"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Senility Thoughts

Hello everyone. Since I'm still waiting for you to send me your thoughts to post here, I'm having to come up with things myself to talk about. Okay by me, for now.

Someone sent me this thing on senility today in an email ... it's funny and admittedly, I laughed until my sides hurt. Hmmmm ... I don't know, maybe the person who sent it to me knows me better than I know myself (wink).

Anyway, since most of you are about the same age as I am, I'm going to share it with you, and it'll at least give you a smile, if not an all-out belly-laugh.

Author Unknown

1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

2. My wild oats have turned into prunes, All Bran and hot rice cereal.

3. I finally got my head together, but now my body is falling apart.

4. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded ...

5. If all is not lost, then where is it?

6. It's easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

7. The only time the world beats a path to my door is when I'm in the bathroom.

8. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

9. It's not hard to meet expenses ... heck, they're everywhere.

10. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter ... I go somewhere to get something and then wonder ... what the hell am I here after?

Now, I think you're supposed to send this to 5 or 6, maybe 10, oh heck, send it to a bunch of your friends, IF you can remember who they are. Then something is supposed to happen, although frankly I don't remember what. Crap, maybe you get your memory back ...

God Bless America!

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No Boundaries for Heroism

Medal of Honor to be Awarded for Secret War Heroics 42 Years Ago

Richard Etchberger’s heroics during the Vietnam War are only now being acknowledged by the U.S. military due to the fact that the Air Force sergeant wasn’t supposed to be in the country where his death took place.

Richard Etchberger (US Air Force)

Etchberger was part of a secret mission in Laos, a country the U.S. was not at war with during the conflict in neighboring Vietnam. But in order to target bombing missions against the North Vietnamese, the U.S. Air Force deployed a small group of men to a remote mountain in Laos just 120 miles from Hanoi in North Vietnam to establish a radar station. 

The location, a steep 5,500-foot ridge, made it a tough target to attack, especially with U.S. bombing missions attempting to push the North Vietnamese back. The station's purpose -- to guide U.S. bomber crews on their missions over North Vietnam and parts of Laos that were under communist control.  They knew they would eventually be discovered, though. The North Vietnamese would realize when we were bombing them through overcast skies that it was coming from somewhere and it was just a matter of time. 

From November 1967 to March 1968, Lima Site 85 — nicknamed Commando Club — directed 507 strike missions in North Vietnam and Laos, 27 percent of all the strike missions in those two areas.  It was there that Etchberger and eighteen other Americans came under attack in March 1968 from 3,000 North Vietnamese soldiers who had scaled steep cliffs to surround them in order to take out the radar station. American helicopters were sent in to evacuate the few Air Force personnel, but by then eight Americans had been killed and several more wounded.  It is considered by some the deadliest ground attack against Air Force troops in the entire Vietnam era. 

Refusing to leave until everyone else was on board, the sergeant deliberately exposed himself to enemy fire in order to place his surviving wounded comrades in the rescue slings permitting them to be airlifted to safety.  Those who survived say Etchberger saved at least four airmen before he rushed onto the helicopter himself. But moments later, an armor-piercing round ripped through the helicopter’s underbelly, hitting Etchberger. He bled to death en route to an air base in Thailand.

Etchberger was nominated for the Medal of Honor shortly after his death, but President Lyndon Johnson refused to posthumously grant him the military’s highest honor. Johnson was afraid the publicity would draw attention to the secret mission and the United States’ violating the sovereignty of Laotian territory. Instead, Etchberger was given the Air Force Cross.

Forty-two years later, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley recommended Etchberger’s Air Force Cross be upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Barack Obama agreed with Conley’s recommendation, and a special ceremony will be held at the White House on September 21 to officially award the medal to Etchberger’s three sons.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Ruth (King) Beasley: Vietnam Thoughts

This comment is by Ruth (King) Beasley, a naval nurse who also served in Vietnam. She put it under one of the older blog posts as a "comment" and I nearly missed it. It's thoughtful and moving and I was afraid others would miss it, too, if left only as a comment on a blog. I have taken the liberty of posting it here for everyone to share.

Thank you, Ruth, for your service in Vietnam -- Welcome Home.
With my warmest regards and respect,

"Thanks to all of the vets who served in Viet Nam.

My name is Ruth (King) Beasley. I accepted scholorship funds from the Navy to get my education. In return, I agreed to serve in the U.S.Navy Reserve Nurse Corps.

Little did I ever think that, as a result, I would be serving in Viet Nam as a twenty-three year-old nurse assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps 49th Surgical Hospital at Qui Nhon.

I have no regrets, though. It's just that I was so young, but not as young as these brave souls that I saw each and every day coming through our surgical facility. I very seldom even knew the names of the ones coming through, because I stayed busy in the surgical room during those sixteen and seventeen-hour days that we worked.

The aging process has really caught up with me now, but I still remember that year spent in Viet Nam and the many horror stories associated with our days there. To a person, we all felt proud that we were able to help these brave young men -- and I still say it with the same sense of pride today.

Sometimes, it seemed that our small facility was overwhelmed day after day, but we all had that pride in what we were doing.

One more time ... Thanks to all of the brave men who served there, and there is a special place in my heart for all of you.

If there is anyone who reads this and they came through our hospital during my days there, please let me hear from you.

Ruth (King) Beasley
Lt .U.S.N. Reserve"

I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will. ~Everett Hale

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Friday, September 10, 2010


To All My Brothers From Nam:

Robert Butcher
54th ORD Co.
Long Binh

Dear Cathy,

I wanted to write down a few of my thoughts about these last forty-three years. I remember the way people reacted when they saw us in uniform -- the looks of disgust and hatred. I remember coming home through Oakland on leave and a woman spitting at me and saying, "Killer." So many of us felt we were doing what was right, after all our dads did during WW II and in Korea.

I have a nephew who is a medic in Afghanistan.  How I pray for him and his safe return. I have come to realize, we made sacrifices at that time in ways we didn't realize. We were a fractured country with no possibility of recovering.  But you know what?  That was to all be changed . Desert Storm was the start. Due to the openess of reporting and their access to our military, we truely saw what those of us from Nam already new -- war was an ugly thing and people's lives were changed forever.  9-11 brought us closer and people opened up even more about how proud of our military and our young ones we were. We, as a country, are truely heading in the right direction.  I feel that it in my heart.

It is all due to our sacrifice and of enduring all the things we were accused of.  The words of hatred and disgust, their looks when asked if you were in the military, and how they looked or responded.   All of that has changed.  We were welcomed home and it does feel good.  It makes me proud to be an American and have the ability to be free.

We owe all that to those who have gone before and those after.   They deserve our respect and support and I give it to them with all my heart and soul.  I hope everyone will continue to do that for those who will go ahead to defend what we have always believed in -- the ability and the right to be free.

The 'Bman'

Thank you sincerely for sharing your thoughts, Robert, and for everything you did for us.  Welcome Home, my new friend.
A big hug,

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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