Afghanistan

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“Carpenter was nominated for the nation’s highest award for valor following reports that he covered a grenade to save the life of his friend, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio, during an insurgent attack in the Marjah district of Helmand province as the two Marines were standing guard on a rooftop on Nov. 21, 2010. Carpenter and Eufrazio survived the blast, but suffered severe wounds. Carpenter lost an eye and most of his teeth and shattered his jaw; his arm was also broken in several places.

“Damage from shrapnel to the frontal lobe of Eufrazio’s brain left him unable to speak for two years.

“The Marine Corps investigation of the incident to determine whether Carpenter deserved the award was complicated by several factors: There were no other witnesses, Carpenter couldn’t remember what happened because of trauma and Eufrazio was unable to speak until late 2012.”

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Col. Gordon Batcheller USMC (Ret.)

During the 1968 Tet Offensive, then Captain Gordon Batcheller earned the Navy Cross when his unit, Company A, 1st Battalion Marines, engaged a numerically superior force of the North Vietnamese Army. Although injured by shrapnel, he aggressively led his men in a fierce assault against the enemy and was seriously wounded in both legs when the column began receiving heavy fire from both flanks. He supported himself with his elbows, resolutely continued to direct his men, and bravely encouraged those near him even as he lay receiving medical treatment. As a result of his determined efforts, the reaction force reached the embattled city of Hue.

Colonel Batcheller joined the Marine Corp in 1960 and retired in 1991. His assignments included rifle platoon commander, 81mm mortar platoon commander, rifle company executive officer, rifle company commander, landing support battalion commander, and infantry battalion commander. He is a National War College graduate, and was a professor of military and strategic studies for seven years at the Army Management Staff College.

Women in Combat

Why We Should Not Send Our Mothers, Wives
and Daughters to Fight Our Wars

Crusade Magazine: Do you think that the current operational effectiveness of our military is lacking because we refuse to allow women in combat?

Colonel Gordon Batcheller: For the last forty years we have deliberately increased the involvement of women in combat. They fly combat airplanes and helicopters, man navy ships, including nuclear submarines, and fill combat support and service positions that expose them to close combat. Just recently 14,000 positions in the combat zone were opened to women. Civilians are pressuring the military, primarily the Army and Marine Corps, to open the infantry and other combat arms positions to women.

The process started when the All Volunteer Force discovered it wasn’t getting enough men; rudely put, women weren’t better than men, but they were better than nothing, at least when restricted to assignments where their associated friction could be best managed. As their presence increased, so did substantial evidence of the difficulties the mix created. No one has sought more women to better the combat force or claimed that our current mixed force is more effective than an all male force would be; and no historian has held that a coed force would have fought any of our wars more effectively than they were fought. If women improved the force’s combat effectiveness, you would expect the military to pressure its civilian master to give it more women without restrictions. The pressure today is in the other direction; civilians are trying to impose a less effective force on the military.

Crusade: Would allowing women in combat positions lead to the loss of combat effectiveness? If so why and how?

Colonel Batcheller: Yes! I guess the basic reason is that women are not equal substitutes for men. They are different, and this causes a host of problems. It is not their “fault,” nor is it attributable to any inherent incompetence. Women are different, and men view and treat them as such. Our cultural values, distilled from our Judeo-Christian civilization affirm this truth and inform us on what is appropriate or acceptable.

Effectiveness in combat depends on trained individuals, bound by trust and confidence — a belief ultimately that we will do right by each other. I have never known any man who thought it right to expose women to the butchery he will accept for himself or his male colleagues. Our idea of manhood would hold such butchery as shameful. Shame is not an inspiring war-winning emotion.

The infantry lives and works in a violent, barbaric world where the most grotesque of Hollywood’s special effects is routine reality. There is no quality of life beyond staying alive: no comfort, no privacy, and no provisions for hygiene. Endurance — both physical and emotional — and raw strength are essential. The battlefield is a man’s world.

Crusade: Should we want our women to fight? Why not?

Colonel Batcheller: The values of our major religions, Western Civilization, and our culture say “no.” The values that sustain our military say “no.” Our idea of manhood says it would be shameful. The thought of sending wives, mothers, and daughters to fight our wars while their men drive the children to soccer practice is contemptible. It is not that women cannot fight and kill and help us repel an attack or invasion in a “last stand.” But our culture objects to enlisting them in a “first call” case, and operational effectiveness resists their involvement in any case. Ideally, the military would be a male operation. In our world the challenge is to find a sensible, cost-effective use of women in the military while keeping them where they would not have to fight, or be able to distract or disrupt those fighting.

Crusade: Back in 1993, surveys showed that an overwhelming majority of women said they did not want to be in a combat unit. Is there a purpose for women to be placed in infantry positions?

The military is created and structured to win wars, and its personnel policies are crafted to serve that end, not satisfy vocational whims.

Colonel Batcheller: Not on the basis of military merit. Militant feminists and diversity worshippers have their fatuous “purposes,” but no positive purpose motivates the military to put women in foxholes.

While some seek to radically change the United States by destroying our current values, others seek to weaken the military and humble our nation. One does not have to be a conspiracy nut to acknowledge that such people exist and are active, and that this destructive initiative fits their purposes.

Some advocates also insist it is a woman’s right to serve in the military if she wants. That, of course, is nonsense. The military is created and structured to win wars, and its personnel policies are crafted to serve that end, not satisfy vocational whims.

Crusade: Some claim women push for infantry positions because they want to achieve higher rank and advance their careers. Is this being forced on women or is it something they want?

Colonel Batcheller: It is fair to say that achieving high rank is dependent on having had the “right” jobs, and having done them well. Command assignments of combat units during combat are essential for professional credibility.

A female Marine communicator is not going to become commandant. But the military exists to win wars, not to provide successful career patterns. Personnel policies, and their derivative assignments, are for the good of the service, not the happiness of the individuals being assigned.

Crusade: Do mixed units favor the enemy when it comes to combat?

Colonel Batcheller: Yes. By weakening our side we help the enemies. You will hear of the success other countries have had with coed forces, with Israel usually mentioned as the ultimate proof. But it is my understanding that the Israelis have found the concept doesn’t work and have abandoned it. The male soldiers became too concerned, protective and distracted. Women help defend their kibbutz just like American women helped defend their wagon train or homestead; and they serve in the military, but not in coed combat formations.

Crusade: People have made this issue one about gender equality. How would you answer those who subscribe to this ideological egalitarianism?

Colonel Batcheller: Men and women may be equal in the Declaration of Independence, but how many women play in the National Football League? College football? High School football? Last time I looked, men and women are different. And even if the differences created no performance advantages, the inescapable sexual dynamics inflict seriously disruptive forces on our coed organizations. The military exists to win wars, not to serve as an equal opportunity employer.

Crusade: Could you comment on the physical requirements of combat and are women capable of enduring it?

Colonel Batcheller: My experience was as an infantryman. Our world was somewhat different than that of a tank crewman or artillery officer. We had to be half beast of burden and operate far off the beaten track and beyond reach of reliable mechanical support. Conditions were primitive, quality of life non-existent, exposure to the elements constant. What we had, we pretty much carried. Coverage of the wars of the last ten years has provided a good picture of the loads carried by individual soldiers during operations — loads increase when units have to relocate. Upper body strength and load-carrying ability are essential — the stronger and more enduring, the more valuable. We have never been able to reduce the individual soldier’s personal load — it frequently exceeds 75 pounds, before you add a wounded colleague. Women in such an environment quickly become liabilities. Nor would they function well in the miserable living conditions, lack of privacy, absence of hygiene and so forth. It’s a man’s world.

Crusade: Are there emotional issues that need to be addressed?

Colonel Batcheller: There would be emotional issues for both sexes, and for the nation as a whole. This is something alien to our national character and hostile to our concept of civilization. The butchery of our wives and daughters and mothers would generate a national mood of sadness and shame. There has been no coverage of the killed and disabled women in Iraq and Afghanistan, even as we “celebrate” the male wounded warriors. We’re proud of our fighting forces, but ashamed that they include women. Infantrymen would feel this shame tenfold — they can handle the butchery until it involves someone that reminds them of their kid sister.

Jessica Lynch rescued from enemy captors in Iraq
During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. Army Pfc. Jessica D. Lynch was captured by enemy forces and raped repeatedly.

Crusade: What should we expect from the enemy should a woman combatant fall into their hands?

Colonel Batcheller: History has answered this question. Human nature hasn’t changed. Our enemies seldom start with our basic values, and combat is corrosive and de-humanizing. But, if we’re comfortable ordering our women and girls into the explosive violence of the battlefield, why should we be upset if they are violated?

Crusade: Based on your experience, do you think our young servicemen could, over time, be trained to treat women troops the same as men?

Colonel Batcheller: No. Nor would women accept being treated as men. This issue becomes especially significant in leader/led relationships. Most men have serious problems subordinating to women in a neutral environment. This would only get worse in a masculine environment. Thinking we can eliminate or tame sex reflects colossal arrogance, or stupidity.

Crusade: Because this is such a politically charged issue, do you think some are afraid to express their honest opinion? If so, do you feel that this limits our ability to make the best choice for our national security?

Colonel Batcheller: Yes. The military is properly subordinate to civilian authorities. The Commander-in-Chief is the President, the rule writers and check payers are Congress. Most of us have trouble “taking on the boss.” In the military there are additional concerns about disloyalty, disobedience, and insubordination. Additionally, the “pyramids” of these organizations are manned by ambitious individuals who generally want to keep their careers alive. Candor and honesty are dangerous, sometimes fatal. We have had four-star officers — generals and admirals, active duty and retired — publicly support the admission of homosexuals into the military, and the assignment of women into combat roles. None argued from military merit or advantage; it was the politically advantageous thing to do. Washington is a corrosive, disorienting environment. The major “players” are politicians, even if they wear a uniform. Very few leave Washington with more virtue than they brought in. Some go over to the dark side, most find reasons to justify not being contentious, or accept unsound policies after token opposition. Given the ignorance Congress and the President demonstrate about military matters, we should expect to observe respectful resistance from our military “leaders” with public examination of the objects of disagreement. For a host of reasons, we don’t. National security suffers as it ultimately depends upon an educated citizenry. Don’t believe anyone that says this is not a serious morale problem.

There is another major concern that is widespread, but difficult to isolate. Producing combat units — companies and battalions and squadrons and such — is a complex undertaking, and the primary business of the military. In the face of complexity the sacred tenet of KISS — Keep It Simple Stupid — is frequently invoked. Adding women to the mix creates frictions and burdens not only in the units where they mix, but in service-wide areas of personnel management, logistics, facilities, and administration; the more pervasive the mix, the more extensive the costs. All the Service academies have experienced sex-based scandals, and all services have been plagued with such misconduct, both in operational units and the support establishment. The cumulative cost of our coed military in time and effort is beyond calculation, but considerable.

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Capt. Barry Crawford Jr., shown here in an Air Force photo, received the Air Force Cross for his heroism..

By Anna Mulrine

“As a barrage of bullets erupted around him during an attack by “well over” 100 enemy snipers and machine gunners, Capt. Barry Crawford Jr., then an Air Force combat air controller assigned to an Army Special Forces unit, watched as his own radio antenna was shot off “mere inches from his face.” 

“…Without regard for his own life, Captain Crawford moved alone across open terrain in the kill zone to locate and engage enemy positions with his assault rifle while directing” strafe attacks. He also called in fighter jet runs “along with 500- and 2,000-pound bomb and hellfire missile strikes.”

To read more CLICK HERE.

For Fox News VIDEO Interview with Captain Crawford CLICK HERE.

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by: Norman Fulkerson

“For those who fought for it,” said an unknown soldier, “freedom has a meaning the protected will never know.”

A collection of military giants who fought for freedom convened in Washington for the 14th Annual Veterans Conference, put on by the American Veterans Center. Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen from the greatest to the latest generation were on hand to tell their stories and be honored for their service.

These men from conflicts beginning with WWII up to the current war in Afghanistan have contributed to the demise of the cruelest tyrants and the most despotic regimes of the twentieth and twenty-first Century. It is appropriate for us to take a moment this Veterans Day to reflect on their sacrifices.

SSgt. Jeremiah Workman

Wounded Warriors

Among those who spoke were wounded warriors like SSgt. Jeremiah Workman. He earned a Navy Cross during the battle for Fallujah when he entered a house to save some Marines who were pinned down by terrorists on the upper floor. Sgt. Workman charged into the house, and ran up the stairs firing on the enemy, dodging bullets as he went. When he realized that the rest of his squad was not with him, Workman was forced to retreat, but only long enough to regroup his men and make a second charge up the staircase with guns blazing. Running low on ammunition the Marines went back down the steps to reload when a terrorist lobbed a grenade in their direction. In spite of the painful shrapnel wounds to his legs and the intensity of the fight he was now engaged in Sgt. Workman was undeterred. He led a third and final assault up the stairs where he was able to secure the house. He was credited with killing 20 enemy combatants.

While he survived the hellish battle, other Marines did not. This was the most difficult thing for him to endure and led to a painful struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Navy Cross, he says, has allowed him to bring attention to many great Marines who did not survive that day.

Steve Maguire, former President of the Ranger association and author of Jungle in Black was also on hand to tell his story. He lost his eyesight during a battle in Vietnam where he stumbled upon an area where 30 Vietcong had just been. He saw their impressions in the grass and realized he hit “pay dirt.” Because of his keen military training he also perceived a booby trap awaiting them. One of the members of his recon platoon inadvertently tripped the wire that set off an explosion which left Mr. Maguire blind. For 42 years he has not seen a speck of light but remains upbeat, even philosophical about his experiences.

“I thought I was invincible,” he told a rapt audience, but with a smile on his face he added, “I was forced to admit, that they could actually kill me.” There is a future for those wounded in battle, he told the audience. “The story of our life is not just about our life, but what we did with it.” Mr. Maguire is now a director for the Army at the Soldier Family Assistance Center in the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Col. Glenn Frazier, survivor of the Bataan Death March.

Hell’s Guest[1]

One of the most colorful personages at the Conference was Col. Glenn Frazier. He survived the infamous Bataan Death March and was quick to admit, had he known what was in store for him, he would have preferred death to the march.

He joined the Army when only sixteen and did so under amusing circumstances. He was in a bar having a Coca Cola one day when the bartender rudely told him to leave.

“You boys from Lowndes County are always beating up the boys from Montgomery County,” he said. Although he was only sixteen he took his Harley Davidson, drove it through the front doors of the saloon with such violence it ripped the doors off their hinges, sending them into the air and on top of the bar. He then did a figure eight on the dance floor, with is motorcycle, before leaving.

Frustrated with life he went straight to the Army recruiter to join the military. Since his mother had refused to sign for him he lied about his age and said he was twenty one. After giving him the list of options of where he could go, the recruiter told him that the Philippines were a paradise. He would find out, all too soon, another side of that “paradise.”

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor his unit endured a savage fight against Japanese forces in the Battle of the Points. It was predicted by the enemy that the Americans would be destroyed in 10 days, but when the dust settled, Allied forces were victorious. But the worst was yet to come when he and 15,000 other soldiers were taken prisoner and forced to endure one of the most grueling tortures in our nation’s history, The Bataan Death March. 3000 died during the march and only 4000 came home after the war.

Although he survived the March he then had to endure three years in a POW camp where he was continually told by his captors that he was merely a “guest of the Emperor.” Col. Frazier thought otherwise and wrote about his struggles in a bestselling book titled Hell’s Guest. Living on merely two bowls of rice a day, he said they were treated like animals in the most inhumane conditions.

One day he suffered a severe cut on his hand which went to the bone. It was so cold and he was so emaciated that the wound did not bleed. Some days later he was walking across the camp with his hands in his pocket, to keep warm, and quickly found out that this was against the rules. He was taken before a judge and sentenced to death, but was saved by a miracle of God. With a gun to his back and a saber to his throat, his assassin asked Col. Frazier if he had anything to say before his head was cut off. He was then given, as he recalled “a mouth and wisdom.”[2]

“You can kill me but not my spirit,” he told the stunned Japanese soldier, “and my spirit is going to lodge in your body and haunt you the rest of your life.” A frown came over the face of his would be assassin who took three steps backwards and lowered his sword. Whether it was fear of God or pagan superstition he decided it might not be a good idea to kill this American serviceman. Instead Col. Frazier was forced to endure seven days of solitary confinement and more brutal beatings.

However, his spirit lived on and continues to inspire young Americans across the country. Colonel Frazier can be seen daily at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama signing his books and talking to tourists.

Gen. Jimmy Doolittle aboard the USS Hornet with the Raiders.

The Doolittle Raiders

One of the highlights of the conference events was the panel that included four of the last five living members of the legendary Doolittle Raiders, named after their founder and Medal of Honor Recipient, the late Gen. Jimmy Doolittle.

These men earned a place in history books for their participation in one of the most heroic actions of World War II. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Gen. Doolittle was handed the task of conducting the first retaliatory air raid on the Japanese homeland. The eighty men asked to participate were told that it was a very dangerous mission and would entail low altitude bombings on targets that were to remain top secret. Everyone in the room volunteered.

In the weeks leading up to the raid, the pilots practiced for the mission by flying tree-top-level over the wheat fields and barns across America. In the earlier days of April 1942 they made their way to the USS Hornet where 16 B-25s awaited them. Because the planes could not fit below deck they had to be stored at the end of the runway top side. This meant that an already short 2000 foot runway was made shorter still at 500 feet, especially for those like Gen. Doolittle who took off first.

One can only imagine their surprise on that bright sunshiny day, April 18, 1942, when the Raiders were finally told that Tokyo, Japan was their intended target.

The original plan was for the planes to take off when the carrier got within 450 miles of the Japanese mainland. This was scientifically calculated by Gen. Doolittle as the distance which would allow them enough fuel to hit their targets and make it to mainland China where they would land at pre-designated air strips. An already complicated mission was made more so when the USS Hornet was spotted by a Japanese fishing boat 600 miles off the Japanese mainland. Not wanting to risk the possibility that Japan might have already been warned by that boat, Gen. Doolittle ordered to planes airborne, 150 miles ahead of what had been planned. The pilots knew they would have barely enough fuel to make it to China much less to the pre-designated air strips.

Major Ed Saylor who flew aboard Plane #15 with bowed head during a commemoration ceremony for deceased Raiders held on April 14,2011 at Calvary Cemetery in Lincoln Nebraska.

Major Edward Saylor, an engineer for plane #15 said he “Didn’t expect to survive the mission.” But the element of surprise was something he found delicious.

Major Thomas Griffin, the navigator aboard plane #9, described how he flew right over Emperor Hirohito’s palace. They were ordered not to bomb it “but the fly over was the least we could do,” he said with a smile. He made it safely to China but only because of a favorable tail wind. During his flight he described with a bit of humor how he was forced to think of a contingency plan in the case he would have to ditch it in the sea.

“I would try to land near a friendly ship,” he said, and if it were an unfriendly he added with bravado, “we would take it over with our 45’s.” One of the fellow Raiders sitting close by laughed and said, “Optimistic thinking.”

Of the sixteen original B-25s on the mission, three crash landed on the coast of China, while twelve flew until they ran out of fuel before the airmen bailed out. The last plane was forced to land in Russia.

The value of the raid can only be truly appreciated when one considers that the Japanese did not think their land would be bombed. Besides giving the enemy what one Raider referred to as a “black eye,” the Doolittle Raid changed the whole course of the war because it required the Japanese to change their mindset. They were forced to retain soldiers for the defense of the home islands which had been intended for the Solomons, but they also had to expand the Pacific perimeter of defense well beyond what they had formally thought to be adequate.[3]

Sterling Goblets presented to Gen. Jimmy Doolittle with the Bottle of Cognac to be opened by the last two Raiders Left Standing.

Goblet Ceremony

At the 1959 Raider Reunion in Tucson, Arizona, the Chamber of Commerce presented a set of eighty sterling goblets to General Doolittle with the name of each Raider engraved on the side. The Raiders who had already died had their names engraved upside down. At every reunion since then the raiders keep up the tradition started on that day. They turn the goblets of those who have died over and then toast their heroism.

The eighty goblets are preserved in an elegant glass trophy case[4] along with a bottle of 1896 Cognac donated by Hennessy to honor the year of Gen. Doolittle’s birth. The tradition of the yearly toast will end with the last two remaining Raiders still standing. Only then will the bottle of Cognac be opened and a final toast offered by the last two men of this historic group.[5]

Gen. Stephen Ritchie, the only "Ace" Pilot of the Vietnam who shot down 5 Russian Mig-21s.

Only “Ace” [6] Pilot in the Vietnam War

Another piece of living history and a highlight of the conference as well, was the presence of Gen. Steve Ritchie, one of the most highly decorated pilots of the Vietnam War. After distinguishing himself on his first tour of duty in Vietnam, Gen Ritchie volunteered for a second tour in 1972 and earned a place in aviation record books that will likely never be equaled.

On May 10 of that year he shot down a Russian MIG 21 and then another on May 31. Weeks later he engaged and destroyed two more MIGs in a classic low altitude dog fight which lasted just 89 seconds. On August 28 he shot down a fifth MIG during his 339th combat mission making him the Air Forces only “Ace” pilot since the Korean War and the only American pilot in history to down five of the most sophisticated air craft in the North Vietnamese fleet.

His list of accolades is simply astounding. Besides receiving the Air Forces highest award –the Air Force Cross– he went on to earn four Silver Stars, ten Distinguished Flying Crosses and 25 Air Medals. Before his career ended in 1974 he had logged more than 800 flying hours.[7]

During his talk he illustrated all to well that he knows the enemy at home as well as the enemy he fought abroad.

“Never have we, in America, faced such a dangerous threat,” he said, “which is determined as never before to either convert us or eliminate us and we are not even allowed to say the name of our enemies.”

“They can saw off our heads and put it on television all over the world,” he said, quoting the conservative radio commentator Paul Harvey, “yet we have to tiptoe around their sensitivities.”

“Whether we like it or not,” he finished, “we are in combat and it is a war of good vs evil, right vs wrong, freedom vs slavery, civilization vs chaos.”

Mariana Ritchie describing the hope she derived from a picture of the American Flag at the 14th Annual Veterans Conference, Washington DC. (Photo Courtesy of Chris Graham.)

The Little American Flag: Hope of a Romanian Girl

After thrilling the audience with his adventurous war stories and inspiring them with his perspectives, he turned the microphone over to his Romanian born wife Mariana. She briefly described what it was like, as a little girl, living under Communism in her homeland. As a five-year-old she remembered having to wait hours in line for such basic things as bread or even water. The word God was not allowed and although her grandfather was a priest, she was threatened for going to church.

The number one enemy of the Communist, she told the audience, was America. It is for this reason that she had hopes of one day being rescued by someone from the United States. One day she saw a picture of an American flag inside a magazine that had been smuggled into the country. She cut that picture out and drew enormous comfort just looking at it.

“I used to take it out and stare at it for a long time,” she said, “sometimes for hours. I was dreaming about America and what it must be like to be free.”

One day she decided to take her flag to school, where children were subjected to Communist indoctrination, and got caught. Although the teacher was furious and threatened to punish Mariana for having the flag, they could not find where she hid it.

“I could afford to lose my life,” she continued, “I could care less. But one thing I could not do is go on living without hope and that little American flag was all I had that kept me going.”

Her dream was that American pilots would go to Romania and blow it up, level it.

“Whatever they needed to do in order to free us: even if I were to die in the process, so be it. It was a price we [Romanians] would have gladly paid in exchange for freedom. We would have given the Americans anything; the oil in southern Romania; the Gold in the mountains; our life and soul in exchange for freedom.”

She finished her words by thanking America for everything, including a “second chance at life,” but also for “giving me a home and teaching me new words like happiness, honor and kindness.”

Whereas most little girls dream of a knight in shining armor, riding a white horse this Romanian girl’s ideal was clearly a twentieth century version. “I dreamed of an American fighter pilot who would rescue me with his fighter jet,” she said, “and take me to America.”

Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira, founder of the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)

Those Who Fight for Freedom

This burning desire for freedom of a little Romanian girl, left unheeded for years, reminded me of a favorite phrase from a stirring manifesto written by the “Twentieth Century Crusader,”[8] Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira titled, Communism and Anticommunism on the Threshold of the Millenium’s Last Decade.[9] It was a scathing denunciation against those in the west who remained silent about the millions of souls languishing behind the former Iron Curtain.

In it, Prof. de Oliveira described the discontent of those people in countries like Romania and what they would say when it came their time to time to speak. He imagined them questioning Western Historians who “wrote optimistically and superficially about what was happening in the Communist world,” yet chose to say so little about the immense misery. Or the wealthy public figures of the West who did so little to free them from the “dark and endless night of Soviet Slavery.”

“We needed a Crusade to free us,” Prof. de Oliveira imagined the discontent saying, “and you merely sent us some bread to help us endure indefinitely our captivity. Perchance were you ignorant that the best solution for captivity is not merely bread, but freedom?”

That is the reason why, on this Veterans Day, we should remember all those American servicemen who, like modern day crusaders, fought and continue to fight for the defenseless. They do not remain with crossed arms in the face of so much infamy but put their lives on the line, time and time again, for those who are often abandoned by the rest of the world.

This no doubt is what led Mariana Ritchie to finish her discourse with something that seldom makes it into print, but needs to be plastered on the walls of every newspaper office in the country.

“You are not hated, like some people like to say. You are loved by millions of people who are hoping that someday you will go and rescue them next.”

 

 


[1] http://hellsguest.com/

[2] From the gospel of St. Matthew.

[4] Today the goblets can be seen at the National Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio located at Wright-Patterson Air Force base.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ace designates a pilot who has shot down five or more enemy planes

[8] Title of the first biography about Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira written by Prof. Roberto de Mattei

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Reluctant Warrior

wisconsin lottery

When asked if he felt like a hero his response was “No, I just did my job.”

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'I don't mind people calling me old,' says Sgt. Nicholas, left, with a colleague in Afghanistan earlier this year. He joined the Marines in 1971.

Staff Sgt. Don Nicholas disproves the old refrain: Old soldiers do not, in fact, fade away. They re-enlist.

At 59, Sgt. Nicholas is the oldest of the 6,000 soldiers in the 25th Infantry Division in eastern Afghanistan, the Army says. And he is probably one of the very few Vietnam vets now back for more in Afghanistan. He’s certainly the only one who saw first-hand the ugly end of that war from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon.

“It’s really not a fascination with war itself,” Sgt. Nicholas explains. “It’s more trying to keep people from getting killed. I’m taking the spot of some 19-year-old.”

Raised in Magnolia, Ohio, Sgt. Nicholas dropped out of high school and joined the Marines in 1971, expecting—almost hoping—to go to Vietnam. At the time he was a believer in the domino theory. He remembers telling a local TV reporter at the recruiting station that he didn’t want his children “living under communism.”

Read more click here.

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SSG Austin McCall earned the Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart while serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan.

Staff Sergeant Austin McCall says he was inspired to join the Army, like many heroic young Americans these days, because of the events of September 11. He went on to become a Ranger and on January 5, 2010 he earned the Bronze Star while leading his squad to a compound in Eastern Afghanistan. They had received intelligence that it was a “guest house” for a suicide bomber. When he arrived at this compound he was met by an enemy combatant holding two grenades. It was a make or break moment and Sergeant McCall lived up to the challenge.

He was able to shoot the terrorist, but not before the latter launched one of his grenades in the McCall’s direction. What happened next could be measured in milliseconds. The first grenade hit McCall in the chest, landed at his feet, but miraculously did not explode. Instinctively he turned his head towards the rest of the Rangers in his unit and yelled “grenade” as the second one, lying on the enemies chest, exploded.

Flying shrapnel might have killed Sergeant Mcall, had he not turned his head. Although his life was spared, one large piece of medal tore through his cheek and took out two teeth on its exit. With the commotion caused by the grenade other terrorists entered the fray.

In spite of his injuries, McCall maintained his calm and continued to heroically lead his squad. They eventually overcame the enemy and secured the compound. When the dust settled Sergeant McCall was covered in blood from his facial injuries and was forced to endure the pain, without medication, for another half hour before he could be evacuated.

There are two things which make this man worthy of admiration.

The Bronze Star it is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces

First of all, he was quick to deflect the praise he earned for his actions. “(As Rangers) that’s just what we do,” he said. “We go to where the fight is. We are there to engage and take care of the bad guys. That’s the way we are. We are all Rangers – the best gun fighters in the world.”

The second thing which makes this warrior worthy of our respect is his willingness to get back into the fight. He was quoted he in an article saying he “looks forward to doing it all over again.” This was not just tough talk either. A month after his brush with death and a most painful injury Sergeant McCall is back in the fight with a scar across the face to prove that it really is “hard to keep a good man down.”

“Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.” Last stanza of the Army Ranger creed.

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From left to right: Gunnery Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, Cpl. Dakota Meyer and Navy Corpsman 3rd Class James Layton. (Photo by Brent Layton)

Heroism in ambush may yield top valor awards

By Dan Lamothe –  Staff writer for Marine Corps Times

With no air or artillery support, the Marines of Embedded Training Team 2-8 were trapped deep in a kill zone in eastern Afghanistan. Their radios worked only sporadically, and dozens of insurgents fired on them repeatedly from three sides.

“We’re surrounded!” Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Johnson yelled into his radio in the early-morning hours of Sept. 8, 2009. “They’re moving in on us!”

At least twice, a two-man team attempted to rescue their buddies, using an armored vehicle mounted with a .50-caliber machine gun to fight their way toward them. They were forced back each time by a hail of bullets, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. An enemy bullet hit the vehicle’s gun turret, piercing then-Cpl. Dakota Meyer’s elbow with shrapnel. He shook it off, refusing to tell the staff sergeant with him because he didn’t want to make the situation worse, according to U.S. Army documents outlining a military investigation of the ambush.

What he did next will live on in Marine Corps lore — and, some say, should earn him consideration for the Medal of Honor.

After helicopter pilots called on to respond said fighting was too fierce for them to land, Meyer, then 21, charged into the kill zone on foot to find his friends. Under heavy fire, he reached a trench where the pilots had spotted the Marines, by then considered missing.

He found Johnson, 31; Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 30; 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25; Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class James Layton, 22; and an Afghan soldier they were training — all dead and bloody from gunshot wounds. They were spread out in the ditch, their weapons and radios stolen.

“I checked them all for a pulse. There [sic] bodies were already stiff,” Meyer said in a sworn statement he was asked to provide military investigators. “I found SSgt Kenefick face down in the trench w/ his GPS in his hand. His face appeared as if he was screaming. He had been shot in the head.”

Rather than give up, Meyer, of Greensburg, Ky., fought to bring his buddies back home. Bleeding from his shrapnel wound and still under fire, he carried their bodies back to a Humvee with the help of Afghan troops, and escorted them to nearby Forward Operating Base Joyce, about a mile to the northeast of Ganjgal…”

To read the entire story of this heroic Kentuckian click here.

What I found most noteworthy about this story is how Cpl. Meyer refuses to read the media coverage of what he did. “The main thing that we need to get from that day,” he is quoted as saying, “is that those guys died heroes, and they are greatly missed. This isn’t about me. If anything comes out of it for me, it’s for those guys.”

This is a true sign of a hero:  a person who does not realize the grandeur of the deed he has accomplished. I happened to stumble across this article while driving through Kentucky in the Louisville Courier Journal, which carried the story. It obviously gives me no small amount of pride that a fellow Kentuckian could accomplish such a magnificent deed.

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Glenn Hockton wearing the rosary which helped save his life in Afghanistan

but I could not pass this story up, since it is along the same lines as the last post about the Catholic Marine.There are those who might consider such religious practices as something incompatible with heroism and the military life. However, true men, see the value of prayer, even AND MOST ESPECIALLY FOR WARRIORS.

Colonel John W. Ripley, to whom this blog is dedicated, screamed “Jesus, Mary, get me there,” when he saw his strength fading under the Dong Ha bridge. He did so because he saw the value of calling upon God (for Whom it is child’s play to create universes) in his hour of need. Colonel Ripley received the Navy Cross for his heroic efforts but readily admitted it would not have been possible without Divine Assistance and was not ashamed to say so in public.

This story is about a British Soldier named Glenn Hockton, who likewise attributes his survival, after two near death experiences in war, to the fact that he carries the rosary. On one occasion he was shot in the chest and his parents still have the bullet which lodged in his body armor. More recently his mother described how he felt like he had been slapped on the back. When his rosary fell to the ground, he reached down to pick it up, only to realize he was standing on a land mine. The ironic thing about this story is that Glenn’s grandfather, who fought in WWII, also attributed the rosary to saving his life, when he miraculously survived an explosion that killed six members of his platoon.  If you have not done so already, read the rest of this story by clicking here.

Similar stories have been documented in the articles No Greater Love and The Ideal Soldier.

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Those who wear St. Christopher's medal (shown here), do so because he is the patron Saint of safe travel.

However, this Marine had a little help, from above, and from a very good mother.

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Wounded Marine from Adams County ready to return to unit

By KATHARINE HARMON

July 25–Lt. Nathan Jeffcoat, of Orrtanna, didn’t always want to be a U.S. Marine, but it’s safe to say it’s something that runs in his blood.

After being hit by an improvised explosive device, IED, in Afghanistan on June 30 and traveling back to the states, doctors went looking for him in his hospital room to do physical therapy, and the platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines was nowhere to be found.

Turns out, in true commander fashion, he had escaped and made his way through a quarantined hospital area to check on one of his men who had been injured two weeks before him, and was still in the hospital.

Jeffcoat knows he’s a lucky man, a lucky Marine…

Devotion to the Holy Rosary has saved many a soldier in battle.

“He’s really, really lucky,” [his mother] Sue  said, as she watched her son.

She breaks the eye contact to say she tells him all the time it’s because of the number of times she said the rosary for him, and all the prayers.

When he came back, the only things he had on him where his dog tags, watch, St. Christopher’s medallion and his rosary.

“Pray pray pray,” Sue Jeffcoat said.

That’s how they got through this, and that’s how they’ll get through it during the next tour.

To read the complete story about this tough Marine and his mother click HERE.

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