Sergeant Jackson Sargent (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 2, 1865, at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:
First to scale the enemy's works and plant the colors thereon.
First Lieutenant Ruppert L. Sargent (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 15, 1967, at Hau Nghia Province, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a platoon of Company B, 1st Lt. Sargent was investigating a reported Viet Cong meeting house and weapons cache. A tunnel entrance which 1st Lt. Sargent observed was booby trapped. He tried to destroy the booby trap and blow the cover from the tunnel using hand grenades, but this attempt was not successful. He and his demolition man moved in to destroy the booby trap and cover which flushed a Viet Cong soldier from the tunnel, who was immediately killed by the nearby platoon sergeant. 1st Lt. Sargent, the platoon sergeant, and a forward observer moved toward the tunnel entrance. As they approached, another Viet Cong emerged and threw 2 hand grenades that landed in the midst of the group. 1st Lt. Sargent fired 3 shots at the enemy then turned and unhesitatingly threw himself over the 2 grenades. He was mortally wounded, and his 2 companions were lightly wounded when the grenades exploded. By his courageous and selfless act of exceptional heroism, he saved the lives of the platoon sergeant and forward observer and prevented the injury or death of several other nearby comrades. 1st Lt. Sargent's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
Second Lieutenant Joseph R. Sarnoski (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 16, 1943, over Buka Area, Solomon Islands. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. On 16 June 1943, 2d Lt. Sarnoski volunteered as bombardier of a crew on an important photographic mapping mission covering the heavily defended Buka area, Solomon Islands. When the mission was nearly completed, about 20 enemy fighters intercepted. At the nose guns, 2d Lt. Sarnoski fought off the first attackers, making it possible for the pilot to finish the plotted course. When a coordinated frontal attack by the enemy extensively damaged his bomber, and seriously injured 5 of the crew, 2d Lt. Sarnoski, though wounded, continued firing and shot down 2 enemy planes. A 20-millimeter shell which burst in the nose of the bomber knocked him into the catwalk under the cockpit. With indomitable fighting spirit, he crawled back to his post and kept on firing until he collapsed on his guns. 2d Lt. Sarnoski by resolute defense of his aircraft at the price of his life, made possible the completion of a vitally important mission.
I had a chance to do something this past weekend that I haven’t done since… well, before Susie and Daniel were born (I think). I attended my first Clemson/USC (or USC/Clemson, for you Revolutionary War Heroes fans) game since 2006 (also known as the “Why the hell are you taking Reggie Merriweather out!” game for Clemson fans). With friends like multi-I’m just sayin… Fan of the Year winner Ashley, her husband Cory (The Wife’s arch-nemesis) and Danny (yes, that Danny) I no longer live or die by this game like I did growing up. Going to Winthrop and being a Winthrop fan first has also changed my look at this game. Still, when I was given the chance to join my Aunt Yvonne and Uncle George (and my cousin Susan) for the 2014 edition of this rivalry game (now called The Palmetto Bowl), I jumped at it (after checking with The Wife).
Before I get to that (and before I forget)… Susan ate so much turkey on Thanksgiving that when she sat down in a (very sturdy) chair at Mom and Dad’s house, she tipped it over. Now, back to my weekend…
I won’t talk about the game… you either wanted to see it and did, or you didn’t want to see it. I will tell you that we headed up to my cousin Louis’ house Friday afternoon. After hanging out watching TV and eating pizza, there was an epic battle between Louis and Susan/Aunt Yvonne to decide where I would be spending the night. Louis fought the good fight, but in the end his offer of cats and a sofa wasn’t enough to overcome a bed by myself at Susan’s house.
Saturday saw us wake up early so we could be ready for Louis and Uncle George to pick us (me and Aunt Yvonne) up by 8:00am. We were able to beat the traffic and get to our tailgating spot at a good time. Friends, tailgating ain’t like it was when I was growing up. We put a tent up and then set up tables and a huge TV (along with satellite dish so we could watch TV before and after the game). It was at this time Aunt Yvonne said to me, “I’m not your momma, but…”
I’m not 100% sure what came after that because of the shock I felt at hearing this news so close to Christmas. Was this the whole reason I was invited to the game? So she could get me out in a crowd before revealing this info to me? I can only assume the words that came after “but” were something like “you are my favorite child”. I only say this after knowing my competition. Anyway, We went to the game (pics from our seats to follow) and had a great time. After the game, we watched the 3:30 games on TV and sat around doing what people do at tailgates. I promised I wouldn’t talk about what went on, but I will say that my cousin Susan said the following words a number of times, “Mom, stop talking”. Aunt “Not my momma” Yvonne and I caught a ride with Susan back to her place (there was some more “Mom, stop talking!”) and watched some of the Iron Bowl.
Sunday morning we woke up and Aunt Yvonne and I went to pick Uncle George up from Louis’ house. I promised Aunt Yvonne that I wouldn’t discuss a phone call she made or the voicemail she left. However, Uncle George said it would be ok if I told you about the voicemail some crazy lady left him. It seems he was sitting at Louis’ house waiting for Aunt Yvonne to call his cell phone to let him know we were on the way. Unbeknownst to him, some crazy lady called his office phone and left a message saying something along the lines of “Why tell me to call you if you aren’t going to answer the phone!” I’m not really at liberty to go into any more details… I just wish I could have gotten pictures of the faces of the people involved when they discovered what happened. I think there is a lesson here for all of us… Delete Uncle George’s office number from your phone.
Before I forget, CONGRATS to my friend and former JI baseball teammate Tony Elliott on being promoted to Co-Offensive Coordinator for the Clemson Tigers. I have said many times to anyone who would listen that Tony Elliott is a winner, plain and simple. He has that special ability to make people around him better. I am very happy for him.
|Susan - Post ate-too-much-turkey chair tipping|
|Louis and Aunt Yvonne taking a break from fighting over me. I tried to tell them that there was enough of me to go around (I think this picture proves it)|
|Me, Kelsey, Avery and Uncle George... Kelsey decided that she wanted to sit with me. She kept calling me by my Dad's name, but that's ok.|
|This is the kind of tailgate I want to be at...|
|If you look through the trees, you can see Death Valley|
|Getting things set up|
|Taking a selfie of a selfie with Susan|
|Clemson was kind enough to welcome me to Death Valley|
|A view from my seat|
|The Revolutionary War Heroes had to leave the field... so they could come back on the field|
|The Tigers coming down The Hill|
|Wearing the orange britches|
|The Hill filled in|
|Good crowd for both teams|
|I think this was after USC scored the first TD|
|Susan found a chair that wouldn't tip over|
|One last look at our tailgate|