If you, a loved one, friend or family member, present or past, were awarded a Purple Heart, PLEASE, check out thepurpleheart.com. Enroll and tell your tale if you wish. It is a wonderful site and museum, and a most honorable effort by the good folks who do it all for purely patriotic purposes.
We echo these sentiments. Those who have shed their blood on the battlefield while in the service of this country deserve to have their tales told and preserved for posterity. – Ed.
WISDOM FROM THOMAS JEFFERSON
I love our founding fathers! They were so stand-up and simple with common sense! Greedy lawyers have screwed up all of the commonsense laws just to make a “buck” for a translation of what should be simple English.
“It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression… that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; ... working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821
It is distressing to see the courts inject themselves into a number of issues that are best decided by the states or the people. It seems as if they have repealed the 10th Amendment by stealth. – Ed.
This is a breath of fresh air from the flag ranks! I’ve lately started to think that there was no one in the ranks of general who remembered their oath of service.
The following quotes by Major General Douglas Stone come from an interview by The Officer Magazine, published
by the Reserve Officers Association – Ed.:
“We’re sworn to defend the Constitution. Imbedded in the Constitution is a rule of law, and imbedded in the Constitution is a human rights perspective. The spirit of the Constitution is the Declaration. The Declaration has no legal binding in the United States, but it says that all men are created equal with certain unalienable rights, and that’s one of the most powerful human rights statements in the world by any government. That’s the spirit behind the Constitution.”
“The obligation to defend the Constitution hasn’t dropped off. That comes with some very important obligations,
not the least of which is to genuinely continue to understand who the enemy is and isn’t.”
“Our job is to ensure that not only our own citizens but also the citizens of the Muslim world know that we are not
their common enemy, first and foremost, and second of all, we are not going to back off the defense of the Constitution.”
These are excellent quotes. Major General Stone is dead on target. – Ed.
FINALLY, AN AMERICAN RPG!
Finally-finally-finally, it’s only taken us 60(?) years to swallow our pride.
Need I say more?
The author of the letter is referring to a lightweight version of the RPG-7 developed by Airtronic USA. This version of the RPG-7 uses composites to get the weight down.
That said, while the RPG-7 has advantages, it also is pretty distinctive – and on a battlefield that may have snipers, standing out may not be the wisest thing to do. It also will require a fair bit of additional training. On the other hand, the M72 and M136 LAWs used by the U.S. military are easily operated by soldiers (instructions are even printed on the launchers). Those systems are also easy to mass produce, and maintenance is not even required – soldiers just have to visually inspect the round before firing.
Of course, the M72 and M136 have their disadvantages as well, usually lacking the punch that the RPG can bring to a fight. So, let’s hear what readers have to say. What would you choose to carry on the battlefield? Have the Russians been right all this time, or has America come up with the better shoulder-fired antitank rocket launcher? – Ed.
GEORGE BACON AND BOB HOWARD
Here’s an excellent image of SOG Medal of Honor recipient, then-SFC Bob Howard (L) and SP4 George W. Bacon III, taken approximately February 1969. At the time Howard was the CCC Recon Company training NCO, while his Medal of Honor nomination was going forward. George Bacon at this time was a medic on my team, RT Illinois. He’d just returned to duty after being seriously wounded in the CCN sapper attack of 23 August 1968. After this photo, George served about another two months (made SGT E-5), then rotated home, left the service, and eventually went to Laos with the CIA as the personal advisor to Gen. Vang Pao. He was awarded the Intelligence Star for his valor during the NVA siege of Long Tieng, I think in 1974.
On St. Valentine’s Day, 1976, George was in Angola, working with Jonas Savimbi’s forces. While he was attempting to demolish a bridge, Cuban troops arrived and killed him, shooting him to death. His body has not been recovered.
Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.)
Here is Howard’s citation for the Medal of Honor:
HOWARD, ROBERT L.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 30 December 1968. Entered service at: Montgomery, Ala. Born: 11 July 1939,
Opelika, Ala. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Howard (then Sfc .), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an
American-Vietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam. The platoon had left its helicopter landing zone and was moving out on its mission when it was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion. 1st Lt. Howard saw his platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader. As 1st Lt. Howard was administering first aid and removing the officer’s equipment, an enemy bullet struck 1 of the ammunition pouches on the lieutenant’s belt, detonating several magazines of ammunition. 1st Lt. Howard momentarily sought cover and then realizing that he must rejoin the platoon, which had been disorganized by the enemy attack, he again began dragging the seriously wounded officer toward the platoon area. Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy. For 3 ½ hours 1st Lt. Howard’s small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all were aboard safely. 1st Lt. Howard’s gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
Lately, Howard has made a couple of trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, as morale-boosters for the troops. – Ed.