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Old 11-10-2007
Cathreina Cathreina is offline
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Default New war stories -- for those who'll listen

New war stories -- for those who'll listen

Hardly a day goes by when you don't see their faces in the newspaper. Small black and white photos of young men in uniforms, their lives and adventure ahead of them, the world at their feet. The photos accompany their obituaries.
The ranks of that greatest generation of Americans who went off to war in Europe and the Pacific and survived, and those who followed in Korea and Vietnam, are thinning. The teenagers who enlisted in the days following Dec. 7, 1941, if they have been blessed to see old age, are now well into their 80s. "Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot," says Henry V.

Read their stories: "A B-29 gunner in World War II, he served in the Pacific and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross"; "was in North Africa, the invasion of Normandy on D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge meeting the Russians on the Elbe River"; "earning five bronze stars, a silver star, World War II Victory medal and a good conduct medal."

"Saw action at Tarawa, Peleliu, Munda, Tinian, Guam, Iwo Jima and at Okinawa, where he survived a kamikaze attack on the USS Curtiss"; "was awarded the Silver Star for his 'gallantry and intrepidity' during the battle of the Chosin Reservoir"; "flew more than 300 close air support missions for ground troops in the F-100 Super Sabre out of Tuy Hoa, South Vietnam."

They are your neighbors, your friends, your relatives. Sadly, these veterans' tales of valor are too often known only posthumously. Better than reading their stories when they're gone, hear their stories while they're still with us. Untold, they are a bounty of bravery and humanity left in the fields.

American men and women in uniform renew that bounty every day. One of the tragedies of the war on terror is that the American people have received a steady stream of bad news and, now, movies about the American military, about abuses real and imagined at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, but next to nothing about Takur Ghar Mountain or Karabilah.

They know far more about Britney Spears' crackup, Dog Chapman's dust-up and Joe Torre's breakup than they do about the gallantry of Paul Ray Smith, Jason Dunham and Michael Murphy.

Who are these three men? Recipients of the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for their actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Bush presented the medal to the family of Lt. Murphy, a Navy SEAL, in an emotional White House ceremony last month.

In our nation's newspaper of record, the event and an account of Murphy's heroic actions appeared at the bottom of Page A20, beneath a story about falling water levels on the Great Lakes.

During a visit to Fort Sam Houston in September, I crossed paths with Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Ga., currently deployed to Iraq. He had returned briefly for emergency leave. It was his last day stateside before returning to his headquarters south of Baghdad.

Lynch and his wife chose to spend it at Brooke Army Medical Center, the Center for the Intrepid and the Warrior and Family Support Center, where we happened to meet. There were no reporters, no cameras just the Lynches, quietly talking and praying with wounded warriors and their families.

During our short conversation, Lynch expressed his frustration about the media's failure to report the good news from Iraq. He didn't contend that there wasn't any bad news, even exceptionally bad news. It was that incidents of bravery, humanitarianism and success were treated unexceptionally as not being news at all.

Before he took command of the 3rd Infantry Division, Lynch was the top spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq. Media savvy, Lynch set up a division Web site at to report some of the good news: "Aid station's doors open to Iraqi children"; "Joint effort turns terrorist recruiting center into schoolhouse"; "Joint humanitarian, medical operation meets residents' needs."

Like the veterans who came before them, a new generation of American military personnel has stories to tell to those willing to read and listen.
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Old 11-10-2007
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Dannie Dannie is offline
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Default Re: New war stories -- for those who'll listen

Thank you for sharing that Cathreina!! I have a real soft spot in my heart for all these soldiers and each of their families ..

When I'm not quite so tired, I'd like to take the time to check out the links you provided!!

If it has tires or testicles,
it's gonna give you problems
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Old 03-12-2009
Soldier Soldier is offline
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Default Re: New war stories -- for those who'll listen

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Old 07-05-2010
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iluvskittles iluvskittles is offline
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Default Re: New war stories -- for those who'll listen

oh how i love history
nd war stories..

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