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Saturday, July 30 2016 @ 08:32 PM PDT

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Train Right

General NewsSpecial Effects Training Helps Medical Students Prepare for Life or Death Emergencies

If life ever takes me to SoCal, I would love to work with this company.

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero Blogroll
U.S. Army Air Forces

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:

Lt. Col. James Misuraca

Maj. James Moran

First Lt. Paul Gambaiana

First Lt. James Mahon

Tech. Sgt. Alva Moss

Staff Sgt. John Fox

Sgt. William Blackburn

Sgt. George Thursby

You can ream more 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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PJ News

PJ StuffDramatic Ship Rescue Turns PJ Training Scenario Into Reality
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Unpacking

General NewsToday 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.

It only took me twelve years to unpack.
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Wednesday Hero

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Sgt. Maj. Charles Morris

Sgt. Maj. Charles Morris

64 years old from Fancy Gap, Virginia

503rd Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade

December 29, 1931 - August 22, 1996

U.S.
Army

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. Army.

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 BlogrollThis post was suggested by Michael

Lt. Col. Jerry Coleman

Lt. Col. Jerry Coleman

89 years old from San Diego, California

VMSB-341, VMA-323

September 14, 1924 - January 5, 2014

U.S. Marines

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 Medals.

You can read more about Lt. Col. Coleman 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 BlogrollThis post was suggested by SJ

2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers
2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers

92 years old from Long Beach, California

18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

May 7, 1921 - February 20, 2014

U.S. Army

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.

You can read more about 2nd Lt. Ehlers 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 BlogrollFor some reason there doesn't seem to be a Wednesday Hero post today, so I offer this instead:

WWI Europe Photos on Modern Photos

H/T LJB

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?

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Community

General News**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.
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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by SJ

SSgt. William
Guarnere

SSgt. William Guarnere

90 years old from Philadelphia, Penn.

Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

April 28, 1923 - March 8, 2014

U.S.
Army

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 Medal.

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 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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