Newsletter 7-1-24

News & Updates


Keep up with host Lt. Col. Denny Gillem & never miss an episode
The Colonel’s Corner
~Comment by the Colonel~
As big a mess as our nation is right now, we still live in the most prosperous nation in the world and the nation that provides the most freedom. This all began when our founding fathers decided that we needed to be free from tyranny. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress passed the Declaration of Independence, thus declaring war on the most powerful nation in the world, England, a nation that had an army on our land and a navy on our shores. Our nation’s birthday is the 4th of July. Please be sure that your family and friends know what happened and why; I taught American Government at a college for 15 years; during the first day of class each semester I would ask, “Why do we celebrate the 4th of July?” While some students knew it was our nation’s birthday, only one student—in 15 years—knew what happened that day. We owe it to those who have fought—and, maybe died—protecting our nation and our freedom, to know our nation’s history
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 July: George Washington assumed command of the Continental during our Revolutionary War. The Continental Congress passed the Declaration of Independence. President Lincoln established the Medal of Honor, and the Korean War started.

On 1 July 1863, during the Civil War, the largest military conflict in North American history began when Union and Confederate forces collided at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The epic battle lasted three days and resulted in a retreat to Virginia by Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

By evening, the Federal troops rallied on high ground on the southeastern edge of Gettysburg. As more troops arrived, Meade’s army formed a three-mile long, fishhook-shaped line running from Culp’s Hill on the right flank, along Cemetery Hill and Cemetery Ridge, to the base of Little Round Top. The Confederates held Gettysburg, and stretched along a six-mile arc around the Union position. Lee’s forces would continue to batter each end of the Union position, before launching the infamous Pickett’s Charge against the Union center on July 3.

On 1 July 1898, during the Spanish-American War, as part of their campaign to capture Spanish-held Santiago de Cuba on the southern coast of Cuba, the US Army Fifth Corps engaged Spanish forces at El Caney and San Juan Hill. On July 3, the Spanish fleet was destroyed off Santiago by US warships under Admiral William Sampson, and on July 17 the Spanish surrendered the city–and thus Cuba–to the Americans.

On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

On 2 July 1807, in the wake of the Chesapeake incident, in which the crew of a British frigate boarded an American ship and forcibly removed four suspected deserters, President Thomas Jefferson ordered all British ships to vacate US territorial waters

On 2 July 1881, President James Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. (Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.)

On 2 July 1926, the US Army Air Service became the Army Air Corps. Then, after WWII, the Air Corps became the US Air Force on 18 Sept 1947.

On 3 July 1775, George Washington rode out in front of the American troops gathered at Cambridge common in Massachusetts and drew his sword, formally taking command of the Continental Army. Washington, a prominent Virginia planter and veteran of the French and Indian War, had been appointed commander in chief by the Continental Congress two weeks before. In agreeing to serve the American colonies in their war for independence, he declined to accept payment for his services beyond reimbursement of future expenses.

On 4 July 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the independence of a new United States of America from Great Britain and its king. The declaration came 442 days after the first shots of the American Revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts and marked an ideological

expansion of the conflict that would eventually involve France’s intervention on behalf of the Americans. The declaration was formally adopted by 12 colonies after minor revision. New York, the 13th colony, approved it on July 19. On August 2, the declaration was signed. The American War for Independence would last for five years. Yet to come were the Patriot triumphs at Saratoga, the bitter winter at Valley Forge, the intervention of the French and the final victory at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris with Britain, the United States formally became a free and independent nation.

On 4 July 1863, during the Civil War, the Confederacy was torn in two when General John Pemberton surrendered to Union General Ulysses Grant at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The Vicksburg campaign was one of the Union’s most successful of the war. Although Grant’s first attempt to take the city failed in the winter of 1862-63, he renewed his efforts in the spring. Admiral David Porter had run his flotilla past the Vicksburg defenses in early May as Grant marched his army down the west bank of the river opposite Vicksburg, crossed back to Mississippi, and drove toward Jackson. After defeating a Confederate force near Jackson, Grant turned back to Vicksburg. On May 16, he defeated a force under John C. Pemberton at Champion Hill. Pemberton retreated back to Vicksburg, and Grant sealed the city by the end of May. In three weeks, Grant’s men marched 180 miles, won five battles, and took 6,000 prisoners.

Grant made some attacks after bottling Vicksburg but found the Confederates well entrenched.

The town of Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for 81 years.

ON 5 July 1950, near Sojong, South Korea, Private Kenneth Shadrick, a 19-year-old infantryman from Skin Fork, West Virginia, became the first American reported killed in the Korean War. Shadrick, a member of a bazooka squad, had just fired the weapon at a Soviet-made tank when he looked up to check his aim and was cut down by enemy machine-gun fire. Two days later, President Truman announced that the US would intervene in the Korean conflict to stem the spread of communism, and on June 28 the UN approved the use of force against communist North Korea. In the opening months of the war, the US-led UN forces rapidly advanced against the North Koreans, but in October, Chinese communist troops entered the fray, throwing the Allies into a hasty retreat. By May 1951, the communists were pushed back to the 38th parallel, where the battle line remained for the rest of the war.

In 1953, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. Approximately 150,000 troops from South Korea, the US, and participating UN nations were killed in the Korean War, and as many as one million South Korean civilians perished. An estimated 800,000 communist soldiers were killed, and more than 200,000 North Korean civilians died.

On 8 July 1776, a 2,000-pound copper-and-tin bell now known as the “Liberty Bell” rings out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Four days earlier, the historic document had been adopted by delegates to the Continental Congress, but the bell did not ring to announce the issuing of the document until the Declaration of Independence returned from the printer on July 8.

On 8 July 1959, Maj. Dale Ruis and Master Sgt. Chester Ovnand became the first Americans killed in the American phase of the Vietnam War when guerrillas strike a Military Assistance

Advisory Group (MAAG) compound in Bien Hoa, 20 miles northeast of Saigon. The group had arrived in South Vietnam on November 1, 1955, to provide military assistance. The organization consisted of US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps personnel who provided advice and assistance to the Ministry of Defense, Joint General Staff, corps and division commanders, training centers, and province and district headquarters.

On 11 July 1798, President John Adams signed the bill that re-established the Marine Corps. The Continental Congress had disbanded the service in April of 1783 at the end of the American Revolution. The Marine Corps, however, recognizes its “official” birthday to be the date that the Second Continental Congress first authorized the establishment of the “Corps of Marines” on 10 November 1775. To add to the confusion of the Corps’ actual “historical” birthday, on 1 July 1797 Congress authorized the Revenue cutters to carry, in addition to their regular crew, up to “30 marines.” Congress directed the cutters to interdict French privateers operating off the coast during the Quasi-War with France and thought the additional firepower of 30 marines would be needed by the under-manned and under-gunned cutters. It is unknown if any “marines” were enlisted for service with the Revenue cutters during this time.

On 11 Jul 1941, Congress reconfirmed the military “status” of the Coast Guard, stating: “The Coast Guard shall be a military service and constitute a branch of the land and naval forces of the United States at all times and shall operate under the Treasury Department in time of peace and operate as part of the Navy, subject to the orders of the Secretary of the Navy, in time of war or when the President shall so direct.”

On 12 July 1862, during our Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a measure calling for the awarding of a US Army Medal of Honor, in the name of Congress, “to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.” The previous December, Lincoln had approved a provision creating a US Navy Medal of Valor, which was the basis of the Army Medal of Honor created by Congress in July 1862. The first soldiers to receive what would become the nation’s highest military honor were six members of a Union raiding party who in 1862 penetrated deep into Confederate territory to destroy bridges and railroad tracks between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia. In 1863, the Medal of Honor was made a permanent military decoration available to all members, including commissioned officers, of the US military. It is conferred upon those who have distinguished themselves in actual combat at risk of life beyond the call of duty. Since its creation, during the Civil War, almost 3,400 men and one woman have received the Medal of Honor for heroic actions in US military conflict.

On 15 July 1943, during WWII, Marine Captain Joe Foss bagged three Japanese planes for a record total of 26 kills. He was the Marines leading fighter ace during WWII and received the Medal of Honor, recognizing his role in the air combat during the Guadalcanal Campaign. In postwar years, he achieved fame as a General in the Air National Guard, the 20th Governor of South Dakota, President of the National Rifle Association, and the first commissioner of the American Football League.


On the weekend of July 6-7, Medal of Honor recipient Jim McCloughan will join us to discuss the wonderful country we live in—this despite our many problems. Then we’ll discuss Navy SEAL Dave Warsen—who was killed in action. Gen Don Bacon will then discuss his service to our nation, and Theresa Robinson will introduce another female veteran.

And on the weekend of July 13-14, Congressman Brandon Williams will discuss his service. Patriot Mobile will present their veteran support program. Gil and Skip will present the Border and a Book

~ Humor/Puns ~
  • NASA is launching a mission to say “sorry” to all the aliens. They call it Appolo G.
  • Just finished reading a great book.. “How I Fell off a Cliff,” by Eileen Dover.
  • A crazy wife says to her husband that moose are falling from the sky. The husband says, it’s reindeer.
  • Did you hear about the kid who started a business tying shoelaces on the playground? It was a knot-for-profit.
  • Aladdin has been banned from the magic carpet race. Apparently, he’s been using performance-enhancing rugs.
  • Children have a great deal of willpower. And even more won’t power.
  • Cats are smarter than dogs. You couldn’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
  • What did the horse say after it tripped? Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t giddyup!
  • What would bears be without bees? ears.
  • Cows wear bells because their horns don’t work.


~ Interesting Quote ~

The soldier is the army. No army is better than its soldiers. The soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country. -Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

thanks to sponsors ne - new

The Frontlines of Freedom Newsletter is published twice monthly;
the dates of publication each month depend on the events and history of that month.

Frontlines Of Freedom PO Box 88272Grand Rapids, MI 49518