The Star Spangled Banner
I suspect that you have never heard this presentation of our National Anthem. Enjoy.
Senator Duckworth to Block all Military Promotions
The results of the investigation about the alleged actions of the president being inappropriate turned out to be totally false. Lindman proved to be lacking in both judgement and knowledge. I can’t believe that he is in any way eligible for promotion. I believe that this is all a part of the “I hate Trump” movement.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth she was prepared to put a hold on more than 1,100 normally routine military promotions unless Trump impeachment witness Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman gets fair consideration.
In a statement, Duckworth, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who lost both legs in Iraq, said she would block a promotions list with 1,123 names on it until she had confirmation from Defense Secretary Mark Esper that he would not scuttle “the expected and deserved promotion” of Vindman to colonel.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, has the authority to put a hold on nominations without stating a reason, but her statement made clear that she feared President Trump would attempt to use his influence to block Vindman’s promotion. Vindman, a former Ukraine expert on the National Security Council who received a Purple Heart for service in Iraq, testified last November at the House impeachment hearings that he had knowledge of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During the call, Trump allegedly warned that military aid to Ukraine would be held up unless Zelensky agreed to launch an investigation of the dealings in Ukraine of Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president Joe Biden.
Vindman testified that he came forward “out of a sense of duty” and the belief that it was “improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a US citizen and political opponent.”
Racism in America
There is racism in America. There are lots of reasons for it—none of them acceptable. However, with the exception of a few real bigots (of all races) there are few racists. As in most cultures in the world, the dominant culture—in this case, White European, inherently favors its own kind. Others can and do succeed, but it usually takes special effort. Does the history of slavery have something to do with this? Perhaps.
The charm of America is that everyone is able to climb to success if he or she is willing to do what it takes. Everyone has their own obstacles to overcome. And, no, life isn’t fair.
But the idea that Black Lives matter more than any other life is nonsense. If someone wants a White person to apologize for being White—more nonsense. Look at the attached video. Listen to the logic presented. Chew on that logic, and then make your decisions and be yourself.
Freedom Isn’t Free
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well-educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson,Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his grist-mill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.
So, take a few minutes and silently thank these patriots.
Remember: freedom is not and was never free! We need to thank these early patriots, in prayers, words, and deeds, as well as those patriots that are now still fighting to keep our freedom!
We owe it to them to proclaim our patriotism now.
Discontent is the source of trouble, but also of progress.
I’m Proud to Be an American
By Lee Greenwood – enjoy
Flaws in Fatal Crash Investigation
In a rare move, the Marine Corps has acknowledged a host of problems with an investigation into a horrific midair collision off the coast of Japan that killed six, resulting in new reprimands for two senior leaders who oversaw the squadrons involved.
A team of a dozen experts tasked with reviewing the findings of a probe into the fatal Dec. 6, 2018 nighttime refueling accident involving an F/A-18D Hornet and KC-130J Heercules found “many inaccuracies” they say led to “differing — and false — narratives,” according to the report, which was obtained exclusively by Military.com.
Initial findings into the accident, which killed the Hornet pilot and five Marines in the C-130, said the aviator who caused the collision wasn’t qualified to fly that night and that drug use contributed to the mishap.
The Marine Corps now says those findings were wrong.
The first investigation was not impartial in its focus, thorough in its scope or accurate in its findings, wrote Lt. Gen. Robert Hedelund, the Marine Corps’ longest-serving aviator assigned to carry out the new review.
“Because of this, we lost trust with the American people, the families of those who perished, and the young men and women who fly our aircraft,” Hedelund wrote.
Assistant Commandant Gen. Gary Thomas directed the review last year when several members of the squadron were relieved of command as a result of the accident. The review, officials said at the time, would look at possible disciplinary action against other leaders.
Two senior officers — a two-star general and a colonel — have now received formal reprimands amid the renewed examination of shortfalls leading up to the crash. And an aviation safety officer who was incorrectly blamed after the first investigation has now been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Hedelund, who was designated a naval aviator in 1985 and currently leads Marine Corps Forces Command, said the Marine Corps must act now to reclaim the public’s trust.
“I firmly believe this report is a clarion call to improve our practices and can serve as a seminal document to assist in guiding our force development efforts,” he wrote.
Troops had Bayonets
Of course they had bayonets; they’re infantrymen. If attacked they need to be able to defend themselves. Should their only option be shooting people?
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has confirmed a report by The Associated Press that some of the service members who were mobilized to Washington, DC, last month in response to civil unrest over the killing of George Floyd were issued bayonets. Defense documents obtained by the AP show some were not trained in riot response.
Members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, which is based in DC and typically guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, were mobilized last month to respond to massive protests over the treatment of Black Americans and systemic issues of police brutality. But the troops were never actually sent to the protests after they arrived.
The soldiers were issued bayonets for their June 2 deployment — but told they were to remain in their scabbards and not attached to their service rifles, Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley wrote to two US representatives in a letter that was obtained by the AP. The soldiers were also told no weapons were to enter the capital without clear orders and only after nonlethal options were first reviewed, he said.
Milley said the order to mobilize the troops came from Army Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, who serves as commander of the military district of Washington. Milley’s letter, dated June 26, was sent to Democratic Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Rep. Ted Lieu of California, who demanded an explanation after the AP first reported on the use of bayonets on June 2.
Roughly 700 members of the 82nd Airborne Division were sent on that day to two military bases near the District Capitol Area. The AP previously reported soldiers were armed with live rounds, bayonets, and riot gear. Bloomberg reported on June 11 that the 3rd Infantry Regiment, nicknamed “The Old Guard,” was also issued bayonets.
Upon arrival, neither the 82nd nor The Old Guard were ever called off base and into the city to respond to protests. Division paratroopers were sent back to Fort Bragg on June 4.
But the reports led to sharp condemnation and outrage on social media platforms.
Mortar Live Fire
U.S. Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, fire 60mm mortars with Norwegian soldiers during a call for fire exercise at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 27, 2020. The exercise was used to enhance base defense operations to provide better security for coalition forces in Iraq.
Fire at Iranian Nuc Plant
A fire and an explosion struck a centrifuge production plant above Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, analysts said, one of the most-tightly guarded sites in all of the Islamic Republic after earlier acts of sabotage there.
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran sought to downplay the fire, calling it an “incident” that only affected an under-construction “industrial shed,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said. However, both Kamalvandi and Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi rushed after the fire to Natanz, a facility earlier targeted by the Stuxnet computer virus and built underground to withstand enemy airstrikes.
The fire threatened to rekindle wider tensions across the Middle East, similar to the escalation in January after a US drone strike killing a top Iranian general in Baghdad and Tehran launched a retaliatory ballistic missile attack targeting American forces in Iraq.
While offering no cause for the blaze, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency published a commentary addressing the possibility of sabotage by enemy nations such as Israel and the US following other recent explosions in the country.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has so far has tried to prevent intensifying crises and the formation of unpredictable conditions and situations,” the commentary said. But ”the crossing of red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran by hostile countries, especially the Zionist regime and the US, means that strategy … should be revised.”
The fire began around 2 am local time in the northwest corner of the Natanz compound in Iran’s central Isfahan province, according to data collected by a US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite that tracks fires from space.
Images later released by Iranian state media show a two-story brick building with scorch marks and its roof apparently destroyed. Debris on the ground and a door that looked blown off its hinges suggested an explosion accompanied the blaze.
Important Air Force Reforms
I hope this is a call for real reform and not just political correctness.
The US Air Force should lead the military in building a more diverse service branch or risk losing the opportunity to create meaningful change for its current and prospective airmen, according to the service’s top general.
Speaking to audiences via a video conference hosted by the Brookings Institution, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said if the chance to make things right for all airmen — such as targeting disparities in the justice system and addressing other structural inequities — falls by the wayside, it will unequivocally be the Air Force’s fault, reminiscent of mistakes made in the past in abandoning reform.
“If we follow history, we’ll get a few things going, and then September will arrive and [coronavirus] will return and flu season will start and hurricane season will hit … and wildfires will begin, and the election will go into high gear — and we will get distracted,” said Goldfein, who will retire on Aug. 6.
“Shame on us if we let that happen,” Goldfein said.
Underwater Raid Training
Amphibious Reconnaissance Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conduct clandestine subsurface infiltration during an amphibious reconnaissance operation on Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan, June 22, 2020. The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MEU, provides a flexible and lethal force ready to perform a wide range of military operations as the premier crisis response force in the Indo-Pacific region.
Space Force Organization
The US Space Force has determined how it will be organized, right down to the squadron level.
The newest military branch announced that it will operate with three primary field commands, responsible for training space professionals; acquiring space systems from industry; and supporting combatant commanders with space force personnel and capabilities.
The three primary field commands expected to be activated later this summer are: Space Operations Command (SpOC), Space Systems Command (SSC), and Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM), according to a release.
In the Air Force, subordinate to its headquarters is the major command, which is then composed of a numbered air force, wing, group, squadron and flight. The Space Force by comparison will only have three echelons of command: the field commands, deltas and squadrons, officials said.
“This is the most significant restructuring of space units undertaken by the United States since the establishment of Air Force Space Command in 1982,” Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said in a statement. “Innovation and efficiency are driving our mission as we position the Space Force to respond with agility to protect our nation’s space capabilities and the American way of life.”
Navy LSD Use Up
Amid a surge in investigations related to personnel within the Navy Department using and distributing the dangerous hallucinogenic drug LSD, federal agents are asking for help tracking down perpetrators.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service issued a warning about the drug activity, which they say is largely taking place on the dark web, a difficult-to-regulate portion of the internet accessible only via specific configurations. In a release, NCIS officials said users of illicit substances purchased on the dark web risk their own safety, and asked those with information about the LSD activity to come forward and report.
“Since early 2018, NCIS has initiated 190 criminal investigations involving over 350 subjects for possession, use, and distribution of LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide),” Jeff Houston, an NCIS spokesman, told Military.com in a statement.
In the first four months of 2020, he said, there has been an increase of nearly 70% in investigations related to alleged LSD offenses, compared to the same time window in the two previous years.
These figures are especially dramatic considering that LSD use among military members had dropped to negligible levels in the early 2000s.
God Loves Us
Scott McChrystal is a retired Army Colonel, Chaplain. Here are some of his insights that I think you’ll find appropriate.
Faith Is the Enemy of Fear
And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:32 (ESV)
There is a lot of fear in our society today. In many cases our fears are like evil giants. There’s good news, however. We can slay these giants. The story of David and Goliath has much to teach us during these challenging times.
Even for the bravest warriors, fear can be heart-stopping unless they can find a source greater than themselves. Young David found that source- faith in God. His trust in the Almighty allowed him to overcome fear and defeat a mighty giant named Goliath.
Let’s set the scene. Saul, the newly crowned king of Israel, was at wits’ end. The powerful seafaring nation of Philistia was challenging his country for dominance in the region. Goliath, an experienced combat veteran, stepped up as the spokesperson for the enemy. In his arrogant and mocking tone, he belittled Israel, the army, and even the God of Israel. He challenged Israel to pick a single warrior to fight him. The stakes? The losing nation would serve the victor.
He didn’t do this just once. He did it for forty straight days. The Israeli warriors were dismayed and afraid. Not one warrior out of thousands was willing to fight this nine-foot giant in hand-to-hand combat. It was sure death.
David was finally able to get an audience with the king and expressed his willingness to fight the giant. King Saul admired this teenager’s courage but assured David that he was no match for the fierce Philistine warrior. But David didn’t give up. He related to Saul how the Lord had enabled him to kill lions and bears while performing his shepherd duties. He expressed confidence that God would help him prevail over this loud-mouthed giant. Seeing no other option, Saul relented.
It’s likely that no recorded combat scene in history has encouraged and inspired more people around the world than David’s victory over Goliath. This is rightly so, for David’s triumph over evil was not blind luck or coincidence. It’s testimony to what can happen when we place our faith in an all-powerful God.
Is the takeaway from this story simply a feel-good moment of inspiration followed by life as normal? What a pity if this is the case for you.
There is another option. If you can learn from David’s heroic encounter with Goliath, this very moment can serve as a watershed mark for your life. Whether you are already a veteran warrior in God’s army or a curious visitor at the Lord’s recruiting station, lessons from this story can be a catalyst to transform your life. Are you willing to explore this possibility? Then let’s get started.
First, David’s faith in the Lord didn’t suddenly appear when Goliath came on the scene. It grew over time as David faced challenges and difficulties in life. As a shepherd, David spent many days and nights tending his father’s sheep. The numerous psalms that he wrote testify to what must have been large amounts of time that David meditated and pondered the things of God. They also give us some keen insights into David’s thoughts.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1 (ESV)
Surely the vastness and beauty of God’s creation convinced David that the Creator had to be amazing and One deserving of his worship. In addition were the times that David survived the danger from wild lions and bears. He was fully aware that a source outside of himself enabled him to kill those animals.
What about you? Can you recall times when you looked at the sky on a clear night and wondered who created the vast network of stars? And perhaps this led you to recalling those times when you escaped dangerous or even life-threatening moments and knew it wasn’t because of anything you did. SOMEONE was watching out for you.
Whether you realize or not, you possess faith. God gave it to you.
Secondly, David’s motive to fight Goliath was not to bring attention to himself. The evil giant had insulted his God, the God of Israel, along with all of its people. His desire to defend his God and his people overrode concern for his personal safety.
This is not so far removed from the ways you have thought at times. If someone is threatening your child or loved one, wouldn’t you step in to defend them? Of course, you would, and maybe you have.
It’s not complicated. David loved God and placed his faith in Him. He loved his people and trusted God to protect him as he fought the ferocious giant. God delivered for David and He will deliver for you.
Danger, fear, even death. Faith in God will give you the victory over your giants.
Some Words of Wisdom by Ret navy Capt Joe John:
One more thing China is doing.
Civil War History
Here are some questions on the Civil War; we’ll post the answers in the next newsletter.
Last issue’s questions:
1, When Johnny Clem retired as a Major General, USA, he was the last known soldier serving in the armed forces who had served in the Civil War. What was his role during the War?
Ans: He entered the 22nd Michigan Infantry as a drummer at age 10! Musicians could enlist under the age of 18. He served in the Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, and Chickamauga campaigns.
2. Who was the oldest known soldier to serve in the Civil War?
Ans: Curtis King enlisted in the 37th Iowa Infantry in 1862 at age 80.
Here are the new questions:
1. What Union general was considered by General Sherman to be a far better general than either he or General Grant and, according to Sherman, would “outdistance Grant and myself” if he had lived?
2. In the Civil War, there was a Captain Richard Kidder Meade, Jr. What was his unique experience during the War?
Take Me Home with I am a Soldier – Doug Coppi & the West Point Glee Club
Frontlines of Freedom Gear
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Two quotes to consider.
Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston S. Churchill
These Marines left their home–all these great Americans left their home–signed up during a time of war and said, ‘I wanna do that.’ And we owe them so much gratitude. I am so, so proud. And they understand that in our profession there can be no second place. There can be no losing. Because the weight of our nation rests on their shoulders.
Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal
Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
18-19 July: Ret Gen Paul Mock, who served with the Nat’l Gd and was a police officer, will discuss keeping the peace. Dan Caldwell from Concerned Veterans for America will discuss our endless wars, our pull-out from Afghanistan, and a horrible amendment to the NDAA. And Dave Tenebaum will discuss how Heroes Linked helps the military-veteran community.
25-26 July: Gen Arnold Punaro will discuss the threats our nation faces. Tom Dermody earned the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam with the Special Forces; he’s written a great book, Field of Dreams. And we’ll review July’s Movie of the Month with Diane Raver.
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Humor: We are living in a Bizarre World
Russians influencing our elections are bad, but Mexicans voting in our elections are good.
It was cool for Joe Biden to blackmail the President of Ukraine, but it’s an impeachable offense if Donald Trump inquires about it.
Twenty is too young to drink a beer, but eighteen is old enough to vote.
It’s wrong to steal, but it’s cool to demand that the government steal for you.
Sexualizing children is bad, but 11-year-old drag queens are good.
Illegals aren’t required to show ID, but citizens can’t buy cough medicine without it.
It’s okay for Iran to have nukes, but duck hunters should turn in their shotguns.
Citizens are fined if they don’t buy their own health insurance, and then they are forced to buy it for illegals.
People who have never owned slaves should pay slavery reparations to people who have never been slaves.
Inflammatory rhetoric is outrageous, but harassing people in restaurants is virtuous.
People who have never been to college should pay the debts of college students who took out huge loans for useless degrees.
Immigrants with tuberculosis and polio are welcome, but you’d better be able to prove your dog is vaccinated.
Irish doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate must go through a rigorous vetting process, but any illiterate Central-American gang-banger who jumps the southern fence is welcome.
We demand that the government be in control of our health care, but then we are outraged when the government makes our health care decisions.
$5 billion for border security is too expensive, but $1.5 trillion for “free” health care for illegals is not.
Men are evil misogynists, and a hooker named Stormy Daniels is a national treasure.
If you cheat to get into college you go to prison, but if you cheat to get into the country you go to college for free.
Politicians who say that the President is not above the law put illegal immigrants above the law.
Kids can’t bring peanut butter to school, but they can bring measles.
People who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President.
It’s terrible when the President says that Puerto Rico’s politicians are corrupt, but it’s wonderful when Puerto Rico’s politicians are kicked out of office for corruption.
Illegals don’t pay taxes, but they get tax refunds.
We are $22 trillion dollars in debt, but we should throw money at every perceived problem like drunken sailors.
We see other countries going Socialist and collapsing, and it seems like a great plan to us.
We demand high minimum wages for unskilled labor, and we demand unlimited illegal immigration of people who will work for peanuts.
Voter suppression is bad, but not allowing the President to be on the ballot is good.
Fourth-of-July parades are bad, but parades of women dressed as vaginas are good.
Some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, and other people are not held responsible for what they are doing right now.
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Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.)