President Welcomes Wounded Warriors
President Trump highlighted his efforts to build up the military as he welcomed wounded warriors for an annual White House visit.
The 22 men and seven women were on the Washington segment of the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride, a multiday cycling event through Maryland and Virginia. The ride was created to inspire service members who are living with the physical and psychological wounds of war.
Trump talked about the growing military budget, new Army uniforms and airplane purchases.
He said the grueling ride is “very, very special” and he joked that few people could do it, “including me.”
An Honor Flight for WWII vets to the WWII Museum in Washington, DC. Gary Sinise hosted them.
US Mint at West Point
The first coins to bear the W mark are 2019 America the Beautiful quarters, which are likely to go into circulation in four to six weeks, according to the Mint. West Point, which opened as a bullion depository in 1938, typically produces precious metal coins, such as gold and silver.
Circulating coins marked with a P are minted in Philadelphia while D indicates Denver. S is currently used on proof coins from the San Francisco mint.
The first Mint marks were introduced when branches were opened in Charlotte, North Carolina; Dahlonega, Georgia; and New Orleans in 1838 to differentiate them from the original plant in Philadelphia.
The first time Philadelphiaâs mark was used in a circulating coin was in 1942, when the metal composition of nickels was changed to accommodate World War II materials needs.
âWe want to encourage Americans to consider coin collecting by making the W mint mark quarters only available in general circulation,â US Mint Director David Ryder said in a printed statement.
The Notre Dame Cathedral Fire
I was quite surprised to learn that there was a fire in Paris’ 2nd largest Catholic church, St. Sulspice, just one month ago, on St Patrick’s day. It was put out early, but badly damaged the main entrance according to this link from Reuters, a mainstream news agency. St. Sulspice is on the left bank near the Luxembourg Gardens. Its massive. And investigators do not think that fire was accidental.
I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I do wonder now when and if this will be mentioned in connection with coverage of the terrible, heartbreaking destruction of Notre Dame.
WWII American Female Spy
Virginia Hall is one of the most important American spies most people have never heard of.
Her story is on display at the CIA Museum inside the spy agency headquarters in Langley, Va. â but this is off-limits to the public.
“She was the most highly decorated female civilian during World War II,” said Janelle Neises, the museum’s deputy director, who’s providing a tour.
So why haven’t more people heard about Hall? A quote from Hall on the agency display offers an explanation: “Many of my friends were killed for talking too much.”
But now â more than 70 years after her wartime exploits in France, and almost 40 years after her death â Virginia Hall is having a moment. Three books have just come out. Two movies are in the works.
Gun control advocates long have controlled the narrative about defensive uses of firearms, calling the âgood guy with a gunâ scenario a âmyth meant to scare people into buying guns for self-defense.â
This is a false narrative that does not reflect reality.
Despite a backdrop od rhetoric asserting that âthe average person â¦ has basically no chance in their lifetime ever to use a gun in self-defense,â the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a 2013 report concluded that studies routinely find that Americans use firearms in defense of themselves or others between 500,000 and 3 million times every year.
Data collected by the CDC itself, but long hidden from the public, indicates that the number is likely around 1 million defensive gun uses per year. But even the lowest end of this statistical range far outpaces the number of times Americans use firearms for unlawful purposes.
The Attempts to overthrow the Commander-in-Chief
Many, many, many efforts have been made to get rid of our current president. And when those many things didnât work…. One can almost laugh at the listing of attempts to take down President Trump. However, I truly believe was nothing less than an old-fashioned Coup attempt. But the old saying still obtains: âif you are going to kill the King, better make sure he is dead…â
Loyd Edward Dean Memorial
This is a video of a young man who was on a combat aircrew in WWII coming back dead from a combat mission. Notice in the opening shot of the plane landing on the carrier deck the gunner’s position is all shot to hell while the pilot’s cockpit ahead of it is undamaged.
Later on, notice the corpsman taking a fingerprint of the deceased gunner, before the film continues, then shows the chaplain saying final prayers, followed by taps, then the sailors push the aircraft and this patriotic airman over the side and watch it sink into the sea.
This is what 18 year old “kids” were doing in 1944.
Seven Military-Only Pranks
The military exists by its own rules, both the stated ones like the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the cultural ones like “First sergeants have to use knife hands and the word ‘behoove’ as often as possible.” Some of these rules are frustrating, bone-grinding distractions. But some of them create openings for a little fun:
1. Reacting to outgoing fire in front of the new guy
For those who didn’t spend much time on forward operating bases or similar, there are two kinds of artillery, mortar, rocket, etc. fire. There is incoming fire, where the enemy is trying to kill you, or outgoing, where your guns are trying to kill the enemy.
After just a few days of casual listening, an attentive person can get a feeling for what outgoing sounds like, and they know not to jump or dive when the boom is just the guns firing. But, savvy customers can then scare the new guys by reacting like an attack is in progress whenever a boom goes off.
Hear a boom? Dive to the ground, into a bunker, or behind a barrier. (Bonus points if you can get your hands on artillery simulators and make your own incoming artillery fire.)
An Imaginary Look at the 2020 Election
The polls haven’t yet opened, and it’s already time to count the ballots. Everybody wants to know who won next year. It’s not much of a horse race yet, but we’ve got a lot of horses, even if most of them will eventually run straight to the glue works.
Marines with 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, fire FIM-92 Stinger missiles in support of Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 3-19 on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., April 14, 2019. The purpose of ITX is to create a challenging, realistic training environment that produces combat-ready forces capable of operating as an integrated Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
Oklahoma Atty Gen Requests Pardon
Oklahoma’s attorney general is renewing his request that President Trump pardon a former US soldier from Oklahoma convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner.
Attorney General Mike Hunter supports a pardon for former Army Lt. Michael Behenna; he first requested one in February 2018.
Behenna was convicted in 2009 of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone after killing a suspected al-Qaida terrorist. He was paroled in 2014 and remains on parole until 2024.
In letters to Trump and US Attorney General William Barr, Hunter says Department of Justice regulations that prohibit anyone on parole from applying for a pardon “unduly restrict” the president’s constitutional power to grant pardons.
Hunter has said he believes Behenna’s conviction was unjustified because of erroneous jury instructions and the failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence supporting a self-defense claim.
I sincerely hope that this pardon is grantedâthere are many other US combat troops who have been convicted of killing the enemy in combat whose courts-martial ignored evidence. All of them deserve pardons. We need to honor and protect our combat veteransânot find ways to prosecute them.
Air Force Bomber Rotations
Our Air Force is planning more shorter strategic bomber rotations in order to test its agility when deploying its heavy aircraft forces around the world, said the head of Air Force Global Strike Command.
“I am focused a lot on a different operational mentality in the command, to think about great power competition,” Gen Timothy Ray told reporters during a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington, DC.
Ray, who previously served as deputy commander of US European Command, said he was against a “steady bomber force” in Europe, or anywhere in the world for that matter.
“Why would I do that?” Ray said. “Why wouldn’t I instead bring significant combat capability to the theater in a time and place of our choosing and…bring regional stability to allies and partners?”
Last month, the command deployed six B-52 Stratofortress and more than 400 personnel from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to RAF Fairford, England for a month-long rotation.
The US Constitution
When members of our Armed Forces are sworn in, we all take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The entire document, including all amendments, takes slightly less than 7600 words. We veterans and, indeed, all patriots, should read this document over and over again. Itâs not complicated.
Our Constitutionâs authors did all they could do to keep us from becoming a democracy and to make us a Constitutional Republic. Certainly, socialism is the opposite of our constitution.
There are two national organizations that are focused on making our nation aware of, and practicing, the Constitutionâand Iâm active in both of them. First is Concerned Veterans for America (cv4a.org). Then, thereâs Combat Veterans for Congress (CVC.org).
Retired Navy CAPT Joe John has done many things in his life; Iâve asked him to share a few words of wisdom with us:
Joe chairs the group, Combat Veterans For Congress. Hereâs the list of nominees for the board plus his comments.
On Veterans Day we began a new programâand I still need your helpâI need more stories. On each show we honor a deceased military personânot the super stars, but the average soldier, sailor, marine, airman or coastie. They donât have to have served in combatâbut must have served honorably, on active duty or in the guard or reserves. Send me about 250 words summarizing his or her serviceâthat Iâll read on the show. Sent the info to me at denny@FrontlinesOfFreedom.com.
Blood on the Risers â a paratrooperâs song
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Two quotes to consider.
The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice as to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other in dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them respect for himself; while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.
Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.
Programming: Youâll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
27 Apr-3 May: Dr. Melinda Groves will discuss socialism; itâs the opposite of freedom. Then weâll interview two Holocaust survivorsâyes, there really was a holocaust–and review our movie of the month.
4-10 May: Dr. Melinda Groves will rejoin us to discuss the Bill of Rights and the 1st and 2nd amendments in particular. Then Contributor Faye Richardson and I will discuss racismâa word that is thrown around with little valid meaning. And weâll review a great book on veterans with author Rick Vuyst.
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Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, was a prolific speaker. However, he also had the ability to get to the point and didn’t mince words. Each week we’ll share a quote of his for you to enjoy.
This from a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel:
An Aphorism is a statement of truth or opinion expressed in a concise and witty manner. The term is often applied to philosophical, moral and literary principles.
I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year. Not to cause any trouble, but shouldn’t that be an even number?
I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.
When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body. Men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.
Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?
America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.
You know that tingly little feeling you get when you love someone? That’s your common sense leaving your body.
My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that.
Money talks … all mine ever says is good-bye.
You’re not fat, you’re just easier to see.
If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.
I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters and Twin Peaks. Do they just give you a bra and say, “Here, fill this out?
I can ‘ t understand why women are OK that JC Penny has an older women ‘ s clothing line named, “Sag Harbor.”
The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can go in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.
I think it’s pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.
Money can ‘ t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!
The reason Mayberry was so peaceful and quiet was because nobody was married. Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Howard, Goober, Gomer, Sam, Ernest T. Bass, Helen, Thelma Lou, Clara and, of course, Opie were all single. The only married person was Otis, and he stayed drunk.
Now, don’t you feel better knowing what an aphorism is?
A Little More Humor
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Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.)
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