(WatchDogReport.org) – SEAL Team 6 is one of the most elite teams in the US Navy. The members of the special forces group are best known for taking out Osama bin Laden, the terrorist leader who planned the September 11th attacks. On Christmas Day, the team suffered a major loss.
On December 25, the National Navy SEAL Museum announced the death of 81-year-old Richard Marcinko, the founder of SEAL Team 6. Marcinko, known as “Demo Dick” was the first commanding officer of the unit. He joined the Navy in 1958 and completed training in underwater demolition as an enlisted sailor in 1965. He deployed to Vietnam during the war with SEAL Team 2, where he made his mark leading his team to victory. Marcinko was so successful, the North Vietnamese Army offered money to anyone who could capture and murder him. The enemy failed to take him out.
Naval Operations Chief Admiral Thomas B. Hayward handpicked Marcinko to develop the new SEAL team in the wake of the 1980 failed attempt by the Pentagon to rescue American hostages in Iran. After leading the elite team for three years, the commander retired from the military in 1989 – more than three decades after enlisting.
After leaving the Navy, Marcinko wrote 20 books, including a number of best-sellers. He was also a motivational speaker. Jim DeFelice, who co-wrote six books with him, called him an “American hero” who was courageous and legendary, but also funny and generous.
We will now all mourn the loss of our American hero.
World|A U.S. Navy combat ship is stranded in Guantánamo Bay with a virus outbreak.
Carol Rosenberg, Aishvarya Kavi 3 – 4 minutes
Dec. 25, 2021Updated 3:23 p.m. ET
A Navy combat ship deployed to intercept drug trafficking in the Caribbean and East Pacific is stuck in the port at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, with a coronavirus outbreak among its fully vaccinated crew.
Only some of those infected onboard the ship, the U.S.S. Milwaukee, were experiencing mild symptoms, said Commander Kate Meadows, a Navy spokeswoman. It was not clear how many infections involved the Omicron variant, which continues to gain dominance rapidly around the world.
The crew held an open-air Christmas service on the pier on Saturday, which allowed the sailors to remain socially distanced and to follow public health guidelines, according to Commander Meadows.
“They are using the open space and fresh air for as many safe activities as they can,” she said. “The chefs onboard are making a special Christmas meal today for everyone.”
The Milwaukee had more than 100 sailors plus a helicopter combat crew and Coast Guard law enforcement unit on board when it left its home port in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 14 as part of the U.S. Southern Command’s efforts to fight drug trafficking. The ship made a refueling and resupply stop at Guantánamo Bay on Monday and extended its stay there because of the outbreak.
Commander Meadows added that the sailors had been confined to the pier and had not entered the base since arriving, sparing the small community at Guantánamo Bay the possibility of being exposed.
In a statement on Friday, the Navy said that “the ship is following an aggressive mitigation strategy” and that “the vaccine continues to demonstrate effectiveness against serious illness” among the crew.
Before the Milwaukee left Florida, Brian A. Forster, the ship’s commanding officer, said in a Navy news release that many of the crew members were on their first deployment and “eager to see the world and accomplish missions.”
In March 2020, one of the military’s first encounters with the virus occurred aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. The ship docked in Guam, in the South Pacific, and ended up stranded there for months after dozens of sailors were infected and one died. The ship’s commander at the time sent a letter to Navy officials pleading for help tackling the outbreak and criticizing the Navy’s failure to provide the proper resources. He was removed from command of the ship after the episode.
Active-duty troops in the Army and Navy were fired this month over their refusal to get vaccinated after President Biden mandated vaccination for the armed services in August. But there were only a small group of holdouts last week, with the Navy reporting that more than 98 percent of its members had been vaccinated.
A Marine officer who publicly criticized the Biden administration’s chaotic evacuation of American and allied troops and civilians from Afghanistan has been released from a military brig a little over a week after he was incarcerated.
“Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. is being released from confinement today, Oct. 5, 2021, as a result of a mutual agreement between Lt. Col. Scheller, his Defense counsel, and the Commanding General, Training Command,” Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Sam Stephenson said in a statement. “No additional details regarding the agreement may be released at this time.”
Scheller was put in pretrial confinement at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Sept. 27 after ignoring orders to refrain from posting on social media. He was previously relieved of his command after his initial criticism of the evacuations.
In a statement last week, Stephenson said Scheller stands accused of showing contempt toward officials, willfully disobeying a superior officer, failing to obey lawful orders and committing conduct unbecoming of an officer. He has not yet been charged.
Scheller was relieved of command shortly after posting a video on Facebook that demanded senior officials be held accountable for the Taliban’s sudden takeover of Afghanistan and the deaths of 13 American service members killed in a Kabul attack in August. He has said he plans to resign his commission.
The video, which Scheller shared hours after the Kabul attack, has been viewed 1 million times and shared 66,000 times on Facebook.
“I want to say this very strongly,” he said in the video. “I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability.”
Scheller has been critical of both Democrats and Republicans in subsequent social media statements. But he has appeared to attract more support from the political right for criticizing the Afghanistan withdrawal, including from Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) and former president Donald Trump, who shared a story about Scheller on his website.
Folks around Springfield, Missouri and Green County Missouri have confirmed the loud boom heard over Southwest Missouri late Monday morning, and it was no accident.
According to officials, Boeing was running a test loop starting in St. Louis and made its way to the Ozarks.
The military aircraft reached a certain speed to create the sound as well, known as a sonic boom.
On September 26, the Mountain Grove Fire Department also reported that another sonic boom was heard in that area.
“Sonic boom is an impulsive noise similar to thunder. It is caused by an object moving faster than sound — about 750 mph. An aircraft traveling through the atmosphere continuously produces air-pressure waves,” the post states.
According to the fire department, the U.S. military has acknowledged the testing of a new jet called the F-15EX Strike Eagle released in April of 2021.
I have tried to sit down to write this message several times but have failed as my family and I have been overcome with tremendous sorrow.
My husband, combat veteran SSG Séamus Fennessy was a K9 handler with MSA Security (Owned by Perella Weinberg Partners “PWP”) for five years. During this time Seamus and his K9 partner Mattie worked exclusively with each other – Mattie never had another handler nor had Seamus had another dog. At the end of 2018 my husband informed MSA that he was going to serve his country on active military duty but would be local and still able to keep up with Mattie’s training. Since MSA had previously allowed handlers to keep their dogs in similar circumstances we had no reason to believe this would be different. Except it was. At the 11th hour only 2 days before my husband went on orders we were abruptly informed that Mattie would need to be returned and someone “would pick her up in the morning”.
Mattie was just shy of 7 years of age and nearing retirement when she was taken in January of 2019. As of her birthday, April 21st, 2021, she is 9 years old and still working, far away from home. The average lifespan of a Labrador Retriever is 12 years.
MSA & PWP have callously torn our family member, our beloved “Mattie Cakes,” from her family who loves and adores her. While our daughters and myself could hardly contain our tears, my husband remained strong despite a barrage of phone calls and texts from MSA which included threats of destroying his military career.
My husband is a veteran and decorated war hero – and in the words of MSA themselves a “great employee”. Mattie is a goofy, lovable pooch who adores playing with the kids in our backyard and napping on the sofa. Neither deserve this treatment.
MSA & PWP have taken Mattie from her loving home and ripped our family apart. This is devastating to everyone involved. Including our sweet Mattie, our lovable goofball who doesn’t understand any of this but is wondering what she did wrong to end up in a kennel torn from her family and everything she knows. It’s this image that haunts me. Mattie is innocent and in true MSA / PWP fashion they are using her as leverage as they routinely do with their dogs.
Please sign our petition to urge MSA Security / Parella Weinberg Partners to return Mattie to the family who loves her.
And please let MSA & PWP know how you feel about this! Direct contact has a positive impact. CONTACT INFO:
A new report for Congress, prepared by retired naval officers Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, at the behest of Republican legislators, claims the United States Navy is an “institution adrift,” is not prepared for war, and is struggling through a “crisis” of woke leadership, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The report, commissioned by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (AK), and Reps. Mike Gallagher (WI), Dan Crenshaw (TX), and Jim Banks (IN) was designed to uncover whether the ongoing efforts to improve “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) training was affecting military readiness — and whether the DEI efforts were impeding the duty of the United States Military.
“The impetus for the report was a series of recent catastrophes—a ship burning in San Diego last year; two destroyer collisions in the Pacific in 2017,” WSJ noted, adding that the legislators were concerned that “larger institutional issues that are degrading the performance of the entire naval surface force.”
The two retired naval officers “conducted long-form interviews with numerous active-duty and recently retired or detached officers and enlisted personnel about their insights into the culture of the United States Navy following a series of high-profile and damaging operational failures in the Navy’s Surface Warfare community.”
Among the key findings: “Many sailors found their leadership distracted, captive to bureaucratic excess, and rewarded for the successful execution of administrative functions,” rather than for their readiness for combat, per WSJ.
“I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training,” one “recently retired senior enlisted leader” reportedly told the outlet. “I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship-handling training.”
“Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,” one “anonymous active-duty lieutenant” told investigators per Fox News.
The report added that the Navy does not spend enough time or money on training its surface warfare officers, leaving its war rooms “ill-prepared.” The Navy’s deployments are too long, the report noted, risking efficiency, and commanding officers are trained to be “risk-averse,” because of a culture of “brutal accountability” for administrative decisions.
Retired Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery spoke about the report to Fox News on Wednesday, blasted the Navy’s apparent lack of preparedness, and suggested that relative peacetime has made the Navy a bureaucracy rather than a fighting force.
Montgomery “noted that there were ‘suspicions’ of ‘underinvestment in officer training and under-resourced ship maintenance,’ however, ‘what we didn’t know was how perceptive the young sailors, the men and women who crew our ships are,’” Fox reported. “Montgomery went on to say that the report showed that the sailors indicated there was an ‘overfocus’ on administration and training, which was ‘pulling us away from our focus on warfighting.’”
“When a Navy ship gets ready to get underway, it needs to focus on training and warfighting and not on administrative briefings on any issue or that issue,” he added but noted that with the right “investment” things could be turned around quickly.
“It’s got to be that focus on warfighting,” Montgomery said. “The way you get there is the proper investments of the sailor’s time and the government’s and the taxpayer’s money.”
“The sailors’ time is in warfighting, not briefings,” he continued. “The government’s money is in high-end simulations and in the maintenance of the ships.”
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Roughly 4,500 years ago, some Mesopotamians living in present-day Syria decided to remodel and repurpose one of their community’s most prominent monuments: a rippled white dome that entombed the dead. For generations residents periodically climbed the monument’s exterior to pour libations and place offerings over graves beneath its surface. But the renovation around 2450 B.C. covered this communal space with earthen terraces, transforming the dome into a six-story ziggurat, or stepped pyramid. And those steps were packed with more than soil: The renovators also deposited assortments of human bones, skins from animals that drew wagons and two-inch-long clay bullets, handy for arming slingshot-like weapons.
These skeletons seem to have been fallen soldiers—wagon drivers and sling-shooters—exhumed and reburied to potentially create the world’s first military memorial, according to a study forthcoming in Antiquity. The Syrian site, known as the White Monument, could offer the best evidence yet that urban rulers wielded enough power to support standing armies by the third millennium B.C., in the Early Bronze Age. Unlike other tombs from the time, which included valuable metal weapons and jewelry, the remodeled White Monument contained partial skeletons of mostly adults and teens, buried with the ammo or animals needed for specific tasks in battle. Like the United States’ Arlington National Cemetery, the monument likely held soldiers, whose remains were retrieved from battlegrounds or other gravesites to be buried with co-combatants.
Such a massive memorial for battle-dead suggests the town had a standing army: “people who identify as soldiers, as opposed to people who go out and fight in the offseason or when someone’s attacking,” says Stephanie Selover, an archaeologist at the University of Washington who studies ancient warfare in nearby Anatolia, but was not involved in the study.
“The possibility of standing armies that are so controlled and centralized you’re even able to make a monument… There’s nothing else like this,” in the Early Bronze Age, she adds.
The monument would have served as a conspicuous reminder that leaders had the means to maintain and memorialize an army—a message that would have been received by locals as well as outside foreigners. “Burying these people in the sort of function that they would have had in a military is really a statement of power at that point, both locally and externally, because this thing was really visible for miles,” says University of Toronto archaeologist Anne Porter, lead author of the Antiquity study.
Prior to this research, scholars have found ample evidence for violence during the Early Bronze Age, including massacre sites and daggers tucked in graves. “Nothing makes this a particularly crunchy or peaceful time,” says Seth Richardson, a historian of the ancient Near East at the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the study.
But the idea that professional soldiers existed then mainly comes from inscriptions and artifacts, like the Stele of the Vultures, limestone fragments that once constituted a roughly six-foot-tall carving, made between 2600 and 2350 B.C. Discovered in the late-19th century at the Iraqi site of Tello, the stele depicted battle scenes including ranks of spear-totting soldiers in helmets. It also showed a haphazard assemblage of bodies, thought to be slain enemies, and a carefully piled stack of bodies, interpreted as the victor’s lost soldiers. Artistic works like the Stele of the Vultures “are the propaganda. You always have this mighty king smiting somebody, the little men behind him and then the enemy soldiers with their heads cut off. It’s very formulaic,” explains Selover. But if the researchers are right about the White Monument, it would be the first physical example of memorial mound for a victor’s fallen soldiers, depicted on carvings. A jar packed with about 100 beads was found in the White Monument.
The artifact likely was placed as an offering before the structure was repurposed for soldiers. (Euphrates Salvage Project)
In the 1990s, the White Monument bulged from cotton fields like a dune-colored cone. “It was just this huge pile of dirt,” recalls Porter. But when sunlight struck, the mound twinkled white—thanks to gypsum and marl used as building materials—and earned its moniker.
The gleaming dirt stood several hundred feet from a more sprawling ruin-layered hill, or tell. Porter’s team excavated both spots, and called the White Mountain, “Tell Banat North,” and the more expansive feature, “Tell Banat.” Though in the 20th century, Tells Banat and Banat North looked like two distinct hills, back in the third millennium B.C. they belonged to a single urban center, which spread over 70 acres. Within Tell Banat the archaeologists found the town itself, including buildings, streets, pottery workshops and a stone tomb. The White Monument, or Tell Banat North, was solely a burial monument, which loomed just beyond the city walls.
“Everywhere we put a pick and a trowel revealed something truly remarkable,” recalls Porter. The full area “was a site… that you could spend a lifetime working.”
Though they knew at the time that wouldn’t happen: The ancient settlement, along with more than a dozen other sites, was in the planned flood zone of the Tishreen hydroelectric dam, which was being built in the 1990s. Pressed for time and resources, the team unearthed and documented as much as they could—and moved the finds to a storehouse in Syria—before floodwaters engulfed the ancient sites as well as modern villages in the area. Porter and excavation codirector Thomas McClellan of the Euphrates Salvage Project witnessed the flood. “It was a really traumatic experience, watching the water rise and all these mudbrick villages collapsing,” says Porter.
For the next decade, the team examined skeletal remains and artifacts recovered from the site, until ISIS razed the dig’s storehouse. The militants obliterated ancient bones, pottery and other items, and reportedly dumped the debris into the river. “I don’t think there is anything to retrieve there,” Porter says, based on secondhand accounts of the attack.
Though the site and the finds are gone, the researchers have continued making discoveries from archival data, as all professional digs do. As excavations unfolded, archaeologists compiled meticulous notes, photos and spatial measurements, which documented how each find was positioned, relative to the surrounding sediment and architectural remnants. For this site, experts on skeletal analysis described and measured the human and animal bones recovered, before ISIS destroyed them. The data survived in published reports as well as unpublished notebooks, photographs, sketches and spreadsheets, kept with Porter in Canada.
Sussing patterns and meaning from this data is the behind the scenes work of real archaeology, which the public or beginning students rarely glimpse. Porter and her professional colleagues chipped away at the Tell Banat and Banat North records after the dig wrapped in 1999. Several years ago, she realized the work could provide a unique learning opportunity. “I really wanted to teach a class where students actually did what archaeologists do, rather than seeing the world’s greatest hits or all the pretty stuff,” she says.
In 2018 Porter taught a seminar called “Death on the Euphrates” at the University of Toronto. About ten undergrads set out to answer: Who was buried in the White Monument?
Through the semester, she lectured about Mesopotamian culture, ancient mortuary practices and what was already known about Tell Banat and Banat North. At the same time, the students tried to understand the burials in the White Mountain, based on the notebooks, photos and other documents.
Alexandra Baldwin, a 2019 graduate who took the class, recalls her first day: “I walked in and there were just these enormous folders of all of the data. I had never seen anything like it.”
Porter figured the class would be a valuable learning opportunity. She didn’t expect the group to discover something new about the ancient Near East. The students mapped out the clusters of bones and grave goods in the White Monument and compared the contents of each deposit. Through discussions and comparisons with other sites, it became clear that the human remains were deliberately placed in a manner that changed over time. “There was a meaning behind that,” explains Brittany Enriquez, a student in the class who graduated in 2018. “It wasn’t like there was just stuff all through the dirt.”
The team’s analysis convincingly showed that the White Monument was really a series of tombs, built over several centuries. Like a Russian nesting doll, the ~2,450 B.C. final construction encased a prior monument erected between 2450 and 2,700 B.C., which contained a still older mound. Porter’s excavation reached the smooth, white surface of this third-inner monument, but the flood occurred before the team could dig its contents—and see if even earlier monuments nested within.
Enigmatic rituals took place at the middle monument. Its numerous tombs contained assorted bones from about two to five individuals, along with animal remains and pottery. The Banat morticians covered these modest graves with white gypsum, rammed into horizontal bands, which made the full monument look like a groomed ski hill. Later, the Banat individuals dug through the surface to bury more partial skeletons, possibly of ordinary residents, this time sealed with layers of plaster. They also seem to have left offerings, including beads, alabaster bowls, human shinbones and ritual libations—suggested from soak stains on the plaster.
A rammed gypsum and earth surface covered the burial mound that preceded the possible soldier memorial. (Euphrates Salvage Project)
According to the researchers, the monument’s last renovation around 2450 B.C. marked a drastic change: The communal tomb became a monument for slain soldiers. Within the added steps, the renovators buried at least 29 individuals in discrete patches with rings, figurines and other artifacts. In one corner of the monument most of the burials included skulls and appendages of donkey-like animals, probably interred as hides with heads and hooves still attached. These equids likely pulled battle wagons. In another corner, loads of clay bullets or pellets accompanied the human bones.
Those pellets “are the unsung heroes of the ancient near,” says Selover. Though the artifact has long puzzled scholars, evidence has mounted that, when shot from slings, they hailed down on foes and could be lethal. “It’s a really sophisticated weapon for being a very simple weapon,” she adds.
“The means of violence in deep antiquity didn’t need to be particularly scary by our standards to be effective by theirs,” explains Richardson. Even if some weapons were simple, and the monument only held a few dozen soldiers, it sent a message of might.
Given the scale of the renovations, it’s doubtful they came about in a grassroots fashion. Rather, the White Monument remodel suggests leaders around 2450 B.C. had enough authority within the settlement to take over a long-used community tomb and devote it to their soldiers. And at 72-feet-tall, the monument could be spied from afar, deterring potential invaders and raiders.
Former students Baldwin and Enriquez know that their take is one plausible interpretation of the available evidence, but that other explanations are possible. Still, Baldwin says she’s proud of their work, “sifting through all this material to leave a narrative… something probable that supports looking at the distant past with more depth and with more humanity.”
Daniel Glor started this petition to President, Board of Education Michael Fuchs and 6 others
Honoring Major Andrew D. Byers
Proposal: We propose to name the Clarence High School pool after Major Andrew D. Byers, a distinguished Clarence Swimming Alumnus. Doing so will honor and commemorate how he lived and the example he set through his bravery, character, and the ultimate sacrifice he made in defense of our nation.
Clarence alumni swimmers and divers often return to the pool to visit the team and share stories, provide advice, and enjoy the camaraderie. The students gain insight and inspiration from these alumni visits. Andy will never be able to share his brave story and rich insights with current and future swimmers, so we propose doing so on his behalf by memorializing him in a noted place in his life: The Clarence High School pool. Naming the pool after this beloved husband, son, brother, dear friend, distinguished student athlete and selfless guardian of our nation’s freedom will provide an example for future generations of Clarence swimmers and students.
Andy’s Story: Major Andrew Byers (US Army Special Forces) was killed in action in Kunduz, Afghanistan on November 3, 2016 while conducting a ‘Train, Advise, and Assist’ mission with Afghan special operations forces. Byers was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for selflessly running into a kill zone to retrieve a fallen Afghan comrade, for maintaining positive control of a 59-man force during a seemingly hopeless situation, and for sacrificing his life by leading from the front to rescue his men.
By putting himself in harm’s way to selflessly save his comrades, Andy died in a manner consistent with the way he lived. Those that knew Andy best were not surprised by the accounts of the selfless valor he displayed that day. Andy’s strength of character was apparent to those he interacted with throughout his life. His peers and friends would often tell others how he served as a shining example of the very best that Clarence High School has to offer.
Andy especially shined in the pool as a four-time All-American Swimmer and team captain. As detailed by his swim coach Eric McClaren, “It was Andy’s distinct ability to lead and to motivate the people around him that set him apart from others. He was a role model from the first day he walked into the pool. Even the upperclassmen would tell you that Andy was the driving force behind our team. It is no coincidence that Andy’s class never lost a dual meet in his entire high school career.”
Andy was known to have the strongest work ethic on the team and an unmatched drive to not only be his best, but to help others around him realize their true potential. While Andy was a formidable example of strength, he also possessed genuine kindness and compassion when interacting with those who needed some encouragement. Andy was welcoming to all. Andy excelled in academics at Clarence and participated in student council and the yearbook committee. Despite his many achievements, Andy remained the same modest person his peers came to know.
After graduating from Clarence, Andy attended The United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated 12th in his class of 972. Following graduation, Andy joined the Green Berets, successfully completed Jump School, and became a ranking officer of a High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) Parachutist team. Andy had a distinguished military career, highlighted by a posthumous award of the Silver Star, the United States’ third highest decoration for valor in combat.
In addition to receiving the Silver Star, throughout his distinguished career, Andy was awarded the Purple Heart, three Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist and Military Free Fall Parachutist badges, the Ranger tab, and the Special Forces tab.
The fellow alumni of Clarence High School are honored to have Andy as an alumnus. There are no words to properly encapsulate the quality of Andy’s character, but Coach McClaren comes closest with “exceptional.” Andy was a beloved husband, son and brother, a dear friend, distinguished student -athlete, and a selfless guardian of our nation. Naming the Clarence High School pool after Andy is a permanent and tangible way to honor him, recognize the way he lived his life, and enables his story to serve as an example for future generations of Clarence students.
Be thou at peace Andy. May we forever honor your bravery and sacrifice.
ROY, Utah — A Utah man is searching for the family of a World War II hero.
Jim Thorpe has held onto a casket flag and war medals for nearly a year. He’s hoping he can finally return them to Thomas D. Walker’s family.
Walker was a World War II hero, a brave soldier in the Pacific Theater. He was honored for his conduct in the military and heroism in battle.
“He was obviously someone special that did something to earn those medals,” Thorpe told KSTU sitting on his porch on Memorial Day.
A Purple Heart and Bronze Star engraved with his name are among the five medals in a shadow box. Above them, a folded flag once draped over a casket. In front, a black and white picture of a helmeted young man holding a mortar.
“I feel it belongs with the family,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe never knew Thomas D. Walker. He doesn’t know where he lived or even which branch of the military he served. But in his possession, symbols of Walker’s courage and character.
“I can’t imagine this isn’t missed,” Thorpe said. “Somebody knows this is missing.”
It was found dirty and forgotten, in the back of the closet of a 31st Street Ogden apartment. Thorpe’s friend discovered it and gave it to him last summer.
The grandson of two WWII veterans contacted the US military and searched online for the soldier’s family.
“Honestly, I figured somebody would claim it right away. I didn’t think that I’d be holding onto it for so long,” Thorpe said.
The common name of Thomas Walker overwhelmed Thorpe while searching among 16 million WWII American soldiers.
In the middle of cancer treatment himself, Thorpe discovered two possible connections: one in Oregon, and another in Illinois. While nothing is concrete yet, Thorpe’s not giving up.
“I’d like to learn more about him. He’s been with me for a minute but I would like to get him back to his family. That’s the ultimate goal,” he said.
If you have information on Thomas D. Walker, Thorpe can be contacted through email@example.com.
During World War I, a pigeon named Cher Ami flew for the US Army Signal Corp in France, and served on the front lines for many months. She is credited with single-handedly saving the lives of over 200 American soldiers by flying 25 miles and through a sky of bullets, sustaining serious injuries in the process, to deliver a life-saving message to the Allied lines on behalf of the embattled 77th Infantry Division. Cher Ami was awarded the French Croix de Guerre and the “silver medal” by General Pershing for his heroism and bravery.
What a contrast with how we treat pigeons in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, pigeons like Cher Ami are netted, often unlawfully and from out of state, stockpiled, and then used for live target shooting competitions known as pigeon shoots.
The British depended on pigeons so extensively during…
By Lauren Lewis –
August 9, 2018
Air Force veteran Eric Pina with his family which now includes his service dog, Loki. Photos from Dogs of Service.
With so much negative attention focused on service animals as of late, WAN is thrilled to acknowledge International Assistance Dog Week by featuring a unique and much-needed non-profit organization dedicated to providing service dogs and emotional support animals that have been rescued to help military veterans.
International Assistance Dog Week, which was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability related limitations, began on August 5th and runs through August 11th.
Fortunately, Los Angeles-based Dogs of Service makes rescue dogs and veterans in need, a priority every day, as it works to maintain a community of support and resources for all military members and their animals.
“We chose to focus on veterans because there was a great need for innovative solutions to help veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries. Sadly, the average suicide rate of veterans is 22 per day. Veterans and dogs can find a mutual understanding and provide a sense of comfort other humans can’t, and that relationship can be used to bridge further healing and treatment,” Dogs of Service Founder Saralyn Tartaglia told WAN. Further explaining that it is important that the organization, which is authorized to pull animals from city shelters, only pairs veterans with dogs who have been rescued from shelters.
“We love the unspoken understanding and bond that happens when a veteran meets a rescue dog, it’s amazing. We were inspired by the ability of rescue dogs to sense emotions and be compassionate,” continued Tartaglia. “I started this organization because veterans have made many sacrifices, so this is our way to give back to them.”
Most recently, Dogs of Service paired Air Force veteran Eric Pina, who suffers from PTSD, with a new service dog that will be trained to help him. As per Tartaglia, a service dog can provide support and comfort to help its person push through difficult situations to make progress.
“The dogs we were looking at for Eric and his family just were not working out; then this puppy walked into the shelter on her own and literally checked herself in. After a meeting, it was clear she was the dog for them. She was even playing with lil Eric,” Dogs of Service posted on its Facebook page noting they will train the dog, now named Loki, to be a PTSD service dog for Eric.
“Dogs of Service connected me with not only a service dog but a loyal friend that has become my family,” shared Pena.
Having to care for a dog also gives many people a sense of purpose that enables them to “get up every morning to be part of the world,” said Tartaglia who shared that the routine the dog sets can also be helpful to maintain a healthy and consistent lifestyle.
“On the downside, because of all the negative attention and lack of knowledge about service dogs and emotional support animals, it has become a struggle for many veterans to go out in public or travel with their dog,” Tartaglia told WAN. “Veterans are being pressed for details about their dogs, bullied out of housing, being forced to adhere to illegal requirements, and having to deal with untrained fake service dogs in public spaces that may put real service dogs and their handlers at risk.
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) has defined a service dog as one that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The tasks performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.
ADA guidelines in regard to service dogs are written loosely to enable all people to have access to a service dog: it does not discriminate in regard to “finances, location, type of disability, and access to urban areas.
It is important to note, as per Tartaglia, that many people do not understand that the ADA only covers public spaces; it does not cover housing, airports, trains and flights.
Tartaglia also encourages people to be wary of any online registry offering service dog certification and ID Cards, because service dogs and emotional support animals do not need to be registered or certified in any way.
“Having a service dog is a choice to be made with medical and care providers, it is a big responsibility and undertaking, but for some people, it can be life-changing,” continued Tartaglia, noting that service dog costs can range anywhere from $5000.00 to $25,000.00 with owner trained service dogs being on the low-end.
Dogs of Service currently offers weekly service dog training classes in Sherman Oaks, California, and is looking to expand into the Santa Clarita Valley, and possibly the South Bay, with more classes in 2019.
The classes are designed to teach dogs the vital socialization skills they need while also allowing veterans to connect and interact with each other.
Dogs of Service has an application process so that they can figure out what the veteran needs and find a dog that is the best fit for them and their life.
Tartaglia also often helps veterans navigate the legal side, as well as ensuring that they can have dogs in their residences and assisting them with travel guidelines. To ensure a good pairing, Dogs of Service works with behaviorists and trainers for training to ensure that the veterans can learn how best to work with their dogs.
North Korea returns remains of soldiers missing since Korean War
By Joe Tacopino
North Korea has turned over the potential remains of US soldiers who have been missing since the Korean war — part of a commitment made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to President Trump.
A US Air Force plane carrying 55 cases of remains landed at Osan Air Base in South Korea where a formal ceremony will be held on August 1, the White House said in a statement Thursday night.
Also on the plane were technical experts from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
“It is a solemn obligation of the United States Government to ensure that the remains are handled with dignity and properly accounted for so their families receive them in an honorable manner,” the statement read.
The agreement to return the remains were made during a historic summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore last month.
The White House said the move was the first step in achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
It takes a lot of guts to be a part of the military, you have to be physically fit, mentally stable, and emotionally strong. The time that soldiers spend in the battlefield, away from their family, friends and loved ones surely have an adverse effect on our honorable military men.
In the Vietnam war alone, 15 percent of the Vietnam veterans were diagnosed with PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a mental health disorder acquired after experiencing a traumatic, shocking, scary or dangerous event.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are a lot of ways to help one cope up with PTSD. The site advises people with PTSD to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist for professional mental health care. It also encourages people with PTSD to engage in positive activities such as sports to distract themselves with. Another way to overcome PTSD is to surround yourself with a support group and as well as acquiring the help of a service dog.
A 47-year-old veteran named Sgt. Bill Campbell who suffers from PTSD, chose to be assisted by a service dog called Pax. The veteran who also suffers from memory loss, and fear of crowds, was given a yellow Labrador, Pax, to help him cope.
According to the veteran, Pax has been a great help especially when he’s having an episode of PTSD. Without the yellow Labrador, he would have a lot of difficulties. Hence, Sgt. Bill was really interested to meet the trainer who nurtured Pax with the skills he has today.
Wanting to express his gratitude in person, Sgt. Bill reached out to Pax’s trainer, who turned out to be a woman named Laurie Kellog. After learning that Pax used to live at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, taken care of by a number of female inmates, as a part of the service dog training program, Sgt. Bill made his move.
The veteran traveled to meet Laurie, Pax’s trainer, to express his sincere gratitude for nurturing Pax. There, Sgt. Bill learned that Laurie had taken delight in training Pax to be a PTSD service dog. According to the trainer, she too suffered from PTSD after being a victim of domestic violence.
Laurie admitted that even when Pax was still in training, the dutiful dog had brought her back to live in the present when she was having a PTSD attack. She recalled how the service dog made her feel safe around him. Thus, when she found out that Pax would lend his assistance to a soldier who also suffered from PTSD, she was more than happy.
Laurie was not the only one who was thrilled to be reunited with the dog who changed her life. Evident in the way Pax wagged his tails upon seeing his old trainer, the dog was happy and excited as well. Pax, remembering Laurie, wasted no time and ran right up to her, showering her with lots of kisses!
With both of them understanding how it feels like to have a PTSD, Laurie, and Sgt. Bill greeted each other with an embrace. Pax also had the best moment of his life when his former and present owners, bonded with each other.
True enough, any baggage carried by more than one person, gets lighter and easier to carry. Fortunately for us humans, we have our pawed pals to entrust our life and share our problems with! Indeed, dogs are man’s best friend!
Watch the heartwarming reunion between Pax and his inmate trainer Laurie that will surely pull strings to your heart.
From patrolling the sweltering deserts of Afghanistan to providing critical hurricane relief for Gulf Coast communities, our brave military men and women sacrifice so much for all of us. Let’s make sure they know we’re grateful for their service. Sign the thank-you card today.
Navy Investigates Bible on “Missing Man Table” Tribute
April 9, 2018 by Todd Starnes
The U.S. Navy is investigating complaints lodged by a sailors and Marines about a Bible and a “One Nation under God” placard placed on a POW/MIA table at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a radical group that has a history of targeting public displays of Christianity, filed the complaint on behalf of 26 military personnel and civilian staff.
They wrote a seven-page complaint alleging that a Christian Bible was placed on a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action display in the hospital’s public gallery.
“Why is that Bible there,” MRFF president Mikey Weinstein demanded to know in an interview with Stars & Stripes. “Can you imagine if somebody put a Quran there, or the book of Satan, or the Book of Mormon? It’s violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause as well as DoD and Navy regulations.”
Rear Adm. Paul D. Pearigen ordered an investigation into the public display at the Navy’s largest overseas hospital, the San Diego Union Tribune reports.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation also wants the Navy to remove a placard explaining the reason why the Bible is a part of the display.
“The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded one nation under God,” the placard reads.
The MRFF was grossly triggered and offended by the statement – calling it unconstitutional and a “slap in the face to every non-Christian.”
“The statement on the Exhibit’s placard is nothing more than an illegal, unconstitutional proselytization from an extremist, fundamentalist Christian sect,” their attorney wrote. “It ignores all followers of other religions and totally ignores all those who subscribe to no religion – all in blatant violation of DoD and DON regulations.”
However, according to the U.S. Navy the Bible and the placard are on the table for a reason. Click here to read it for yourself.
The white tablecloth draped over the table represents the purity of their response to our country’s call to arms.
The empty chair depicts an unknown face, representing no specific Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, but all who are not here with us.
The table itself is round to show that our concern for them is never ending.
The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God.
The black napkin stands for the emptiness these warriors have left in the hearts of their families and friends. A Purple Heart medal can be pinned to the napkin.
The single red rose reminds us of their families and loved ones. The red ribbon represents the love of our country, which inspired them to answer the nation’s call.
The yellow candle and its yellow ribbon symbolize the everlasting hope for a joyous reunion with those yet accounted for.
The slices of lemon on the bread plate remind us of their bitter fate.
The salt upon the bread plate represent the tears of their families.
The wine glass, turned upside down, reminds us that our distinguished comrades cannot be with us to drink a toast or join in the festivities of the evening.
Hiram Sasser, general counsel for First Liberty Institute and a former Army Reserve officer, urged the Navy to resist the demands of the militant MRFF.
“The Bible is on the table because it is part of the tradition that predates our current demands for political correctness,” Sasser told the Todd Starnes Radio Show. “When we telegraph to our global military competitors that the mere presence of a Bible mentally destroys some of us, we are doomed.”
So why is the Navy wasting its time to investigate the unfounded allegations made by Mikey Weinstein and his minions?
This is nothing more than a despicable attack by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on the families of those with a loved one who is missing in action.
It’s time for the Trump Administration’s Pentagon to stop this radical group from bullying military families and desecrating any more Missing Man tables.
by: Laura G
target: Residential Communities Initiative
The movie “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” tells the tale of the most decorated war dog in U.S. history. Thanks to his ability to sniff out mustard gas and hear the whine of artillery shells before his fellow human soldiers could, Stubby saved countless lives during World War I. He was the only military dog ever promoted to sergeant.
It’s hard to believe, but today, this hero would likely be turned away from military housing on U.S. Army (and Marine Corps and Air Force) bases. Why? Because Stubby could be considered a pit bull mix, one of several “dangerous” breeds (Staffordshire bull terriers, bull mastiffs, Rhodesian ridgebacks and Doberman pinschers are some of the others) banned from the housing.
After military housing was privatized in 1996, the Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) Privatization Program consortium, consisting of six private companies, was created to develop consistent housing policies. Sadly, those policies included a dog breed ban.
Breed bans and breed-specific legislation (BSL) are unfair because they single out certain types of dogs. There is no evidence that they’ve increased public safety where they’ve been enacted. They are opposed by almost every major animal welfare organization.
Members of the military who are bravely serving our country shouldn’t have to make the terrible decision of either giving up their beloved dogs or moving to off-base housing. Please sign and share this petition urging the Residential Communities Initiative to drop its unfair breed ban.
Plans to put down hero service dogs Kevin, Dazz and Driver are in place to happen next week. Experience handlers have come forward to say they want to house the much love dogs, who have helped save hundreds of lives. Kevin and Dazz served in Afghanistan where they searched for explosives and Driver worked for the police force. Service dogs have saved my life on numerous occasions. We have a duty to save them. In Afghanistan when I was on patrol the dogs found an IED in front of us, I was number three in line I was very very lucky to survive.
Minnesota Vikings 42 Cincinnati Bengals 40 Denver Broncos 36 Tennessee Titans 33 Miami Dolphins 28 Kansas City Chiefs 28 Jacksonville Jaguars 27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 Cleveland Browns 26 San Diego Chargers 25 Indianapolis Colts 24 Chicago Bears 23 Seattle Seahawks 20 New Orleans Saints 20 Washington Redskins 18 Oakland Raiders 18 Baltimore Ravens 18 Carolina Panthers 18 Green Bay Packers 17 Pittsburgh Steelers 17 Atlanta Falcons 16 San Francisco 49ers 16 Detroit Lions 15 New England Patriots 15 Buffalo Bills 14 Dallas Cowboys 13 New York Giants 13 Arizona Cardinals 12 New York Jets 11 Philadelphia Eagles 10 Houston Texans 9 St Louis Rams 8
Total 656 Arrests
Can’t help but wonder how many of these PROFESSIONAL characters take a knee when the National Anthem is being played?? I can only guess.
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard