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-- TRICARE Nurse Advice Line - 1/22/16
-- Legion praises Mt. Soledad Memorial Association for saving cross - 7/21/15
-- What 'War Brides' of the Greatest Generation knew about marriage - 9/15/14

----- Forwarded by Pete Will/clg on 10/23/2017 07:49 AM -----

From:        Clark Wormer/clg
Date:        10/23/2017 07:34 AM
Subject:        Fw: I have read many but this one holds first place in my eyes

TO the NFL players, Managers, owners, and anyone who thinks disrespecting America is being brave:
If I have brain cancer, I don’t ask my dentist what I should do. If my car has a problem, I don’t seek help from a plumber! Why do you think the public cares what a football player thinks about politics? If we want to know about football, then depending on the information we seek, we might consult with you, but even a quarterback doesn’t seek advice on playing his position from a defensive tackle!
You seem to have this over inflated view of yourselves, thinking because you enjoy working on such a large scale stage, that somehow your opinion about everything matters. The NFL realizes the importance of its “image” so it has rules that specify the clothes and insignia you can wear, the language you use, and your “antics” after a touchdown or other “great” play. But somehow you and your employer don’t seem to care that you disgrace the entire nation and its 320 million people in the eyes of the world by publicly disrespecting this country, its flag, and its anthem! The taxpaying citizens of this country subsidize your plush work environments, yet you choose to use those venues to openly offend those very citizens.
Do you even understand what the flag of this country means to so many of its citizens before you choose to “take a knee” in protest of this “country" during our national anthem?
You may think because you are paid so much that your job is tough, but you are clueless when it comes to tough.  I can show you those whose job is really tough.

You are spoiled babies who stand around and have staff squirt GatorAid in your mouths, sit in front of misting cooling fans when it’s warm, and sit on heated benches when it's cold. That’s not “tough” that's pampered.
You think that you deserve to be paid excessively high salaries, because you play a “dangerous" game where you can incur career ending injuries. Let me show you career ending injuries!

You think you that you deserve immediate medical attention and the best medical facilities and doctors when injured. Let me show you what it’s like for those who really need and deserve medical attention.

You think you have the right to disrespect the flag of the United States, the one our veterans fought for, risked limbs and mental stability to defend, in many cases died for. Let me show you what our flag means to them, their families, and their friends.

You believe you are heroes, when in reality you are nothing but overpaid entertainers, who exist solely for our enjoyment!   Well, your current antics are neither entertaining nor enjoyable, but rather a disgrace to this country, its citizens, all our veterans and their families, and the sacrifices they have made to ensure this country remains free.   You choose to openly disgrace this country in the eyes of the rest of the world, yet with all your money, still choose to live here rather than in any other country.   People with even the slightest amount of “Class” will stand and respect our flag.   Where does that put you?   Take a look at our Countries Real  Heroes…

You can protest policies, the current government, or anything else you choose, that is your right. But when you “protest” our flag and anthem, you are insulting the nation we all live in and love, and all those who have served, been injured, or died to keep it free. There is nothing you can do or say that can make your actions anything more than the arrogance of classless people, who care about themselves more than our country or the freedoms for which our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much, to ensure you have the “right” to speak freely. Our country is far from perfect, but if you can point to any other country where your freedom and opportunities are better than they are here, then you just might want to go there and show respect for their flag!
If you respect America and all those who have sacrificed so much to keep her free, please forward this to your friends and relatives.   Eventually, it should end up in the mailboxes of those who choose to disrespect our country, its service members, our veterans, their families, and all of us who appreciate the freedoms America represents.


 TRICARE Nurse Advice Line: TRICARE has established a Nurse Advice Line (NAL) that is available at no cost to TRICARE beneficiaries in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. The NAL is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The NAL has health care professionals on staff ready and able to answer urgent care questions, give health care advice, provide assistance locating a doctor, and schedule next-day appointments at military hospitals and clinics. More than half of the calls to the NAL are related to pediatric health concerns, which are routed to the NAL’s experienced team of pediatric registered nurses. The NAL may also answer questions about high fevers, allergic reactions, rashes, and/or accidents, and advise you on the clinically appropriate level of care you should seek for your child. To learn more about the NAL, visit:

Received by e-mail from a retired military friend.  I left a few gaps in this document because I plan to fill in the photos as I come by them.

Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:30 PM
Subject: renamed:
The original title was "The Most Honored Photograph" but my friend changed it to "How 2 screw-ups won THE medal".

What's more important is the question "are there men/women around today who would do this?" I suspect there are. Just the same, our parents earned the title of the greatest generation.  Worth taking the time to read.

This is a remarkable story.

The Most Honored Photograph  Buka airfield

Doesn’t look like much, does it? But, depending upon your definition, this photograph, a team effort by 9 men, is the most honored picture in U. S. History. If you want to find out about it, read on. It’s an interesting tale about how people sometimes rise beyond all expectations.

It takes place in the early days of World War II, in the South Pacific, and if you’re a World War II history buff, you may already know about it.

The Screwed Up Pilot

First, let’s get this out of the way. Jay Zeamer wasn’t a photographer by trade. He was mostly a wanna-be pilot. He looked good on paper, having graduated with a degree in civil engineering from MIT, joining the Army Air Corps, and receiving his wings in March, 1941. He was a B-26 bomber co-pilot when World War II started.
His classmates all rapidly became lead pilots and squadron leaders, but not Jay. He couldn’t pass the pilot check tests despite trying numerous times. He was a good pilot, but just couldn’t seem to land the B-26. Landing, from what I’ve read, was considered one of the more important qualifications for a pilot. Stuck as a co-pilot while his classmates and then those from the classes behind him were promoted, he got bored and lost all motivation.
Things came to a head when co-pilot Zeamer fell asleep while his plane was in flight. Not just in flight, but in flight through heavy anti-aircraft fire during a bombing run. He only woke when the pilot beat him on the chest because he needed help. His squadron commander had him transferred to a B-17 squadron in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea where he was allowed to fly as a fill-in navigator and occasionally as a co-pilot. He was well liked and popular — on the ground. But no one wanted to fly with him.
Zeamer finally managed to get into the pilot’s seat by volunteering for a photoreconnaissance mission when the scheduled pilot became ill. The mission, an extremely dangerous one over the Japanese stronghold at Rabual, won Zeamer a Silver Star – despite the fact that he still hadn’t qualified to pilot a B-17.

The Eager Beavers

Zeamer become the Operations Officer (a ground position) at the 43rd Air Group. Despite his lack of qualification, he still managed to fly as a B-17 fill-in pilot fairly often. He had discovered found that he loved to fly B-17s on photoreconnaissance missions, and he wanted to do it full-time. There were only three things standing in his way: he didn’t have a crew, he didn’t have an airplane, and oh, yeah, he still wasn’t a qualified pilot.

He solved the first problem by gravitating to every misfit and ne’er-do-well in the 43rd Air Group. As another pilot, Walt Krell, recalled, “He recruited a crew of renegades and screwoffs. They were the worst — men nobody else wanted. But they gravitated toward one another and made a hell of a team.”

The plane came later. An old, beat-up B-17, serial number 41-2666, that had seen better days was flown into their field to be scavenged for spare parts. Captain Zeamer had other ideas. He and his crew decided to rebuild the plane in their spare time since they weren’t going to get to fly any other way. Exactly how they managed to accomplish their task is the subject of some debate. Remember, there were so few spare parts available that their ‘plane’ was actually brought in originally to be a parts donor.

But rebuild it they did. Once it was in flying shape the base commander congratulated them and said he’d find a new crew to fly it. Not surprisingly, Zeamer and his crew took exception to this idea, and according Walt Krell the crew slept in their airplane, having loudly announced that the 50 caliber machine guns were kept loaded in case anyone came around to ‘borrow’ it. There was a severe shortage of planes, so the base commander ignored the mutiny and let the crew fly – but generally expected them to take on missions that no one else wanted.

The misfit crew thrived on it. They hung around the base operations center, volunteering for every mission no one else wanted. That earned them the nickname The Eager Beavers, and their patched up B-17 was called Old 666.

The Eager Beavers: (Back Row) Bud Thues, Zeamer, Hank Dominski, Sarnoski (Front Row) Vaughn, Kendrick, Able, Pugh.

Once they started flying their plane on difficult photoreconnaissance missions, they made some modifications. Even among the men of a combat air station, the Eager Beavers became known as gun nuts. They replaced all of the light 30 caliber machine guns in the plane with heavier 50 caliber weapons. Then the 50 caliber machine guns were replaced with double 50 caliber guns. Zeamer had another pair of machine guns mounted to the front of the plane so he could remotely fire them like a fighter pilot. And the crew kept extra machine guns stored in the plane, just in case one of their other guns jammed or malfunctioned.

As odd as all this sounds, the South Pacific theatre in the early days of World War II was a chaotic area scattered over thousands of miles with very little equipment. Having a plane with an apparently nutty crew who volunteered for every awful mission not surprisingly made the commanding officers look the other way.


In June, 1943, the U. S. had secured Guadalcanal in the southern Solomon Islands. They knew the Japanese had a huge base at Rabual, but were certain there were other airfields being built in the Northern Solomon Islands. They asked for a volunteer crew to take photographs of Bougainville Island to plan for an eventual invasion, and of Buka airfield on the north side of the island to assess for increased activity there. It was considered a near-suicide mission — flying hundreds of miles over enemy airspace in a single, slow bomber. Not to mention photoreconnaissance meant staying in level flight and taking no evasive action even if they were attacked.

Credit: World Factbook

The only crew that volunteered, of course, was Jay Zeamer and the Eager Beavers. One of the crew, bombardier Joseph Sarnovski, had absolutely no reason to volunteer. He’d already been in combat for 18 months and was scheduled to go home in 3 days. Being a photo mission, there was no need for a bombardier. But if his friends were going, he wanted to go, and one of the bombardier’s battle stations was to man the forward machine guns. They might need him, so he went.

They suspected the airstrip at Buka had been expanded and reinforced, but weren’t sure until they got close. As soon as the airfield came in sight, they saw numerous fighters taking off and heading their way. The logical thing to do would have been to turn right and head for home. They would be able to tell the intelligence officers about the increased number of planes at Buka even if they didn’t get photos.
But Zeamer and photographer William Kendrick knew that photos would be invaluable for subsequent planes attacking the base, and for Marines who were planning to invade the island later. Zeamer held the plane level (tilting the wings even one degree at that altitude could put the photograph half a mile off target) and Kendrick took his photos, which gave plenty of time for over 20 enemy fighters to get up to the altitude Old 666 was flying at.

The fighter group, commanded by Chief Petty Officer Yoshio Ooki, was experienced and professional. They carefully set up their attack, forming a semi-circle all around the B-17 and then attacking from all directions at once. Ooki didn’t know about the extra weapons the Eager Beavers had mounted to their plane, but it wouldn’t matter if he had; there was no way for a single B-17 to survive those odds.
During the first fighter pass the plane was hit by hundreds of machine gun bullets and cannon shells. Five crewman of the B-17 were wounded and the plane badly damaged. All of the wounded men stayed at their stations and were still firing when the fighters came in for a second pass, which caused just as the first. Hydraulic cables were cut, holes the size of footballs appeared in the wings, and the front plexiglas canopy of the plane was shattered.

Zeamer was wounded during the second fighter pass, but kept the plane flying level and took no evasive action until Kendrick called over the intercom that the photography was completed. Only then did he begin to move the plane from side-t0-side allowing his gunners better shots, just as the fighters came in for a third wave of attacks. The third pass blew out the oxygen system of the plane, which was flying at 28,000 feet. Despite the obvious structural damage Zeamer put the plane in an emergency dive to get down to a level where there was enough oxygen for them men to survive.

During the dive, a 20mm cannon shell exploded in the navigator’s compartment. Sarnoski, who was already wounded, was blown out of his compartment and beneath the cockpit. Another crewman reached him and saw there was a huge wound in his side. Despite his obviously mortal wound, Sarnoski said, “Don’t worry about me, I’m all right” and crawled back to his gun which was now exposed to 300 mile an hour winds since the plexiglass front of the plane was now gone. He shot down one more fighter before he died a minute or two later.
The battle continued for over 40 minutes. The Eager Beavers shot down several fighters and heavily damaged several others. The B-17 was so heavily damaged, however, that they didn’t expect to make the several hundred miles long flight back home. Sarnoski had already died from his wounds. Zeamer had continued piloting the plane despite multiple wounds. Five other men were seriously wounded.
Flight Officer Ooki’s squadron returned to Buka out of ammunition and fuel. They understandably reported the B-17 was destroyed and about to crash in the ocean when they last saw it.

The B-17 didn’t quite crash, though. Zeamer had lost consciousness from loss of blood, but regained it when he was removed from the pilot seat and lay on the floor of the plane. The copilot, Lt. Britton, was the most qualified to care for the wounded and was needed in the back of the plane. One of the gunners, Sergeant Able, had liked to sit in the cockpit behind the pilots and watch them fly. That made him the most qualified of the crewman, so he flew the plane with Zeamer advising him from the floor while Britton cared for the wounded.
The plane made it back to base. (Britton did return to the cockpit for the landing.) After the landing, the medical triage team had Zeamer removed from the plane last, because they considered his wounds mortal. Amazingly, the one thing on the plane not damaged were the cameras and the photos in them were considered invaluable in planning the invasion of Bougainville.


All of the wounded men recovered, although it was a close thing for Captain Zeamer. In fact, a death notification was sent to his parents somewhat prematurely. He spent the next year in hospitals recovering from his wounds, but lived a long and happy life, passing away at age 88.

Both Zeamer and Sarnovski were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the mission, the only time in World War II that two men from one plane ever received America’s highest medal for valor in combat. The other members of the crew were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor as an award for bravery.

So, somewhat surprisingly, the most decorated combat flight in U. S. history didn’t take place in a major battle. It was a photo-reconnaissance flight; the flight of ‘old 666′ in June of 1943.

 Legion praises Mt. Soledad Memorial Association for saving cross

July 21, 2015    The American Legion

Calling for an end to a lengthy court battle, The American Legion is praising the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association for its recent purchase of land from the Department of Defense in order to preserve a 43-foot cross that was erected in 1954.

"I hope this ends it," National Commander Michael D. Helm said of the legal case that started in the late 1980s. "Frankly, it shouldn't have been necessary for the government to sell the land to a private group in order to preserve a memorial that is deeply significant to so many people. The American Legion believes in ‘God and Country.' Unfortunately, some courts don't always see it that way."

Helm commended Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Sen. Dianne Feinsteinn, D-Calif., for writing and passing legislation that made the $1.4 million purchase possible.

"The Liberty Institute has also been a fierce advocate for the memorial, which the Legion has supported through numerous national resolutions," Helm said.

The ACLU and Jewish War Veterans have sued to have the cross removed because they believe it infringes on their constitutional rights. A 2012 court ruling permitted a cross owned by the National Park Service in the Mojave Desert to be transferred in a private sale to the VFW.

The Mount Soledad cross in La Jolla, Calif., is part of a larger memorial, which includes more than 3,700 plaques honoring veterans of various wars. The land purchase is for the one-half acre plot of land surrounding the memorial.

 What 'War Brides' of the Greatest Generation knew about marriage - 9/15/14

By September 15, 2014    Fox news

It’s a sad fact that today, almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. Sometimes, of course, there are compelling reasons for people to separate. But how many couples who have promised to love and honor “till death us do part” really engage with the true meaning of commitment?

There's one group of people who can teach us a thing or two about commitment – the war brides of the Greatest Generation. Some 70,000 British women – and tens of thousands of brides of other nationalities – came to the U.S. after World War Two, in what became the biggest migration of women in America’s history. They came not, as many resentful tabloid newspapers back home said, because they saw an American husband as a ticket to life in a richer country.

They came because they had made a promise to a man they loved, and they knew it was one they had to keep.

By the time the U.S. government had got its troops home and could turn its attentions to shipping back their brides, it had sometimes been a year or more since those women had seen the men they had married – and often they had only snatched a few brief days together as husband and wife before D-Day. Yet when the call came, they knew they had to answer it.

We talk about sacrificing things for love, but these women really sacrificed – not just their nationality but everything and everyone they knew. 

In those days a ticket home on an ocean liner – much less a plane ticket – was out of reach for most ordinary people, and with few in England owning a phone, the brides knew it would be years before they heard or saw from their families again – if ever. 

Those brides knew they were literally choosing between their families and their husbands when they made that decision, and some mothers had breakdowns when their daughters left, convinced they had lost them for good.

Moreover, this was an era when most British people had only encountered America and Americans on the silver screen, so the brides had no idea what to expect when they arrived on U.S. soil. It truly was a leap of faith.

Most had no concept of how vast a country America was, and that marrying someone from a rural area might mean being somewhere without another town for many miles, something unthinkable in a tiny country like Britain. Those who came to the southwestern states sometimes felt as if they had landed in an alien landscape.

But alien is what the war brides themselves now were. Rae Zurovcik found herself an exotic object of fascination in rural Pennsylvania – when she went to the local diner for the first time, all the regulars had already heard about the arrival of The War Bride, and were keen to talk to this strange new creature and hear her funny accent.

Meanwhile the American lifestyle often wasn’t what it had seemed on the silver screen. Some women came to communities which still did not have electricity, and with thousands of men returning from Europe, jobs were scarce and many former GIs had to survive on state handouts for the first year.

Lyn Patrino and her husband Ben found themselves living in a shack in the woods, surviving largely on corn and potatoes. Yet ask her now, 70 years on, and she’ll tell you it was the best time in their marriage. They were young, they were alone together for the first time, and that, to them, was paradise. 

The hardship they faced only cemented their marriage because they were forced to pull together as a team. There was no running back to mother, because mother was 6,000 miles away, so you just got on with it. And when you’d come from a Blitz-ravaged country, where you’d lived on meagre rations anyway, you were used to making do.

With their families the other side of an ocean, and loneliness and homesickness beginning to bite, one lesson the war brides learned was the importance of making an effort with your partner’s relations. 

Sometimes American moms could be frosty with the foreign girl their son brought home – one war bride told me her mother in law would frequently show her a picture of the local girl her husband was “meant” to marry. Lyn fell out so badly with her mother in law that at one point the older woman told Lyn’s husband Ben: “It’s her or me”. But when Lyn got ill, it was her mother in law who was there for her. She learned to appreciate that “you don’t marry a man, you marry a whole family, and you’ve got to bend over backwards to make it work.”

Like the vast majority of wartime marriages, Lyn and Ben’s endured. In fact, the rate of divorce among war brides was lower than that among the general population, despite all the challenges. When you had moved continents for another person, you made darn sure it worked.

Like most WWII war brides, Lyn is now a widow – but on Ben’s gravestone, her own name is carved alongside his, along with the title of ‘their’ song, which seems to embody her generation’s attitude to commitment. It reads: Till the End of Time.