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:
Yes, 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.
On April 30, 143 airmen, after a 70 year wait, were finally awarded
the POW Medal they had earned. The 143 airmen were held captive in
the Wauwilermoos prison camp in Switzerland. Of the 143, only eight
were able to attend the ceremony:
Today I walked into a Middle Eastern restaurant for the first time in probably eleven years. I've had the food many times since, but usually from a deli or brought by a friend. So I wasn't prepared for the emotional hit.
I walked in and heard Arabic spoken. And Arabic music. And by all appearances they might as well have airlifted the little hole-in-the-wall place I remember from the first day we were let loose in Cairo. Memory overload...long-forgotten Arabic came back to mind...and a bit of that person came back.
Good food, nice people... I left shaken but wondering why. I don't particularly have bad memories of restaurants. In months in the region, I don't even have that many nasty incidents to remember, not proportionately. Why, then, did I sit in my car afterward and wonder if the best thing to do would be to cry?
Because I'm okay.
Because I felt the memories fully instead of anaesthetizing them.
Because I made it.
Because the thought of brushing up my Arabic crossed my mind.
Because the food tasted good and I wanted to go back for more.
From then S/Sgt. Morris's Medal Of Honor citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty. Seeing indications of the enemy's
presence in the area, S/Sgt. Morris deployed his squad and continued
forward alone to make a reconnaissance. He unknowingly crawled within
20 meters of an enemy machinegun, whereupon the gunner fired, wounding
him in the chest. S/Sgt. Morris instantly returned the fire and killed
the gunner. Continuing to crawl within a few feet of the gun, he
hurled a grenade and killed the remainder of the enemy crew. Although
in pain and bleeding profusely, S/Sgt. Morris continued his
reconnaissance. Returning to the platoon area, he reported the results
of his reconnaissance to the platoon leader. As he spoke, the platoon
came under heavy fire. Refusing medical attention for himself, he
deployed his men in better firing positions confronting the entrenched
enemy to his front. Then for 8 hours the platoon engaged the
numerically superior enemy force. Withdrawal was impossible without
abandoning many wounded and dead. Finding the platoon medic dead,
S/Sgt. Morris administered first aid to himself and was returning to
treat the wounded members of his squad with the medic's first aid kit
when he was again wounded. Knocked down and stunned, he regained
consciousness and continued to treat the wounded, reposition his men,
and inspire and encourage their efforts. Wounded again when an enemy
grenade shattered his left hand, nonetheless he personally took up the
fight and armed and threw several grenades which killed a number of
enemy soldiers. Seeing that an enemy machinegun had maneuvered behind
his platoon and was delivering the fire upon his men, S/Sgt. Morris
and another man crawled toward the gun to knock it out. His comrade
was killed and S/Sgt. Morris sustained another wound, but, firing his
rifle with 1 hand, he silenced the enemy machinegun. Returning to the
platoon, he courageously exposed himself to the devastating enemy fire
to drag the wounded to a protected area, and with utter disregard for
his personal safety and the pain he suffered, he continued to lead and
direct the efforts of his men until relief arrived. Upon termination
of the battle, important documents were found among the enemy dead
revealing a planned ambush of a Republic of Vietnam battalion. Use of
this information prevented the ambush and saved many lives. S/Sgt.
Morris' gallantry was instrumental in the successful defeat of the
enemy, saved many lives, and was in the highest traditions of the U.S.
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.
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
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.
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?
"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.