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Memorial Day post eight – Congratulations Graduates May 27, 2007

Posted by daveintexas in Current Events, honor.

For the past several year, the Army has made arrangements with local high schools to set up simulcasts so that family members in Iraq and Afghanistan can participate with the high school graduation ceremonies of loved ones back here near Ft. Hood.

I remember the first one I attended, the graduation of my oldest daughter, and seeing the soldiers who were deployed able to watch on the big screen, their child or sibling, walk across the stage and recieve their diploma.  In the early summer in Iraq, late at night, you could see the sweat pouring off of the soldiers.  And the smiles and pride were as big and wide as you would imagine. 

Very few dry eyes at that moment.

This year was no exception.  I am impressed, as I always am, at how the 1st and the 4th look after their soldier families.  So far away, so many concerns and worries, and still they go out of their way to connect them to the ones they love. 

This is a message from Major General Joseph F. Fil, Jr., Commanding Officer of the 1st Cavalry Division, to graduates here in Central Texas.  (sorry, scroll down and click on the image of General Fil). 

In it, he recounts the story of a hero, Lt. Col. (USA ret.) Bruce Crandall, whose story was told by Col. (USA ret.) Hal Moore and Joe Galloway in We Were Soldiers Once, and Young.  Recently Col. Crandall was honored for his heroism and sacrifice during the Battle of the Ia Drang.  A time when the men on the ground needed air support, ignoring the book, (then) Maj. Crandall flew 22 resupply and medical evacuation missions into a hot LZ.

This stubborn SOB, along with his wingman Capt. Ed Freeman (now Major, USA ret.), brought 70 wounded men back to aid.  Seventy.

While under intense enemy fire.

For his courage and his determination, in the face of strong enemy opposition and at risk to himself, Col. Crandall was awarded the Medal of Honor.  It should have happened a long time ago, but at the time, the commander of the air operations group felt that honors should be reserved for the men on the ground.

He was wrong, and I’m glad to see that Col. Crandall was still here to receive the honor he so very much deserved.

God bless him, and God bless those who serve.




1. Wickedpinto - May 28, 2007

The AP caption probably reads. . .

“President Bush attempts to garotte war hero to death, with his own award.”

Random bit of info, you know that even the CNO, and the Commandant of the MC and whatever the chief generals in each branch must salute anyone wearing even the miniatures of The Medal of Honor?

I think thats cool.

Say you are a Cpl, with The Medal of Honor, and it is adorning your uniform. Even the Commandant must salute you before you salute him.

The Medal isn’t just a Medal, it is a representation of the American standard, A Medal reciepient carry’s with them at all times an American standard. I think we are the only nation that makes our fighting men of any rank equal to the national standard.

2. daveintexas - May 28, 2007

I found that out in 1987 working at the Pentagon, saw an Army Brigadier and a bird Col. salute a man in a suit. I thought he was some undersecretary of something, so I asked the guy with me “who is that”? He said “I don’t know, but see that little blue pin on his lapel”?

My dad told me about a Senior Chief in Honolulu who was a recipient, and nobody knew it. Sometime that year the CO got a bug up his ass about wearing the whites with pants in the summer, and the chief got written up for wearing shorts. A Navy MoH recipient has the right to be “piped aboard” whenever he arrives or leaves, not just a ship but a station too. The CO has to attend. So he exercised his right (wore the medal, since he was supposed to with that uniform) every time he came and left the base.

The CO changed his mind after a couple of days of that.

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