Because of an excess of spambot activity, I have blocked new registrations. I hate taking such drastic measures, but I don't have time to clean up all the false registrations that result from whatever attack list I landed on. I will likely revise this in the future once I've upgraded some of my code, but until then, please email me if you would like a user account. Most days, you'll get a login within a few daylight hours. Please let me know:
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The WatchCat spent a year in Russia and the Middle East in preparation for a government career. Unfortunately she got in a little too deep, and health problems sabotaged her career before it began. The future? Now there's an open question. She gets her paws in the action whenever possible, with or without a paycheck. WatchCat keeps busy supporting the troops, recruiting pararescue candidates, yelling at traitors and helping people navigate the grey areas on international everything.
A close family member is active duty US military, but due to OPSEC (and the general need for family peace), WatchCat is unable to write about that person's activities. She makes the most of the opportunities that God gives her, knowing that she should be dead by now.
And yes, she is married & is going to stay married. Smacks upside the head are delivered as needed to those who don't understand this.
Any Amazon.com shopping you do via these links will help keep WatchCat in cream & ammo:
We all know about the Navajo Code Talkers, but chances are you've
never heard of the Tlingit Code Talkers from Alaska. During a
ceremony on November 20, they were finally recognized for the
contribution in the war with Congressional Gold
You can read more about the Tlingit Code Talkers 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
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.
This article is true on so many levels, I don't know where to begin. Someone once said that it's the things you don't do that turn into the biggest regrets. Yes. These critical moments don't get do-overs. So show up when people need you. It's okay if you're a mess. It's ok if for whatever reason it's all you can do to just get in the door. The action or inaction will be remembered.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty: Master Sergeant Woodrow W. Keeble
distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and
beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Sangsan-ni,
Korea, on October 20, 1951. On that day, Master Sergeant Keeble was an
acting platoon leader for the support platoon in Company G, 19th
Infantry, in the attack on Hill 765, a steep and rugged position that
was well defended by the enemy. Leading the support platoon, Master
Sergeant Keeble saw that the attacking elements had become pinned down
on the slope by heavy enemy fire from three well-fortified and
strategically placed enemy positions. With complete disregard for his
personal safety, Master Sergeant Keeble dashed forward and joined the
pinned-down platoon. Then, hugging the ground, Master Sergeant Keeble
crawled forward alone until he was in close proximity to one of the
hostile machine-gun emplacements. Ignoring the heavy fire that the
crew trained on him, Master Sergeant Keeble activated a grenade and
threw it with great accuracy, successfully destroying the position.
Continuing his one-man assault, he moved to the second enemy position
and destroyed it with another grenade. Despite the fact that the enemy
troops were now directing their firepower against him and unleashing a
shower of grenades in a frantic attempt to stop his advance, he moved
forward against the third hostile emplacement, and skillfully
neutralized the remaining enemy position. As his comrades moved
forward to join him, Master Sergeant Keeble continued to direct
accurate fire against nearby trenches, inflicting heavy casualties on
the enemy. Inspired by his courage, Company G successfully moved
forward and seized its important objective. The extraordinary courage,
selfless service, and devotion to duty displayed that day by Master
Sergeant Keeble was an inspiration to all around him and reflected
great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States
Even though my son threw my dinner on the floor, even though I have family members dealing with major medical issues, even though I will dance on the grave of the year 2013 in 47 days. I have many blessings but it's just been that kind of year.
But I'm smiling. Because I've hit bottom and dusted myself off, and I'll truly be damned if I choose anything other than hope and joy.
I cannot stand dwelling on the negative one moment longer.
I choose hope. Circumstances are the same but I will believe that solutions are out there.
I choose joy. There is both great evil and great good in this world. I will not allow evil to get too big for its britches. I will take opportunities to smack it down to size while keeping my eyes on the good.
Life sometimes limits our choices. But not these two.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland "Lou" Diamond is famous within the U.S.
Marine Corps as the classic example of the "Old Breed" — tough,
hard-fighting career Marines who served in the corps in the years
between World War I and World War II.
There's a "Veteran Transformation" video that's gone viral. In it, a veteran who has had years of homelessness and substance abuse gets a haircut, hair color, shave, new clothes etc. It's great to see the transformation. (Watch his expressions as the process goes on...the look on his face when he's getting the hair color is classic.)
A lot of people said, "it's impossible to watch this without crying." Well, I did. Maybe it was the day, or maybe just the expectation. Or maybe...
My time working at the VA hospital taught me a lot about who veterans are. Each conflict put its unique stamp on the men and women involved, from the nature of the fight all the way to the nature of the homecoming. "Invisible wounds" show in the hair, the beards, the demeanor.
I applaud what the organization that sponsored the makeover was trying to achieve. They did a good bit of healing there for that man.
But if society needs to give makeovers in order to see the hero, we don't really understand our veterans. We don't identify with them enough.
Yes, some of them look like my brother, who can wash his hair with a bar of soap.
Some look like my friend who looks like he belongs in GQ.
Or my sort-of-uncle former PJ who now looks more like Santa.
Or my grandfather, frail in the nursing home.
Or my other grandfather, aging but wiry and active.
Or the guy in the shelter with festering sores and sad eyes.
Or the man in the video.
Or the girl in the Master's program with curly brown hair and a victory over addiction.
Or my petite friend who has two kids.
I want to thank all of them, not just for their service, but because they continue to enrich my life. Some bear terrible wounds, some came out stronger than they went in, and many are somewhere in the middle. There's no archetype of the veteran. But if we pay attention, we'll likely find them in unexpected places.
THANK YOU to all who have served.
(And if you're not a veteran, find one and pay for their coffee or meal or whatever. Giving back a little is the best feeling in the world.)
We know we need our heroes. They pull us through moments of darkness and remind us that we are capable of so much more than what we're doing. Others have written on the need for heroes; I don't think I need to expound upon that.
But we humans can corrupt almost anything good, it seems. Well, maybe not the heroes themselves. But we can misuse them, appropriating them for all kinds of mind games.
I fell into this recently. I got despondent about the loss and forgot the inspiration of the life. After a few days of this, I started getting desperate for someone to tell me that my hero had a bad temper, or at the very least, drank from the milk carton.
But heroes have a way of saving us despite ourselves. Asking myself, "what would he think about what I'm making of him?" was a sure dose of reality. Talk about temper... heroes get more than a little grumpy when we put them on a pedestal and then use them as an excuse for moping around. It's so much better to get off the mat and choose one thing that we can do better.
"One thing" I said. And so I made my choices for the day based on that one thing. I can't tell you how many times I had to change what I was doing because of that one thing. Forget the circumstances. Forget other people's faults. I can make that one better choice in every situation.
If I keep it up for a lifetime, maybe I can look my hero in the eye in heaven.
"Even to the death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you." -Sirach 4:28
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -Isaiah 6:8
As many of you are aware, the PJCountry blog disappeared in November 2008.
I'm doing my best to help the pararescue community by sharing PJ-related news and events on my blog. The following information may be helpful:
You will find answers to many questions at pararescue.com and specialtactics.com
If you're ready to become a PJ, you'll need to decide between Active Duty and Reserve. This will determine who will handle your official recruitment. Visit Contacts and POCs to find the appropriate person or email me.
304th Pararescue Team (Reserve) (Oregon)
If you're on the west coast near Oregon and are considering being a PJ/CRO on the Portland Pararescue Team (commitment of 4 years beyond training), contact TSgt Stanley Iakopo at stanley.iakopo AT us.af.mil or email me.
I have no official role with pararescue or other SpecOps but I know enough to get you connected to the right people. Email to CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET
Jubilate Agno, Fragment B
[For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]
by Christopher Smart
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.