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Thursday, September 21 2017 @ 03:59 pm PDT

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Wednesday Hero

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Pfc. Clarence Wolf Guts

Pfc. Clarence Wolf Guts

86 years old from South Dakota

1924? - June 16, 2010

U.S. Army

When the towers of the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001, Clarence Wolf Guts asked his son to call the U.S. Department of Defense to see if the country needed his code talking abilities to find Osama Bin Laden. Wolf Guts was in his late 70s at the time, so his son did not make the call, but said the request personified his father's love of country. "He still wanted to help. He was trying to still be patriotic".

Pfc. Wolf Guts was the last surviving Oglala Lakota code talker from WWII.

You can read more about Pfc. Wolf Guts 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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My view of fog

General NewsIt has been...a storm.
And an almost peaceful week, the eye of the storm, is drawing to a close and I jump back into the fray tomorrow.

I used to think that gated communities were way too uptight for my taste, but I'm finding it a blessing to just exhale because I don't have to worry about who is driving by. While it's not true security, it's easier to relax here.

I met a Navy guy today who assumed I was a veteran. It's not the first time I've been mistaken for one, and it's always an odd feeling. I know I've done good work in my life, despite some missteps, but days like today make me feel like I missed my niche. And it's even stranger in these turbulent times when so many veterans are depressed and disillusioned by what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've always thought it would have been an honor to serve...but was I spared something?

I don't know what to make of this life. So many mistakes entangle us, yet the oddest things preserve us.

I'm getting ready to leave my new favorite place, and I'm trying to cultivate an attitude of patience. There's a life I want, but it's not yet in my reach.

One step forward in faith. Another day of endurance and looking hard for joy. Digging deeper, inside and out, for that first handhold.

There are circumstances and then there are choices. We mess up when we confuse the two.
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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Greta

PFC. Edmond Harjo

PFC. Edmond Harjo

96 years old from Seminole, Oklahoma

195th Field Artillery Battalion

November 24, 1917 - March 31, 2014

U.S. Army

We've sadly lost yet another Code Talker. Edmond A. Harjo was the last surviving Code Talker for the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Back in November of 2013, 33 tribes were honored in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. with the Congressional Gold Medal for their contribution in the war, Harjo was the only living Code Talker to attend.

You can read more about PFC. Harjo 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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Creed

General News
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Wednesday Hero Blogroll
Invasion Of Normandy

Invasion Of Normandy

Friday marks the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, or D-Day. In the early hours of June 6, 1944, 156.000 troops from 12 nations including America, United Kingdom and Canada set out with the largest seaborne invasion force in history. The invasion marked the end of Germany's occupation of Europe and turned the course of the war. When the fight was over, there were 12,000 Allied casualties and 4,414 dead. We remember these brave men on Friday, as well as today, for the sacrifices they made in the name of freedom. With each passing year we lose more and more of these veterans until one day they'll be gone. They didn't set out to make history or garner glory, but that's precisely what they did. So cherish and honor them while we still have them.

You can find more information about D-Day 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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Belated Memorial Day

General NewsMemorial Day this year was only typical in that it was my usual float between the military and civilian worlds. The whole "Happy Memorial Day" and "Do you have any plans?" bugged me like it bugged many of you. I wished I could have taken my son to one of the services, ideally the one at the national cemetery, but the timing just didn't work out with a toddler schedule.

So I remembered names and read new ones in wordless sympathy as friends posted their personal remembrances. And it seemed that so many people were wearing their Army shirts or Navy hats that day, and I knew they were thinking of someone.

All in all, it was a day lived in front of the eyes of the fallen. Would they approve of how we spent the day?

And a strange, beautiful truth: how would they have spent the day if they had not sacrificed themselves for our freedom, for their brothers? Would they have felt it was too high a price to pay for life? A different choice would have made a different person. They gave us their best; we stop short at asking God to rewrite that history.

Then there are the shadow memorials. We remember those who lost something of themselves through service. We remember that innocence even as we hold on with white knuckles to every effort to build a new, stronger life.

This Memorial Day, my heart remembered, but my hands changed diapers and planted flowers and packed the garage in anticipation of the next adventure. We've been given life. But we do well to remember how we received that gift.
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Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Michael

Sgt. John Levitow

Sgt. John Levitow

55 years old from Hartford, Connecticut

3d Special Operations Squadron

November 1, 1945 - November 8, 2000

U.S. Air Force

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Levitow (then A1c.), U.S. Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while assigned as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 aircraft flying a night mission in support of Long Binh Army post. Sgt. Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round. The resulting explosion ripped a hole 2 feet in diameter through the wing and fragments made over 3,500 holes in the fuselage. All occupants of the cargo compartment were wounded and helplessly slammed against the floor and fuselage. The explosion tore an activated flare from the grasp of a crewmember who had been launching flares to provide illumination for Army ground troops engaged in combat. Sgt. Levitow, though stunned by the concussion of the blast and suffering from over 40 fragment wounds in the back and legs, staggered to his feet and turned to assist the man nearest to him who had been knocked down and was bleeding heavily. As he was moving his wounded comrade forward and away from the opened cargo compartment door, he saw the smoking flare ahead of him in the aisle. Realizing the danger involved and completely disregarding his own wounds, Sgt. Levitow started toward the burning flare. The aircraft was partially out of control and the flare was rolling wildly from side to side. Sgt. Levitow struggled forward despite the loss of blood from his many wounds and the partial loss of feeling in his right leg. Unable to grasp the rolling flare with his hands, he threw himself bodily upon the burning flare. Hugging the deadly device to his body, he dragged himself back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled the flare through the open cargo door. At that instant the flare separated and ignited in the air, but clear of the aircraft. Sgt. Levitow, by his selfless and heroic actions, saved the aircraft and its entire crew from certain death and destruction. Sgt. Levitow's gallantry, his profound concern for his fellowmen, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

You can read more about Sgt. Levitow 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 Michael

Lt. Cmndr. Rufus Herring

Lt. Cmndr. Rufus Herring

74 years old from Roseboro, North Carolina

Commander: USS LCI(L)-449 / LCI(G)-449

June 11, 1921 - January 31, 1996

U.S.
Naval Reserve

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of LCI (G) 449 operating as a unit of LCI (G) Group EIGHT, during the preinvasion attack on Iwo Jima on 17 February 1945. Boldly closing the strongly fortified shores under the devastating fire of Japanese coastal defense guns, Lieutenant (then Lieutenant, Junior Grade,) Herring directed shattering barrages of 40-mm. and 20-mm. gunfire against hostile beaches until struck down by the enemy's savage counterfire which blasted the 449's heavy guns and whipped her decks into sheets of flame. Regaining consciousness despite profuse bleeding he was again critically wounded when a Japanese mortar crashed the conning station, instantly killing or fatally wounding most of the officers and leaving the ship wallowing without navigational control. Upon recovering the second time, Lieutenant Herring resolutely climbed down to the pilot house and, fighting against his rapidly waning strength, took over the helm, established communication with the engine room and carried on valiantly until relief could be obtained. When no longer able to stand, he propped himself against empty shell cases and rallied his men to the aid of the wounded; he maintained position in the firing line with his 20-mm guns in action in the face of sustained enemy fire and conned his crippled ship to safety. His unwavering fortitude, aggressive perseverance and indomitable spirit against terrific odds reflect the highest credit upon Lieutenant Herring and uphold the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

You can read more about Lt. Cmndr. Herring 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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Hooyah Admiral McRaven

General NewsExactly what I needed to hear today.

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Hey You

General NewsYes, you. That faithful reader who keeps coming back to see what I've posted, even if it's just "Wednesday Hero" for weeks on end. :)

But this isn't about blog readership.

This is a slap upside the head in a public place because I know if I call you out in private, you'll dodge.

I know you're in a bad place right now. You're cutting vegetables in the kitchen and thinking about what else that knife could do. You're starting your vehicle in the garage and hesitating just a moment before raising the garage door. You wonder if carbon monoxide is your friend. You wonder if your life insurance policy is good enough.

You wonder if there's a point where you've just made too many mistakes.

Been there. Done that.

But today, take a deep breath (and maybe a B vitamin) with that pot of coffee. Take one step toward life.

Accountability is a double-edged sword. The right people holding you responsible will pull you through. But if the people keeping you accountable specialize in reminding you how you've screwed up, they aren't the right people to lean on.

Our real responsibility in life is to make Christ present to the people around us. We all have to work out the meaning of this, but I'll give you a hint: it's not about the bank account. I only know a few people who do this really well; the rest of us are muddling through. And we need to know that you're struggling just as hard as we are.

There might be a beautiful sky out that window. Or a good joke that someone is just bursting to tell. You can give them 30 seconds of your day.

Because there's someone who loves you no matter how much you've screwed up, and they need you to choose life for another 24 hrs.