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:
Real name or callsign
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:
Another Navajo Code Talker has passed away. Nelson Draper died on
September 22 at the age of 96. There are only an estimated 25-65 Code
Talkers left with us. I couldn't find much on Mr. Draper, but what I
could you can read 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.
"Josh, whom everybody in the room (over 50 people) assumed to be unconscious, began to move his right arm under the blanket in a diligent effort to salute the Commander as is customary during these ceremonies. Despite his wounds, wrappings, tubes, and pain, Josh fought the doctor who was trying to restrain his right arm and rendered the most beautiful salute any person in that room had ever seen."
And so today the messy house, the annoying exterminator, the long to-do list and even spats with friends fade into the background where they belong. This fierce honor stands apart.
I'll admit that I didn't do all the exercises, but one stood out: Think about the major decisions you've made and whether they were good or bad, and find the common threads in each category.
Thinking through the decisions that went badly was a serious "aha" moment. The worst decisions I've made were attempts to relieve stress by changing my circumstances, when I felt pressure to decide instantly, and when I only saw limited options open. "Decide, or else" was the theme of those times.
That knowledge has made a difference. Stress has been really high these last couple months, and I want relief. I want to break loose, live somewhere else, do something else. I had some enticing opportunities a couple weeks ago. And a few nights ago at 1 am, I was so close to writing an incautious email because it felt like something, anything, had to give. But because of this book, I was able to take a step back and say, "No, I'm not in a good place for making decisions right now. These things can wait." And I'm very glad I gave myself some space, because even two days later I can see that those things would have been mistakes.
You may or may not be prone to 1 am bad decisions. But you can save a lot of heartache by evaluating your decision-making processes. Take a look at Dangerous Instincts. It might keep you safe.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S.
Harder during her 5th War Patrol in Japanese-controlled waters.
Floodlit by a bright moon and disclosed to an enemy destroyer escort
which bore down with intent to attack, Comdr. Dealey quickly dived to
periscope depth and waited for the pursuer to close range, then opened
fire, sending the target and all aboard down in flames with his third
torpedo. Plunging deep to avoid fierce depth charges, he again
surfaced and, within 9 minutes after sighting another destroyer, had
sent the enemy down tail first with a hit directly amidship. Evading
detection, he penetrated the confined waters off Tawi Tawi with the
Japanese Fleet base 6 miles away and scored death blows on 2
patrolling destroyers in quick succession. With his ship heeled over
by concussion from the first exploding target and the second vessel
nose-diving in a blinding detonation, he cleared the area at high
speed. Sighted by a large hostile fleet force on the following day, he
swung his bow toward the lead destroyer for another "down-the-throat"
shot, fired 3 bow tubes and promptly crash-dived to be terrifically
rocked seconds later by the exploding ship as the Harder passed
beneath. This remarkable record of 5 vital Japanese destroyers sunk in
5 short-range torpedo attacks attests the valiant fighting spirit of
Comdr. Dealey and his indomitable command.
On Nov. 20, 1968, Michael J. Crescenz of Philadelphia walked into an
ambush on Nui Chom. His squad was pinned down when he made a snap
decision to grab an M60 machine gun and charge the bunkers. He took
out three, killing six enemy soldiers who may have been dumbstruck in
their last seconds to see a lone American running into their fusillade
As he charged a fourth bunker, Crescenz, 19, was killed.
For his heroism, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor:
Cpl. Crescenz distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity in action while serving as a rifleman with Company A. In
the morning his unit engaged a large, well-entrenched force of the
North Vietnamese Army whose initial burst of fire pinned down the lead
squad and killed the 2 point men, halting the advance of Company A.
Immediately, Cpl. Crescenz left the relative safety of his own
position, seized a nearby machine gun and, with complete disregard for
his safety, charged 100 meters up a slope toward the enemy's bunkers
which he effectively silenced, killing the 2 occupants of each.
Undaunted by the withering machine gun fire around him, Cpl. Crescenz
courageously moved forward toward a third bunker which he also
succeeded in silencing, killing 2 more of the enemy and momentarily
clearing the route of advance for his comrades. Suddenly, intense
machine gun fire erupted from an unseen, camouflaged bunker. Realizing
the danger to his fellow soldiers, Cpl. Crescenz disregarded the
barrage of hostile fire directed at him and daringly advanced toward
the position. Assaulting with his machine gun, Cpl. Crescenz was
within 5 meters of the bunker when he was mortally wounded by the fire
from the enemy machine gun. As a direct result of his heroic actions,
his company was able to maneuver freely with minimal danger and to
complete its mission, defeating the enemy. Cpl. Crescenz's bravery and
extraordinary heroism at the cost of his life are in the highest
traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on
himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Today we honor the Gold Star moms, whose children gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
And today we remember Mike Monsoor, who sacrificed his life for his team seven years ago today. I'm also especially thinking of the mom who raised such a hero.
I know that some of Mike's teammates have since died, but he gave their families more time. More memories. Moms and wives and kids all got what we hunger for: a few more days. Another hug, another smile. No matter that one is never enough. Each moment is a precious jewel worn on our soul forever.
I just read a piece about how Gold Star Moms see the precious life in every soldier. I can't speak for them, but I suspect it's true. All I can say is that for me, being a good mom is a collision course with heartache. Because if you train them right, if they learn to relish a challenge and put other people first, there's a pretty good chance that you'll live worrying about that knock on the door.
I will support my son in any honorable vocation, but I have to confess that he already seems like a mini SEAL or PJ. My job is to support him with training and chances to exercise his natural gifts, and to give him the foundation of faith and character that will guide him long after I'm gone. I could spare myself some heartache and teach him to be a couch potato, but I can't do that to him. I'm too proud of him.
It's a day of remembrance. But it's also a day to gear up and embrace the people and life we've been given.
For distinguished gallantry and valor above and beyond the call of
duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Growler during her Fourth War
Patrol in the Southwest Pacific from 10 January to 7 February 1943.
Boldly striking at the enemy in spite of continuous hostile air and
antisubmarine patrols, Comdr. Gilmore sank one Japanese freighter and
damaged another by torpedo fire, successfully evading severe depth
charges following each attack. In the darkness of night on 7 February,
an enemy gunboat closed range and prepared to ram the Growler. Comdr.
Gilmore daringly maneuvered to avoid the crash and rammed the attacker
instead, ripping into her port side at 11 knots and bursting wide her
plates. In the terrific fire of the sinking gunboat's heavy
machineguns, Comdr. Gilmore calmly gave the order to clear the bridge,
and refusing safety for himself, remained on deck while his men
preceded him below. Struck down by the fusillade of bullets and having
done his utmost against the enemy, in his final living moments, Comdr.
Gilmore gave his last order to the officer of the deck, "Take her
down." The Growler dived; seriously damaged but under control, she was
brought safely to port by her well-trained crew inspired by the
courageous fighting spirit of their dead captain.
"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.