"It has not fallen to your lot to command great armies. You had to create them, organize them and inspire them."----Churchill to Gen. George Marshall, 1945
Colonel Robert L. Howard: Medal of Honor Recipient
I came across the biography of Colonel Howard when doing research for this week's posting. To say Col. Howard was highly decorated would be a major understatement. He was the most highly decorated American soldier since WWII. Col. Howard was not nominated for the Medal of Honor one time. Nor was he nominated two times. Col. Howard was nominated three times. Over his entire combat career in the United States Army (a total of 54 months), Col. Howard was wounded 14 times. He was awarded 8 Purple Hearts and received almost 50 U.S. and Foreign Awards and Decorations including The Medal of Honor; 4 Bronze Stars, Silver Star; The Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star, Silver Star and Bronze star; and The Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, 1st Class.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor in December of 1968. While on a mission, his platoon was searching for a missing soldier. During an initial engagement with the enemy, he was wounded and his weapon was destroyed by a grenade explosion. He noticed his platoon leader was wounded and exposed to enemy fire. 1st. Lt. Howard, although unable to walk, crawled through heavy enemy fire to retrieve the platoon leader. While administering first aid to the wounded leader, an enemy bullet struck one of his ammunition pouches, detonating several mags. He continued to drag the wounded platoon leader toward safety. When he reached the platoon area, he rallied the platoon into an organized defense force. During this entire time, with complete disregard for his safety, Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded and continued giving encouragement to the rest of the platoon. After 31/2 hours, Lt. Howard's small force repulsed the enemy and finally had sufficient control of the area for the safe landing of rescue helicopters. Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all of his men were safely on board.
(Medal of Honor Citation)
Col. Howard died on Dec. 23, 2009 at 70 years of age in Waco, Texas. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Col. Robert L. Howard: A Hero's Hero.
The VA Celebrates Women's History Month
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced it is honoring women veterans during Women's History Month for their significant historical contributions. "These veterans, and those who currently serve in uniform, are part of a proud history of women defending our Nation...Today women veterans are recognized for more varied roles and operations, but women have always been critical to our military," said Erik Shinseki, Sect. of Veterans Affairs. Dedicated to Heroes joins our Nation in honoring women currently serving and veterans today, tomorrow---and forever.
In keeping with women veterans, the Women Marines Association (WMA) announced it is holding their convention and professional development conference in Philadelphia, PA., at the Hyatt Regency from August 31-September 4th, 2012. Contact: Convention@womenmaringes.org for more information.
Rolling Thunder announced Rolling Thunder XXV is slated for May 27, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Since Rolling Thunder started 25 years ago, the U.S. Government has recovered the following remains: WWI-6; WWII-240; Korean War-73; Vietnam War-697 and Iraq War-3 with 7 live POWs who returned from that war. Rolling Thunder reminds Americans we must continue looking for Sgt. Bowe R. Bergahl who was captured in Afghanistan and SSgt. Ahmed Al-Taie captured in Iraq to ensure their safe return.
Funding For Homeless Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the availability of funds for applications for assistance under the Per Diem Only component of the VA's Homeless Providers Grant. The VA expects to fund approximately 450 beds over the next three years. The maximum award of $1.2 million is expected to support an average of 25 beds per night. For additional information contact: 877.332.0334.
Ghosts In The Tree Line
While taking one of my several walks each day, I recently met a neighbor who lives several blocks from where I reside. We got to talking. Long story short, she's a Vietnam Veteran. She's also the author of Ghosts in the Tree Line. She kindly gave me a copy of her book. I'm almost finished the book, and it's a good read. It's available online. I recommend it highly. Her name is J. Kesler. Check it out.
RIP Deputy Sheriff Barbara Pill, Brevard County, Florida, and
RIP Corrections Officer Britney Meux, Lake County Sheriff's Department, Indiana
Deputy Sheriff Barbara Pill of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in Florida was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle at an intersection in Melbourne on March 6, 2012.
As Deputy Sheriff Pill ordered a driver out of a vehicle, he opened fire on her, striking her multiple times. Responding officers caught up to the vehicle and apprehended a male and female after their vehicle crashed. Deputy Pill was a veteran of the Sheriff's office for 15 years and a law enforcement officer for 30. She is survived by her husband, two sons who are also in law enforcement and a grandchild.
Corrections Officer Britney Meux of the Lake County Sheriff's Department in Indiana was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on March 6, 2012. She and three officers were jogging when a vehicle struck all four officers, killing Officer Meux instantly. Officer Meux was a Marine Corps veteran and a veteran of the department for 3 years. She is survived by her daughter, mother, father and four sisters.