When asked if he felt like a hero his response was “No, I just did my job.”
You are currently browsing articles tagged Armed Forces.
It occurred to me after I posted the moving story Sergeant Rafael Peralta how some people might find it hard to believe that an American Serviceman would do such like jumping on grenade.
However, this is not an uncommon thing in the American Armed Forces. I grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky, for example, and will always remember the time a relative took me to visit the memorial for Pfc. David Nash, in nearby Whitesville. Very much like Sgt. Peralta and Michael Monsoor, this 21 year old young man, who was in the prime of his life, also jumped on a grenade to save the lives of his fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War. It was hard for me to believe that tiny little Whitesville, Kentucky produced such a man and I don not hesitate to say it gave caused a flood of emotion, and no small amount of pride, to stand there and read about his deeds.
I had the privilege of meeting Dan and Debbie Dunham at a recent event. Their 22 year old son Cpl. Jason Dunham also received the Medal of Honor posthumously, for throwing himself on a grenade in 2004 during the war in Iraq. When I told Mrs. Dunham about this blog and my desire to recognize and celebrate the heroism of American fighting men she emphatically responded, “Keep it up, we need to tell their stories.”
You might think I have run out of names, but I have not.
Nineteen year old Pfc. Ross McGinnis also joined the hallowed ranks of those who gave their lives so that others might live and he did so in exactly the same manner. Take time to look at the picture of him on the front page of this website and what you will see is a smiling young kid, bursting with life. Yet this young man accomplished a man size feat, on December 4, 2006, when he chose to give his life for others. Lastly there is Medal of Honor recipient, Jack Lucas who covered two live grenades, during the WWII battle for Iwo Jima. Although one of the grenades was a dud, Jack Lucas absorbed the explosion of the other and ultimately saved those in the trench with him. He was only 17 at the time, but miraculously survived to tell the story.
Stop for a moment and reflect on the unselfishness it takes to perform such an act and the frequency with which Americans have done this.
Tags: Armed Forces, Cpl. Jason Dunham, Debbie Dunham, iwo jima, Jack Lucas, Jumping on Grenade, Michael Monsoor, Modern American Heroes, Owensboro Kentucky, Pfc. David Nash, Pfc. Ross McGinnis, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, Vietnam, Vietnam War
August 18, 2010
Xavier Alvarez of Pomona, Calif., said during a public meeting in 2007 that he was a retired Marine who received the Medal of Honor.
The initial reaction, from the Indland Valley Daily Bulletin, in an article titled Xavier Alvarez Must Resign Now was what one might expect. “We call upon Xavier Alvarez, the water board member whose lies stand as an affront to every member and veteran of the U.S. armed forces, to resign his elected position immediately.”
Well hold onto your seats. According to an AP article out today, “A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with [Alvarez] in a 2-1 decision Tuesday, agreeing that the law was a violation of his free-speech rights.” The article affirmed that the “three-year-old federal law that makes it a crime to falsely claim to have received a medal from the U.S. military is unconstitutional.” To read more click here.
Not only can you protest at the funeral of a hero, you are now able to impersonate one. The question I have is this. Does the Constitution give us the right to lie?
This is a very interesting rendition of TAPS for all those who are as moved as I am when I hear this sublime song. It is played by a 13 year old girl named Melissa Venema. At the end of the You Tube video (below) you will see the enthusiastic applause of the audience which is a clear indicator of what Americans think about those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
Although this musical piece is sounded off nightly by the different branches of the American Armed Forces to indicate “lights out” it is more commonly known to civilians as the song played at military funerals.
Although there are no official lyrics for this song, I found the following unofficial verse on line which is often used:
Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh — Falls the night.
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright;
God is near, do not fear — Friend, good night.
God Bless our brave American Servicemen!