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Friday, May 22 2015 @ 03:08 PM PDT

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Wednesday Hero

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Lt. Milton Ricketts

Lt. Milton Ricketts

28 years old from Baltimore, Maryland

USS Yorktown (CV-5)

August 5, 1913 - May 8, 1942

U.S.
Navy

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.

You can read 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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Close Call

General NewsOn 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.
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More STS Awards

PJ StuffOregon Air National Guard Airman Receives Silver Star, 3 Others, Bronze Star
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PJ News

PJ StuffSpecial Tactics Airmen Awarded Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart H/T BK/SOFREP
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Wednesday Scramble

ScramblesJudge Questions Prosecution of Mechanic Who Built Silencers for Navy SEALs

Civilian Navy Intelligence Officer Indicted in Unregistered Silencer Scheme

The Science of Identity Theft

A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

10 Ways to Love Someone with Depression

The Moral Injuries of War

When the Music Stops

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Sarah

U.S.
Army

Yesterday marked the end of a 12-year review by the Pentagon when 24 soldiers from WWII to Vietnam, who were denied the award they earned, finally received their Medals Of Honor.

Spc. 4 Santiago J. Erevia

Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris

Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela

Sgt. Candelario Garcia

Spc. 4 Leonard L. Alvarado

Staff Sgt. Felix M. Conde-Falcon

Spc. 4 Ardie R. Copas

Spc. 4 Jesus S. Duran

Cpl. Joe R. Baldonado

Cpl. Victor H. Espinoza

Sgt. Eduardo C. Gomez

Pfc. Leonard M. Kravitz

Master Sgt. Juan E. Negron

Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena

Pvt. Demensio Rivera

Pvt. Miguel A. Vera

Sgt. Jack Weinstein

Private Pedro Cano

Pvt. Joe Gandara

Pfc. Salvador J. Lara

Sgt. William F. Leonard

Staff Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza

Sgt. Alfred B. Nietzel

1st Lt. Donald K. Schwab

You can find more information 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

Cmdr. Ernest Edwin
Evans

Cmdr. Ernest Edwin Evans

36 years old from Pawnee, Oklahoma

Commanding Officer USS Johnson (DD 557)

August 13, 1908 - October 25, 1944

U.S.
Navy

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. Johnston in action against major units of the enemy Japanese fleet during the battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. The first to lay a smokescreen and to open fire as an enemy task force, vastly superior in number, firepower and armor, rapidly approached. Comdr. Evans gallantly diverted the powerful blasts of hostile guns from the lightly armed and armored carriers under his protection, launching the first torpedo attack when the Johnston came under straddling Japanese shellfire. Undaunted by damage sustained under the terrific volume of fire, he unhesitatingly joined others of his group to provide fire support during subsequent torpedo attacks against the Japanese and, outshooting and outmaneuvering the enemy as he consistently interposed his vessel between the hostile fleet units and our carriers despite the crippling loss of engine power and communications with steering aft, shifted command to the fantail, shouted steering orders through an open hatch to men turning the rudder by hand and battled furiously until the Johnston, burning and shuddering from a mortal blow, lay dead in the water after 3 hours of fierce combat. Seriously wounded early in the engagement, Comdr. Evans, by his indomitable courage and brilliant professional skill, aided materially in turning back the enemy during a critical phase of the action. His valiant fighting spirit throughout this historic battle will venture as an inspiration to all who served with him.

You can read more about Commander Evans 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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The Kid Who Melts the DI

General NewsMay God bless this DI and this kid. Some of the finest men and women in the world are in the US Military, and this troubled boy is able to recognize it.

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Putin's Game

General NewsLike many of you, I'm spending a fair amount of my "free time" keeping an eye on what's happening in Ukraine. Perhaps unlike you, I have many Russian friends, some Ukrainian acquaintances and some almost-family types with strong Ukrainian ties. For these and other reasons, I have been very careful about my comments.

I'm not an expert on Ukraine, but I know Russia tolerably well. I know Orthodoxy. And I know a little something of the KGB of Putin's time.

Someone recently said that Russia is playing chess while the US is playing marbles. Keep that comment in mind with every article you read. Yes, it feels like the 1930s. And the 1980s. And 2008. We also need to remember Russia's Christian history and how this impacts their understanding of other territories.

However...

We're getting a little too wrapped up in how Pres. Obama screwed this up. Yes, I predicted that Putin would have Obama for breakfast. But we need to move beyond that to have any real sense of what is happening.

Any simplistic explanation of what Putin is doing is likely wrong.

This is chess. Putin makes a move with his opponent's responses in mind. If he takes a pawn or a knight, was that his endgame? Of course not; he wants the queen to move.

Does Putin want to return Russia to her "former glory?" Probably.

Is it narcissism, like so many Russian leaders of the past?

He takes a knight and moves back a few spaces. So what does he really want?
Probably something most of us don't see.
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PJ Memories

PJ Stuff(Apologies for posting this late.)

On this day in 2002, some of our brave heroes lost their lives during the Battle of Roberts Ridge. We will never forget the stories of heroism from that battle and the brave warriors we lost.

RIP:
USAF Pararescue SrA Jason Cunningham
USAF Combat Controller TSgt John Chapman
USN Seal PO1 Neil Roberts
USA Ranger PFC Matthew Commons
USA Ranger SGT Bradley Crose
USA Ranger SFC Marc Anderson
USA 160th SOAR SGT Phillip Svitak

H/T AFSOC