Newsletter 3-1-24

News & Updates


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The Colonel’s Corner
~Comment by the Colonel~
Much of the world, including the UN, is attacking Israel, calling them abusing the poor people they force out of their land and into Gaza and the West Bank. Wow, and when Mark Twain visited Israel in the 1860s, he noted how empty the land was—almost no one there. The area was owned by the Ottoman Empire until after WWI (the Ottoman empire sided with Germany, thus lost the war and a lot of land. The British got control of the land. As Jews started migrating there in the 1930s and 40s the Jews bought land from the people living there—the British noted that they a bit too much for the land. No army came and forced the Muslims living there to move—they elected to do so for the most part—and there weren’t that many of them.
You may recollect that in the past 30 years millions of Muslims have migrated to Western Europe. Why couldn’t the Arab Muslim Palestinians migrate to the Arab Muslim nations around Israel? The answer is that the Arab Muslim nations, like Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, didn’t want them. I wonder why. Even today they won’t take them. And it’s all Israel’s fault? No, the Jews treated them well, until they started conducting terrorist attacks on all Jews. Israel isn’t perfect, but they certainly have the right to attack and kill those who are trying to kill them; we attacked the people of Germany and Japan—not just their military; why can’t Israel?
The Smiling Ranger – This book is a series of short, mostly funny, stories of my time in uniform (it’s for sale at I was thinking about… my time in Vietnam. I had little experience with a .45 caliber automatic pistol before arriving in country as a second lieutenant, but I quickly found one and carried it along with my rifle. The pistol was WWII vintage and badly worn. It jammed so often I really didn’t consider it reliable. When I’d loan it to a trooper who was going into a tunnel, I warned him that often it was good for only one shot.
After my first Vietnam tour I was assigned to Fort Campbell, KY, where I assumed command of an airborne rifle company. My assigned weapon was, yes, a .45 pistol. It might have been the same one I’d left in Vietnam. It rattled when I fired it, the parts were so worn. Then the division was ordered to deploy to Vietnam, so we all had to qualify with our weapons. For the life of me, I just couldn’t hit all those bulls-eyes with my old rattley weapon. When qualifying with a rifle, the shooter shot at a silhouette, but with the pistol it was a bulls-eye target. After about a hundred tries I finally barely qualified. I deployed with my company to Vietnam—wearing that old pistol. That’s why I own only revolvers today. (I have since been converted and own a Glock and a Sig Sauer today, along with my revolvers.)
If you don’t already have one, order your copy of ‘The Smiling Ranger’ today or one for a friend.
*We should all be proud Americans; despite our current challenges and differences, we live in the best and freest nation in the world. Let’s end all the name calling and appreciate each other and our nation, even if we don’t all agree on everything. Good Americans come in many flavors.
Military History
In the first half of March, the US Military Academy at West Point was founded. The Boston Massacre occurred, we saw the first naval battle of iron-clad ships, the Mexican-American War ended, and the American Legion was founded.
On 1 Mar 1912, Captain Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from an airplane at Jefferson barracks, Missouri. Captain Berry had a 36 ft. parachute packed into a metal case beneath the fuselage. The parachute had a trapeze bar for him to hold on to as he jumped and descended to the ground.
On 1 Mar 1954, baseball great Ted Williams fractured collarbone in the 1st game of spring training after flying 39 combat missions without injury in Korean War.
On 3 Mar 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act making “The Star-Spangled Banner” our nation’s official national anthem.
On 5 Mar 1770, a cold, snowy night, a mob of American colonists gathers at the Customs House in Boston and began taunting the British soldiers guarding the building. The protesters, who called themselves Patriots, were protesting the occupation of their city by British troops, who were sent to Boston in 1768 to enforce unpopular taxation measures passed by a British parliament that lacked American representation.
The commanding officer at the Customs House ordered his men to fix their bayonets and join the guard outside the building. The colonists responded by throwing snowballs and other objects at the British regulars, and Private Hugh Montgomery was hit, leading him to discharge his rifle at the crowd. The other soldiers began firing a moment later, and when the smoke cleared, five colonists were dead or dying—and three more were injured. Although it is unclear whether Crispus Attucks, an African American, was the first to fall as is commonly believed, the deaths of the five men are regarded by some historians as the first fatalities in the American Revolutionary War.
The British soldiers were put on trial. When the trial ended, two British soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter.
The Sons of Liberty, a Patriot group formed in 1765 to oppose the Stamp Act, advertised the “Boston Massacre” as a battle for American liberty and just cause for the removal of British troops from Boston. Patriot Paul Revere made a provocative engraving of the incident, depicting the British soldiers lining up like an organized army to suppress an idealized representation of the colonist uprising. Copies of the engraving were distributed throughout the colonies and helped reinforce negative American sentiments about British rule.
On 7 Mar 1774, the British closed the port of Boston to all commerce. The Boston Port Bill was intended to close down completely the Port of Boston until the East India Company was paid for their tea lost in the Boston Tea Party and Parliament was paid the tax due on the tea.
On 7 Mar 1994, our Navy issued its first permanent orders assigning women to regular duty on a combat ship — in this case, the USS Eisenhower.
On 8 Mar 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry landed at Yokohama on his 2nd trip to Japan. Within a month, he concluded a treaty with the Japanese.
On 8 Mar 1862, during the Civil War, the Confederate ironclad Virginia wrecked havoc on a Yankee navy squadron off Hampton Roads, Virginia.
The CSS Virginia was originally the USS Merrimack, a forty-gun frigate launched in 1855. The Merrimack served in the Caribbean. In early 1860, the ship was decommissioned for extensive repairs at the Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. It was still there when the war began in April 1861, and Union sailors sank the ship as the yard was evacuated. Six weeks later, a salvage company raised the ship, and the Confederates began rebuilding it.
The Virginia attacked the USS Cumberland, firing several shots into her before ramming the Federal ship and sinking it. The other Union ships fired back, but the shots were, in the words of one observer, “having no more effect than peas from a pop-gun.” Ninety-eight shots hit the Virginia, but none did significant damage. The Virginia then attacked the USS Congress, which exploded when fires caused by the Confederate barrage reached the powder magazine. The Virginia next ran the USS Minnesota aground before calling it a day.
It had been the worst day in US naval history, and it signaled the end of the wooden ship era. But help was on its way–the next day, the Virginia fought the most famous naval duel in history with the USS Monitor, a Union ironclad that was able to fight the Confederate ship to a draw.
On 9 Mar 1847, during the Mexican-American War, US forces under General Winfield Scott invaded Mexico three miles south of Vera Cruz. Encountering little resistance from the Mexicans massed in the fortified city of Vera Cruz, by nightfall the last of Scott’s 10,000 men came ashore without the loss of a single life. It was the largest amphibious landing in US history and not surpassed until WWII.
The Mexican-American War began with a dispute over the US government’s 1845 annexation of In April, Scott began his devastating march to Mexico City, which ended on September 14, when U.S. forces entered the Mexican capital and raised the American flag over the Hall of Montezuma.
In February 1848, representatives from the US and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, formally ending the Mexican War, recognizing Texas as part of the US and extending the boundaries of the US west to the Pacific Ocean.
On 9 Mar 1974, the last Japanese soldier, a guerrilla operating in Philippines, surrendered, 29 years after WWII ended.
On 11 Mar 1942, after struggling against great odds to save the Philippines from Japanese conquest, General Douglas MacArthur left the island fortress of Corregidor under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt.
On 12 Mar 1824, Marines of the Boston Barracks quelled a Massachusetts State Prison riot. Inmates rioted and holed up in the mess hall with a guard as hostage, Marines from the Boston barracks came to help. Major RD Wainwright led 30 Marines into the mess hall to confront 283 armed and determined prisoners. Wainwright ordered his men to cock and level their muskets. “You must leave this hall,” he told the inmates. “I give you three minutes to decide. If at the end of that time a man remains, he will be shot dead. I speak no more.” In two and a half minutes, “the hall was cleared as if by magic.”
On 13 Mar 1942, the Quartermaster Corps (QMC) of the US Army began training dogs for the newly established War Dog Program, or “K-9 Corps.”
On 15 Mar 1919, The American Legion was founded in Paris by 1000 veterans of the American Expeditionary Force who met to discuss transition to civilian life and what veterans could do to help each other adjust and to work together to further the rights of veterans.
On 16 Mar 1945, the west Pacific volcanic island of Iwo Jima was declared secured by the US military after months of fiercely fighting its Japanese defenders.
On 16 Mar 1802, the United States Military Academy, the first military school in the US,was founded by Congress for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science. Located at West Point, New York, the US Military Academy is often simply known as West Point.
Located on the high west bank of New York’s Hudson River, West Point was the site of a Revolutionary-era fort built to protect the Hudson River Valley from British attack. In 1780, Patriot General Benedict Arnold, the commander of the fort, agreed to surrender West Point to the British in exchange for 6,000 pounds. However, the plot was uncovered before it fell into British hands, and Arnold fled to the British for protection.
On the weekend of March 2-3, General Arnold Punaro will discuss the challenge of our nation’s huge debt and other issues. Vet Pat Harrigan will discuss his service and plans for the future. Col Steve Udovich will share about a new War Memorial, and Skip and I will shoot the bull.
And on the weekend of March 9-10, Steve Wells the CEO of Friends of the Israeli Defense Force, will discuss, yes, Israel. Steve Goreham will return to discuss the non-problem of climate change. And vet Theresa Robinson will discuss women vets.
~ Humor/Puns ~
Is that faux fur or is that fur real?
A man who wants a pretty nurse must be patient.
The whistling fisherman was always out of tuna.
A lion will not cheat on his wife, but a Tiger Wood!
Man who runs in front of car gets tired. Man who runs behind car gets exhausted.
I told my wife that it was her turn to shovel and salt the front steps. All I got was icy stares.
Bank robbery is a safe job.
Ms. Earhart’s loss to aviation could never be ameliorated.
A blood-sucking arachnid from the moon would be a Luna tick.
Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
Never upset a cannibal. You might end up in hot water.
Batman bought a fedora. He wanted to be the capped crusader.
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