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).
Wrapping up 2017-18
3 weeks ago