Today marks the anniversary of the that fateful day in 1945 when 'all hell broke loose'.
By the time the atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the Second World War had raged for six years. Germany had been defeated and Europe lay in ruins.
Focus turned to Japan, the last Axis Power country. US President Harry Truman and his military commanders knew that an invasion of Japan would be extremely costly in terms of Allied lives - up to a million casualties were predicted. So they resolved to use the newly developed atomic bomb to reduce Japanese cities to rubble without setting foot on land.
So it was that a B-29 Superfortress nicknamed Enola Gay after the pilot's mother, dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Between 129,000-226,000 people were killed, mostly civilians. About half died instantly when the bombings happened, and the rest died from radiation sickness and other illnesses in the days and weeks after. Days after the attacks, Japan surrendered to the Allies, and came under a US-led military occupation.
The moral, legal and ethical issues of the bombings are still debated today.
We published an article written by Mike some time ago, and once again he has produced another useful and informative piece in support of our veteran and Active Duty service members. Please take the time to read, and share.
"How You Can Make a Difference in the Lives of Service Members and Their Families"
"Veterans and their families make many sacrifices for the country. Deployed soldiers spend countless weeks away from their loved ones and have trouble adjusting when they get back. For veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, the number is as high as 44%, says The Science Behind Health. They deserve love and support for their dedication – and their families too.
You can show your gratitude for service members and retired veterans and give back through concrete actions. It doesn’t have to be an exalted gesture – something as simple as an hour of your time can make a world of difference to service members and families. Below are some meaningful suggestions, courtesy of Rolling Thunder, Inc Chapter 1 Florida.
Visit senior or wounded veterans
Senior or wounded veterans who once served the country proudly should never be forgotten. A simple visit from you can brighten their day and make them smile. If you don’t know any suitable people in your community, you can call a local nursing home or hospital and ask for suggestions.
Make them a part of your meals and holiday celebrations
Cooking a delicious, wholesome meal for military personnel – or their loved ones when they’re away – is a wonderful way to show your appreciation. You could also invite them over to celebrate an important holiday celebration or two.
Donate what you don’t need
You probably have several knickknacks lying around that you don’t need. Consider donating them to military families who need them. What can you donate? Almost anything works, from clothes and shoes to gadgets and appliances. There are a variety of charities for veterans, so consider how you want to contribute.
Give them a job
Own a family-run business or know someone who needs help? You could help a veteran land a job. This is one of the best ways to support a veteran meaningfully, as many veterans fall on hard times and are in danger of homelessness. Whether you are hiring or just helping a veteran, remind them that their skills transfer into the civilian world. They bring attributes like loyalty and trainability, and they likely have many examples of their problem solving skills from their service. Learn how to read an ex-mil resume and interview them appropriately, and you can find a true gem for your workforce.
Facilitate their education
When you can’t help them get a job, you could facilitate their education to help them get one – or simply inform them that education post-service is an option. Nowadays, you can acquire a stellar education online. And because these programs are online, veterans can continue to hold down jobs while they learn.
For example, if you know an educated veteran who is struggling to land a job in a conventional field, you could inform them of master’s degree programs that can push their careers forward. Going back to school to earn an IT master’s degree would offer them skills in technology management, cybersecurity, and data analytics – all areas with high demand.
Volunteer your time and money to a related cause
Many veteran-related causes could use your assistance. You could volunteer your money or your time. AARP suggests charities like Hope for the Warriors, Homes for Our Troops, and Operation Gratitude. If you’d prefer to contribute to something closer back home, you could help a veteran hall – they have fallen on hard times recently.
Volunteer your time to them directly
Instead of serving an organization, you could lend a helping hand to a veteran in your community in person. You could babysit for them, help them do the groceries, mow their lawn, or simply spend an evening with them. Everything helps. When service members know they are cared for – and their families are being looked after in their absence – they can serve with pride and peace of mind. And you can be happy knowing you did your bit to make your community, and the world by extension, better for everyone.
Our veterans have done a lot for our country. We need to honor them, and those who have not come home. Rolling Thunder, Inc Chapter 1 Florida is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing awareness of POW and MIA soldiers. Visit their website to see how they are serving the community, and what you can do to help."
The United States Navy is training servicemen and women to cultivate “safe spaces” through the use of pronouns, as seen in a video publicized Monday. Now, I'm not going to post the video, because it literally makes me nauseous!
This video (and I'm sure many of you have seen it on social media), features Naval Undersea Warfare Center engineers Jony Rozon and Conchy Vasquez discussing “inclusive language” such as using “hey everyone” or “hey team” instead of “hey guys,” before detailing how the Navy plans to create a more sensitive environment, according to the Washington Free Beacon. Both Rozon and Vasquez sport LGBTQA+ Pride Flags on their clothing in the video, as well as being surrounded by infographics and materials that urge for various forms of inclusivity.
The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) stated that the video is part of “official US Navy” training, and was posted by Air Force staff sergeant John Vannucci. The content was modeled after a children’s show, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“How do we go about creating a safe space for everybody?” Vasquez asks Rozon. The answer, according to Rozon, is to use “inclusive language.” Another way that members of the US Navy can show each other that they are allies is to “include pronouns in our emails,” Vasquez notes.
Apparently the “most important thing is, do not pressure anybody into giving you their pronouns,” according to Vasquez.
The US Navy previously removed “woke” books from their updated reading list, such as “How to Be An Antiracist.” While Army Gen. Mike Milley has argued that diversity is an important strength of the US armed services, lawmakers such as Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has slammed the “woke cancer” in the military.
Commentators on the DVIDS video page largely appear to agree with Cruz, with one writing “the one thing that unites a work force is one mission, not pronouns.” Another wrote, “Hello to my American friends. Just a short message: you’re gonna lose the next war.”
Is this the culture that our military veterans have fought and died for throughout history?
It's no secret that veterans trying to receive medical treatment and benefits through the Veterans Administration had been extremely difficult in past years. They are making gains however, so all veterans should not give up hope!
There is one case that I have been following which involves a Navy sailor with a Top Secret cryptographic security clearance, working in a highly classified department, whose duty stations were never recorded in his service record. Similar to the super secret locations of our SEAL teams and the jobs they are sent to do.
The problem with this sailor is he was sent on a mission to Vietnam, and came in direct contact with Agent Orange. He is now battling a stage 4 cancer which is listed as one of the cancers connected with AO.
The dilemma: When he was sent on his various missions, he was only given travel vouchers which were handed over to those who provided the transportation, and no entry was ever made in his DD-214 or other service records. Therefore, his missions in Vietnam and elsewhere cannot be verified, and as such, the VA cannot grant benefits... and sadly, the Navy Department hasn't been much help either.
Missing records for sailors on Temporary Duty (TAD or TDY) is not unusual, especially within the cryptologic community, where they are routinely rotated in, on, and out of different countries, surface ships, subsurface vessels, and surveillance aircraft.
It is my hope that the Navy will begin a better job of accounting for sailors who are assigned additional duties somewhere other than their permanent duty station - and I will continue to follow this sailor's story.
I'm sure you all have experienced this, no matter where you live: Gasoline prices are the same throughout your neighborhood, no matter what brand you buy... and they ALL go up to the same price, but competitively reduce their prices until the next spike. The price increases by 20¢, but lowers by pennies. So why is it that that fuel already in those stations tanks fluctuate so much? I pose the question, but I don't have the answer. But, I do have some interesting facts about our oil 'industry'.
it’s not Russia's fault, or China's fault, or Ukraine, or India, or Venezuela, or Iran, or Bangladesh, or any other countries' fault as to why everything is so expensive right now. It's the figurehead of the progressive left Joe Biden's fault, because they are suppressing the domestic oil industry for political gain. Price it so high,the population will have to, 'go green'.
EVERYTHING depends on crude oil... but you might not know that if you believe the lies that are being told about oil and the oil industry.
As with all of my posts, your comments are welcomed.
The following is from House of Representatives, Mr. Bill Posey:
"May 18, 2022
You may have heard about efforts to give the World Health Organization (WHO) greater authority in influencing U.S. public health policies in preparation for or in response to public health emergencies.
I can assure you that I will do everything within my power to stop those who would seek to enable those outside the United States to influence or dictate such policies. We are a constitutional republic, and as such outside governing bodies and policies have no authority, right or business in deciding our policies. I supported President Trump’s efforts to cut off funding to the WHO because of WHO’s dismal failures and have cosponsored H.R. 419 to stop US funding for WHO, which was restarted by President Biden.
Additionally, allow me to share just how compromised the WHO is. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has cowered to Chinese pressures and was inept in its ability to fully investigate the role of China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in causing the pandemic. Here is what we do know about the WIV:
As we now know from secret released emails from top National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials, NIH and WHO caved to Chinese pressure to dismiss early on the suggestion that the virus escaped from WIV. NIH worked with Chinese officials and top recipients of NIH research grants to publish letters in top scientific journals dismissing as “conspiracy theories” the notion that the virus escaped from the WIV.
As late as January 22, 2020, the WHO was putting out information that COVID-19 did not pose a public health emergency, when WHO was aware of reports of human-to-human transmission within China.
No, the WHO should have no role in dictating U.S. policy. And, I am also fighting to secure a full and thorough investigation of NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci and other officials across the U.S. government that know more about the WIV and the origins of the pandemic than we know today.
It is an honor to serve you in Congress. Please visit www.posey.house.gov/survey2022 to share your views with me on issues before Congress and to sign up for our periodic newsletters and telephone townhall meetings. Please reach out to us if we can be of service to you.
The markup of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the House and Senate will begin soon. FRA is working to add a provision to these “must-pass” bills to expand concurrent receipt.
Legislation to expand concurrent receipt has been introduced in the House and Senate. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL) has introduced the “Retired Pay Restoration Act” (H.R. 303) that extends Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) eligibility to retirees rated less than 50 percent disabled, and Senator Jon Tester (Mt.) has introduced a similar bill (S. 1147) in the Senate. Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA) has introduced the “Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act” (H.R. 333) that is comprehensive concurrent receipt legislation that includes the elements of H.R. 303 and would also give concurrent receipt to all Chapter 61 retirees with less than 20 years of service.
Rep. Bilirakis (FL) and Senator Jon Tester (MT) have introduced the “Major Richard Star Act” (H.R. 1282 /S. 344 respectively) that expands concurrent receipt to include Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) beneficiaries who are medically retired with less than 20 years of service.
From the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA):
"Senator John Boozman (AR) has introduced legislation (S. 4082) to block the Department of Veterans Affairs from diverting veteran's resources to manage the crisis at the southern border. The Dept. of Homeland Security has confirmed that the Biden administration is considering diverting VA manpower and funding to the border. The deployment of VA personnel at the Southern border will impact veterans' ability to receive timely care from the VA. Please use the Action Center to express disapproval of any contingency plan which uses personnel from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to deal with the Southern border crisis. Please use the FRA Action Center to ask your Senators to support this bill."
On April 6, 1967, Douglas Brent Hegdahl III was assigned to the 0400 watch on the USS Canberra, sailing down the coast of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. At about 03:30, he left his bunk and stowed all of his valuables in his locker. He then went out on deck for a breath of fresh air before starting his watch.
The USS Canberra is a Boston-class guided-missile cruiser with 28 guns, including six 8-inch, 55-caliber cannons. If you are in close proximity to a gun of this size when it fires, best-case scenario, you will become temporarily deaf. In the worst case, the concussion of the blast will knock your butt overboard. And that's exactly what happened!
Doug was three miles from shore, with no life preserver, no identification, no nothing. He also didn’t tell anyone else that he was going up on deck. Normally on a ship, if you don't show up for a watch, someone will start looking for you. But not in this case... his fellow shipmates covered for him and didn't report him missing for two days, so the commanding officer did not organize a search.
It was about 03:45 when he went overboard, and just after dawn, he saw a trace of the shoreline and decided his best shot was to swim in that direction. He swam until he was picked up several hours later by Cambodian fishermen who treated him well. He was later handed over to Vietnamese militiamen who clubbed him repeatedly with their rifles before moving him to the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison.
Doug was now a Prisoner-of-War (POW). His interrogators didn't think he was a pilot because he was too tall, and they also didn’t buy his story about being thrown overboard during a cannon blast.
Doug faced two choices. Either the Vietnamese would think he was a spy, and therefore submit him to endless torture for secrets he never knew, or he could act like he was stupid enough to make his accident credible - which is exactly what he did. He thought his best chance was to act like a fool - not any kind of fool though, but the one with which the communists sympathized - the poor peasant.
Doug was so good in his role that the prison guards finally considered Doug too stupid to cause any harm, so they gave him the job of cleaning the prison corridors while they were resting. This allowed Doug to wander freely out of his cell and around the prison. Doug used his freedom to perform acts of sabotage.
Once he went to the prison garage, opened the gas caps of the trucks there, and threw sand inside. By doing that, he took five trucks out of service. Many fighter pilots never destroyed as many enemy vehicles as Doug did.
One of Doug’s cellmates was Joe Crecca, an Air Force officer who had mastered mnemonics - a set of memorization techniques. Joe taught him methods to memorize 256 names of other prisoners, cross-reference them and retrieve personal details, like their pets or place of residence. Later, this helped the American government to identify and rescue soldiers that once were considered dead.
Hegdahl was released on August 5, 1969, as a propaganda move by the North Vietnamese. At first, Doug refused to leave, in solidarity with the other prisoners. He only accepted to be released after his superior officer, Lieutenant Commander Richard A. Stratton told him he would be more useful outside. The information he memorized about the other prisoners would allow the US government to know that these POW's were still alive.
LTCDR Stratton later wrote: “Doug did not want to go. We finally told Doug that as long as he did not have to commit treason, he was to permit himself to be thrown out of the country. He was the most junior. He had the names. He knew first hand the torture stories behind many of the propaganda pictures and news releases. He knew the locations of many of the prisons. It was a direct order; he had no choice. I know, because I personally relayed that order to him as his immediate senior in the chain of command.”
‘"The Incredibly Stupid One,’ my personal hero, is the archetype of the innovative, resourceful and courageous American Sailor. These sailors are the products of the neighborhoods, churches, schools and families working together to produce individuals blessed with a sense of humor and the gift of freedom who can overcome any kind of odds. These sailors are tremendously loyal and devoted to their units and their leaders in their own private and personal ways. As long as we have the Doug’s of this world, our country will retain its freedoms.”
In 1970 Hegdahl attended the Paris peace talks where he confronted his captors and disclosed the conditions of the prison.
The following comes from the State Director of the Patriot Guard riders:
The Heroes Honor Festival (HHF), honoring all Vietnam Veterans, is happening in just under 40 days (May 27 & 28) at Daytona International Speedway. This is a public, patriotic celebration featuring live music, special guests, patriotic displays and events to honor our Vietnam Heroes.
The key update we'd like to share is, the Heroes Honor Festival tickets are now FREE for ALL Active Duty Military, Veterans who served at any time, their spouses, veteran's widows and all children 12 and under.
To receive your FREE tickets, go to heroeshonorfestival.com to learn more about the event and register.
For those of you that are already coming, we look forward to seeing you there. Please stop by PGR's Vietnam & Global War on Terrorism Memorial Walls when you get there and say hi.
For anyone that would like to volunteer to assist at HHF there are three different ways you can get involved:
The HHF team is building an “Army” of 1200 volunteers to support this celebration of Vietnam Veterans. They need help with setup, tear down, greeters, ushers, ticket takers, etc. All volunteers will get free admission to the event. If you are interested in learning more or want to register as a volunteer, go to heroeshonorfestival.com/volunteer/
In addition to the volunteer Army mentioned above, the HHF team has asked the PGR and a couple of other organizations to help provide Security Staff to augment the Daytona International Speedway Security team. This will help reduce costs for HHF. If you are willing to help with Security, please email email@example.com and let us know of your interest. We will then forward that information to the HHF team. Note, like the volunteer Army, Security Volunteers will also get free admission to the event.
Lastly, the PGR will publish a HOTH mission for the display of our Memorial Walls as we get closer to the event. We will need people to help with setup, tear down, and staffing the Walls throughout the event. We anticipate the Walls will be a big draw during the event and will be organizing the coverage as the event gets closer. Please watch for the HOTH mission posting and respond accordingly if this is of interest.
For all of our Vietnam Veterans, we look forward to honoring your service to our Grateful Nation and are excited to give you the Welcome Home you deserve so much.
For all members who are willing to help make this a great event, we hope you will consider volunteering for one of the opportunities mentioned above and please continue to spread the word to help us honor these Heroes.
We look forward to seeing you at Heroes Honor Festival on Memorial Day Weekend. Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
David “Flyboy” Shelton
Florida State Captain
Patriot Guard Riders
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