Browsing: Hero of the week

It has been seventy-two years since over 150,000 men conducted an assault on the coastline of France against an entrenched and experienced German military. Known as Operation Overlord then, it has become known to today’s generations as D-Day. Much has been written about the assault. The Americans suffered 9,000 casualties, with the worst conditions experienced by those on Omaha Beach – where some companies in the first wave suffered more than 50% casualties. Casualties were high among airborne forces from the 82nd and 101st as well. It is humbling to hear the stories of those who were there on D-Day,…

The United States had no business winning the Battle of Midway. Its three carriers – ENTERPRISE, HORNET and YORKTOWN – were outgunned by four Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, and a huge fleet of battleships, cruisers, destroyers and light carriers. To make matters worse, YORKTOWN had been damaged so severely at the Battle of Coral Sea a month earlier that she was barely able to get back to Pearl Harbor for repairs. She was presumed to be out of commission. American presence on the island itself consisted of a hodgepodge of discarded aircraft, new arrivals and hastily built…

Sometimes life just works out the way it should. Last Saturday I had the honor of presenting a special award to a colleague for his work over the last decade supporting the troops. The award is called the Silver T-Square, and the recipient was Army veteran and fellow cartoonist Bruce Higdon (also known as Foghorn because of his easy country charm). Bruce served his country in uniform, then served the troops as a cartoonist with the USO for over a decade. Here is Bruce at Ramstein AFB in Germany. Here he is returning from Afghanistan in a C-17. He is…

I am not talking about me. While it is true that I am preparing for a gravel race, it is only a hundred miles long. A hundred mile race is peanuts. Let me tell you about a guy named Joe Welker. Joe is an Army veteran and is a crazy psycho because in a few weeks he will ride his bike along the Continental Divide for 2768 off road miles from Canada to Mexico. I used to live in Colorado. Tackling the Continental Divide is no Sunday drive, I can assure you. You know how they always talk about the…

The media brushed by the news. Another American killed. A Sailor. A SEAL. Killed in Iraq. Despite the cursory mention, despite the chaff from political contests that demanded attention, the nation noticed and paused. His family was notified. His new bride of only a few months, a vibrant and lovely girl with an infectious optimism and ready smile, was notified too. The utter sadness of it all overwhelmed everyone. The tragic news spread across his town, and people who had never met any of them sprang into action. On Friday the city of Coronado will line the streets to honor…

While browsing through the Mother’s Day greetings on social media after celebrating with my wife and calling my own mom, I stumbled across this famous story and immediately realized it should be shared again, especially on this special day. The words have been pulled directly from the Naval History and Heritage Command’s website. News of the deaths of all five brothers became a rallying point for the war effort, with posters and speeches honoring their sacrifice. Extensive newspaper and radio coverage of the incident made the loss of the brothers a national story, producing “a wave of humility and sympathy…”…

The Daughters of the American Revolution, a huge nationwide organization with 165,000 members, announced that it will award its highest honor to Vietnam veteran and Khe Sanh survivor Ken Rodgers. Ken and his wife Betty directed and produced an award-winning documentary called “Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor” that tells the tale of the siege at Khe Sanh, and the world is starting to notice it. I have seen the movie and was riveted from beginning to end. It allowed the Marines who were there to describe in their own words the ordeals they faced during the eleven week siege. According…

People amaze me. Boise State recently held what they call an Appathon, which is where teams of students participate to develop mobile apps during a “weekend coding marathon.” When I was in college, weekends were made for road trips, pennying doors and seeing how many marshmallows we could stuff up our noses. Even if they had had apps back then (or cell phones for that matter), we would never have dreamed of actually designing one in our spare time. Free time was not meant for cerebral things, especially cerebral things that made you think. But I digress. In case you…

I had a the honor of speaking to a group of veterans today who are participating in the Veterans Court system. A few years ago, local judges and lawyers realized that veterans who served in war zones or under other adverse conditions can face unique challenges during their transitions. Consequently, they created a Veterans Court program that is equipped to handle legal cases that involve veteran-specific issues like Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress, and other similar conditions that mitigate or exacerbate certain violations. Since Peyton Manning had just retired, I paraphrased his characterization of his own journey after undergoing…

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