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.
Email: CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET
Any Amazon.com shopping you do via these links will help keep WatchCat in cream & ammo:
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?
**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.
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
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
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.
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.
On 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.
"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.