I am just an old country boy. Not a big writer but just a man like each and everyone of you. We are all stuck in this world together. I have had some readers wanting to donate to keep me going so. I am giving you this place to give as was asked. PayPal.me/djackson1954. my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boeing made this tricked out 57 ton turbine-powered hydrofoil gunboat for the U.S. Navy. Tucumcari, good for 40 knots (46 mph) on the open water. Armed with twin .50 Cal. machine guns, a 40mm Gun, and a 81mm mortar. It served a combat tour in Vietnam before being transferred to Europe to become a demo boat.
It was the first waterjet propelled Patrol Gunboat Hydrofoil Tucumcari (PGH-2) was built for operation by the Navy at a cost of $4 million by a Boeing subcontractor in Tacoma, Washington, and then assembled and outfitted at a Boeing facility in Seattle. Boeing’s previous US Navy operated hydrofoil was the Patrol Craft Hydrofoil USS High Point, which utilized two forward hydrofoils and propellers on an aft-mounted single foil. Before that, Boeing had built and operated several hydroplane and hydrofoil test craft for itself and for the Navy.
The assembly and outfitting of Tucumcari began on 1 September 1966 at the Advanced Marine Systems Division of the Boeing Aerospace Group. Tucumcari was launched on 15 July 1967, and delivered to the Navy on 8 March 1968. Placed “in service with an officer-in charge” as a patrol boat (vs. “commissioned” as a ship with a commanding officer) on that day, the ship’s first officer-in-charge was Navy Lieutenant Martinn H. Mandles. Tucumcari, an extremely fast, highly maneuverable, prototype hydrofoil gunboat designed to perform well even in heavy weather, represented the culmination of 10 years of hydrofoil development.
The new gunboat arrived at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, her home port, in July 1968. She conducted operational evaluation tests and participated in exercises with the U.S. Pacific Fleet. In addition, she conducted day and night operations with Fleet ships ranging from cruisers to conventional patrol craft. After a year of operating out of Coronado, Tucumcari was deployed to South Vietnam. She spent most of her six months in the combat zone assigned to Operation Market Time, the coastal patrol established to stop the flow of supplies from North Vietnam. While performing this duty, she logged 200 hours of foilborne operations including day and night, all-weather, and high sea state missions. She also conducted underway replenishments with larger Fleet units and vertical replenishment from helicopters. The latter included medical evacuation operations and the transfers of cargo and fuel.
The Giant Killer book & Facebook page honors these incredible heroes trying to make sure their stories are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets!🇺🇸🇺🇸
WWII War Hero: CPL James D. Slaton 45th Infantry Div. from Gulfport, Mississippi received the Medal of Honor for laying a metric ton of hate on the enemy in the vicinity of Oliveto, Italy, on Sept. 23, 1943. He was leading an infantry squad on a mission to flank the enemy and make them sorry for pinning down two platoons of his fellow Americans. He was so charged up that he moved ahead of his element and crept up to an enemy machine gun nest and took his bayonet to the gunner. Suffice it to say, the gunner didn’t make it out alive.
Unfortunately, Slaton’s bayonet was “stuck,” so he detached it from his rifle and killed another nearby gunner. The fascists were onto him now, and a machine gun opened up on him. No cover? No problem. Slaton moved over the open ground under constant enemy fire until he was within throwing distance and tossed a couple of grenades, which killed another two enemy gunners.
Yet another machine gun opened up on him 100 yards to his front. Slaton was probably and understandably winded at this point, so he eliminated the threat with a couple of well-placed shots from his rifle. Long story short: the two platoons that had been pinned down were able to maneuver out.
CITATION: The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Corporal James Daniel Slaton, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company K, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, in action with the enemy in the vicinity of Oliveto, Italy, on 23 September 1943. Corporal Slaton was lead scout of an infantry squad which had been committed to a flank to knock out enemy resistance which had succeeded in pinning two attacking platoons to the ground. Working ahead of his squad, Corporal Slaton crept upon an enemy machinegun nest and, assaulting it with his bayonet, succeeded in killing the gunner. When his bayonet stuck, he detached it from the rifle and killed another gunner with rifle fire. At that time he was fired upon by a machinegun to his immediate left. Corporal Slaton then moved over open ground under constant fire to within throwing distance, and on his second try scored a direct hit on the second enemy machinegun nest, killing two enemy gunners. At that time a third machinegun fired on him 100 yards to his front, and Corporal Slaton killed both of these enemy gunners with rifle fire. As a result of Corporal Slaton’s heroic action in immobilizing three enemy machinegun nests with bayonet, grenade, and rifle fire, the two rifle platoons which were receiving heavy casualties from enemy fire were enabled to withdraw to covered positions and again take the initiative. Corporal Slaton withdrew under mortar fire on order of his platoon leader at dusk that evening. The heroic actions of Corporal Slaton were far above and beyond the call of duty and are worthy of emulation. The Giant Killer book and page honors these unique war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets!🇺🇸 Story source by Marty Skovlund Jr. & Wall of Valor project. Photo restored by TGK
The strange story of how an Army Military Police Officer with no special forces training was able to join an elite Green Beret unit in Vietnam.
In 1975 Laurence Tureaud earned a letter of recommendation from his drill sergeant, joining the Military Police corps and earning the position of squad leader at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
It seems that Mr. Tureaud under a different name and as a SPEC6 Sergeant served in a Spec Ops A-Team. A press release stated: “In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them….maybe you can hire The A-Team.”
Even stranger years later under another assumed name (Clubber Lang) Mr. Tureaud was involved in an altercation with a Philadelphia heavyweight boxing champion when the champ was announcing his retirement. A later fracas at the arena is attributed to medical complications to the boxers manager, Mickey Goldmill. No police charges were ever filed in either incident.
The Giant Killer team contacted Mr. Tureaud to get a statement on all these assumed name aliases. Mr. Trudeau only replied with the statement, “I pity the fool that doesn’t call me Mr. T.”
Thank you Mr. T for your service in the military and of course we are referring to your real service.
The Giant Killer book & page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets!
God Bless Melvin James Kaminsky AKA Mel Brooks and his three brothers for their service to our country during WWII.
Mel Brooks, the Brooklyn-born funnyman best known for directing side splitting comedies such as Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, The Producers, is not somebody most people would associate with life and death type of dangerous work. Yet, that is precisely what Mel Brooks during the Second World War, when he fought the Nazis as a combat engineer clearing minefields under enemy fire, and was in the thick of in the Battle of the Bulge. As he put it: “I was a combat engineer. Isn’t that ridiculous? The two things I hate most in the world are combat and engineering“.
Born Melvin James Kaminsky in 1926, Brooks was raised in poverty after his father’s untimely death when the future comedian was only two years old. Understandably, growing up without a father was rough, and it left its mark on Brooks, as a child and into his adulthood. As he put it decades later: “There’s an outrage there. I may be angry at God, or at the world for that. And I’m sure a lot of my comedy is based on anger and hostility“.
Growing up small and sickly in a borderline slum in Brooklyn, Brooks developed a sense of humor and a precocious comedic talent early on.
Brooks graduated high school in 1944, with nebulous plans to go to college and study psychology, but then decided to enlist in the US Army. As he described his decision: “I enlisted to go to college, not to be in, you know, foxholes and shot at. But listen, that’s what happens in a war. Being a kid of seventeen, eighteen, I was a peacenik, I was against war, but I knew what Hitler was doing to Jews. So, I really did feel this was a proper and just war, and a war that should be fought. My mother had four stars in her window. I think the limit was three if you had children in the army – that is, I think I could have gotten out of it, but I was gung ho at being a soldier“.
Mel Brooks, the Warrior Like many Americans, Brooks was extra fired up to fight the Nazis, but was also well aware of the extra risks faced by Jews if captured by the enemy. As he put it: “My brother Lenny was an engineer gunner in a B-17, and in his 35th or 36th mission, his Flying Fortress B-17 was hit, and they all bailed out, and they landed in Austria. He knew he had on his dog tags, for Hebrew and he had heard rumors that the Germans were taking Jewish troops and sending them to concentration camps. So in his way down, while still in his parachute, he ripped [his dog tags] off. ”
Sent to Europe in 1944, Brooks’ qualifications that got him into ASTP marked him out as a soldier of high intelligence. So his first assignment was as a forward artillery observer – a job that requires quick thinking on the fly. He was then assigned to a combat engineer unit, the 1104th Engineer Combat Battalion (ECB), attached to the 78th Infantry Division. Combat engineers often went out ahead of the main assaults, to clear out obstacles for follow on troops.
Brooks’ unit used demolitions to blast a way clear for the main forces, repaired bridges destroyed by the Germans in a bid to slow the Allied advance, built bridges from scratch, helped lay out and construct field fortifications, and otherwise offered whatever support they could. The combat engineers often did their work under the enemy’s noses, while subjected to artillery raining down on them, and German snipers doing their best to pick them off.
The 1104th ECB became the first unit to throw a bridge across the Roer River, and later on, it built bridges across the Rhine. Brooks’ tasks included clearing minefields and defusing land mines. It was a hairy job, that was made even hairier when he had to do it while exposed to enemy fire. As Brooks described it to Conan O’Brien on his show: “You take a bayonet, and you look for mines – planted mines. And they could blow a tank, I mean they’re big. You find them, unearth them if it could blow up a tank, it could certainly take away a Jew in no time“. On at least five occasions, Brooks’ unit had to down their tools and pick up rifles to fight as infantrymen, and took casualties while doing so. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge during the winter of 1944-1945.
Mel Brooks, the Veteran In recalling his WWII experience decades later, Brooks observed that: “War isn’t hell. War is loud. Much too noisy. All those shells and bombs going off all around you. Never mind death. A man could lose his hearing“.
He distilled his wartime experience to its essence when asked what he thought during the war about saving Europe and the world: “You thought about how you were going to stay warm that night. How you were going to get from one hedgerow to another without a German sniper taking you out. You didn’t worry about tomorrow“.
Aware of the jarring contrast between his comedic persona and his serious wartime experiences, Brooks once mused to reporters: “I was a combat engineer. Isn’t that ridiculous? The two things I hate most in the world are combat and engineering“.
The end of the war in Europe came while Brooks and the 1104th were carrying out a reconnaissance in the Harz Mountains of northern Germany. Brooks, by then promoted to corporal, had survived the war, healthy and hale, and had grown up and matured real fast from the teenager who’d enlisted just a year earlier. He closed his days in Europe by taking part in organizing shows and entertainments for American soldiers, as well as for Germans.
Finally, the time came for Brooks to return to civilian life, and resume his quest to become a professional funnyman. After the war, Brooks was discharged from the Army, and he went back to entertainment.
Like most WWII veterans, Brooks never viewed himself as a hero, and went out of his way to downplay his wartime experience. He simply saw himself as one of the many millions from his generation who had answered their country’s call, donned uniform and did their part, then returned home, happy to be alive.
The Giant Killer book & page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets! Story source Khalid Elhassan
If you’re ever looking for an uplifting story that will renew your faith in mankind look no further then this American Hero:
The Incredible Story of Rick Rescorla, Decorated Vietnam Vet and 9/11 Hero – Silver Star & Purple Heart:
Photo of Lieutenant in Vietnam, moving forward with bayonet fixed during the horrific 1965 battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam.
British born the late Army Col. Rick Rescorla, a legend in Vietnam who acted heroically as a civilian in the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, received the posthumous award of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian award after the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
On the day of the attack, Rick died while leading countless others to safety. His selfless actions saved approximately 2,700 lives.”
Cyril Richard “Rick” Rescorla was born in Cornwall and served in the British Army before coming to America at age 24 to be commissioned as a lieutenant and fight in Vietnam.
He had the habit of singing the Cornish and Welsh battle hymns of his youth during times of crisis to buck up the spirits of those around him. He sang them during the worst of it in the battle of Ia Drang, and he sang them again as the towers burned on 9/11.
Sam Fantino, Rescorla’s radio operator in 1st Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team,1st Cavalry Division, recalled watching him with amazement during the battle of Ia Drang near the Cambodian border.
“We were all sitting in our holes with our knees knocking, we have dead guys all around us, and here comes Rick singing Cornish songs,” Fantino said in the Army account of the conference room dedication written by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf.
Fantino said that “pretty soon you are saying to yourself, ‘If this guy can walk from hole to hole checking to see if you have your grenades in the right place, checking to see if you have your magazines, and standing up like he is going on a Sunday afternoon’s walk — what do you have to worry about?'”
Rescorla was head of security for Morgan Stanley when the World Trade Center towers were first attacked in 1993 with a truck bomb, killing six. He believed the towers would be attacked again and planned relentlessly for an evacuation.
In the chaos of the stairwells on Sept. 11, 2001, he was singing again. Few could recall later what the tune was, just that there was a calm and determined man with a British burr to his voice going about his dangerous work with a song.
Dan Hill remembered. One of Rescorla’s last phone calls was to his friend, Hill, who had served with him in Vietnam. Hill had worked previously for Rescorla as a security consultant, and Rescorla was now telling him to get up to New York to help deal with the aftermath.
Rescorla broke off to sing again. It was the rousing “Men of Harlech,” Hill later told the New Yorker magazine: “Men of Harlech stand ye steady, It cannot be ever said ye, For the battle were not ready, Stand and never yield!”
“Everybody said, ‘Rick your folks are out. You’ve done what you need to do,’ but he pointed up the stairwell and said, ‘You hear those screams? There’s more people up there. I have to help get them out,'” Lt. Col. Andrew Watson, then-commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry, said at the conference room dedication, according to the Army account.
“How better can you epitomize selfless service to a nation than to first embark on the conflict in Vietnam, and then to continue to serve your community at every level you find yourself,” Watson said.
“And to give that last full measure of dedication of service and support in an unexpected terrorist attack that in lesser countries, would bring the country down to their knees, but served as a galvanizing force,” Watson said.
Susan Rescorla told the 7th Cav troops at the ceremony that she was so proud of her husband.
“He had a choice. He could have walked out of there anytime he wanted to. If he was here today, he would be proud. This is the 7th Cav, this is our home, our history.”
The Giant Killer book & page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets!🇺🇸🇺🇸 — Story by Richard Sisk
A Republican Tsunami 2022 General Election would bring a GOP Majority to the U.S. House of Representatives and the opportunity to seat Donald Trump in January, 2023 as the Speaker of the House.
If so, I suggest a new House Rule setting 6 year term limits for the Speaker, and a dual impeachment of Biden & Harris as a Congressional Goal in “the first 100 Days.”
Upon Senate Conviction of Biden Harris with a GOP Super Majority in the U.S. Senate, with the defeat of “Never Trumper” RINO Senators with their 2022 replacement with Conservative Patriot Republican Freshman Senators, As 3rd in line, Mr. Speaker Trump becomes President for the remaining portion of Biden’s third term (remember Obama, born in Kenya and therefore possessing a Constitutional Natural Born Citizen Disability, was the Usurper Presidential Pretender, so Biden was the Constitutional two term President from 2009 -2017), and with the controlled (s)election of 2020, Joe Biden is the new Usurper Presidential Pretender due to his 3rd Term Constitutional Disability.
Trump remains Constitutionally eligible for re-election in 2024 because his time as Speaker means he served less than two years as the Successor to Biden, PLUS, as a Constitutional BONUS, President Trump appoints his 2nd Vice President under the 25th Amendment, and engineers the election of a successor Speaker to be an ironclad certified Conservative Patriot Republican “Freshman Speaker” to run for VEEP in 2024, with the certified Conservative Patriot Republican candidate for President being FORMER PRESIDENT (insert Trump’s Second Vice President’s name here) as it is recommended that (due to Trump resignation for the last few week’s of Biden’s term), to serve as President of the United States during the transition time between Trump’s Reelection and noon, January 20, 2025 at which time Trump again resumes the Presidency for 4 more years, minus his second transition period resignation allowing both Trump’s 2nd VEEP and Trump’s 3rd VEEP to serve as a bonafide U.S. President; however, since Trump’s Second Veep (as well as Trump’s 3rd Veep) will each have served as POTUS during the 2024 Transition period between Trump’s Reelection and proposed 3rd Inaugural, and also during the transition period between the 2028 Election, said Conservative Patriot Republican Transitional POTUS, just like Gerald R. Ford, is a bonafide “Former U.S President” with the added benefit of the Title of President when he runs for his First elected term leading to his Second inauguration as POTUS.
The practice of a Transition Presidency before the reelected President again assumes full powers, “cookie cutters” Former Presidents for all lifetime pension, Secret Service protection, free Federal Building officing, Presidential Library, and perpetual Political Esteem Purposes, with suggested ex officio member status on an Advisory “Chief Executive Privy Council.” Each such GOP former President also has their two Vice Presidents, to be Gravitas Candidates for Governor, Speaker, and the U.S. Senate, or to serve as the American United Nations Ambassador, the American Ambassador to the League of Free World Nations, or the American Ambassador to the Native American League of First Nations, proposed to replace an abolished Bureau of Indian Affairs, with such International Association having League Charter Described powers, to submit new Tribal Treaties to the U.S. Senate for ratification,the prior Act of Congress specifying no more Indian Treaties being unconstitutional on it face by reason of it’s separation of powers violation by means of an unconstitutional Congressional overreach purporting by a Legislative Act, curtail the Executive’s Constitutional Powers to negotiate Treaties with such powers as the President in his sound discretion deem to be wanted, needed, wise, and prudent, plus the same unconstitutional Act purports to also abolish, without their notification or consent, the rights of Native American Domestic Nations, to enter into domestic treaties.
But didn’t Congress say it has plenary powers to govern Indian Tribal Nations? The Congress sure did, BUT the Congress muddied it’s own waters in 1924 when it passed an Act granting US Citizenship to all Indians born in the United States; because once granted U.S. Citizenship Congress may not Constitutionally “take” such American Citizenship “rights and privileges” without 5th Amendment compensation (what is the fair market value of the “taken” Constitutional Power to draft a Treaty that when ratified, enjoys status as the Supreme Law of the Land?) and also without violating the Tribal Citizens collective rights to equal protection with the United States as a fellow Nation, and also “due process of law” which includes the mandate of a voluntary surrender of substantive property rights, hunting and fishing privileges, and aboriginally sovereign Native American civil rights, and powers, as a dependant domestic nation.
To further add to the Conservative Patriot Republican Arsenal of future Presidential Candidates, Trump’s appointed Vice President during the unexpired portion of the impeached and removed Harris term, should not be the 2024 Conservative Patriot Republican Vice Presidential Candidate chosen as Trump’s 3rd Vice President.
Envision a Triumphant Trump, in office for his Second elected term, after serving as President from Biden’s impeachment and removal, until Trump resigns during the transition to his 3rd inauguration, during this period Trump’s appointed VEEP, just like Gerald R. Ford, now a former PRESIDENT in his own right, uses the 4 years of Trump’s Second reelection term, to secure the GOP Nomination for President in 2028 and to increase the midterm election 2026 GOP Super Majorities in the House and the Senate; Trump’s succession as Bidn’s successor, should feature dozens of Special Prosecutors focusing upon: the Clintonista Crime Family; the Obamunist Ongoing Criminal Enterprise; the Biden Organized Crime Gang, the Political Swamp Sex Crimes Cartel; the Political Swamp Financial Crimes & Dollar Devaluation Fraudulent Conspiracy; the Political Murders For Power Conspiracies; the Election Frauds and Phoney Voters Inquest; the Criminal Conspiracies of the Illegal Aliens and the “Coyote” Paid Importers of Persons from abroad; the Socialist International Conspiracy; & Etc. (“The purpose of Socialism is Communism.” Expert Witness, Vladmir Lenin, Founder of the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics).
In 2028 another Conservative Patriot Republican Vice President becomes the incumbent VEEP as Trump’s 2nd VEEP serves as the U.S. Ambassador to the new League of free world nations whose member states form a military alliance with a standing coalition allied military force of 20% of each member state’s Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines, as the Free World DMZ Provost Marshal Corps succeeding the U.S.A. as the Global Police for Crisis Council Declared Brushfire War Demilitarized Zones and the Floating Fortress Guardians of the Freedom of International waters and skies, and also, with pooled Free World member nations’ Intelligence efforts reporting to the Free World Crisis Council; the sole Free World Common Market for import/export educational, medical, cultural, and tourist travel purposes; the jurisdiction of the Free World International Central Reserve Bank; the jurisdictions of the Free World International Economic Development Commission; the Free World Nations International Travel Authority; the Free World International Crimes against Humanity Court; the Free World Pinnacle Court for Trade, Commerce, & International Travel Disputes; the Free World Amateur Global Games Authority; the Free World Nations Pinnacle Knowledge University; the International Detention Commission with a fleet of submersible prison ships; and a contractual adjunct octopus-amoeba covert activities coalition, for black ops, espionage, reprisals, and secretly sponsored guerilla insurgency movements among lands ruled by tyrants, dictators, criminal regimes, and oppressive dark ages War Lords of countries ineligible for For Free World Nation status, because their draconian laws violate the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Magna Charta.
Many have forgotten what it was to live like these people. A lot of people I know would not survive living in a world like this. But I have a feeling it will not be to long before we are back to having to live like this again. I hope and pray that young people can learn to live in the world like I grew up in.
Appalachia A word that instantly awakens a longing for the mountains in the hearts of those who were born and reared here. In other minds; it brings a mental image of poverty, illiteracy, and just plain ignorance. It all began in the remote coves of Jackson County in Western North Carolina for many; that lifestyle that involved a hard scrabble life, no nonsense theories and learning to survive the cold, hard facts of the world. Wars took the lives of many of the young men who were born here, and the families left behind learned to deal with the fact that likely there would never be any more money than they had at the time. Mornings began early, there was a cow to be milked, breakfast to be cooked, and children to be readied for school, many of them barefoot by choice as soon as the sun began to warm the cold earth. School lunch was not provided by the government and those who could not afford the 15 or 20 cents needed for lunch carried a bag to school. Inside that bag, many times a bag left over after using all the sugar it contained, would be a biscuit with a slice of tomato, or a slice of home cured ham from a smokehouse that held the hams from hogs butchered and preserved. Nothing was wasted, the fat was rendered and used for cooking, soap making, ointment or waterproofing boots. Most people kept two hogs to be butchered around Thanksgiving and a community effort was shared by each family in turn. The meat was carefully preserved and sausage was ground and fried, then canned in quart Mason jars; the grease poured over it so that it was kept separated in the can. That lard was off white, and necessary to use for frying the sausage again when it was ready to be eaten. Chickens provided eggs, and when the old hen stopped laying eggs, she became Sunday dinner. It was the task of youngsters to find where the “Old setting hen” was protecting her eggs which would later hatch out small chickens. Springtime brought the sounds of Gee and Haw, the right and left signals to the horse pulling the plow which would till a large garden. Saturday was the time for preparations for Sunday morning. Shoes had to be shined, clothes ironed or pressed and Sunday best placed within easy reach. It was a time before TV, cell phones, computers and most homes had an old battery operated radio and “The Lone Ranger”, “Wild Bill Hickock” and the Grand Ole Opry was the entertainment center. Families who were blessed with any voices would blend to sing the old hymns, usually accompanied by an old organ, a guitar, banjo or “Juice harp” harmonica. “The Old Rugged Cross”, “Rock of Ages”, “Take it to the Lord in Prayer” could be heard floating on the air around many homes. Those days are gone, gone like the ways of our grandparents, but our roots are here, wherever we roam; the memories still remain with us and a longing for a simpler, calmer, saner world flits though the minds of many.
James Stewart became the first major American movie star to enlist in the United States Army to fight in World War II. After first being rejected for low weight in Nov, 1940, he successfully enlisted in Feb, 1941. As an experienced amateur pilot, he reported for induction as a private in the Air Corps on Mar 22, 1941. Soon to be 33 years old, he was over the age limit for Aviation Cadet training—the normal path of commissioning for pilots, navigators and bombardiers—and therefore applied for an Air Corps commission as both a college graduate and a licensed commercial pilot. Stewart received his commission as a second lieutenant on Jan 1, 1942. He appealed to his commander and was sent to England as part of the 445th Bombardment Group to pilot a B-24 Liberator, in Nov 1943, and was based initially at RAF Tibenham before moving to RAF Old Buckenham. He was promoted to major following a mission to Ludwigshafen, Germany, on Jan 7, 1944. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions as deputy commander of the 2d Bombardment Wing, and the French Croix de Guerre with palm and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. Stewart was promoted to full colonel on Mar 29, 1945, becoming one of the few Americans to ever rise from private to colonel in only four years. He would eventually transfer to the reserves of the United States Air Force after the Army Air Forces split from the Army, in 1947. On July 23, 1959, he was promoted to brigadier general, becoming the highest-ranking actor in American military history. During the Vietnam War, he flew as a non-duty observer in a B-52 on an Arc Light bombing mission in Feb 1966. He served for 27 years, officially retiring from the Air Force on May 31, 1968, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 60. Upon his retirement, he was awarded the United States Air Force Distinguished Service Medal.
The Giant Killer book & page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets!
“I’d suggest getting your affairs in order,” the doctor told the older woman.
The doc said this with no emotion. He just looked at his shoes because apparently he couldn’t bear to meet her eyes.
“Are you telling me that I’m dying?” she said.
No answer. Just a nod. Then more medical jargon.
The news hit her like a runaway boxcar. She went home and almost had a nervous breakdown. She was about to hyperventilate. She needed to think. Needed to lower her heart rate.
Must breathe. Must sit. Must keep it together. Inhale. Exhale.
Music. That’s what she needed right now. Something—anything—to distract her from the fear. She turned on the old wooden GE radio sitting in the kitchen and closed her eyes.
The music blasted through the linoleum room. Dean Martin sang about silver bells, and Der Bingle sang about dreams involving glistening treetops and white Christmases. She cried upon her enamel breakfast table.
Death. She wasn’t ready to die. She had raised four kids alone after her husband left her years ago.
She was the single mom you’ve seen a million-and-five times in public. The mom who clips coupons from the Sunday paper, who works three jobs, who sews denim patches on the butts of Little League uniforms.
Now her children were grown and she was, what, on her way out? It was a cruel joke, she told God. Cruel and disgusting. And it was beneath him.
Her old radio crackled and hissed with static.
Then the music stopped. Then static. Then music. Then the reception was garbled with snowy interference and the receiver started picking up a station in Spanish.
She smacked the radio. Which only made her cry harder. So she smacked the radio again. And again.
The static was replaced by the voice of an obnoxious radio preacher blaring through the tweed speaker. And although she cannot recall the sermonizer’s exact words, they went something to the tune of:
“There’s someone out there right now who is afraid, who just received bad news from the doctor…”
She looked at the glowing lights on the dial of the ancient radio.
What did he just say?
“… This person is scared, and alone, and you don’t want anyone to know how frightened you are…”
This couldn’t be happening. This couldn’t be real. She wasn’t going to fall for this.
“… I want you to know that if you’re courageous enough to believe, if you have the guts to blindly believe, you will get through this. That’s a promise. Doctors cannot explain the mysteries of heaven, and neither can you. Miracles happen every day…”
This really, really, couldn’t be happening.
She felt her knees get weak. And she felt hot streaks of water rolling down her cheeks, cascading down her chin. She crumpled onto the cool floor and felt her lips utter three words.
“Help me believe.”
She doesn’t remember much after that except for hearing the preacher holler about believing in impossible things.
Faith, it’s called by some. Assurance, it’s called by professional hymn writers. The old-timers called it Providence. Someone very famous once called it moving mountains.
Either way, something happened inside her, and she actually believed. The woman believed with every gene, every cell, and each atom inside her. It just clicked. She knew she was going to get better.
It wasn’t so much that she had blind faith, and it wasn’t some magic bolt of lightning. It was simply that she knew everything would be okay. She didn’t know exactly how it would be okay, or when it would be okay, but she knew that she was safe. Safety. That’s all anyone wants, really. We want to feel secure.
“I wanna believe,” she whispered.
She said this not to the radio, not to the preacher, not even to the Almighty. She said it to that scared little kindergartener within herself. The child inside us all, the child who so badly needs a hug. The kid who had lost all faith.
The next morning she awoke after a restful sleep. Something in her had shifted. No, she wasn’t a hundred percent better. Yes, she still had the jabbing pain in her lungs. But something was definitely different in the mental department.
“I was like my old self again,” she said. “I still had breathing issues, but my mind felt better. I just knew my cancer wasn’t going to last. I just knew.”
Months later, she underwent follow-up tests. And one afternoon, her doctor explained that the results had come back negative. He could not understand it. He had never seen anything like it. He was, frankly, very confused.
“We couldn’t find a mass anywhere,” he said.
She cried happy, beautiful, sacred tears. She cried for weeks.
A couple months later, her oldest son was repairing an overhead lighting fixture in her kitchen. She was cooking a grilled cheese on the stove while he was on a ladder.
“How about some music?” she announced.
The woman went to the old GE radio and flipped the switch on the dial, but nothing happened. No glowing light. No sound. Nothing. She kept fiddling with it to no avail.
Finally her son descended the ladder and inspected the back of the radio with a laugh.
“Mama,” he said. “Don’t you remember? This old radio has had a busted circuit board for years. You just kept it for looks. This broken radio hasn’t worked since I was a little kid.”
Today she is ninety-four. And she says she still owns that radio.
I have no idea who wrote this but it surely is powerful!
“In 1979, I was managing a Wendy’s in Port Richey, Florida. Unlike today, staffing was never a real problem, but I was searching for a someone to work three hours a day only at lunch. I went thru all my applications and most were all looking for full time or at least 20 hours per week. I found one however, buried at the bottom of a four-inch stack that was only looking for lunch part-time. His name was Nicky. Hadn’t met him but thought I would give him a call and see if he could stop by for an interview. When I called, he wasn’t in but his mom said she would make sure he would be there.
At the accorded time, Nicky walked in. One of those moments when my heart went in my throat. Nicky had Downs Syndrome. His physical appearance was a giveaway and his speech only reinforced the obvious. I was young and sheltered. Had never interacted on a professional level with a developmentally disabled person. I had no clue what to do, so I went ahead and interviewed him. He was a wonderful young man. Great outlook. Task focused. Excited to be alive. For only reasons God knew at that time, I hired him. 3 hours a day, 3 days a week to run a grill. I let the staff know what to expect. Predictably, the crew made sure I got the message, “no one wants to work with a retard.” To this day I find that word offensive. We had a crew meeting, cleared the air, and prepared for his arrival. Nicky showed up for work right on time. He was so excited to be working. He stood at the time clock literally shaking with anticipation. He clocked in and started his training. Couldn’t multi task, but was a machine on the grill. Now for the fascinating part…..
Back in that day, there were no computer screens to work from. Every order was called by the cashier. It required a great deal of concentration on the part of all production staff to get the order right. While Nicky was training during his first shift, the sandwich maker next to him asked the grillman/trainer what was on the next sandwich. Nicky replied,”single, no pickle no onion.” A few minutes later it happened again. It was then that we discovered Nicky had a hidden and valuable skill. He memorized everything he heard! ￼ Photographic hearing! WHAT A SKILL SET. It took 3 days and every sandwich maker requested to work with Nicky. He immediately was accepted by the entire crew. After his shift he would join the rest of his crew family, drinking Coke like it was water! It was then that they discovered another Rainman-esque trait. Nicky was a walking/talking perpetual calendar! With a perpetual calendar as a reference, they would sit for hours asking him what day of the week was December 22, 1847. He never missed. This uncanny trait mesmerized the crew.
His mom would come in at 2 to pick him up. More times than not, the crew would be back there with him hamming it up. As I went to get him from the back, his mom said something I will never forget. “Let him stay there as long as he wants. He has never been accepted anywhere like he has been here.” I excused myself and dried my eyes, humbled and broken-hearted at the lesson I just learned.
Nicky had a profound impact on that store. His presence changed a lot of people. Today I believe with every fiber of my body that Nicky’s hiring was no accident. God’s Timing and Will is Perfect. This Christmas, I hope we all understand what we are celebrating. We are all like Nicky. We each have our shortcomings. We each have our strong points. But we are all of value. God made us that way and God doesn’t make mistakes. Nicky certainly wasn’t a mistake. He was a valuable gift that I am forever grateful for. We are celebrating the birth of the ONE that leveled the playing field for all of us. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, republican or democrat or black or white. He doesn’t care if your chromosome structure is perfect. He doesn’t care what level of education you have attained. He cares about your heart. He wants us all to love and appreciate the gift HE gave us on Christmas, His son, the Savior, our salvation. His Son that was born to die for our sins. To pay our debt. To provide us a path for eternity. So this Christmas, let’s check our hearts. There is a little bit of Nicky in all of us and I suspect there is a Nicky somewhere in your life that is looking for the chance to be embraced. Thank God for that. Thank God for His perfect gift, Christ Jesus.”
Copied from a friend’s page and what a beautiful story.