Author Topic: Lest we forget - Armistice/Remembrance/Veteran's Day 2019  (Read 291 times)

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Offline winchester73

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Lest we forget - Armistice/Remembrance/Veteran's Day 2019
« on: November 11, 2019, 12:11:21 PM »
The "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.  For mitch, the Phantom Phixer, who kept the F4s flying. For Ghost, we remember, always.

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind."

Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam

Mike was shot down a few months later, on 24 March 1970.  He was attempting to extract 8 members of MACV-SOG LRRP RT Pennsylvania, 14 miles inside Cambodia in Ratanokiri Province, after they declared a Prairie Fire.  "You take them in - you get them out!" was the creed the Bikinis aircrews lived by.  Red Three's last transmission before his Huey burst into flames was "I've got all eight, I'm coming out."

O'Donnell received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.  His "gentle heroes" poem was recited during the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in 1982, and rolled by in the closing credits of the 1987 movie "Hamburger Hill".

Listed as KIA 7 February 1978 (Presumptive Finding of Death).  Remains repatriated on 12 April 1995.  Identified on 20 June 2001.  Came home to Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial on 16 August 2001.  Panel 12W Line 040  (The original cross was changed to a diamond)



In grateful remembrance of Airman 1st Class William H. Pitsenbarger, a 21 year old pararescue medic (PJ) in the final months of his enlistment, killed on 11 April 1966 while defending some of his wounded comrades. Of the 180 men with whom he fought his last battle, only 14 were uninjured.  "Pits" participated in more than 300 rescue missions in Vietnam (PJs, all volunteers, earned more decorations per capita than any other group of USAF personnel).  He served with Detachment 6, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Bien Hoa.  Fittingly, the motto of the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service is "That Others May Live".


In grateful recognition of Captain Gary Michael Rose, who was finally awarded the Medal of Honor on 23 October 2017 for his service as a Special Forces medic in Operation Tailwind.  Another top secret, covert Hatchet Force mission in Laos ... it recovered a treasure trove of collateral intelligence, the extraction required strikes from 72 aircraft dropping a half-million pounds of bombs, rockets and napalm.  Rose is credited with treating 60-70 wounded personnel and saving many lives.


In grateful remembrance of Sgt First Class Paul Ray Smith, Bravo Company, 11th Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Army.  Sapper 7 was in charge of 2nd Platoon on 4 April 2003, attempting to seize Objective Lions, the Baghdad International Airport. In an effort somewhat akin to Audie Murphy's legendary World War II heroism, he thwarted the advance of well-trained, well-equipped soldiers from the Special Republican Guard.  His actions saved the lives of at least 100 soldiers, caused the failure of a deliberate enemy attack hours after 1st Brigade seized the Baghdad Airport, and resulted in an estimated 20-50 enemy soldiers killed. He was posthumously awarded the first Medal of Honor for service in Iraq, his 11-year-old son David accepted it from President Bush.


RIP, 2nd Lt. Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla, Platoon Leader, B Co 2/7 Cav.  "Hard Corps One-Six" survived the Broken Arrow in the Ia Drang Valley, November 1965, only to face another hell in New York City on Sept 11th. In charge of Morgan Stanley security, he was advised by Port Authority police that there was no need to panic and evacuate when the first tower was hit.  "Bugger THAT!" he said, and he began the orderly evacuation of the 2,700 employees on the 22 floors of WTC 2 and another 1,000 in WTC 5 across the plaza.  He had most of them out to safety by the time the second plane hit.  He went back up the stairs of the flaming South Tower one last time to search for stragglers, and was last seen in the 10th floor stairwell, headed up, as the tower collapsed on him.  To date, no trace has been found of his body.  Rescorla is memorialized at the South Pool of the National 9/11 Memorial on Panel S-46.  A bronze statue based on that iconic photo of him at the Ia Drang is on permanent display on The Walk Of Honor at the National Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning, GA.
Speak softly, but carry a big Winchester ... Winchester Arms Collectors Association member

Offline plodr

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Re: Lest we forget - Armistice/Remembrance/Veteran's Day 2019
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 12:39:42 PM »

Offline Corrine

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Re: Lest we forget - Armistice/Remembrance/Veteran's Day 2019
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 02:04:56 PM »
I knew you'd come through with a perfect post honoring veterans, winchester73.  As usual, I republished a portion of our friend Canuk's last tribute from 2006, Lest We Forget.


Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.

Offline frapper

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Re: Lest we forget - Armistice/Remembrance/Veteran's Day 2019
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2019, 04:04:22 PM »