When the virtuous have fallen

People say that there is frequently an incredible bond between humans and animals.

That is true.

There is, I submit, no greater bond between animal and human but when service dogs are involved because life and death — for both — is the bottom line.

From FoxNewsInsider.com:

Soldier Lays Flag Over Military Dog After He’s Put Down

A heartbreaking photo shows the moment a U.S. airman said goodbye to his best friend, his 11-year-old military working dog.

According to Inside Edition, the 11-year-old German shepherd, Bodza, had to be put down last week due to health problems.

His owner, Air Force service member Kyle Smith, draped Old Glory over Bodza after he comforted the pup in his final moments.

“I held him in my arms the entire time. I’ve never cried that much my entire life,” said Smith.

Bodza served alongside Smith on his 2012 deployment to Kyrgyzstan. Smith’s superiors surprised him with the adoption papers a few years later when Bodza retired from service.

Please watch the video but, however, be prepared to be monumentally moved.

Animals embolden, inform and enrich our lives. But like fellow soldiers in foxholes, service dogs embody and enforce the unwritten rule that the fight is not necessarily for greater good but, instead, due to the unshakable bond between individual warriors.

This goes both ways as well. No one can forget moving photographs or videos of dogs laying prostrate for their military handlers who were killed in combat.

God bless America.

As a friend of mine says, it is past due time for America to bless God.

BZ

 

In honor of Loyce Edward Deen, USN

Please watch the video, then read the information below for the complete story.

US Navy TBF Avenger gunner, Loyce Deen, from the USS Essex is buried at sea with his aircraft during World War II.

A Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber of VT-15 Torpedo Air Group, approaches and lands on the deck of the USS Essex (CV-9) during the Battle of Manila Bay, in World War II.

Upon landing, Lt. Robert Cosgrove (Pilot) and Sailor Digby Denzek (Radioman) can be seen in their respective forward and middle crew positions.

But the rear gunner position, occupied by Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class, Loyce Edward Deen (Gunner) has been completely destroyed by enemy 40mm shell fire. AMM 2C Deen was decapitated as a result.

As the aircraft is parked amongst others, with wings folded, sailors of the Essex take fingerprints and cut dog tags from the body of AMM2C Loyce Deen in the gunner position.

Captain Carlos W. Wieber, Commanding Officer of the Essex, and her crew, participate in funeral services on the deck. A chaplain conducts the services from beside the aircraft, where Loyce Deen’s remains in the gunner’s position have been shrouded.

Closeup view of Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman during the burial service. A bugler sounds taps. Beside the bugler is David L. McDonald, who was XO of the USS Essex (and later Chief of Naval Operations in the 1960s).

Deen’s remains are then buried at sea in the TBF avenger in which he perished. The aircraft floats off the fantail for a short time before sinking from view. Two TBF Avengers are seen flying overhead , in tribute. Crew members then disband and return to their duties. Location: Manila Philippines. Date: November 5, 1944.

Please visit LoyceEDeen.org, sign the guest book, and learn about this chapter in our history.

We are safe today, here in the United States, because of the courage, discipline and sacrifices made by the very young men and women of the Greatest Generation.

Please, I ask everyone, don’t let their sacrifices for our freedoms be in vain.

They bled and died for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Keep our freedoms and insist that our politicians do as well.

BZ

 

 

Who is General James Mattis?

general-james-mattisUSMC General (four star) James Mattis (ret.) has been selected as Donald Trump’s nominee for the new administration’s Secretary of Defense.

People ask: who is James Mattis?

Ladies and gentlemen, this is James Mattis.

A General Mattis Christmas Story

Featured from the National Museum of the Marine Corps Museum’s Facebook Page

A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, “Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story.” General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles.

 Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle. At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day. He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty.

 He asked, “Who’s the officer of the day?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.” And General Krulak said, “No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who’s the officer of the day today, Christmas day?” The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, “Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis.”

 General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, “No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis.”

About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, “Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?” General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day.

General Krulak said, “That’s the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is.”

The story above was told by Dr. Albert C. Pierce, the Director of the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics at The United States Naval Academy. He was introducing General James Mattis who gave a lecture on Ethical Challenges in Contemporary Conflict in the spring of 2006. This was taken from the transcript of that lecture.

Frankly, as I read that, I choked up a bit and my eyes began to water.

To me, this provides all the information I need to know about a true leader.

BZ

george-smith-patton-quote

Gen Chuck Yeager, 89, in F-15 Eagle

General Chuck Yeager, at the ripe old age of 89 years, boards an F-15 Eagle at Nellis AFB as part of an honor flight. The flight was conducted in recognition of the first manned supersonic flight 65 years prior, when Yeager broke the sound barrier in an experimental Bell X-1 aircraft on October 14, 1947. Filmed on October 14, 2012.

Amazing.

For those who don’t know, Chuck Yeager is the man who first broke the supersonic flight sound barrier on October of 1947 at California’s Muroc Desert Test Center (now known as Edwards AFB) with a speed of 660 mph at 35,000 feet, in the Bell XS-1 rocket-powered aircraft named “Glamorous Glennis” (after Yeager’s wife).  With enough fuel for a 2 1/2 minute flight, technicians and engineers were unsure just what would occur at the sound barrier.  Would the wings fall off?  Could the human body take the stress or would the transition to supersonic speed kill the pilot?  No one knew.

Yet there he is, at the age of 89 in the year 2012, strapped into the back seat of a McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle, a twin-engine fighter first introduced into USAF service in 1976, in order to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Yeager’s having broken the sound barrier.

I’m sure a number of AF officers were thinking: “oh please, don’t let General Yeager get killed on my watch.”

Still and all, an amazing feat.

Brigadier General Yeager, 93, lives with his second wife Victoria, 57, in Penn Valley, California, just off Highway 20 and west of Grass Valley.  Beale AFB, former home of the SR-71 and current home of the TR-1, is nearby.

BZ