Tag: Afghanistan

POW/MIA Recognition Day

National POW/MIA Recognition Day was established in 1979 by a proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter. Since then, each subsequent president has continued the tradition, commemorating the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

A national ceremony is held on every National POW/MIA Recognition Day at the Pentagon featuring members of each branch of military service and the participation of high-ranking officials.

In addition to the national ceremony, many observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day can be found across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools, veterans’ facilities, homes, and private businesses.

No matter where they are held, these National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies share the common purpose of honoring those held captive and returned, and those who remain missing.

According to the Department of Defense, approximately 83,114 Americans are still missing today.

In past years, I have seen Missing Man Honors tables set up in restaurants I have visited on this day. It never fails to bring a lump to my throat.

Missing Man Honors

Let me take a moment to explain the significance of the Missing Man Honors to those who may not understand. This is how the table is typically set at military and veteran clubs, and private businesses and homes.

The tables I have seen are typically set for one, with the single empty chair representing all missing American servicemembers. It will sometimes be done with a setting for six, with each chair representing the missing Americans from each of the services, including the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and civilian.

There is great symbolism in how the table is set.

The table is round to symbolize our everlasting concern.

The table cloth is white and represents the purity of motive in answering the call to serve.

A single red rose is placed on the table to remind us of the lives of these Americans and their friends and loved ones who keep the faith.

The yellow ribbon represents our continued uncertainty, hope for their return, and determination to account for them.

A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate, captured or missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of the missing and their families.

The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

The glass is inverted, symbolizing their inability to share a toast.

The chair is empty … because these great Americans are missing.

Traditions such as these honor those who fought and sacrificed so Americans today can live in Freedom.

Freedom is such a precious gift, a gift paid for by blood during the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and other conflicts.

Politics is for politicians. The American fighting men and women put the politics aside and just do their job. All Americans should remember the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call and served in defense of freedom, and it is especially important to remember those who have not yet come home.

No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid

No Ordinary Dog is the powerful true story of a SEAL Team Operator and military dog handler, and the dog that saved his life.

Two dozen Navy SEALs descended on Osama bin Laden’s compound in May 2011. After the mission, only one name was made public: Cairo, a Belgian Malinois and military working dog. This is Cairo’s story, and that of his handler, Will Chesney, a SEAL Team Operator whose life would be irrevocably tied to Cairo’s.

Starting in 2008, when Will was introduced to the SEAL canine program, he and Cairo worked side by side, depending on each other for survival on hundreds of critical operations in the war on terrorism. But their bond transcended their service. Then, in 2011, the call came: Pick up your dog and get back to Virginia. Now.

What followed were several weeks of training for a secret mission. It soon became clear that this was no ordinary operation. Cairo was among the first members of the U.S. military on the ground in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the successful elimination of bin Laden.

As Cairo settled into a role as a reliable “spare dog,” Will went back to his job as a DEVGRU operator until a grenade blast in 2013 left him with a brain injury and PTSD. Unable to participate in further missions, he suffered from crippling migraines, chronic pain, memory issues, and depression. Modern medicine provided only modest relief. Instead, it was up to Cairo to save Will’s life once more―and then up to Will to be there when Cairo needed him the most.

My thoughts …

This book is absolutely outstanding!

No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney and Joe Layden is a fantastic story told (and read … I listened to the Audible book) by Will himself. The book is written as a tribute to his K9 partner, Cairo. It details the story of Chesney’s service with the US Navy SEALs, his decision to become a K9 handler, and the incredible bond and partnership that developed between these two SEAL warriors.

I am a dog lover, are you?

If you are a dog lover, this book is a MUST READ! It is simply an incredible story of loyalty, courage, sacrifice, commitment, and love. It is a moving tribute to a fantastic dog, a loyal partner, and a best friend. We are truly blessed that Will Chesney chose to share his story with us! It is a book I guarantee you will not want to put down!

The introduction is one of the best I have ever read and brought a tear to my eye. The book just gets better from there. The descriptions of training, missions, and the time Chesney and Cairo spent together have you right there living in the moment. At the same time, the stories of missions are well-done and informative, but not graphic or in danger of giving away any military secrets.

No spoilers, but the part of the story where the author is recovering from a severe injury, and Cairo comes to his rescue, was incredibly moving. Later, when Cairo is in real need, Chesney returns the favor. If you are not at least brought to the verge of tears, you are not human.

I absolutely recommend this book and give it 5 stars, only because that’s where the scale stops. This incredible story is off the scale. You can check the book out on Amazon by clicking here!

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here! And check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com!

WE CAN ALL SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!

What can an individual do to support our troops?

1200px-25th_Infantry_Division_CSIB.svgWhatever we can do to support our troops, we should!  I was messaging with my nephew who is with the 4/25th and currently stationed in Afghanistan. He is attached to my old unit … the 1/501st Parachute Regiment.  The 1/501st was airborne during WW II. However, when I was serving post-Vietnam, it had transitioned to the 1/501st Air Assault Regiment (Geronimo).  I guess they have now switched back to airborne. Things change.

My daughter periodically puts together packages and sends them to his unit when it is overseas. She has made quite an art of it, including weird things … however, things that they really need such as flea collars. I guess for sand fleas? I got to thinking about what I can send.

Soldiers often love to read!

support our troopsI did. I read all of Louis L’ Amour’s books at least twice when I was serving in the Army! I also read many other books by many authors. My nephew was telling me that his Dad had sent him a copy of my book and how much he really enjoyed reading it.  He also said that all the members of his platoon were waiting their turn to read it.  Maybe even some soldiers from the 1/501st wouldn’t mind reading it!  Then it hit me.  I can send them several copies of my book. So, that is what I am doing. I am putting together a shipment of my books to send over to his unit in Afghanistan. It is a small part I can play to support our troops and I think they really will enjoy it!

What can you do to support our troops!

I am sure you can think of something you can do … even if it is just thanking them for their service when they get home!

Barack Obama: Extortion 17 to Benghazi

Imbecile

Extortion 17:  I think it is time true Americans stand and be counted.  It is truly no longer a time to “accept the things we cannot change.”  It is time to change the things we cannot accept.

Want some truth?

Seal Team 6, America’s most elite special operations team, was sent to their slaughter in the most obscenely mismanaged military failure in recent Naval history.  93 days after Seal Team 6 got Osama Bin Laden (we should not even know this) they were stupidly sent to their death in what was probably an Al Qaeda planned ambush.  Joe Biden put the targets on their backs, Obama‘s “Rules of Engagement” let it happen.  They were sent into a landing zone in the middle of 3 hour long battle, in a slow moving 28-year-old CH-47D Chinook because our military does not have enough MH-47s … and with no pre-landing suppressive fire (those troublesome rules of engagement again).

Want some more truth?

In the 11 years we have been waging war in Afghanistan, 79% of those killed or wounded have been under Obama’s leadership.  During the 8 years of the Bush administration, 2072 American soldiers came home wounded from Iraq/Afghanistan.  In only the last 3 years under Obama, 14,977 American soldiers have come home wounded.  Obama increases the number of American soldiers being wounded in action almost as fast as he increases our debt!

Who would you rather have in charge if your son or daughter was serving in our military?  I served in the military.  American sons and daughters volunteer to fight to defend  the country they love; not to be sent in to be sacrificed or slaughtered because of some radical leftist president’s ideological love-fest with radical Muslims.

Did you ever stop to wonder what Obama and Clinton were trying so hard to cover up in Benghazi?  (I mean, besides their sheer incompetence)  Maybe … missiles to Syria?  Just asking …