated now."

URL  http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/10/uk-army-dog-died-broken-heart-1606316739/
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