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Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 07:23 PM PDT

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Michael

Lt. Col. Jerry Coleman

Lt. Col. Jerry Coleman

89 years old from San Diego, California

VMSB-341, VMA-323

September 14, 1924 - January 5, 2014

U.S. Marines

Not only was Jerry Coleman a pro-baseball player, playing for the Yankees from 1949 to 1957, but he was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marines. Coleman postponed his entry in to the MLB to join the Marines. He flew 120 missions in WWII and Korea and earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and thirteen Air Medals.

You can read more about Lt. Col. Coleman here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by SJ

2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers
2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers

92 years old from Long Beach, California

18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

May 7, 1921 - February 20, 2014

U.S. Army

On February 20 2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers passed away. 2nd Lt. Ehlers was the last surviving Medal Of Honor recipient from D-Day.

From his MoH citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville, France. S/Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership. Without waiting for an order, S/Sgt. Ehlers, far ahead of his men, led his squad against a strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing 4 of an enemy patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under withering machinegun fire, he pounced upon the guncrew and put it out of action. Turning his attention to 2 mortars protected by the crossfire of 2 machineguns, S/Sgt. Ehlers led his men through this hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar section, killing 3 men himself. After mopping up the mortar positions, he again advanced on a machinegun, his progress effectively covered by his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped to his feet and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position single-handed. The next day, having advanced deep into enemy territory, the platoon of which S/Sgt. Ehlers was a member, finding itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought increased mortar, machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to withdraw. S/Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon, stood up and by continuous fire at the semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk of the heavy hostile fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to withdraw. At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned fearlessly over the shell-swept field to retrieve the automatic rifle which he was unable to carry previously. After having his wound treated, he refused to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad. The intrepid leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed by S/Sgt. Ehlers in the face of overwhelming enemy forces serve as an inspiration to others.

You can read more about 2nd Lt. Ehlers here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollFor some reason there doesn't seem to be a Wednesday Hero post today, so I offer this instead:

WWI Europe Photos on Modern Photos

H/T LJB

If you've spent time in Europe you've probably relished the deep sense of history there. But these photos take it a step further, reminding us of who stood where we stood. If we stop for a moment, their spirits can almost touch ours.

And in that moment, when time dissolves and we remember the terrible battles that give us the life we have today, we find ourselves held accountable by them. Have we used our freedom responsibly? Do we remember their sacrifices with gratitude? Do we live as they would have lived if they'd had the chance?

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Community

General News**As I write, reports are coming in regarding another shooting at Ft. Hood. Prayers for all involved**

I recently returned to my church after a rather complicated hiatus. The warmth of the welcome took me by surprise. I remembered that friendships had changed but by no means dissolved. But two things particularly stood out:

1) When I was isolated from the community, my attention very naturally focused on my own concerns. I came back and realized that I had friends who were in the midst of some terrible battles. Shaky marriages, new grief... we're meant to bear each other's burdens and I was falling down on the job.

2) A friend told me: "It is good to see you back in your place again. When you were gone, your place remained empty." It was a lovely double entendre about both a tangible place and my position within the community.

We need community. When we're tired and hurting, it's too easy to think we're a burden. So we slink away. We top up our most pressing need with superficial interaction like a tired mom soothing her hunger pangs with a mocha. ;) We sit in a quiet house or have the TV on nonstop, and then we wonder about those thoughts that come into our heads. Or eventually, we just believe them.

Community shouts down the thoughts and turns us away from the TV. Community teaches us to pray when we can't put our own troubles into words but make the effort for our friends' troubles. Community...real, not utopian....changes the equation to one in which our life is more than our individual success.

Today, success is a friend persevering in her marriage for another day.
Today, success is making wise choices about hospice.
Today, success is a card written to a grieving friend.
Today, success is another day of choosing life.

Whatever the means, success is making sure no one is truly alone.
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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by SJ

SSgt. William
Guarnere

SSgt. William Guarnere

90 years old from Philadelphia, Penn.

Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

April 28, 1923 - March 8, 2014

U.S.
Army

SSgt. William "Wild Bill" Guarnere passed away three weeks ago at the age of 90. SSgt. Guarnere was part of Easy Company, made famous by the HBO mini-series "Band Of Brothers". During his three years of service, SSgt. Guarnere saw action throughout Europe, including being part of the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. He was awarded the Silver and Bronze stars, the Purple Heart and the French Liberation Medal.

You can read more about SSgt. Guarnere here and here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Great story to start the day...

Sheriff's Office Locates Petty Officer Who Pulled Man From Burning Jeep
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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Michael

Lt. Milton Ricketts

Lt. Milton Ricketts

28 years old from Baltimore, Maryland

USS Yorktown (CV-5)

August 5, 1913 - May 8, 1942

U.S.
Navy

For extraordinary and distinguished gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of the Engineering Repair Party of the U.S.S. Yorktown in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. During the severe bombarding of the Yorktown by enemy Japanese forces, an aerial bomb passed through and exploded directly beneath the compartment in which Lt. Ricketts' battle station was located, killing, wounding or stunning all of his men and mortally wounding him. Despite his ebbing strength, Lt. Ricketts promptly opened the valve of a near-by fireplug, partially led out the fire hose and directed a heavy stream of water into the fire before dropping dead beside the hose. His courageous action, which undoubtedly prevented the rapid spread of fire to serious proportions, and his unflinching devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

You can read more here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Close Call

General NewsOn a personal level, the blog is for days like today. For those days when there are warning bells in your head and you still don't know how you made it through what unfolded next. For those days when you feel guilty for what might have happened even though you did everything reasonable to avoid it and then some.

In short, we were nearly in a car accident today. My son and I. It would have been purely the other guy's fault; I had the right of way and he turned left into my left turn. I veered right and took every last scrap of road I could to get out of his way, and he missed the driver's side doors by inches. If I'd have stopped or stayed on course, we would have been hit. I'm sure of it. And so I still ask myself if I should have put my turn signal on earlier, and of course I'm mad about the wrong turn that put me on that particular road in the first place.

Thank God for our survival. Thank the angels and the saints. And I'm also thankful for the Muscovites and Cairo taxi drivers who influenced my understanding of what is possible on the road.

It's a lesson in gratitude for all those things "which we know and which we know not." Life is saved or lost by a thread. Remember to be thankful for even the threads we don't understand.
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More STS Awards

PJ StuffOregon Air National Guard Airman Receives Silver Star, 3 Others, Bronze Star
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PJ News

PJ StuffSpecial Tactics Airmen Awarded Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart H/T BK/SOFREP