supporting the troops

“In a career of public service spanning nearly half a century, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has left his mark on almost every part of our nation, fighting for a stronger middle class, a fairer judicial system, and a smarter foreign policy; providing unyielding support for our troops; combatting crime and violence against women; leading our quest to cure cancer; and safeguarding the landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from corruption.

With his charm, candor, unabashed optimism, and deep and abiding patriotism, Joe Biden has garnered the respect and esteem of colleagues of both parties, and the friendship of people across the nation and around the world. While summoning the strength, faith, and grace to overcome great personal tragedy, the son of Scranton, Claymont, and Wilmington has become one of the most consequential Vice Presidents in American history, an accolade that nonetheless rests firmly behind his legacy as husband, father, and grandfather.

A grateful nation thanks Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. for his lifetime of service on behalf of the United States of America.”

– Citation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (With Distinction) awarded to Vice President Joe Biden, January 12, 2017.

10

Soldiers’ Angels
“Their courage cannot be matched. Their Loyalty to Protect our Country is amazing. They fight to protect the Freedom of Americans they have never met. Many have fallen along this journey; they are the Heroes that are engraved in my soul. It is in pure humility that I salute them.” ~Derek Clark

RED HOT: Three badass Marines light their smokes off a 50 caliber machine gun barrel that got red hot while firing at Red troops in central Korea. They are, left to right: Cpl. Charles E. Fritchman of China Lake, California, Pfc. James E. Hickman of Fort Worth, Texas, and Sgt. Donald MacGillivray, Chicago, Illinois. Ashland, Ohio, Times-Gazette. Monday Evening, May 7, 1951.

Sergeant Reckless, a chestnut mare who served in the U.S. military 63 years ago during the Korean War, has been honoured with the PDSA’s Dickin Medal. The award is the equivalent of the Victoria Cross for animals. Reckless lived to be 20 years old despite being wounded twice. She died in 1968.
Reckless was bred to be a racehorse. The Marine Corps bought her for $250 in October 1952. “Reckless” nickname because she carried ammo for the Recoilless Rifle, a gun so dangerous it was called the “reckless” rifle.

In the course of one five-day fight, 28 tons of bombs were dropped. The terrain of the battlefield was described by Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Geer as “smoking, death-pocked rubble.” In one day, Reckless made 51 trips during the Outpost Vegas battle in 1953. She carried more than 9,000 pounds of supplies and walked more than 35 miles in that one day alone.

Brian Hutton, the author, nominated the Mongolian mare for the award after he spent six years researching and writing her biography. According to Hutton, “she was loved by the Marines, they took care of her better than they took care of themselves, throwing their flak jackets over her when the incoming fire was heavy. Her relationship with the soldiers underscores the vital role of animals in war, not just for their prowess and strength in battle, but for the support and camaraderie they provide to their fellow troops. There is no knowing a number of lives she saved.” The ceremony was held at Victoria Embankment Gardens on Wednesday. Hidalgo, the horse, received the award on Reckless’ behalf.

Maria Dickin founded the PDSA animal charity and established the Dickin Medal in 1943 to highlight acts of bravery by animals in war. Most of the awards have gone to carrier pigeons.

Approximately 37,000 US and 1,000 British soldiers died in the Korean War. The war lasted from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953.
(Via War History Online)

If Americans aren’t prioritized, then who is?

Donald Trump’s ban restricts citizens from the following countries entering the United States: Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq.

What we have recently seen in 2016:

In Columbus, Ohio, a Somali refugee, who had previously lived in Pakistan for seven years, “attempted to run over his fellow Ohio State students on campus. After his car was stopped by a barrier, he got out of the vehicle and began hacking at people with a butcher knife” (dailywire.com).

In New York City and New Jersey, a man naturalized from Afghanistan decided to set off multiple bombs, which consequently resulted in the injury of thirty people.

In Minnesota, another Somali refugee began “hacking at people with a steak knife at a Minnesota mall” (dailywire.com).

How are these three instances of incredible violence related? All three instances of violence were motivated by radical Islam. All three men believed they were doing justice by their god. All three men referenced “Allah” before attempting to murder innocent civilians. And to top it off, all three men were born outside of the United States, and then graciously welcomed into our country with citizenship, education, and civil rights.

Please let me know how I, as an American citizen, am supposed to feel about this. Should I shrug it off? Claim it’s simply a matter of coincidence? Or should I be scared to death?

I am scared to death. I’m scared for my family, my friends, my peers. Flying, as a result of 9/11, to this day makes me anxious. I’m fearful going about my daily life will soon bring me to the same level of anxiety if these terrorist attacks are to continue.

We, the United States of America, have lived through enough tragedy. President Trump’s ban is not a ban on the Muslim religion. It is a temporary ban on the travel of citizens belonging to seven different countries in the Middle East. These seven countries do have very high Muslim populations. This being known, there are plenty of other countries with high Muslim populations that are still free to travel to and from the United States. These seven countries just happen to pose credible terrorist threats to our nation that need to be taken more seriously. 

People are fuming; there has been great distress, great anger. How could we possibly close our borders? Turn our backs on the foreign world? To those who ask these questions, I must then ask this. When President Obama was dropping bombs on five of the seven countries that are currently banned under President Trump’s executive order, where was your anguish? Where were your protests? Where was your voice? Where was your outcry to save the innocent civilians then? Dare I even say these innocent civilians wouldn’t need to seek refuge if it weren’t for President Obama’s previous actions?

The Middle East is a rather large place, with a rather large population of Muslims, and Christians, and Jews. Why must those who seek refuge from war and hardship travel halfway around the world to find peace? Are there no neighboring states to provide them solace? Are those who share their faith, their God too busy to lend a hand, a dollar, a share of kindness. The Middle East is composed of some of the richest countries in the world. Surely there can be a solution a little bit closer to home.

I support the ban. 

I support protecting my family, my friends, my peers, my fellow Red, White, and Blue Americans. I support protecting American lives first. I support an end to the terrorist attacks that have occurred all too often around the world in the past year. I support the fight to eradicate Radical Islamic terrorism.

I do not believe I am Islamaphobic, I do not believe I am racist, but I do believe I am a Patriotic American, who would love nothing more than to see our country flourish the way it has previously, and the way it always should: with an end to attacks, and an end to fear. Let’s put America first again

I’d like to think that Steve is a big supporter of Girl Scouts, he would help them go on trips by buying half their supply of girl scout cookies, because they have been around since 1917, but when the war started they had to stop making them since supplies were low. So every girl scout troop would find him, either at the Avengers Tower, or ask one of the Avengers where he is so they could sell him their cookies. And he would by 20 boxes of each cookie because one he’s a super soldier, and two he wants to help and support all the troops.

A boxed Devil Dog:
Off the shores of Guam, Coast Guardsmen and Marines handle a “Devil Dog” with care as they transfer the war dog from a Coast Guard landing barge to an LVT. He is boxed because he is trained for battle and apt to go after any and all but his own handler. 1944
(USCG Photo)

Lord God, Almighty Father,
creator of mankind and author of peace,
as we are ever mindful of the cost paid for the liberty we possess,
we ask you to bless the members of our armed forces.
Give them courage, hope and strength.
May they ever experience your firm support, gentle love and compassionate healing.
Be their power and protector, leading them from darkness to light.
To you be all glory, honor and praise, now and forever.

Amen.

Tales of a Vet

Remember this series? I just talk about things from my life you can maybe turn fictional.

There’s been a number of times I’ve had to take a flight in uniform. It’s highly uncomfortable. You’re just standing there trying to mind your business, and everyone wants to come up to you and thank you and shake your hand.

And I know how it looks saying that, because you just wanna be like…yikes dude; we’re just trying to be respectful? People are walking up and shaking your hand and thanking you oh the humanity poor you. 

And like, you’re right, and I know the intentions are good, and I appreciate the fact that I live in a country that supports its troops instead of hating them. It’s just very uncomfortable for a lot of us. 

Some of us have social anxiety, most of the time when we’re flying we’re sleep deprived, a lot of us either haven’t seen combat and don’t feel right being thanked for it and a lot of us don’t feel proud of having been in combat and don’t feel right being thanked for it, and even if we are okay with being thanked for it, it’s awful to have to have the same conversation over and over and over and over again while going through an airport. On the way to our gate alone we’ll probably get pulled aside and whispered a “thank you for your service” at least a dozen times. Can you imagine how frustrating that is? God forbid we wind up standing next to someone in a security line whose great uncle once removed was in the army sixty years ago so he knows all about it and he wants to showcase his knowledge to me. And then there’s the fact that I’m silently cringing in my head because I know if a number of these people knew I was bisexual they would not be shaking my hand. 

So you know. I know this is a widespread complaint by it’s by no means universal. Some soldiers enjoy the attention, and honestly you know that’s great for them. We all know that civilians have the utmost of intentions. But especially if you’re writing a soldier character out and about in uniform, (and it is common for soldiers to wander around off post in uniform) it is very realistic to them to be practically be assaulted by well-meaning people and getting maybe just a little peeved by it.

-Spc. Kingsley

What if the Twilight wasn’t actual garbage and Obi-Wan had managed to rescue Satine from Mandalore…

I think Trump got in because of eight years of Obama and progressive left, and I think they got in because of eight years of Bush and Cheney, and I think they got in because of eight years of Clinton, and I think he got in because of eight years of Clinton and Bush. It goes way conservative and then it goes way fucking liberal. My problem with both sides is the way they ram their ideologies down your fucking throat. If you have a difference of opinion on the right, usually, it means you’re against America, you don’t support the troops, and you’re a socialist. On the left, if you don’t agree with them you’re a caveman, you’re a sexist, you’re a racist, any of those fucking things. But both sides equally try to get you to lose your job and destroy your ability to earn a living because of your beliefs.
—  Bill Burr