D-Day June 6–75 year Anniversary

On June 6, 1944, more than 150,000 American, British and Canadian troops landed on the shores of northern France as part of D-Day, a major turning point in World War II that helped lead to the defeat of Nazi forces in Europe. About 2,500 of the 73,000 U.S. soldiers who fought in the battle died. Even at that time, the soldiers understood the Normandy invasion was pivotal to winning the war, a do or die situation.

Allied land forces came from the United States, Britain, Canada, and Free French forces. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces and contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece and the Netherlands participated in the ground campaign; most also provided air and naval support alongside elements of the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Navy.

Into the Jaws of Death 23-0455M edit.jpg

Into the jaws of death. The U.S. Coast Guard caption identifies the unit as Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

quick facts

Photo U.S. Army/National Archives

The town of Caen, France, after being taken by Allied forces, July 17, 1944.

The town of Caen, France freed by the Allies.   AP Images

The dreadful cost of victory:

Normandy_Reflecting_Pool

Reflecting Pool at Normandy American Cemetery in France

Normandy cemetary

Normandy American Cemetery is the final resting place to more than 9,000 Americans that gave their lives in World War II.

Amen

NOT FORGOTTEN !

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April Fool’s Day–Monday April 1, 2019

April Fools’ Day is a yearly observance on the first of April during which pranks and silly behavior are socially sanctioned and merriment is supposed to reign. Customary practices range from simple practical jokes played on friends, family, and coworkers to elaborate media hoaxes concocted for mass consumption.

It’s a day of sanctioned pranks and gags, jests and jokes and hoaxes. Dating back hundreds of years and recognized in countries all over the world, April Fools’ Day (a.k.a. All Fools’ Day) gives credible media sources an excuse to produce “fake news” and radio DJs permission to hoodwink their loyal listeners.

Whether it’s strategically placed whoopee cushions, or elaborately concocted tall tales told to trick others, April Fools’ Day jokers mark the day on their calendar annually, so beware April 1 or be fooled.

Do you partake in April Fool’s Day pranks ?

What Life Was Like 100 Years Ago Compared to Now

By Caroline Picard & Good Housekeeping

Unbelievable photo’s from 100 years ago.  How far we have come.

Slide 1 of 29: This year has brought us sloth pool floats, a couple known as J-Rod, and masked celebrities singing in monster costumes, but all of these concepts would sound totally foreign a century ago. Back in 1919, Americans drove their Model T's to see silent movies and dealt with new-fangled inventions toasters and zippers. It's safe to say a lot has changed since then.

This year has brought us sloth pool floats, a couple known as J-Rod, and masked celebrities singing in monster costumes, but all of these concepts would sound totally foreign a century ago. Back in 1919, Americans drove their Model T’s to see silent movies and dealt with new-fangled inventions toasters and zippers. It’s safe to say a lot has changed since then.

More at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/did-you-know/what-life-was-like-100-years-ago-compared-to-now/ss-BBVgdWg?ocid=spartanntp#image=1

March Madness

No, it’s  not a new strain of flu.  No, not a new form of mad cow disease.  OK, for those who don’t reside in the U.S., March Madness is something that happens to men and women, boys and girls, who follow U.S. college basketball.  You know the game with the hoops and the court and the running up and down said court, to the yells, screams and shouts of the thousands of said followers in the stands, or at home screaming at their tv’s, phones, at eateries, taverns, or anywhere else a signal can be snatched from the air.  It’s a game of basketball that you’d think would determine who rules the universe for the next 52 weeks. It’s a tournament, ok ?  That’s all.  It begins with 64 college teams and ends with the last 2 teams battling for all the marbles, the championship, the bragging rights, the ……Well, you get it by now.  Play has already started.  By now, half the teams have been sent packing, waiting until maybe next year, or not.

Many millions of dollars are wagered on the games.  Probably half are done so in office pools, bookies, friendly wagers, etc.  More importantly is the pride of winning and the later “agony of defeat” that all  but 1 team will suffer.  There is no cure for this ailment, but there is a salve to make it bearable.  It’s beer, of course.  Quaffed in quantities that seemingly make’s any loss bearable.  Followed by the cursory, “Just wait until next year”.  If you haven’t heard from a friend for the past few days, that friend might just be in the clutches of this madness.  It might be best to just wait it out…..or maybe just have a brewski yourself.  Happy March Madness Month !

March 25 Update:  64 teams have been whittled down to 16, the so-called, “Sweet 16”.  Shortly, that number will become the “Elite 8” and much more beer will flow.

 

50 years later, Vietnam veteran meets medic who saved him

(50 years ago, I too was in Vietnam as an Infantryman who also carried my platoon’s radio.  I thank God I never had to walk point, the first one to walk down an unfamiliar path.  But, as it was,  I carried a large radio and tall antenna on my backpack.  A very inviting target for the enemy to shoot. I was terrified the whole year of 1970.  The story below demonstrates the courage shown by medics to every soldier ever wounded in combat.  Medics are one of the most admired men to ever walk the battlefield.  Many were conscientious objectors who didn’t carry a weapon because of their beliefs. This is one story of thousands just like it.  March 29 is Vietnam Veteran’s Day.

By Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel

Wounded Vet

COCOA, Fla. – Dennis Joyner had to wait 50 years to thank the man who saved his life in Vietnam.

Joyner, a Longwood resident who is now 70, was a 20-year-old infantryman with a wife and newborn son on June 26, 1969, when he tripped a land mine while on patrol. The explosion blew off one of his legs and shredded the other so badly it had to be amputated. It took off his left arm below the elbow.

He might have bled to death or died of shock or infection. But a young medic with a Tennessee accent sprinted to his side, helping to tie a series of tourniquets around his limbs, administering morphine and ferrying him to a medevac helicopter.

On Friday, at the Old Florida Grill & Oyster House near Cocoa, one of Dewey “Doc” Hayes’ favorite haunts, Joyner finally got the chance he’d wanted for half a century.

The words rushed out in a torrent.

“Thank you! Thank you!” he said, his body shaking with emotion as Hayes, now 70 too, embraced him.

“I’ve been trying to find you for so damn long,” Joyner said. “You been hiding?”

After five surgeries and five months in various hospitals, Joyner had gone back to college before working as a court administrator in Pennsylvania and as a volunteer for the Disabled American Veterans, the organization created by Congress to help wounded vets and their families. In 1977, he was named the nation’s “Handicapped American of the Year,” and he served as national commander of the DAV in 1983 and ’84, work he continues to this day.

He moved to Seminole County in 1989, eventually becoming supervisor of elections there. Hayes, meanwhile, had gone back to Tennessee, working construction and driving trucks before relocating to Brevard County in 1997 to escape the ice and snow. He had wondered about Joyner over the years, but he was never sure he wanted to revisit the memories.

“All this time, we were living just a couple of counties apart,” said Joyner, shaking his head at the man across the table. “All this time, I just wanted to thank him for saving my life.”

Both had been drafted into service. Both were young and terrified.

On that afternoon in the Mekong Delta jungle, Joyner – a former high school quarterback and baseball pitcher – had been ordered to walk point, leading the way along a narrow path. Maybe he stepped on something. Maybe there was a booby-trapped branched he had brushed aside.

“I was 200 yards from him,” Hayes said. “I heard the explosion and I took off running (toward the sound) … Here I was a kid fresh out of the tobacco fields … It wasn’t the worst I seen, but it was the worst I seen that survived.”

Joyner doesn’t remember the explosion, only landing a split second later and seeing his body torn apart.

“I immediately started screaming, wanting to die, because I could see what was wrong,” Joyner said. “My sarge had to slap me to keep me from going into shock. Told me I had a lot to live for.”

He remembers Hayes giving him morphine. After that, the events turn blurry.

Joyner always considered himself lucky to have survived, not that he didn’t struggle with some of the memories or with anger over the depth of his injuries. But in traveling the world, in giving inspirational talks, in laying the wreath one Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, he has come to appreciate his extraordinary life.

“I mean, I lost three limbs – boom! They’re blown off,” he said. “But that’s all that’s wrong with me. … I’ve had a good life.”

Hayes would have nightmares for years, though they come less often now. Once he made it out of Vietnam, he wanted nothing more to do with medicine.

Both men divorced and remarried. Both had children – Joyner three and Hayes four. But while Joyner searched and found several of the soldiers from his unit, Hayes never looked. When a fellow infantryman wrote him last fall on Joyner’s behalf, Hayes almost threw it away.

“I don’t know who the hell this guy is,” he thought. But he opened it anyway.

Inside, he found Joyner’s phone number and a plea to call him.

The two have chatted by phone a couple of times, but, they said, it’s not the same as being face to face.

“In my eyes, you’re a hero,” Joyner said.

“Nah,” Hayes said. “The real heroes are the 58,000 on that (Vietnam Veterans Memorial) wall. … They’re the ones who didn’t make it home.”

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/50-years-later-vietnam-veteran-meets-medic-who-saved-him/ar-BBUW04N?ocid=spartandhp#image=BBUW04N_1|2