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Saturday, November 01 2014 @ 02:23 AM PDT

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Wednesday Hero

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Capt. Edwin A. Shuman
III

Capt. Edwin A. Shuman III

82 years old from Annapolis, Maryland

Attack Squadron 35

Oct. 7, 1931 - Dec. 3, 2013

U.S.
Navy

Edwin Shuman, III, a retired Navy pilot, and former POW who was held for five years in Vietnam, passed away two months ago. He had flown 18 missions over Vietnam when plane was shot down north of Hanoi. He and his navigator were both captured.

You can read more about Capt. Shuman 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

Brigadier Gen. James H.
Howard

Brigadier Gen. James H. Howard

81 years old from Bay Pines, Florida

356th Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group

April 13, 1913 - March 18, 1995

U.S. Air Force

General, then Colonel, James Howard, was the only fighter pilot to be awarded the Medal Of Honor in the European theater of WWII.

From his citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Oschersleben, Germany, on 11 January 1944. On that day Col. Howard was the leader of a group of P-51 aircraft providing support for a heavy bomber formation on a long-range mission deep in enemy territory. As Col. Howard's group met the bombers in the target area the bomber force was attacked by numerous enemy fighters. Col. Howard, with his group, at once engaged the enemy and himself destroyed a German ME. 110. As a result of this attack Col. Howard lost contact with his group, and at once returned to the level of the bomber formation. He then saw that the bombers were being heavily attacked by enemy airplanes and that no other friendly fighters were at hand. While Col. Howard could have waited to attempt to assemble his group before engaging the enemy, he chose instead to attack single-handed a formation of more than 30 German airplanes. With utter disregard for his own safety he immediately pressed home determined attacks for some 30 minutes, during which time he destroyed 3 enemy airplanes and probably destroyed and damaged others. Toward the end of this engagement 3 of his guns went out of action and his fuel supply was becoming dangerously low. Despite these handicaps and the almost insuperable odds against him, Col. Howard continued his aggressive action in an attempt to protect the bombers from the numerous fighters. His skill, courage, and intrepidity on this occasion set an example of heroism which will be an inspiration to the U.S. Armed Forces

You can read more about Gen. Howard 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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More on Lone Survivor

General NewsLone Survivor and Truth and Lone Survivor: The Review

H/T SOFREP. Interesting perspective on Hollywood's loose relationship with the truth. I doubt that the script inaccuracies have much impact on the "propaganda" issues but the points about our tendency to learn history from Hollywood are valid.

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No Regrets

Michael MonsoorI just got back from San Diego and it feels like I was away much longer than the reality. It was a great trip, lots of fun with friends, and I learned things about myself.

My favorite discovery is that I'm evidently a decent speedboat operator. It wasn't exactly a shock to anyone (except for the fact that I did it on about 2 hours of sleep) but I can navigate harbor waters pretty well. I can fly over someone else's wake, make tight or wide turns as needed, and outrun anyone in a similar boat. I'm also cautious enough to stay out of trouble, but flying through the water (and air, occasionally) didn't rattle me. Rather, it was a great adventure.

I also had the opportunity to visit Michael Monsoor's grave at Ft. Rosencrans National Cemetery. There were things I needed to say, things that will never be written here. But the simple words on the bottom of the headstone spoke back to me:

"No Regrets"

We don't know what may be in the waters ahead. But we have to move forward if we are to find our joy. If considering a choice, I have to ask myself what I'm likely to regret, and then I make the bold, no-regrets move.

Cut through the wake, fly over the waves, feel the salt spray on your face. Choose joy, full speed ahead.

Thank you, Mikey.
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Critics

General NewsIf you feel like getting angry, go read this review of "Lone Survivor:" Lone Survivor: A Pro War Propaganda Surprise Hit

I don't have it in me to go looking for more of the kind (I'm sure they're out there) but I saw the video of the reactions of Marcus Luttrell and Dakota Meyer and wanted to know the source. I almost wish I hadn't found it.

This pretty much sums up the review: " It’s trying to tell us that whatever we may think we think about what our country did over the past dozen years – this SEAL team was based at Bagram Air Force base, where some of the worst acts of CIA or military torture were committed – dying for the red, white and blue is still a holy enterprise."
The whole attitude of that statement angers me, but the ignorance is what really makes my head explode. How many thousands of soldiers have gone through Bagram? I have a good friend who was a postal worker there; will you accuse her too? The Left has been inbreeding for far too long; their brain function is diminishing.

I liked Dakota Meyer's response: Call it whatever you want to call it, but it was factual.

And facts upset the people who would rather ignore them.

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Michael

Tech Sgt. Charles
Coolidge

Tech Sgt. Charles Coolidge

92 years old from Chattanooga, Tennessee

3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division

U.S.
Army

Tech Sgt. Charles Coolidge was born in 1921 in Tennessee, where he still live and works in the family business. In 2006 he was awarded the Légion d'honneur by officials of the French consulate.

From his Medal Of Honor citation: Leading a section of heavy machine guns supported by 1 platoon of Company K, he took a position near Hill 623, east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, on October 24, 1944, with the mission of covering the right flank of the 3d Battalion and supporting its action. T/Sgt. Coolidge went forward with a Sergeant of Company K to reconnoiter positions for coordinating the fires of the light and heavy machine guns. They ran into an enemy force in the woods estimated to be an infantry company. T/Sgt. Coolidge, attempting to bluff the Germans by a show of assurance and boldness called upon them to surrender, whereupon the enemy opened fire. With his carbine, T/Sgt. Coolidge wounded 2 of them. There being no officer present with the force, T/Sgt. Coolidge at once assumed command. Many of the men were replacements recently arrived; this was their first experience under fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge, unmindful of the enemy fire delivered at close range, walked along the position, calming and encouraging his men and directing their fire. The attack was thrown back. Through 25 and October 26, the enemy launched repeated attacks against the position of this combat group but each was repulsed due to T/Sgt. Coolidge's able leadership. On October 27, German infantry, supported by 2 tanks, made a determined attack on the position. The area was swept by enemy small arms, machine gun, and tank fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge armed himself with a bazooka and advanced to within 25 yards of the tanks. His bazooka failed to function and he threw it aside. Securing all the hand grenades he could carry, he crawled forward and inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing enemy. Finally it became apparent that the enemy, in greatly superior force, supported by tanks, would overrun the position. T/Sgt. Coolidge, displaying great coolness and courage, directed and conducted an orderly withdrawal, being himself the last to leave the position. As a result of T/Sgt. Coolidge's heroic and superior leadership, the mission of this combat group was accomplished throughout 4 days of continuous fighting against numerically superior enemy troops in rain and cold and amid dense woods.

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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You're Better At This Than You Think

General NewsMuch of today was great. Probably the best part was conspiring with my best friend for various plans for our upcoming getaway (generously funded by our long-suffering husbands.) Second-best was getting someone to watch to WatchKitten for a bit so I could take care of various bits of business.

But as usual, there was too much to do in the time allotted, and I quickly transitioned from happy future vacationer to dangerously close to yelling at my child, the babysitter, the felines and anyone else who crossed my path. And I don't yell. If I slam a door people pull out the binoculars to see how far back it was that they crossed the line. Granted, chasing a toddler has shortened my fuse a bit, but that's only because it's been lit so many times. But back to this evening...

I had a situation. A safety issue in the house, requiring a very simple fix. Except I forgot that nothing is ever simple to fix in this house. And by the time I remembered that, scheduling flukes meant that the dwindling list of available helpful people was now comprised of people who would have to get out of bed and/or be paid exorbitant amounts of money to fix this idiotic problem. And while I can put up with a lot, I'm pretty sure that the WatchKitten would not sleep with the alarm squawking every 30 seconds.

Deep breath. Check my work. Squawk. Stare at it and pray. Squawk. Ask my favorite macho saint for help and try again. Squawk. Meanwhile the toddler is fussing, the kitties are yowling and the babysitter needs to be driven home. But I'm certainly not going to let go of my one helper until this is fixed. I take a deep breath and force myself to read all of the fine print on the panel. "May take 7-10 minutes for circuit to reset."

I'm not sure whether I feel like more or less of an idiot. There was absolutely nothing wrong with my work. Had I left it alone, the squawking would have resolved itself a half hour before. Why didn't I trust that I'd done it right?

I'll leave that hanging out there, because I know I'm not the only one. I know many brilliant people who second-guess themselves the instant something goes wrong. It's not an easy habit to shake; I know my triggers but I still do it. How much worse is it if you don't know the roots of your self-doubt?
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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis post was suggested by Michael

Maj. Richard Bong

Maj. Richard Bong

24 years old from Poplar, Wisconsin

49th Fighter Group, V Fighter Command

September 25, 1920 - August 6, 1945

U.S.
Army Air Force

Maj. Richard Bong is the United States' highest-scoring air ace, having shot down at least 40 Japanese aircraft during World War II. He was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. All of his aerial victories were in the P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft.

You can read more on Maj. Bong 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 BlogrollI want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. And to all those who are serving and are unable to be home, be safe and thank you.

Josh Groben - I'll Be Home For Christmas

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 StuffSikorsky Eyes Federal Budget Amid Uncertainty Over Combat Rescue Helicopter

First they reduce retirement benefits. Will they next undermine combat rescue?

It's getting a lot harder to believe that Congress values a strong national defense. Yes, serve your country in the military (if you have no better options, like getting elected to Congress) and if you get into a tight spot, maybe you'll be lucky and the old helicopters will make it through the round trip. Of course, if you actually make it to retirement, you won't get the benefits you were promised when you signed up...

Maybe I shouldn't write something so cynical right now, at a time of year when many veterans struggle already. But I write it because I'm angry about how you're being treated. You deserve far better than this from your country.

I'll keep fighting for you, and so will many other Americans. We're here if you want to talk and we'll keep telling Congress to get it right.