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Wikimedia Commons US Army Lieutenant Colonel Sidney McMannis (Obscured) and Command Sergeant Major Raymond Rodriquez (Foreground) place a wreath on the memorial for
Gander Memorial, Ft. Campbell, KY
What does Memorial Day mean to you? When I was a child it meant only a week more of school and the beginning of camping season. At that age I never really understood why my dad treated it as a solemn day. When I was a teen, and in the Civil Air Patrol, I marched in parades as a member of a color guard. To me, it was just a parade.

In August of 1985 I joined the U.S. Army. I was 18 and just out of high school. I did my basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. On December 12, 1985, my training complete, I got on a plane in Madison, Wisconsin, after a very short leave, and left my home for Germany. About the time my odyssey started, the journey for 248 members of the 101st Airborne Division and 8 crew members ended in Gander, Newfoundland. They were returning to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, after six months of peacekeeping duty in the Sinai peninsula. They never got home—their plane went down on take-off a half-mile from the runway.

In June of 1987, I had just come off a demolitions range in Hohenfels, West Germany, where I was being trained on how to use the M-180 Cratering Demolition Kit.

The M180 Cratering Demolition Kit is a one-step, two-stage, surface-emplaced, 110-pound kit consisting of a standard 15-pound shaped charge, a firing device and a rocket-propelled 40-pound cratering charge. These components are mounted on one leg of a tripod assembly. When the kit is fired, the rocket on its downward acceleration strikes the firing device, which initiates the shaped charge through the demolition circuit. The shaped charge creates a hole in the ground to a depth of 6-9 feet. The accelerating rocket "follows through" the shaped charge back blast to the bottom of the hole, and penetrates further into the soil to an optimum charge burial depth. A time delay fuse detonates the cratering charge and produces a 12-22 foot diameter crater.
Behind us was the 58th Engineering Company, who were there to go through the same training that we had just completed. The five-ton dump truck we were riding in had gone no more that a mile down the road when we heard an explosion and saw a cloud of smoke. We all knew something had gone wrong, that it was far too soon for that to happen.

When we got back to the barracks, our first sergeant looked very relieved. He had heard the medivac calls on radio for the demolitions range we had just left. He thought it had been our platoon involved in a horrific accident. As we were scheduled for field exercises the next day it was another week before we found out what happened—a safety device on the M-180 failed, killing three and wounding 12 members of the 58th Engineer Company.

Just a little over two years after the Gander crash, I arrived at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, 326th Engineer Battalion, Bravo Company. My platoon was assigned to the 3/502 Infantry, the same battalion that lost so many just two short years before. The wounds were still deep, and they were fresh. The memorial on post with one sapling planted for each of those lost that day, 256 in all, was still new. The trees were still young.

Last year, I returned to Ft. Campbell for a reunion. It was my first time back on post in 24 years. My old barracks had been torn down, the Air Assault School where I earned my wings had been moved to the field where I was taught STABO operations in Rappelmaster school so many years ago. The 256 saplings around the Gander memorial are now mature trees. Seeing them, and that memorial 24 years later, brought a tear to my eye.

Over the years I have come to understand why my father became so solemn on Memorial Day. My dad was a World War II Navy vet. While he did not see action himself, he did know men who did, and some who did not come home. Men and women die in service to our country in times of relative peace as well as in times of war. On this Memorial Day, while a wide swath of Americans are celebrating a three-day weekend with cookouts, I will bow my head and remember those who have lost their lives serving their country during times of war and times of peace.

We have wars because old men with power have a need to send young men to battle to prove their might. It makes the old men rich and the young men either dead or scarred for life. Those who are scarred may or may not have visible wounds, but they are there—in some cases, the dead are the lucky ones. I long for a day when no more men and women are added to the rolls of honored dead on Memorial Day. A time when PTSD is but a historical footnote in a medical textbook. A time when mankind can finally live in peace.

Below the fold is a list of some of those I choose to remember this Memorial Day.

Names of those lost in Gander, Newfoundland:

Davis, Jimmy D , Spec 4 - Aliceville , Al
Highfill, Joe W , Pvt 2 - Daleville , Al
Hughes, Frank J , Staff Sgt - North Carrollton , Al
Simmons, Carl N , Pfc - Banks , Al
Turner, Vincent L , Staff Sgt - Huntsville , Al
Winston, James A , Staff Sgt - West Birmingham , Al
Wright, John R , Spec 4 - Daleville , Al

Kidd, Timothy Linn , Sgt - North Little Rock , Ar
Long, Paul D , 1st Lt , 24 , Pine Bluff , Ar
Stewart, Randy S , Sgt , 21 , Texarkana , Ar
Thomas, Randall K , Sgt , 31 , Springdale , Ar
Walker, Guy W , Spec 4 , 22 , Jacksonville , Ar

Barber, Daniel Mark , Spec 4 , 24 , Flagstaff , Az
Danielson, Thomas , Spec 4 - Mesa , Az
Hobbs, Kevin S , Pfc - Flagstaff , Az
McArdle, Paul A , Sgt - Winslow , Az

Andreoff, Steven A , Staff Sgt - Antioch , Ca
Burdette, James D , Spec 4 - Lancaster , Ca
Carter, Gregory T , Pfc - Covina , Ca
Chaddock, Garett R , Pfc - Lake Isabella, Ca , Ca
Gonzales, Michael J , Spec 4 - La Puenta , Ca
Graham, Kelly O , Pvt 2 - San Jose , Ca
Jackson, Adrian D , Pvt 1 - Los Angeles , Ca
Millett, John M , Sgt - Idyllwild , Ca
Padgett, Gary W , Spec 4 - Vista , Ca
Pevey, Terry R , Spec 4 - Port Heuneme , Ca
Spears, James M , Spec 4 - Costa Mesa , Ca
Wallace, Brian E , Pfc - Canoga Park , Ca

Serna, Ernest W , Pvt 2 , 20 , Denver , Co
Sloan, Matthew S , Spec 4 - Lakewood , Co
Stephens, Dane , Spec 4 , 19 , Littleton , Co
Tucker, Thomas N , Pvt 2 - Goldon , Co

Haller, Brian D , Capt - Wilmington , De
Kuehn, John M , Spec 4 , 22 , Wilmington , De

Beer, Edward M , Pvt 2 - Orlando , Fl
Brasfield, Tony L , Spec 4 - Panama City , Fl
Britt, George A , Spec 4 - Lighthouse Pt , Fl
Bury, David A , Pfc - Panama City , Fl
Ferguson, James A , Sgt - Orange Park , Fl
Graham, Thomas Lyle , Spec 4 - Jacksonville Beach , Fl
Hart, Robert B , 2nd Lt - Miami , Fl
Hobbs, Donald Ernest , Spec 4 - Palm Harbor , Fl
Jeffcoat, Marvin A , Lt Col - Tallahassee , Fl
Kee, Jeff S , Spec 4 - Pensacola , Fl
Kiser, Bruce E , Pfc - Jacksonville , Fl
Schmoyer, Ricky A , Spec 4 - St Petersburg , Fl
Smith, Thomas E , Pfc - Brooksville , Fl

Bauman, Eric Joseph , Spec 4 , 19 , Warner Robins , Ga
Benson, Wyatt David , Spec 4 , 19 , Forsyth , Ga
Lawrence, Michael R , Maj - Atlanta , Ga
Lynch, Benjamin R , Pfc - Macon , Ga
Searcy, Blanchard T , Pfc - Sylvester , Ga
Smith, Clinton D , Pvt 2 - Conyers , Ga
Word, Virginia Ruth , Spec 4 , 20 , Warner Robins , Ga

Mullins, Steven W , Spec 4 - Des Moines , Ia
Phillips, Alvin , Pvt 2 - Oakaloosa , Ia

Bradshaw, Steven J, , Spec 4 , 20 , Boise , Id
Crawford, Paul M , Pvt 2 - Nampa , Id

Craig, Michael E , Pfc - University Park , Il
Gayton, Anthony Lovell , Spec 4 - Robbins , Il
Goree, Joseph W , Pvt 2 - Edwardsville , Il
Lundgren, David C , Spec 4 - Chicago , Il
Richardson, Gregory W , Pfc - Sterling , Il
Wilburn, Darnell , Staff Sgt - Chicago , Il
Witmer, John B , 2nd Lt - North Brook , Il

Arvin, Roger D , Spec 4 , 27 , Evansville , In
Dumpert, Brian Lee , Sgt - Marion , In
Mayhew, Ronald C , Sgt , 24 , Indianapolis , In
Miller, Larry G , Sgt - Loogootee , In
Miller, Timothy E , Spec 4 - Noblesville , In
Murray, Michael , Sgt - Washington , In
Robertson, Vergil L Jr , Sgt - Spencer , In

Banks, Bobby L , Spec 4 - Junction City , Ks
Yeargan, Cary T , Pfc - Newton , Ks

Black, Hasland O , Cmd. Sgt - Lafayette , Ky
Bradley, John T Jr , Spec 4 - Winchester , Ky
Carter, Troy G , Capt , 40 , Fort Campbell , Ky
Cruz-Salgado, Francisco , Pvt 4 - Fort Campbell , Ky
Englebert, Christopher , Spec 4 - Louisville , Ky
Grala, Douglas F , Staff Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky
Manion, Edward John , Capt , 30 , Fort Campbell , Ky
Martin, Thomas L , Pvt 2 - Louisville , Ky
Moore, Samuel Theodore Jr , Staff Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky
Nelson, Donald C , Sgt 1st Class - Hammond Hts , Ky
Nichols, Richard Sidney , Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky
Owens, Gregory Allen , Pvt , 21 , Louisville , Ky
Palmisano, Jeffrey R , Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky
Parris, Rudy , CW3 - Hopkinsville , Ky
Phillips, James D Jr , Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky
Powell, Barry C , 1st Lt - Madisonville , Ky
Rahr, Michael R , Spec 4 - Fort Campbell , Ky
Robinson, Thomas E Jr , Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky
Scott, Gary L , Spec 4 - Oak Grove , Ky
Sellner, Timothy D , Staff Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky
Smith, Rex V , Sgt 1st Class - Fort Campbell , Ky
Smith, Scott John , Spec 4 - Louisville , Ky
Stone, Earl C , CW2 - Fort Campbell , Ky
Thompson, Danny C , Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky
Witt, Kevin Michael , Sgt - Fort Campbell , Ky

Alexander, Herbert D , Pfc - Ponchatoula , La

Aponte, Ivan R , Spec 4 - Boston , Ma
Gerdes, Scott W , Pfc - Pittsville , Ma

Duckworth, James Frederick , Staff Sgt - Westernport , Md
Heidecker, David W , Pvt 1 , 21 , Westminster , Md
Hoyer, Robert S , Spec 4 - Pasadena , Md
Stearn, Alexander W , Pfc - Lutherville , Md
Thornton, Christopher G , Sgt - Tacoma Park , Md
Whiteman, Michael L , Spec 4 - Dunkirk , Md

Andrews, Danell , Spec 4 , 22 , Detroit , Mi
Guerra, Richardo , Pfc - Ferndale , Mi
Karadsheh, Ibrahim , Sgt , 25 , Warren , Mi
Parsons, Thomas F , Sgt - Washington , Mi
Wisson, Theodore M , Spec 4 - Port Huron , Mi
Wyn, Robert , Pfc - Sherwood , Mi
Ziegler, Cathleen M , Spec 4 - Novi , Mi

Kubic, Mark R , Staff Sgt , 25 , Brooklyn Park , Mn
Nolan, Michael T , Pfc - Plymouth , Mn

Easley, Brian E , Sgt - Independence , Mo
Stack, Michael Shayen , Spec 4 - St Louis , Mo
Straub, Gary L , Pfc - Benton , Mo
Williamson, James H , Spec 4 - Waynesville , Mo

Holliman, Jerry W , Staff Sgt - Coldwater , Ms
Staten, David C , Pfc - Pontotoc , Ms

Wallace, Mark E , Pfc - Bozeman , Mt

Arrowood, Stuart N , Pvt 2 - Fayetteville , NC
Buchanan, Gregory A , Pvt 2 - Bakersville , NC
Carter, Mark E , Sgt - Fayetteville , NC
Edmonds, Kyle L , Capt , 28 , New Hill , NC
Johnson, Jerrin Andrea , Pvt 1 - Fayetteville , NC
Johnson, Ravon Leroy , Staff Sgt - Eaton , NC
Morgan, Lindale , Pfc - Enfield , NC
Perry, Vickie S , Pvt 2 - Enfield , NC
Rawls, David L , Pfc - Fayetteville , NC
Shook, James Emerson , Pfc - Fayetteville , NC
Simmons, George Henry , Spec 4 - Wilmington , NC

Olson, Robert L , Pfc , 20 , Omaha , Ne

Eastman, Michael C , Capt - Plymouth , NH

Cordero, Miguel Angel , Sgt - Paterson , NJ
Davis, Thomas E , Staff Sgt - Woodbury , NJ

Bowen, John P , Sgt - Las Vegas , Nv
Mathis, Donald Lee , Pvt 2 - Las Vegas , Nv

Bostwick, Paul J , Pfc - Binghamton , NY
Brilya, William R , Pvt 2 - Hudson Falls , NY
Campbell, Trevor , Pvt 2 - Brooklyn , NY
Coleman, Bobby Lee , Pfc , 20 , Rochester , NY
Hemingway, Paul C , Sgt - Staten Island , NY
Jennings, Todd Martice , Spec 4 - Yonkers , NY
Nelson, Kenneth J , Pvt 2 - Falconer , NY
Rimiller, Richard D , Pfc - Bloomingdale , NY
Sears, Ronald W , Staff Sgt - Bronx , NY
Stringer, Richard , Spec 4 - Dexter , NY
Thomas, Robert F , Spec 4 - Roslyn , NY
Travis, Theodore , Sgt - Niagara Falls , NY

Brady, Darrin P , Pfc - Brunswick , Oh
Caudill, Phillip R , Pvt - Cincinnati , Oh
Daniels, Walter G , Pfc - Columbus , Oh
Harris, Brian D , Pfc - Canton , Oh
Napier, Michael A , Spec 4 - Middletown , Oh
Reasbeck, Patrick S - . , Adena , Oh
Seitz, Frederic C , Pfc - Aurora , Oh
Wilson, Rodger L , Spec 4 - Dayton , Oh

Wolford, Robert Neil II , Sgt - Tulsa , Ok

Fuller, Paul Koerner , Cpl - Portland , Or
Hassing, Mark S , Pvt 1 , 20 , Portland , Or
Hull, Jeffrey D , Pfc , 19 , Cornelius , Or
Shultz, Robert D , Pfc - Veneta , Or
Venneri, Steven C , Pfc , 19 , Flagstone , Or

Council, Orlando F Jr , Pfc - Philadelphia , Pa
Deckman, Herbert R , Pfc - Steeltown , Pa
Fink, Kevin F , Pvt 2 , 23 , Dayton , Pa
Haugsdahl, Reginald , Spec 4 , 20 , Erie , Pa
Lloyd, William Michael , Pfc , 21 , Philadelphia , Pa
Schremp, Peter E , Sgt , 24 , Pittsburg , Pa
Shipley, Michael D , Spec 4 , 27 , Huntingdon , Pa
Stritch, Scott A , Pvt 2 - Annville , Pa
Thompson, Scott Bryan , Spec 4 , 22 , South Waverly , Pa
Wester, John Charles , Pfc , 19 , Pittsburg , Pa
Wilkins, Franklin R , Pvt 2 , 20 , Shamokin , Pa

Spearman, Mark , Pvt - Woonsocket , RI

Bittle, Sammy Dale , Pfc - Cheraw , SC
Brown, Johnny L , Pfc - Sumter , SC
Diventura, Joseph L , Cpl , 21 , Summerville , SC
McWhite, Calvin , Spec 4 - Columbia , SC
Ruth, Ray A , Spec 4 - Walterboro , SC
Singleton, Earl , Sgt , 30 , Hugger , SC
Walker, Gregory , Spec 4 - Manning , SC
Ward, Abraham , Sgt 1st Class - Chester , SC

McCleery, Christine M , Spec 4 - Rapid City , SD

Avillan, Luis A , 1st Lt - Clarksville , Tn
Brancato, Charles F , Sgt - Clarksville , Tn
Davis, James A , Sgt - Knoxville , Tn
Dixon, Thomas D , Spec 4 - Sequatchie , Tn
Ferguson, Mark W , Spec 4 - Kingsport , Tn
Foskey, Thomas J , Cpl , 22 , Clarksville , Tn
Givens, Gary Lynn , Sgt - Clarksville , Tn
Godsey, David L , Sgt 1st Class - Clarksville , Tn
Harden, Benny J , CW3 , 38 , Clarksville , Tn
Ivy, Herbert Guy , Cpl - Knoxville , Tn
Jennings, Donny K , Staff Sgt - Clarksville , Tn
Jones, Joseph A , Sgt - Knoxville , Tn
King, Robert M , Capt - Clarksville , Tn
Kosh, John K , 1st Lt , 27 , Clarksville , Tn
Lane, Randall A , Spec 4 - Clarksville , Tn
Malone, Jerry W , Staff Sgt - Clarksville , Tn
McCook, Robert F , 1st Sgt - Woodlawn , Tn
McCormick, J Scott , 2nd Lt , 24 , Bristol , Tn
Miller, Dirk A , CW2 , 30 , Clarksville , Tn
Nelson, Steven R , Staff Sgt - Clarksville , Tn
Pafford, Theodore L , Pfc - Clarksville , Tn
Rains, Terry L , Capt , 29 , Clarksville , Tn
Reynolds, Jessey T , Staff Sgt - Jamestown , Tn
Roberts, Wilbur Grant Jr , Staff Sgt , 28 , Clarksville , Tn
Stevens, Kip L , 2nd Lt - Clarksville , Tn
West, Thomas E , Sgt 1st Class - Clarksville , Tn
White, Emery S III , Staff Sgt , late 20's , Clarksville , Tn
Willingham, Richard N , Sgt - Clarksville , Tn
Wooliver, William L , Sgt - Clarksville , Tn

Cartwright, Dennis , Pvt 1 - Silsbee , Tx
Cupples, Troy R , Pfc - Porter , Tx
Gray, Christopher , Spec 4 - Alvarado , Tx
Hardeman, Chester D , Pvt 1 - Dallas , Tx
Hughes, Charles W , Spec 4 - Cleburne , Tx
King, Jerry J , Pfc - Fort Worth , Tx
McCarty, Joey , 1st Lt - Canyon Lake , Tx
Miller, Richard Dean , Staff Sgt - Tyler , Tx
Roberts, Bobby E , Spec 4 - Fort Worth , Tx
Wheeler, Frank C , Spec 4 - Odell , Tx

Bowen, Robert , CW3 - Wytheville , Va
Colby, Stephen R , Spec 4 - Colonial Beach , Va
Hansen, William W III , Pfc - Stafford , Va
Kirby, Thomas James , Staff Sgt - Salem , Va
Puntanen, Raimo K Jr , Spec 4 , 20 , Chesapeake , Va
Russell, Ronald C , Pfc - Portsmouth , Va
Vinson, Wayne , Pfc - Chesapeake , Va

Kaplin, Robert S , Spec 4 - Gig Harbor , Wa
Lineberry, Donald G , Sgt - Olympia , Wa
Reed, Melvin W , Pvt - Tacoma , Wa
Wood, Lawrence A , Staff Sgt - Everett , Wa

Schultz, Keith Mitchell , Pfc , 19 , Schofield , Wi

Abrams, Mark Edward , Pfc - Rhodell , WV
Gantzer, Kevin A , Sgt , 22 , Wheeling , WV
Hileman, Thomas T , Pfc , , , Fairmont , WV
Jordan, David A , Pvt 2 , 21 , Winfield , WV
Mollett, James Albert , Sgt , 22 , Kermit , WV

Fitch, David , Spec 4 - Washington

Nertia, Joseph A , Sgt 1st Class - Tumon

Gonzalez, Roberto , Pfc - Quebradilla
Ocasio, Francisco Jr , Sgt - Juana Diaz

Names of the men lost in the 58th Engineer Company accident:
Staff Sgt. Joseph L. Dewease, 27, of Khewsville, Md
Sgt. Joseph M. Renaldi, 25, of Springdale, Pa
Spec. 4 Keith Lavoie, 21, of Burton, Mich
Operation Iraqi Freedom:
Thompson, Jacob M., SSGT, 26, Mankato, MN - 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, August 6th, 2007.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank for honoring those who (28+ / 0-)

    died in Gander.  I spent two tours as Civilian Observer in the Sinai, and their sacrifice is a real as any who died on the battlefield.

    Rush — the quivering rage heap who is apparently desperately trying to extinguish any remaining molecule of humanity that might still reside in the Chernobyl-esque Superfund cleanup site that was his soul. -- Jon Stewart

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:06:59 AM PDT

  •  Memorial Day Used To Start At The Local Cemetery (9+ / 0-)

    Back in the days when cemeteries  were more like local parks and closer to residential area, the Memorial Day parade started at the cemetery.  I guess this is still fairly common for the older cemeteries.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:08:57 AM PDT

  •  And, in Memory of these Soldiers (8+ / 0-)

    …as a result of their experiences in America's global war business:

    Every Hour and Ten Minutes a Veteran Kills Himself

    Stars and Stripes
    Published: January 9, 2014

    WASHINGTON -- The number of young veterans committing suicide jumped dramatically from 2009 to 2011, a worrying trend that Veterans Affairs officials hope can be reversed with more treatment and intervention.

    New suicide data released by the department on Thursday showed that the rate of veterans suicide remained largely unchanged over that three-year period, the latest for which statistics are available. About 22 veterans a day take their own life, according to department estimates.

    But while older veterans saw a slight decrease in suicides, male veterans under 30 saw a 44 percent increase in the rate of suicides. That’s roughly two young veterans a day who take their own life, most just a few years after leaving the service.

  •  Thank you for remembering (9+ / 0-)

    so few even on active duty remember Gander.  I was in Germany and remember reading the safety investigation from the 58th Eng accident.  Its hard for many people to understand that even outside of war, being a soldier is dangerous business.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:15:44 AM PDT

  •  Just when I thought the plutocratic shills (6+ / 0-)

    couldn’t go any lower, and definitely not in the spirit of Memorial Day here’s an article that plumbs the bottom the Mariana’s Trench of disgusting:

    The author gets my vote for being the most despicable republishill on the planet. She makes Bill (wrong) Kristol look like a boy scout.

  •  Vermont/Iraq (5+ / 0-)
    With a population of about 621,000, the state's losses in the Iraq war — 22 men, by the Pentagon's count — give it the highest per-capita death rate of any state, at 3.54 per 100,000 people (as of January). Many died in 2006 in fighting in and around Ramadi, their losses driven home by tearful small-town funerals and half-staff flags.
    Name     City, State     Branch     War
    1.   BANGAYAN, SOLOMON     JAY, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    2.   BEAN, ALAN     BRIDPORT, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    3.   CHAPIN, CHRIS     RUTLAND, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    4.   CLARK, CARLTON     SOUTH ROYALTON, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    5.   DECHEN, KURT     SPRINGFIELD, VT     Marine Corps     Iraqi Freedom

    6.   Dene, Jason     Castleton, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    7.   EVNIN, MARK     BURLINGTON, VT     Marine Corps     Iraqi Freedom

    8.   Fortin, Joey     St. Johnsbury, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    9.   GILBERT, KYLE     BRATTLEBORO, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    10.   GRAY, JAMIE     MONTPELIER, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    11.   HALVORSEN, ERIC     BENNINGTON, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    12.   HOLMES, JEFFERY     WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT     Marine Corps     Iraqi Freedom

    13.   JOHNSON, JOSHUA     RICHFORD, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    14.   MCLAUGHLIN, SCOTT     HARDWICK, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    15.   MERCHANT, CHRISTOPHER     HARDWICK, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    16.   MULLER, ADAM     UNDERHILL, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    17.   NORMANDY, WILLIAM     MONTPELIER, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    18.   PICHE, PIERRE     STARKSBORO, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    19.   PROCOPIO, MARK     STOWE, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    20.   SHEEHAN, KEVIN     MILTON, VT     Army     Iraqi Freedom

    21.   STRONG, JESSE     IRASBURG, VT     Marine Corps     Iraqi Freedom

    I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against. ~ Malcolm X -8.62 -8.36

    by 4Freedom on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:45:53 AM PDT

  •  I served 23 yrs. in the USAF... (2+ / 0-)

    Though I was fortunate to remain ensconced in the safety of a communications career, I have known those who sacrified everything. Many having come home very troubled people. On Memorial Day, I refrain from considering the political futility, absurdity, and insanity of our last few wars, and focus instead on the individual sacrifice of the fallen.
    I also extend my Memorial Day appreciation to those who served their country in other capacities. There are many who toil in obscurity helping their fellow man. They do not enjoy the fanfare of Memorial Day, and they should be included. Not to water the holiday down, but lets include everyone whos service is designed to elevate the status of their fellow man.
    Happy Memorial Day to all!!

  •  Amen. (3+ / 0-)
    We have wars because old men with power have a need to send young men to battle to prove their might. It makes the old men rich and the young men either dead or scarred for life. Those who are scarred may or may not have visible wounds, but they are there—in some cases, the dead are the lucky ones. I long for a day when no more men and women are added to the rolls of honored dead on Memorial Day. A time when PTSD is but a historical footnote in a medical textbook. A time when mankind can finally live in peace.
  •  RIP, Screamin' Eagles (5+ / 0-)

    I was in the last week of AIT at Ft. Gordon when the Gander crash happened, and just a few days later I got my orders to Ft. Campbell, my first permanent-duty-station.

    I was there when those maple trees were planted and for all the other memorial ceremonies.  It was heart-wrenching.  I was 18 years old, and there were widows there who weren't much older than I.  It was a sober reminder that one must not be in combat to lose one's life in the military.

    A few years ago I too visited that maple grove and it was like a punch in the gut all over again.

    RIP, Screamin' Eagles

    101st ABN DIV (Air Assault)
    On a rendezvous with destiny!

  •  Well said (3+ / 0-)

    This morning I stopped at a gas station to get ready for my drive this afternoon to where I work, which is 220 miles away.  Someone wished the clerk "Happy Memorial Day".
    I understand the man's intent but this is not really a day focused on happy events.  It makes me think of the young woman who visited us at our home a few years ago.  A friend of our niece in the Air Force, her husband had
    been killed a few weeks earlier when his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.

    I talked to her about Hawai'i, where we had both lived, and when it was time for her to leave she gave me a big hug.  It should have been her husband she was hugging and not me.

    Now she relies on the VA for counselors and medication to help her keep it together.  Our niece has PTSD.  If you want to honor our veterans the day after Memorial day, you might suggest to all within hearing that they be given some help.  Increased funding for the VA is a good place to start.

    This is not a day to judge whether or not they deserve to be remembered, to engage in a post-hoc weighing of the righteousness of their motivations, the worthiness of their cause.  Tennyson remembered the Light Brigade-as for why they were there he had this to say

    ..Not though the soldier knew
       Someone had blundered.
       Theirs not to make reply,
       Theirs not to reason why,
       Theirs but to do and die.
       Into the valley of Death
       Rode the six hundred.

    "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. Keep the faith.

    by Tonga 23 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 11:02:08 AM PDT

  •  Memorial Day. (3+ / 0-)

    I am an USAF vet - 1968 - 1972.    There are two days of the year I consider solemn.  Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  

    I cried today.  Bless Our Brothers in Battle and elsewhere.

    “When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.” George Carlin

    by Nilap Haras on Mon May 26, 2014 at 11:10:05 AM PDT

  •  In a country of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    perpetual war, every day is/can be Memorial Day.

  •  Hey Mark (2+ / 0-)

    Do you remember the sculpture in the Pratt Museum - an eagle perched atop a globe which had a visible split down the middle - the inscription reading:  "In honor of those who died trying to heal a broken world".

    I've tried and tried but can't find a picture of that online.  Always loved it.

    I have a picture that I took with a crappy old camera back in 1987 or so.  It's somewhere in a box in the closet.  Might have to dig it out and figure a way to scan it into the computer.

  •  Found it! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    In Memory of those who died healing a broken world

    "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

    by Mark E Andersen on Mon May 26, 2014 at 11:47:39 AM PDT

  •  Warmongering is a good career move (0+ / 0-)

    for politicians who want to prove their toughness on national security.   Look at the Democratic politicians who voted for the Iraq war.  Were they punished for it politically?  No.  They were rewarded for it.  Look at how many landed jobs in the Obama administration.  It's accepted now that presidents will always choose enablers for top jobs, which is a powerful disincentive to ever tell a president no.   That's why we keep fighting wars.

  •  Essayons! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark E Andersen

    Well written, brother.

    I'm on the road, but this 12E/12B/12F will be lifting a glass (or two) tonight.

    A very wise soldier one pointed at his wall of certificates and decorations and said, "None of this means you're a soldier, Morgan; what makes you a soldier is being ready and able to do it even while you hope you never have to do it."

    I have never forgotten.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 03:55:47 PM PDT

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