If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASHLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private John H. Wageman (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 17, 1864, at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Remained with the command after being severely wounded until he had fired all the cartridges in his possession, when he had to be carried from the field.

Coxswain Maurice Wagg (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 31, 1862, on board the U.S.S. Rhode Island. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Rhode Island, which was engaged in saving the lives of the officers and crew of the Monitor off Hatteras, 31 December 1862. Participating in the hazardous task of rescuing the officers and crew of the sinking Monitor, Wagg distinguished himself by meritorious conduct during this operation.

Corporal John W. Wagner (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 22, 1863, at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His citation reads:

Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the official I’m just sayin… Karaoke Singer Ashley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A fun game to play with Ashley is to say a word and then let her sing whatever song comes to mind. It’s a game she loves to play and sometimes will play it in a public setting with you without you even knowing it was going to be played.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

RIP Glenn Frey and Abe Vigoda

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

General Jonathan M. Wainwright (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from March 12 – May 7, 1942, on the Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

Distinguished himself by intrepid and determined leadership against greatly superior enemy forces. At the repeated risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in his position, he frequented the firing line of his troops where his presence provided the example and incentive that helped make the gallant efforts of these men possible. The final stand on beleaguered Corregidor, for which he was in an important measure personally responsible, commanded the admiration of the Nation's allies. It reflected the high morale of American arms in the face of overwhelming odds. His courage and resolution were a vitally needed inspiration to the then sorely pressed freedom-loving peoples of the world.

Lieutenant Richard Wainwright, Jr. (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 21-22, 1914, during the engagements of Vera Cruz. His citation reads:

For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. Lt. Wainwright was eminent and conspicuous in command of his battalion; was in the fighting of both days, and exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through action. In seizing the customhouse, he encountered for many hours the heaviest and most pernicious concealed fire of the entire day, but his courage and coolness under trying conditions were marked.

Private Allen Walker (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 30, 1891, in Texas. His citation reads:

While carrying dispatches, he attacked a party of 3 armed men and secured papers valuable to the United States.

I know this is “old news”, but it’s never really official news until you read it here… Glenn Frey passed away on January 18, 2016. As one of the leaders (alongside Don Henley) of the hall of fame rock group the Eagles, Frey sang lead vocals on such great songs like Take it Easy, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Tequila Sunrise, Already Gone and Heartache Tonight. He also had a successful solo career with a number of hit songs (my favorites being Smuggler’s Blues and The Heat is On). He also did a little acting with his most memorable role (for me, anyway) being the GM of the Arizona Cardinals in the film Jerry Maguire.

I am also sad to report that the actor Abe Vigoda has also passed away (January 26, 2016) at the age of 94. He was, I believe, best known for his role as Salvatore Tessio in the all-time great movie The Godfather and for his role as Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the TV show Barney Miller.

In an effort to end this post on a happy note, I will leave you with a picture of Susie minus a tooth…

Sunday, January 24, 2016

HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Major/aide-de-camp Ernest Von Vegesack (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 27, 1862, at Gaines Mill, Virginia. His citation reads:

While voluntarily serving as aide_de_camp, successfully and advantageously charged the position of troops under fire.

Technical Sergeant Forrest L. Vosler (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 20, 1943, over Bremen, Germany. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio operator-air gunner on a heavy bombardment aircraft in a mission over Bremen, Germany, on 20 December 1943. After bombing the target, the aircraft in which T/Sgt. Vosler was serving was severely damaged by antiaircraft fire, forced out of formation, and immediately subjected to repeated vicious attacks by enemy fighters. Early in the engagement a 20-mm. cannon shell exploded in the radio compartment, painfully wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the legs and thighs. At about the same time a direct hit on the tail of the ship seriously wounded the tail gunner and rendered the tail guns inoperative. Realizing the great need for firepower in protecting the vulnerable tail of the ship, T/Sgt. Vosler, with grim determination, kept up a steady stream of deadly fire. Shortly thereafter another 20-mm. enemy shell exploded, wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the chest and about the face. Pieces of metal lodged in both eyes, impairing his vision to such an extent that he could only distinguish blurred shapes. Displaying remarkable tenacity and courage, he kept firing his guns and declined to take first-aid treatment. The radio equipment had been rendered inoperative during the battle, and when the pilot announced that he would have to ditch, although unable to see and working entirely by touch, T/Sgt. Vosler finally got the set operating and sent out distress signals despite several lapses into unconsciousness. When the ship ditched, T/Sgt. Vosler managed to get out on the wing by himself and hold the wounded tail gunner from slipping off until the other crewmembers could help them into the dinghy. T/Sgt. Vosler's actions on this occasion were an inspiration to all serving with him. The extraordinary courage, coolness, and skill he displayed in the face of great odds, when handicapped by injuries that would have incapacitated the average crewmember, were outstanding.

Sergeant Reidar Waaler (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 27, 1918, near Ronssoy, France. His citation reads:

In the face of heavy artillery and machinegun fire, he crawled forward to a burning British tank, in which some of the crew were imprisoned, and succeeded in rescuing 2 men. Although the tank was then burning fiercely and contained ammunition which was likely to explode at any time, this soldier immediately returned to the tank and, entering it, made a search for the other occupants, remaining until he satisfied himself that there were no more living men in the tank.

With today being Mom’s birthday, we’re going to look at 70 random things about Mom and events (perhaps worldwide) that have taken place in her lifetime… (thanks to Wikipedia for the info that didn’t come from my memory).

1. Mom was born on a Thursday, January 24, 1946… The same day that the first resolution of the UN General Assembly (UN Resolution 1) created the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission.

2. Every morning on our way to school, I would ask Mom what our plan was for the day. I always wanted to know what we were doing after school.

3. There were times when I was little that Mom would make a tent with a sheet and tell me stories.

4. On the day Mom was born, Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements was performed for the first time (by the New York Philharmonic orchestra).

5. Mom was born in the same month as John Baldwin (aka John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin), actress Diane Keaton, Syd Barrett (of Pink Floyd), Robby Krieger (of The Doors), Diana Ellen Judd (aka Country singer Naomi Judd), singer/actress Dolly Parton, film critic Gene Siskel and Terry Kath (of the band Chicago).

6. Just a few days after Mom was born, the Civil Censorship Department in Japan was established by the American occupation authority, to cut prohibited material from Japanese films before release. Prohibited subjects included scenes favorably depicting revenge, racial or religious discrimination, violence, militarism, Japanese nationalism, feudalism, or the exploitation of women or children. Censorship continued until June 1947.

7. When I was little and we (Mom and me) would get in the car to go somewhere, we would sing a little song “Buckle up for safety, buckle up”. (It would repeat a couple of times).

8. Harry Hopkins (the advisor to FDR for New Deal policies) and British composer Sidney Jones died the month Mom was born.

9. When I was far too young to be allowed to do so, Mom and Dad would take me to Clemson’s Homecoming football game and let me sit on The Hill while they sat in their seats in the upper deck. According to Mom, she spent most of those games watching me through binoculars.

10. Mom worked two jobs (three during “Wedding Season”), raised three children and still found time to keep the house clean and cook us breakfast and dinner every day.

11. She was still able to wear her wedding dress on her 5th wedding anniversary… just 2 ½ months after giving birth to her second child. This, along with #10, are why her daughter and two daughters-in-law hate her. Haha… just kidding, they don’t hate her.

12. Mom spent many (many… many) years teaching music to the fine public schools children of James Island.

13. Mom had a habit of falling asleep while helping me study. Often times, she would call out a spelling word and before I could finish spelling it (most likely incorrectly), she would be asleep.

14. In the same month Mom was born, Japan's Emperor Hirohito surprised his subjects with the news that he was not descended from the Shinto Sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami, and that "The Emperor is not a living god". He added that his people had to "proceed unflinchingly toward elimination of misguide practices of the past", including "the false conception that the Emperor is divine and that the Japanese people are superior to other races and fated to rule the world". The admission was published in newspapers throughout Japan.

15. Mom has 8 grandchildren… the oldest is 17 and the youngest is 4.

16. During the month Mom was born, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) during the occupation of Japan, began a purge of the Japanese government, with the goal of removing "undesirable personnel" from office. Over two and a half years, there were 210,287 people removed or barred from public office.

17. Mom started playing the piano (or maybe it was the organ) for church when she was a teenager (filling in while her teacher/mentor was on leave).

18. Weeks before Mom was born, the first democratic elections were held in Vietnam and the Viet Minh Party (led by Ho Chi Minh) won 230 of the 300 seats in the National Assembly.

19. A couple of days after Christmas in 1999, my right ear looked a little swollen to me (I’d lost hearing in on Christmas Eve). Mom called my ear doctor and the nice lady on the phone told Mom the next available appointment was after the New Year. Mom hung the phone up and told me to get in the car. She then drove me to the doctor’s office and showed my ear to the nice lady who had been on the phone. The nice lady then went and got my ear doctor… and about one hour later we were on the way to the hospital for my second ear surgery.

20. After this second ear surgery, Mom slept on the sofa in the den to be close to me (my room was at the other side of the house from Mom and Dad’s room). I woke up in the middle of the night and yelled for her… and yelled… and yelled. Finally, I got up and got a drink of water… then woke Mom up to let her know I had everything covered.

21. At a congressional hearing held the month Mom was born, Admiral Harold R. Stark testified that more than two months before the United States entered the Second World War, President Roosevelt had ordered American warships to destroy "German and Italian naval, land, and air forces encountered" if requested by British officers.

22. The first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly convened a couple of weeks before Mom was born, with delegates from 51 nations meeting in London. British Prime Minister Clement Attlee opened the session. In secret voting for the first President of the UNGA, Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium won the post, 28–23, over Trygve Lie of Norway. Lie would be selected for a more powerful post as first Secretary-General of the United Nations.

23. Project Diana (conducted the month Mom was born from a laboratory in Belmar, New Jersey, by the Evans Signal Laboratory) bounced radar waves off the Moon for the first time, measuring its exact distance from the Earth (a mean of 238,857 miles or 384,403 kilometers), and proving that communication is possible between Earth and outer space.

24. A few weeks before Mom was born, Malcolm Little, 22, was arrested in Boston for breaking and entering. During his six years in prison, he joined the Nation of Islam, and changed his name to Malcolm X.

25. Mom gave birth to three beautiful babies (Sonny in 1970, Teresa Lynn in 1972 and me in 1979)… but I’m the only one who still looks good. Honestly, if you were to ask Mom to use the letter “S” to describe each child, she would most likely say: “Sonny – Silent; Teresa Lynn – Sweet; Greg – Spectacular”. I mean, that’s just a guess on my part… she might say Sonny – Soundless; Teresa Lynn – Smart; Greg – Sensational.

26. The last Japanese prisoners of war in the United States departed, on board a ship from Angel Island (California), for repatriation just a couple of weeks before Mom was born.

27. A little over a week before Mom was born, the SCAP force in Japan revealed the scope of Japan's operation of sending bombs to the United States on balloons. Between the summer of 1942 and March 1945, nine thousand bombs were launched, of which 225 landed in America.

28. Just days before Mom was born, Harry S. Truman (by presidential directive) created the post of Director of Central Intelligence and established the Central Intelligence Group, predecessor to the CIA.

29. Just one day after Mom was born, the Soviet Union's quest for the atomic bomb began as Soviet physicist Igor Kurchatov was summoned to Moscow by Joseph Stalin for a 50-minute meeting that began at 8:15 pm Kurchatov was ordered to spare no expense in getting nuclear weapons. At the time, only the United States had "the bomb". By 1950, there were 400,000 people working on the project.

30. The expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia began the day after Mom was born as hundreds of Sudetenland residents were loaded onto trains at Mariánské Lázně.

31. The first multiparty elections, in almost 15 years, to take place in Germany were conducted in the American occupied zone a few days after Mom was born. The new Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won more local offices than any other, and the revived Social Democrat Party (SPD). Similar elections followed in the French, British and Soviet zones. In 1949, parliamentary elections for the Bundestag would be allowed.

32. When I was a young lad, Mom was asked around October or November to play the organ and be the choir director at Johns Island Presbyterian Church just long enough to get them through Christmas. She agreed… but I guess they never said which Christmas they wanted to get through… Mom ended up doing that job (while also teaching full time) for over 20 years.

33. The United Nations Security Council held its first session (a week before Mom was born), called to order by Norman Makin, at 3:10 p.m. GMT, at Church House, Westminster. Convening around the horseshoe-shaped table were representatives from the five permanent members (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, France and China), each of whom had veto power, and the first six non-permanent members, whose membership would change from year to year. The first rotating spots were occupied by Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, the Netherlands and Poland.

34. In Japan, the Civil Censorship Department was established just days after Mom was born by the American occupation authority to cut prohibited material from Japanese films before release. Prohibited subjects included scenes favorably depicting revenge, racial or religious discrimination, violence, militarism, Japanese nationalism, feudalism, or the exploitation of women or children. Censorship continued until June 1947.

35. During the month after Mom was born, NBC Radio commentator Drew Pearson broke the news of what would become known as the "Gouzenko Affair": a Soviet spy ring had been operating in Canada, and that the spy agency GRU had been transmitting American atomic secrets from Ottawa to Moscow.

36. Dancer/actor Gregory Hines, actor Alan Rickman and actor Anthony Daniels (aka C3PO) were born a month after Mom.

37. Charles "Lucky" Luciano, an American Mafia boss, was transported from a New York prison to an ocean liner, and deported to his native Italy a month after Mom was born.

38. The Revised Standard Version of the New Testament was formally introduced by the International Council of Religious Education at its 1946 meeting, at Central High School in Columbus, Ohio a month after Mom was born.

39. A month after Mom was born Lt. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, who led the Japanese conquest of Singapore and the Philippines, was hanged in Manila for war crimes, followed by Lt. Col. Seichi Ohta, who had headed security for Japan's "thought police" (kempei tai), and interpreter Takuma Higashigi.

40. Mom graduated from Columbia College in 3 ½ years.

41. While she was at Columbia College, Mom roomed with 2 wonderful young ladies. They liked each other so much that they have gotten together every Labor Day Weekend since before their favorite child (me) was born.

42. Hungary was proclaimed a Republic under a new constitution that formally abolished the monarchy in the same month Mom was born.

43. A month after Mom was born the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (SED) was started in the Soviet Zone of Germany, when the Social Democratic Party was pressured to unite with the Communist Party. The SED, Communist in all but name, would rule East Germany for all but the last six months of that nation's existence.

44. In his speech at Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri a couple of months after Mom was born, Winston Churchill talked about the Iron Curtain.

45. Mom first met Dad on Folly Beach.

46. Former U.S. President Herbert Hoover was asked by President Harry Truman to assist in persuading Americans to assist in famine relief worldwide a month after Mom was born.

47. Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma is executed outside Manila, the Philippines the year Mom was born for leading the Bataan Death March.

48. Frozen french fries were introduced the month after Mom was born. Pre-fried by Maxson Food Systems of Long Island, New York, and made to be baked in the oven, the product was first sold at Macy's in New York, but were not immediately popular. American per-capita potato consumption had declined since 1910, and was not measured at previous levels until 1962, when french fries were a fast-food restaurant staple.

49. The United States recognized Josip Broz Tito's government in Yugoslavia the year Mom was born.

50. Mom grew up on land that The Wife and I plan to build on.

51. The first scheduled Trans-Atlantic commercial airplane flight was made a month after Mom was born when the "Star of Paris", a TWA Constellation, took off at 2:21 pm from New York's La Guardia airport. The plane landed in Paris 14 hours and 48 minutes later.

52. The League of Nations, in its last meeting, transferred its mission to the United Nations and disbanded itself the year Mom was born.

53. A month after Mom was born, Ho Chi Minh (the newly elected President of Vietnam) sent a telegram to U.S. President Harry S. Truman, asking that the United States use its influence to persuade France not to send occupation forces back into Vietnam, and to "interfere urgently in support of our independence". Truman's reply was that the U.S. would support France, and Ho sought assistance from the Soviet Union instead.

54. Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) was founded the year Mom was born with about 20 employees.

55. While watching me play baseball, Mom never failed to yell “Hit that ball!” whenever I’d walk up to bat.

56. The Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge was established in Oklahoma (the month after Mom was born) by order of President Truman.

57. The Interpol organization was re-founded the year Mom was born with the telegraphic address "Interpol" adopted.

58. The War Relocation Authority was abolished the year Mom was born.

59. The Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia was established in the same month Mom was born with the promulgation of a new constitution that established a federation of six constituent republics, and Slovenia) and replaced the Kingdom of Yugoslavia with a presidential government.

60. When Mom and Dad moved into their current home, it was in the “country”. Now the area is very much developed.

61. After more than 380 years of Western dominance, the Philippines attained full independence the year Mom was born.

62. Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini became the first American saint to be canonized the year Mom was born.

63. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a comedy team at Club 500 in Atlantic City, New Jersey the year Mom was born.

64. The United States Atomic Energy Commission was established the year Mom was born.

65. The year Mom was born is the same year the Havana Conference began between U.S. organized crime bosses in Havana, Cuba.

66. It’s a Wonderful Life featuring James Stewart and Donna Reed was released the same year Mom was born.

67. Bikinis went on sale in Paris the year Mom was born.

68. Just a month after Mom was born, ENIAC (the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) was introduced to the public by the U.S. Army, in a press conference at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The world's first electronic computer weighed 30 tons, had 18,000 vacuum tubes, and was 8 feet tall, 3 feet deep, and 100 feet long. One of the computer's first tests was computing trajectories for rocket launching, "completing in ten days a job which would have required three months of concentrated effort by a mathematician".

69. On the day after Mom was born, General Douglas MacArthur recommended in a telegram to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff that Japan's Emperor Hirohito not be put on trial for war crimes, noting that "No specific and tangible evidence has been uncovered" and adding that "his indictment will unquestionably cause a tremendous convulsion among the Japanese people, the repercussions of which cannot be over-estimated." Hirohito continued to reign as Emperor of Japan until his death in 1989.

70. Every time I talk to Mom on the phone, she ends the conversation with “I love you the most”… At least, I assume that’s how she ends it. We usually hang up before she can actually say it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 22, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Meredith!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Seaman Robert Volz (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 11, 1898, on board the U.S.S. Nashville. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Nashville during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Volz displayed extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this period.

Sergeant Rudolph Von Medem (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions in 1872-1873. His citation reads:

Gallantry in actions and campaigns.

Private Robert H. Von Schlick (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 13, 1900, at Tientsin, China. His citation reads:

Although previously wounded while carrying a wounded comrade to a place of safety, rejoined his command, which partly occupied an exposed position upon a dike, remaining there after his command had been withdrawn, singly keeping up the fire, and obliviously presenting himself as a conspicuous target until he was literally shot off his position by the enemy.

Happy Birthday to my niece (Teresa Lynn’s youngest) Meredith!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope she has a GREAT day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can remember the day Meredith was born… That morning, Teresa Lynn called The Wife and asked her to come over and watch Leah and Ansley so she could head over to the “hospital” (I say “hospital” because it’s the place I didn’t have a lot of love for when my kids were born) to have Meredith. See, back then (before The Wife and I had kids), Teresa Lynn lived near us so she could use us for stuff like this. She only moved when The Wife was pregnant with Mary Ruth. Anyway, back to Meredith… It snowed. I don’t remember if it snowed the day she was born, or the next day… but I remember being in the “hospital” room and looking out and seeing white everywhere.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Happy Birthday to……… ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Saddler Otto Voit (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 25, 1876, at Little Big Horn, Montana. His citation reads:

Volunteered with George Geiger, Charles Windolph, and Henry Mechlin to hold an exposed position standing erect on the brow of the hill facing the Little Big Horn River. They fired constantly in this manner for more than 20 minutes diverting fire and attention from another group filling canteens of water that were desperately needed.

First Sergeant Leroy H. Vokes (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 26, 1872, at Loupe Fork, Platte River, Nebraska. His citation reads:

Gallantry in action.

Carpenter’s Mate Third Class Jacob Volz (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 24, 1911, on the Island of Basilan, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

While attached to the U.S.S. Pampang, Volz was one of a shore party moving in to capture Mundang, on the island of Basilan, Philippine Islands, on 24 September 1911. Investigating a group of nipa huts close to the trail, the advance scout party was suddenly taken under point-blank fire and rushed by approximately 20 enemy Moros attacking from inside the huts and other concealed positions. Volz responded instantly to calls for help and, finding all members of the scout party writhing on the ground but still fighting, he blazed his rifle into the outlaws with telling effect, destroying several of the Moros and assisting in the rout of the remainder. By his aggressive charging of the enemy under heavy fire and in the face of great odds, Volz contributed materially to the success of the engagement.

It’s my birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If my math is correct (and there’s a 50/50 chance that it is), I turned 37 today. That means, of course, that 37 years ago on this date, the Steelers beat the Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII. I am also lucky enough to share a birthday with the great Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Not only that, but I recently found out the date has some significance with a couple of men portrayed in the HBO series (from a while back) Band of Brothers. The first is Major Richard D. Winters who was also born on this date in 1918. The other is First Lieutenant Harry F. Welsh who, sadly, died on this date in 1995 (while I was on a ski trip with my youth group at Ashley River Baptist Church… He wasn’t with us, I just remember that’s where I was that weekend because it was my first time away from MaMa after Da died). Anyway… Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope I have a great one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY COUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Corporal John C. Villepigue (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 15, 1918, at Vaux-Andigny, France. His citation reads:

Having been sent out with 2 other soldiers to scout through the village of Vaux-Andigny, he met with strong resistance from enemy machinegun fire, which killed 1 of his men and wounded the other. Continuing his advance without aid 500 yards in advance of his platoon and in the face of machinegun and artillery fire he encountered 4 of the enemy in a dugout, whom he attacked and killed with a handgrenade. Crawling forward to a point 150 yards in advance of his first encounter, he rushed a machinegun nest, killing 4 and capturing 6 of the enemy and taking 2 light machineguns. After being joined by his platoon he was severely wounded in the arm.

Corporal Joseph Vittori (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 15-16, 1951, on Hill 749, Korea. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an automatic-rifleman in Company F, in action against enemy aggressor forces. With a forward platoon suffering heavy casualties and forced to withdraw under a vicious enemy counterattack as his company assaulted strong hostile forces entrenched on Hill 749, Cpl. Vittori boldly rushed through the withdrawing troops with 2 other volunteers from his reserve platoon and plunged directly into the midst of the enemy. Overwhelming them in a fierce hand-to-hand struggle, he enabled his company to consolidate its positions to meet further imminent onslaughts. Quick to respond to an urgent call for a rifleman to defend a heavy machine gun positioned on the extreme point of the northern flank and virtually isolated from the remainder of the unit when the enemy again struck in force during the night, he assumed position under the devastating barrage and, fighting a single-handed battle, leaped from 1 flank to the other, covering each foxhole in turn as casualties continued to mount manning a machine gun when the gunner was struck down and making repeated trips through the heaviest shellfire to replenish ammunition. With the situation becoming extremely critical, reinforcing units to the rear pinned down under the blistering attack and foxholes left practically void by dead and wounded for a distance of 100 yards, Cpl. Vittori continued his valiant stand, refusing to give ground as the enemy penetrated to within feet of his position, simulating strength in the line and denying the foe physical occupation of the ground. Mortally wounded by the enemy machine gun and rifle bullets while persisting in his magnificent defense of the sector where approximately 200 enemy dead were found the following morning, Cpl. Vittori, by his fortitude, stouthearted courage, and great personal valor, had kept the point position intact despite the tremendous odds and undoubtedly prevented the entire battalion position from collapsing. His extraordinary heroism throughout the furious nightlong battle reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Private First Class Dirk J. Vlug (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 15, 1944, near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when an American roadblock on the Ormoc Road was attacked by a group of enemy tanks. He left his covered position, and with a rocket launcher and 6 rounds of ammunition, advanced alone under intense machinegun and 37-mm. fire. Loading single-handedly, he destroyed the first tank, killing its occupants with a single round. As the crew of the second tank started to dismount and attack him, he killed 1 of the foe with his pistol, forcing the survivors to return to their vehicle, which he then destroyed with a second round. Three more hostile tanks moved up the road, so he flanked the first and eliminated it, and then, despite a hail of enemy fire, pressed forward again to destroy another. With his last round of ammunition he struck the remaining vehicle, causing it to crash down a steep embankment. Through his sustained heroism in the face of superior forces, Pfc. Vlug alone destroyed 5 enemy tanks and greatly facilitated successful accomplishment of his battalion's mission.

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law Cougar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is now 46 years old… and still married to my brother Sonny… who isn’t yet 46 years old. It feels like it was just yesterday that Sonny brought her home to James Island to meet his family. There we were… sitting in the dining room in Mom and Dad’s house (a room they have since destroyed… but I’m sure that had nothing to do with Cougar. Well… I’m pretty sure it didn’t) with everyone apparently nervous and trying to put their “best foot” forward. I say apparently, because I’ve never really been good at reading people. Anyway, there was a lot of talking going on and, since it didn’t really seem to be about me, I wasn’t all that focused on what was being said. I also had some pretty bad hearing problems back then (this was before my first ear operation), so with a lot of talking going on I really had to focus to hear things (and like I said… the talk was about me, so I wasn’t too focused). Anyway, from what I was hearing, there was some kind of teacher talk going on and then Cougar said something about her mom (I believe) doing “pay it”. Now, I don’t know why what happened next happened. To tell you the truth, I’m not real sure why I do a lot of things that I do. BUT… this was where I decided to jump into what I can only assume had been (up to that point) a boring conversation. Now, here is where my reputation (yes, even back then I had a reputation) gets me into trouble. As God as my witness, I thought she said “pay it”. And “pay it” in that sentence made absolutely no sense to me. So, I did what I feel any pre-teen (yes, she’s a little older than Sonny… but she’s waaaay older than me) boy in this highly tense situation would have done… I interrupted her and said, “What? Did you just say Pay it?” Well, now might be a good time to tell you that Cougar had (and probably still has… I’ve just gotten used to it) what we in the podcasting world (ok, I’m not in the podcasting world… but I would be if Jeremy would get his act together) call a country accent (or maybe it’s a normal accent and I’m the one talking funny… I could believe that). So while I was hearing “pay it”, she was actually saying “PET” (some kind of teacher thing that I remember hearing about back then… I don’t remember what it was or if it is even still around). It seems I was the only one who didn’t know what she was saying… However, I believe most of the people there (maybe everyone) thought by my reaction that I was simply making fun of her. My reaction brought a big laugh from everyone and I believe it showed Cougar that while her boyfriend might be a functional mute, his little brother was anything but a mute.

Cougar has the great honor of sharing her birthday with the great Robert E. Lee (though he was born a few years before her).

Friday, January 15, 2016


Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Unknown Vietnam (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War. His citation reads:

AN ACT To authorize the President to award the Medal of Honor to the unknown American who lost his life while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam era and who has been selected to be buried in the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is hereby authorized and directed to award, in the name of the Congress, a Medal of Honor to the unknown American who lost his life while serving in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam era as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States and who has been selected to lie buried in the Memorial Amphitheater of the National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia, as authorized by the National Cemeteries Act of 1973.

Lieutenant Colonel Victor Vifquain (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 9, 1865, at Fort Blakely, Alabama. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

Staff Sergeant Ysmael R. Villegas (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 20, 1945, at Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

He was a squad leader when his unit, in a forward position, clashed with an enemy strongly entrenched in connected caves and foxholes on commanding ground. He moved boldly from man to man, in the face of bursting grenades and demolition charges, through heavy machinegun and rifle fire, to bolster the spirit of his comrades. Inspired by his gallantry, his men pressed forward to the crest of the hill. Numerous enemy riflemen, refusing to flee, continued firing from their foxholes. S/Sgt. Villegas, with complete disregard for his own safety and the bullets which kicked up the dirt at his feet, charged an enemy position, and, firing at point-blank range killed the Japanese in a foxhole. He rushed a second foxhole while bullets missed him by inches, and killed 1 more of the enemy. In rapid succession he charged a third, a fourth, a fifth foxhole, each time destroying the enemy within. The fire against him increased in intensity, but he pressed onward to attack a sixth position. As he neared his goal, he was hit and killed by enemy fire. Through his heroism and indomitable fighting spirit, S/Sgt. Villegas, at the cost of his life, inspired his men to a determined attack in which they swept the enemy from the field.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Uncle George!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope he has a GREAT day! He is, by far, my favorite Cuban-born uncle. I’m glad he decided many years ago to dig a tunnel from Cuba to Miami and then ride an alligator from Miami to Charleston. I’m also glad he learned English… because I don’t think I would enjoy his stories nearly as much if he only told them in Spanish. I mean, I know a little bit of Spanish and I’m sure I’d learn a little more if he only spoke it… but I feel like I would miss out on some key details. One great memory from my childhood is spending the night with my cousin Louis. One of our favorite things was tag-team wrestling (me and Louis as the “Rock-n-Roll Express” vs Uncle George and my cousin Alan… usually as “Ole and Arn Anderson”) while also watching NWA wrestling on SuperStation TBS. Every now and then, Uncle George would impress us by telling us who would win the match on TV before it even started. It wasn’t until later in life that I figured out how he could do this…

As happy as today is, it’s also been a kind of sad day in the past. It was on this day in 1995 that my grandfather (Da) died. He was a GREAT man who may have been the funniest person I’ve ever known (which is saying something… because I’ve known some funny people). I could tell a ton of stories about Da, but I will save them for another day. I will say he was the best story teller. He’s the one who first taught me to never let the truth get in the way of a good story. I remember one day we were over at MaMa and Da’s house and Da’s older sisters (Gertrude and Madeline) came over to visit. They were all sitting around the dining room table talking and Da started telling a story. Now, we usually knew when his stories started to drift away from the truth, but we never said anything because 1 – he was funny and 2 – none of us were there so we could never really say with 100% certainty that he was no longer telling the truth. On this day, though, once Da would start to get to the good part of the story (i.e. the part where the truth mattered less than the laugh), his sister (Gertrude, I think… though it could have been Madeline… or both) would snap, “George! You know that’s not how it happened!” I’ve got to say… hearing them yell at him was probably just as funny as what his story was going to be.

Today is also the day in 2011 that my sweet Lucy died. She was such a great dog. Never have I seen so many people so scared of a dog that was so scared of so many things. I remember when we were still living in our apartment (just me, The Wife and Lucy). On this particular night, Lucy wet our bed (Why was she in our bed? Because she wanted to be). Anyway, it was late so we decided to just sleep on the floor out in the den. At one point, I started snoring… It was bad enough that it woke Lucy up and she, then, woke me up by licking me in the face. As soon as she was sure I was awake, she went down by our feet… curled up… and gave a loud sigh (to let me know, I assume, that she was not happy that I had interrupted her sleep).

Friday, January 8, 2016

Recent News…

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class George Edward Wahlen (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 3, 1945, on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands group. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano group on 3 March 1945. Painfully wounded in the bitter action on 26 February, Wahlen remained on the battlefield, advancing well forward of the frontlines to aid a wounded marine and carrying him back to safety despite a terrific concentration of fire. Tireless in his ministrations, he consistently disregarded all danger to attend his fighting comrades as they fell under the devastating rain of shrapnel and bullets, and rendered prompt assistance to various elements of his combat group as required. When an adjacent platoon suffered heavy casualties, he defied the continuous pounding of heavy mortars and deadly fire of enemy rifles to care for the wounded, working rapidly in an area swept by constant fire and treating 14 casualties before returning to his own platoon. Wounded again on 2 March, he gallantly refused evacuation, moving out with his company the following day in a furious assault across 600 yards of open terrain and repeatedly rendering medical aid while exposed to the blasting fury of powerful Japanese guns. Stouthearted and indomitable, he persevered in his determined efforts as his unit waged fierce battle and, unable to walk after sustaining a third agonizing wound, resolutely crawled 50 yards to administer first aid to still another fallen fighter. By his dauntless fortitude and valor, Wahlen served as a constant inspiration and contributed vitally to the high morale of his company during critical phases of this strategically important engagement. His heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming enemy fire upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Captain Francis B. Wai (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 20, 1944, at Leyte, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

Captain Francis B. Wai distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action, on 20 October 1944, in Leyte, Philippine Islands. Captain Wai landed at Red Beach, Leyte, in the face of accurate, concentrated enemy fire from gun positions advantageously located in a palm grove bounded by submerged rice paddies. Finding the first four waves of American soldiers leaderless, disorganized, and pinned down on the open beach, he immediately assumed command. Issuing clear and concise orders, and disregarding heavy enemy machine gun and rifle fire, he began to move inland through the rice paddies without cover. The men, inspired by his cool demeanor and heroic example, rose from their positions and followed him. During the advance, Captain Wai repeatedly determined the locations of enemy strong points by deliberately exposing himself to draw their fire. In leading an assault upon the last remaining Japanese pillbox in the area, he was killed by its occupants. Captain Wai's courageous, aggressive leadership inspired the men, even after his death, to advance and destroy the enemy. His intrepid and determined efforts were largely responsible for the rapidity with which the initial beachhead was secured. Captain Wai's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

First Lieutenant John Wainwright (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on January 15, 1865, at Fort Fisher, North Carolina. His citation reads:

Gallant and meritorious conduct, where, as first lieutenant, he commanded the regiment.

As I’m sure you know by now, we’ve lost some famous people recently. I won’t talk about all of them here… but in case you missed it, Natalie Cole (a wonderful Grammy-winning singer and daughter of the late-great Nat King Cole) passed away on December 31 at the age of 65. Wayne Rogers, best known for his role of Captain “Trapper” John McIntyre in the GREAT TV series M*A*S*H, also passed away on December 31 at the age of 82.

CONGRATS to Ken Griffey, Jr and Mike Piazza on being named to the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame class. Griffey, Jr. was one of the most natural players I’ve ever seen in my life. He went from being the first player drafted in the 1987 MLB draft, to earning 99.3% of the vote on his first ballot for the Hall of Fame. Drafted in the 62nd round by Tommy Lasorda and the Dodgers in 1988 as a favor to his father, Piazza received 83% of the vote in his fourth time on the ballot. Both of these guys had great careers… CONGRATS!!!!

Monday, January 4, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUCAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Captain Humbert R. Versace (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from October 29, 1963 – September 26, 1965, at Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Farrier Ernest Veuve (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 3, 1874, at Staked Plains, Texas. His citation reads:

Gallant manner in which he faced a desperate Indian.

Second Lieutenant Robert M. Viale (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 5, 1945, at Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. Forced by the enemy's detonation of prepared demolitions to shift the course of his advance through the city, he led the 1st platoon toward a small bridge, where heavy fire from 3 enemy pillboxes halted the unit. With 2 men he crossed the bridge behind screening grenade smoke to attack the pillboxes. The first he knocked out himself while covered by his men's protecting fire; the other 2 were silenced by 1 of his companions and a bazooka team which he had called up. He suffered a painful wound in the right arm during the action. After his entire platoon had joined him, he pushed ahead through mortar fire and encircling flames. Blocked from the only escape route by an enemy machinegun placed at a street corner, he entered a nearby building with his men to explore possible means of reducing the emplacement. In 1 room he found civilians huddled together, in another, a small window placed high in the wall and reached by a ladder. Because of the relative positions of the window, ladder, and enemy emplacement, he decided that he, being left-handed, could better hurl a grenade than 1 of his men who had made an unsuccessful attempt. Grasping an armed grenade, he started up the ladder. His wounded right arm weakened, and, as he tried to steady himself, the grenade fell to the floor. In the 5 seconds before the grenade would explode, he dropped down, recovered the grenade and looked for a place to dispose of it safely. Finding no way to get rid of the grenade without exposing his own men or the civilians to injury or death, he turned to the wall, held it close to his body and bent over it as it exploded. 2d Lt. Viale died in a few minutes, but his heroic act saved the lives of others.

I’d like to take a minute to wish my godson Lucas a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s a great kid who I’ve loved watching grow these past 5 years. It’s a little known fact that Lucas is one of only two babies (who weren’t mine and The Wife’s) that I have held in the hospital. I have a rather firm policy of not holding new born babies because I don’t want to break them… but I made an exception for Lucas and his little brother Ethan. That’s how special they are to me. Anyway… I hope he has a GREAT day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The below picture is of my little buddy wearing the birthday gift I got him (a #22 Joey Logano Pennzoil hat).

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Corporal Edward Van Winkle (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 29, 1864, at Chapins Farm, Virginia. His citation reads:

Took position in advance of the skirmish line and drove the enemy's cannoneers from their guns.

Lieutenant Colonel Leon R. Vance, Jr. (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 5, 1944, over Wimereaux. France. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 5 June 1944, when he led a Heavy Bombardment Group, in an attack against defended enemy coastal positions in the vicinity of Wimereaux, France. Approaching the target, his aircraft was hit repeatedly by antiaircraft fire which seriously crippled the ship, killed the pilot, and wounded several members of the crew, including Lt. Col. Vance, whose right foot was practically severed. In spite of his injury, and with 3 engines lost to the flak, he led his formation over the target, bombing it successfully. After applying a tourniquet to his leg with the aid of the radar operator, Lt. Col. Vance, realizing that the ship was approaching a stall altitude with the 1 remaining engine failing, struggled to a semi-upright position beside the copilot and took over control of the ship. Cutting the power and feathering the last engine he put the aircraft in glide sufficiently steep to maintain his airspeed. Gradually losing altitude, he at last reached the English coast, whereupon he ordered all members of the crew to bail out as he knew they would all safely make land. But he received a message over the interphone system which led him to believe 1 of the crewmembers was unable to jump due to injuries; so he made the decision to ditch the ship in the channel, thereby giving this man a chance for life. To add further to the danger of ditching the ship in his crippled condition, there was a 500-pound bomb hung up in the bomb bay. Unable to climb into the seat vacated by the copilot, since his foot, hanging on to his leg by a few tendons, had become lodged behind the copilot's seat, he nevertheless made a successful ditching while lying on the floor using only aileron and elevators for control and the side window of the cockpit for visual reference. On coming to rest in the water the aircraft commenced to sink rapidly with Lt. Col. Vance pinned in the cockpit by the upper turret which had crashed in during the landing. As it was settling beneath the waves an explosion occurred which threw Lt. Col. Vance clear of the wreckage. After clinging to a piece of floating wreckage until he could muster enough strength to inflate his life vest he began searching for the crewmember whom he believed to be aboard. Failing to find anyone he began swimming and was found approximately 50 minutes later by an Air-Sea Rescue craft. By his extraordinary flying skill and gallant leadership, despite his grave injury, Lt. Col. Vance led his formation to a successful bombing of the assigned target and returned the crew to a point where they could bail out with safety. His gallant and valorous decision to ditch the aircraft in order to give the crewmember he believed to be aboard a chance for life exemplifies the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Private Wilson Vance (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 31, 1862, at Stone River, Tennessee. His citation reads:

Voluntarily and under a heavy fire, while his command was falling back, rescued a wounded and helpless comrade from death or capture.

Well… The Wife didn’t think it would happen, but it looks like Maverick has made it another year. Happy Birthday Maverick!!!!!!!! Even if his breath seems to have passed away two years ago, his body is still kicking (though his back legs aren’t always kicking… it takes them a little while to get warmed up). He’s a lot like Obi-Wan Kenobi from A New Hope… not as mobile as he was in his younger days, but still very wise. Hopefully, he’ll be around for our new house…

Saturday, January 2, 2016

So for 2016…

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private Miguel A. Vera (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 21, 1952, at Chorwon, Korea. His citation reads:

Vera is being recognized for his heroic actions at Chorwon, Korea, Sept. 21, 1952. While Vera's unit attempted to retake the right sector of "Old Baldy", they came under heavy fire at close range and were forced back. Vera selflessly chose to stay behind and cover the troop's withdrawal, and lost his life during this action.

Second Lieutenant James D. Vernay (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 22, 1863, at Vicksburg Mississippi. His citation reads:

Served gallantly as a volunteer with the crew of the steamer Horizon that, under a heavy fire, passed the Confederate batteries.

Chief Quartermaster James W. Verney (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 24, 1864, on board the U.S.S. Pontoosuc. His citation reads:

Served as chief quartermaster on board the U.S.S. Pontoosuc during the capture of Fort Fisher and Wilmington, 24 December 1864 to 22 February 1865. Carrying out his duties faithfully throughout this period, Verney was recommended for gallantry and skill and for his cool courage while under fire of the enemy throughout these various actions.

I’ve got plans for 2016… big plans. So big I don’t even know all of them yet, but I know I’ve got them. First off, I’d like to lose weight. Not that you asked, but I’d like to get down to the 180 – 190 range. To do that, I need to lose about 59 pounds. I know I can’t do it all in one week… or one month… but maybe I can do it in one year. If not, then maybe I can at least get close.

Another plan is to build a new house. This is still just a plan, with many steps ahead of us… but it’s the plan.

I’d also really like to raise as much money as possible for the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I’m not sure yet when the walk will be… but as soon as I know I’ll let you know. To help keep this on everyone’s mind, I’m going to post memories of mine on here. Some of these memories will be 100% true while others will simply be based on a true memory. I’ll also try to share more “current” stories and, of course, pictures. I’m still going to post the “Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients” segment, but I might not go exactly in order like I have been. I don’t know how often I will be posting, but I will try to post at least once a week. With my other plans, I won’t have a ton of time on my hands, but I want to do this to try and raise money for the walk.

Friday, January 1, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Captain Jay R. Vargas (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from April 30 – May 2, 1968, at Dai Do, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

Rank and organization: Major (then Capt.), U.S. Marine Corps, Company G, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Place and date: Dai Do, Republic of Vietnam, 30 April to 2 May 1968. Entered service at: Winslow, Ariz. Born: 29 July 1940, Winslow, Ariz. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as commanding officer, Company G, in action against enemy forces from 30 April to 2 May 1968. On 1 May 1968, though suffering from wounds he had incurred while relocating his unit under heavy enemy fire the preceding day, Maj. Vargas combined Company G with two other companies and led his men in an attack on the fortified village of Dai Do. Exercising expert leadership, he maneuvered his marines across 700 meters of open rice paddy while under intense enemy mortar, rocket and artillery fire and obtained a foothold in two hedgerows on the enemy perimeter, only to have elements of his company become pinned down by the intense enemy fire. Leading his reserve platoon to the aid of his beleaguered men, Maj. Vargas inspired his men to renew their relentless advance, while destroying a number of enemy bunkers. Again wounded by grenade fragments, he refused aid as he moved about the hazardous area reorganizing his unit into a strong defense perimeter at the edge of the village. Shortly after the objective was secured the enemy commenced a series of counterattacks and probes which lasted throughout the night but were unsuccessful as the gallant defenders of Company G stood firm in their hard-won enclave. Reinforced the following morning, the marines launched a renewed assault through Dai Do on the village of Dinh To, to which the enemy retaliated with a massive counterattack resulting in hand to hand combat. Maj. Vargas remained in the open, encouraging and rendering assistance to his marines when he was hit for the third time in the 3-day battle. Observing his battalion commander sustain a serious wound, he disregarded his excruciating pain, crossed the fire swept area and carried his commander to a covered position, then resumed supervising and encouraging his men while simultaneously assisting in organizing the battalion's perimeter defense. His gallant actions uphold the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

Captain Charles A. Varnum (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 30, 1890, at White Clay Creek, South Dakota. His citation reads:

While executing an order to withdraw, seeing that a continuance of the movement would expose another troop of his regiment to being cut off and surrounded, he disregarded orders to retire, placed himself in front of his men, led a charge upon the advancmg Indians, regained a commanding position that had just been vacated, and thus insured a safe withdrawal of both detachments without further loss.

Sergeant Pinkerton R. Vaughn (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 14, 1863, on board the U.S.S. Mississippi. His citation reads:

Serving on board the U.S.S. Mississippi during her abandonment and firing in the action with the Port Hudson batteries, 14 March 1863. During the abandonment of the Mississippi which had to be grounded, Sgt. Vaughn rendered invaluable assistance to his commanding officer, remaining with the ship until all the crew had landed and the ship had been fired to prevent its falling into enemy hands. Persistent until the last, and conspicuously cool under the heavy shellfire, Sgt. Vaughn was finally ordered to save himself as he saw fit.

From all of us at I’m just sayin… to all of you on the world wide web, I hope you have a HAPPY New Year and a GREAT 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! May this be the year that all of our dreams come true.