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Oct. 9th, 2011

The USS Enterprise will turn 50 years old in November. 50 years of serving her country proudly in war and peace. 50 years of defending freedom around the world. She is the oldest operational warship in the U.S. Navy except for the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides).

She will deploy for her final cruise next year before being decommissioned. She was commissioned as the first and only Nuclear Powered Attack Aircraft Carrier, CVA(N). Over the years her duty was modified from Attack to Anti-Submarine to All Duty, the "A" in her designation was dropped. She has been updated with new weaponry, a new radar system and many other advancements and even has women among her crew now. Its a shame to think that even though she still has life in her she will be victim to the scrappers torches as many believe that after the 8 reactors are removed from her belly there will not be much to make a fitting museum out of. I hope they are wrong. It was indifference and stupidity that allowed the most decorated warship in the US NAVY, the USS Enterprise CV-6 of WWII to be scrapped. The worst part is the Navy in their infinite wisdom has failed to name a successor. The current Enterprise is the eighth ship to bear that name in service to the United States. Instead of naming the next carrier to be launched, Enterprise IX, they named it the FORD.

Here the Blue Angels, Fat Albert and a C-130 fly over the Enterprise as she heads out for her deployment in January, 2011.

The USS Enterprise when I sailed upon her.

You will be missed Old Girl!

Vietnam memorial wall: facts

Did you know?????

Interesting Statistics of the Vietnam Memorial Wall

"Carved on these walls is the story of America , of a continuing quest to preserve both Democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream." ~
President George Bush

SOMETHING to think about - Most of the surviving Parents are now Deceased.

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized.

It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war's beginning and end meet.

The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

. There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

. 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

. 8,283 were just 19 years old.

. The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

. 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

. 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

. One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

. 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .

. 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .

. 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

. Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

. 54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder why so many from
one school.

. 8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

. 244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the

. Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

. West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West
Virginians on the Wall.

. The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball
teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered.
They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado
Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical
of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the
Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

. The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends
and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues.
They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And
they all went to Vietnam

. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on
Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less
than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7,
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

. The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

. The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created.
To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.

There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

Thank a veteran for your Freedom,

Tell a Vietnam Vet, Welcome Home, You may be the first to do so.

Patriot Guards

Al I have to say is: god bless the Patriot Guards

The passing of a hero..

Ladies and gentleman I am sorry to say that Major Dick WInters of Easy 501st Band of Brothers fame has passed away at age 92. I am deeply saddened and wish his family and friends best wishes and my deepest condolences. A truly great man has left us, and we need many more like him now more than ever.


I love a Parade!

If you can, try to make it to a Veterans Day parade this week. And take your family with you! The men and women who take part appreciate a crowd!

Passing it forward---knitting for veterans

This is from seticat, a Desert Storm Vet.

You can knit or crochet a scarf for a veteran. Everything is there at the web site.

New Veteran woman here.

I am a 24 year USAF Veteran and via disposition and nature, have always considered myself to be a soldier.

My military heritage means a great deal to me and Memorial Day is treated as a holy and solemn occasion.

Thank you for allowing me to be part of the group.

Judge Rules Stolen Valor Act Illegal

This really pisses me off!

July 17, 2010
Associated Press

DENVER -- A law that makes it illegal to lie about being a war hero is unconstitutional because it violates free speech, a federal judge ruled Friday as he dismissed a case against a Colorado man who claimed he received two military medals.
Rick Glen Strandlof claimed he was an ex-Marine who was wounded in Iraq and received the Purple Heart and Silver Star, but the military had no record he ever served. He was charged with violating the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail to falsely claim to have won a military medal.
U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn dismissed the case and said the law is unconstitutional, ruling the government did not show it has a compelling reason to restrict that type of statement.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Denver said prosecutors are reviewing the decision and haven't decided whether to appeal. The spokesman said that decision would be made by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington and prosecutors in Denver.
Strandlof's lawyer, Bob Pepin, said he hadn't spoken to Strandlof since the ruling was issued. Pepin said he would advise Strandlof not to comment publicly because the case might be appealed.
"Obviously, we think this is the right decision, or we wouldn't have been making the objections to the statute to begin with," he said. Pepin said Strandlof has been living in a halfway house in Denver while his case is in the courts.
The law has also been challenged in California and in a case now before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Denver attorney Christopher P. Beall, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, said the Stolen Valor Act is fatally flawed because it doesn't require prosecutors to show anyone was harmed or defamed by the lie.
"The government position was that any speech that's false is not protected by the First Amendment. That proposition is very dangerous," Beall said.
"It puts the government in a much more powerful position to prosecute people for speaking out on things they believe to be true but turn out not to be true," he said.
Beall said the ACLU was not defending the actions Strandlof is accused of, but took issue with the principle behind the law.
Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., who sponsored the Stolen Valor Act in the House, predicted the decision will be overturned on appeal.
"This is an issue of fraud plain and simple," Salazar said in a written release. "The individuals who violate this law are those who knowingly portray themselves as pillars of the community for personal and monetary gain."
Pam Sterner, who as a college student wrote a policy analysis that became the basis of Salazar's bill, said the issue isn't free speech but misrepresentation. Sterner, a former Coloradan who now lives in Virginia, said authentic medal winners' credibility suffers when impostors are exposed because the public becomes suspicious of even true stories of heroism.

May. 27th, 2010

We lost a piece of living history today. If anyone has seen a movie of the attack on Pearl Harbor there is always a shot of a sailor using a machine gun to fire at the Japanese aircraft from an open area of an airfield. This is the representation of Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John Finn. The first man to be awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII, and up to today, the oldest living Medal of Honor reciepient.

Lt, John Finn passed away at 0545 this morning in San Diego Ca. He will be forever remember for his heroic's at Kaneohe Bay HI on Dec 7th 1941. Please keep John's family including Francis in your prayers...

God Speed Lt. Finn.