Veterans Interest - Page 16
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-- For everyone who fought in Vietnam - Posted 8/3/12
-- Old Guy And A Bucket Of Shrimp - Eddie Rickenbacker - Posted 8/1/12
-- A little bit of Big history - posted 7/21/12
-- ACLU stops Prayer  for the Troops - posted 6/24/2012
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 ACLU has filed a suit to end prayer from the military completely. They're making great progress. The Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus' name in prayer thanks to the ACLU and others.

Would it be wrong to ask that ACLU Lawyers die in place of our GIs.
 

 For everyone who fought in Vietnam

This should be required reading for all Americans on the 4th of July:
Wouldn't it be nice if all immigrants had the same Mindset as Quang Nguyen!!!!!!This is pronounced nu-yen.
For everyone who fought in Vietnam and wondered if we really made a difference. Please read and you will know we did.
On Saturday, July 24th, 2010, the town of Prescott Valley, AZ, hosted a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of coming to America and what it means. He spoke the following in dedication to all Vietnam Veterans. Thought you might enjoy hearing what he had to say:

"35 years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I'd laugh at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and my family in the greatest country on earth.

I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I'd rather speak to you as an American.

If you hadn't noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with my people.

I am a proud US citizen and here is my proof. It took me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it, and I am very proud of it.

I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could remember anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I can't even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf.

35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had ended. At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the U.S. Somehow, my family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California . It was a miracle.

If you haven't heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth, I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong. I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I took the opportunity and here I am.

This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way ticket out of here. And, if you didn't know, the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your head. That was my experience.

In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time as an American. To this day, I can't remember anything sweeter and more patriotic than that moment in my life.

Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college, and like any other goofball 21-year-old kid, I was having a great time with my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California . In some way and somehow, I had forgotten how I got here and why I was here.

One day, I was at a gas station and saw a veteran pumping gas on the other side of the island. I don't know what made me do it, but I walked over and asked if he had served in Vietnam . He smiled and said, "Yes." I shook and held his hand. The grown man began to well up. I walked away as fast as I could and, at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back.

You see, America is not just a place on the map, it isn't just a physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And, if you are an American, you must understand the concept, you must accept this concept, and, most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here.

Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion, you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can't speak the language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages - last I looked on the internet, there wasn't a Vietnamese translation of the U.S. Constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and, to this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It's not easy, but if it's too easy, it's not worth doing.

Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names inscribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders.

At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now ask all veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand. On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your services and may God bless you all.

Quang Nguyen
Creative Director/Founder
Caddis Advertising, LLC”

Notice that he referred to himself as an American, NOT Vietnamese-American.

How good it would be here in America if all of the immigrants---no, EVERYONE--- felt like Quang Nguyen.

"One Flag, One Language, One Nation Under God

As a Vietnam Vet, (Chopper Pilot), I have often wondered if it and the friends I lost was really worth it.

This email passed to me by from another Vietnam Vet (Soldier –on the ground) has given me more to think about.

I added this part after finding him on the web.
Quang Nguyen, Founder and President, is both Creative and Art Director and a principal strategist. Mr. Nguyen will act as lead strategist and oversee the design process.

Mr. Nguyen immigrated to the United States in 1975 from Vietnam at age 13. He graduated from California State University, at Long Beach with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.   With over twenty years of branding and marketing experience, Mr. Nguyen served as Creative Manager for Fluor Corporation in Irvine, California, Art Director for Sonance in San Clemente, California, and as Creative Director for Knox Corporation in Phoenix, Arizona.   Highly skilled and experienced in all aspects of marketing and design, Mr. Nguyen is a visionary and practical strategist. He has extensive experience in the aerospace and defense, construction, energy, financial services and higher education, in addition to the municipality and public sectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Old Guy And A Bucket Of Shrimp

This is a true story,
Hope you appreciate it and want to pass it along.

It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.
Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier.. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Everybody's gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you. Thank you.'

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn't leave.

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like 'a funny old duck,' as my dad used to say. Or, 'a guy who's a sandwich shy of a picnic,' as my kids might say. To onlookers, he's just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant .... maybe even a lot of nonsense.

Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters.

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida.  That's too bad.  They'd do well to know him better.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker.   He was a famous hero back in World War II.  On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down.  Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were.

They needed a miracle.  That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle.  They tried to nap.  Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged.   All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft..

Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.  It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move.  With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck.. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal - a very slight meal for eight men - of it.  Then they used the intestines for bait.. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait.......and the cycle continued.   With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea...).

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull... And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.'   That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

Reference:
(Max Lucado, "In The Eye of the Storm",pp..221, 225-226)   PS: Eddie started Eastern Airlines.

Medal of Honor citation, Seven Distinguished Service Cross citations, World War I Victory Medal,
Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre.
 

 A LITTLE Bit of "BIG HISTORY"

 Posted July 21, 2012

Tinian Island, Pacific Ocean.  It's a small island, less than 40 square miles, a flat green dot in the vastness of Pacific blue.

  Fly over it and you notice a slash across its north end of uninhabited bush, a long thin line that looks like an overgrown dirt runway.

 

 

 

If you didn't know what it was, you wouldn't give it a second glance out your airplane window.

 

 

 

On the ground, you see the runway isn't dirt but tarmac and crushed limestone, abandoned with weeds sticking out of it. Yet this is arguably the most historical airstrip on earth. This is where World War II was won. This is Runway Able:

 

 

On July 24, 1944, 30,000 US Marines landed on the beaches of Tinian ..... Eight days later, over 8,000 of the 8,800 Japanese soldiers on the island were dead (vs. 328 Marines), and four months later the Seabees had built the busiest airfield of WWII - dubbed North Field - enabling B-29 Superfortresses to launch air attacks on the Philippines, Okinawa, and mainland Japan.

Late in the afternoon of August 5, 1945, a B-29 was maneuver over a bomb loading pit, then after lengthy preparations, taxied to the east end of North Field's main runway, Runway Able, and at 2:45am in the early morning darkness of August 6, took off.

The B-29 was piloted by Col. Paul Tibbets of the US Army Air Force, who had named the plane after his mother, Enola Gay. The crew named the bomb they were carrying Little Boy. 6-�� hours later at 8:15am Japan time, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima .

Three days later, after Japan refused to surrender, in the pre-dawn hours of August 9, a B-29 named Bockscar (a pun on "boxcar" after its flight commander Capt. Fred Bock), piloted by Major Charles Sweeney took off from Runway Able. Finding its primary target of Kokura obscured by clouds, Sweeney proceeded to the secondary target of Nagasaki, over which, at 11:01am, bombardier Kermit Beahan released the atomic bomb dubbed Fat Man.

Here is "Atomic Bomb Pit #1" where Little Boy was loaded onto Enola Gay:   The commemorative plaque records that 16 hours after the nuking of Nagasaki , "On August 10, 1945 at 0300, the Japanese Emperor without his cabinet's consent decided to end the Pacific War."

Take a good look at these pictures, folks. This is where World War II ended with total victory of America over Japan .   I was there all alone. There were no other visitors and no one lives anywhere near for miles.   Visiting the Bomb Pits, walking along deserted Runway Able in solitude, was a moment of extraordinarily powerful solemnity.


There are pictures displayed in the pit, now glass-enclosed. This one shows Little Boy being hoisted into Enola Gay's bomb bay.

 

 

 

And here on the other side of ramp is "Atomic Bomb Pit #2" where Fat Man was loaded onto Bockscar.

 

 

 

It was a moment of deep reflection. Most people, when they think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki , reflect on the numbers of lives killed in the nuclear blasts - at least 70,000 and 50,000 respectively. Being here caused me to reflect on the number of lives saved - how many more Japanese and Americans would have died in a continuation of the war had the nukes not been dropped.

Yet that was not all. It's not just that the nukes obliviated the US invasion of Japan , Operation Downfall, that would have caused upwards of a million American and Japanese deaths or more. It's that nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki were of extraordinary humanitarian benefit to the nation and people of Japan ..

Let's go to this cliff on the nearby island of Saipan to learn why:

 

 

Saipan is less than a mile north of Tinian .... The month before the Marines took Tinian, on June 15, 1944, 71,000 Marines landed on Saipan ...... They faced 31,000 Japanese soldiers determined not to surrender.

Japan had colonized Saipan after World War I and turned the island into a giant sugar cane plantation. By the time of the Marine invasion, in addition to the 31,000 entrenched soldiers, some 25,000 Japanese settlers were living on Saipan, plus thousands more Okinawans, Koreans, and native islanders brutalized as slaves to cut the sugar cane.

There were also one or two thousand Korean "comfort women" (kanji in Japanese), abducted young women from Japan 's colony of Korea to service the Japanese soldiers as sex slaves. (See The Comfort Women: Japan 's Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War, by George Hicks.)

Within a week of their landing, the Marines set up a civilian prisoner encampment that quickly attracted a couple thousand Japanese and others wanting US food and protection. When word of this reached Emperor Hirohito - who contrary to the myth was in full charge of the war - he became alarmed that radio interviews of the well-treated prisoners broadcast to Japan would subvert his people's will to fight.

As meticulously documented by historian Herbert Bix in Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, the Emperor issued an order for all Japanese civilians on Saipan to commit suicide. The order included the promise that, although the civilians were of low caste, their suicide would grant them a status in heaven equal to those honoured soldiers who died in combat for their Emperor.

And that is why the precipice in the picture above is known as Suicide Cliff, off which over 20,000 Japanese civilians jumped to their deaths to comply with their fascist emperor's desire - mothers flinging their babies off the cliff first or in their arms as they jumped.

Anyone reluctant or refused, such as the Okinawan or Korean slaves, were shoved off at gunpoint by the Jap soldiers. Then the soldiers themselves proceeded to hurl themselves into the ocean to drown off a sea cliff afterwards called Banzai Cliff. Of the 31,000 Japanese soldiers on Saipan , the Marines killed 25,000, 5,000 jumped off Banzai Cliff, and only the remaining thousand were taken prisoner.

The extent of this demented fanaticism is very hard for any civilized mind to fathom - especially when it is devoted not to anything noble but barbarian evil instead. The vast brutalities inflicted by the Japanese on their conquered and colonized peoples of China , Korea , the Philippines , and throughout their "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" was a hideously depraved horror.

And they were willing to fight to the death to defend it. So they had to be nuked. The only way to put an end to the Japanese barbarian horror was unimaginably colossal destruction against which they had no defence whatever. Nuking Japan was not a matter of justice, revenge, or it getting what it deserved. It was the only way to end the Japanese dementia.

And it worked - for the Japanese. They stopped being barbarians and started being civilized. They achieved more prosperity - and peace - than they ever knew, or could have achieved had they continued fighting and not been nuked. The shock of getting nuked is responsible.

We achieved this because we were determined to achieve victory. Victory without apologies. Despite perennial liberal demands we do so, America and its government has never apologized for nuking Japan ... Hopefully, America never will.

 

 

 

 

Oh, yes... Guinness lists Saipan as having the best, most equitable, weather in the world. And the beaches? Well, take a look:

I find e-mails such as this one fascinating.   Although we do not forget, history fades into the shadows of our mind and we seldom think about it.   But, we should remember and we should be constantly reminded of our history, where we came from and how we got here. Interesting -  Anyway I think so.......... Un-signed!!