Memorial Day – 2015: A Debt We Can Never Repay … Remembering, Thanking & Honoring Our Military Heroes For Their Service & Sacrifice

REMEMBERING AND HONORING OUR MILITARY HEROES WHO GAVE ALL … BECAUSE FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE.

On this Memorial Day 2015, Scared Monkeys sends a special thank you to all of the military men, woman and their families who have sacrificed their lives to that We, the United States of America, remain the home of the free because of the brave. We thank from the bottom of our hearts those who we can no longer thank in person for their sacrifice to this great Country. Thank you and God Bless you, we shall never forget you your service and sacrifice.

Please take time today to remember what this day is truly about and the men and women that we have lost.

Memorial-Day-Arlington_nat_taps

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 – King James Version)

America has lost so many lives to protect the freedoms and liberties that we hold to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We have lost so many brave souls to not only protect our Freedoms, but the freedoms of others from tyranny.  On this day we remember that Freedom is never Free and all those that gave all in their service and sacrifice to us.

The words of President Ronald Reagan, Arlington National Cemetery, May 31, 1982:

“The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we — in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to give of ourselves.” [...]

“As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: that no other generation of young men will every have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice.”

Remarks at Memorial Day Ceremonies Honoring an Unknown Serviceman of the Vietnam Conflict – 5/28/84

I can remember like it was yesterday, but in fact it was more than 25 years ago, when I stood in Arlington National Cemetery for the funeral of my Uncle and namesake. I can remember the sound of Taps and the 21 gun salute as tears flowed down my face as I laid to rest my hero. A man that gave so much for his country and for me. A man who was the toughest and most honorable, proud and yet humble man I have ever known. By all accounts he should have died in the Ardennes forest during WWII, but God had other plans. However, in many respects he did lose all as he came home forever changed. My uncle volunteered for WWII at age 18, although, when I review the records he was actually 17. He, like 5 of his brothers, took part in WWII. However, my Uncle Red saw the most action in Patton’s 3rd Army. Much of what he witnessed, he took to his grave as he lost so many Brothers in Arms. When he came home some 4 years later after having defeated the Nazis, his own mom, my grandmother, did not recognize him.

As always and on a personal note I say thank you and you are missed to my uncle Red who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. My uncle served in Patton’s 3rd Army where he received the following medals. a silver star. bronze star and multiple purple hearts.  So often he did not want to talk of what went on during his military server and his heroic efforts during WWII; however, true heroes are also humble. It was not until much later when I was in college and became a history major with a specialty in US military warfare and tactics did my uncle open up and provide me with the truth of what he experienced during his military days, some of that time spent in the Ardennes , better know as the Battle of the Bulge.

Thank you from your nephew and namesake, Red

A thank you to all that made the greatest sacrifice for us. May we honor your sacrifices and make you proud.

Search and Rescue Underway for 7 Marines & 4 Soldiers Missing After Army Helicopter Crashes During a Night Training Exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle (Update: Debris Found, Presumed Dead)

There is a search and rescue missing taking place after an Army helicopter crashed last night during a night training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle. According to Andy Bourland, spokesman for Eglin Air Force Base, the Army National Guard helicopter,  a UH-60 Black Hawk, was reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, and search-and-rescue crews found debris around 2 AM. There were two helicopters involved in the training mission, one returned without incident. The Marines were part of a special operations group based at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and the soldiers were from a Hammond, Louisiana-based National Guard unit. Sadly, this does not look good. Although a search and rescue mission is underway, it appears that all may have died.

Seven Marines and four soldiers were missing early Wednesday after an Army helicopter crashed during a night training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.

The area where the crash happened Tuesday night was under a fog advisory. The area was still extremely foggy Wednesday morning, Eglin public affairs specialist Sara Vidoni said.

FOX News:

Search crews in the Florida Panhandle struggled with dense fog Wednesday morning as they tried to find seven Marines and four soldiers missing after their Black Hawk helicopter crashed late Tuesday night during a routine training exercise.

The Army National Guard helicopter– a UH-60 Black Hawk– was reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, and search-and-rescue crews found debris around 2 a.m., said Andy Bourland, spokesman for Eglin Air Force Base, outside Pensacola.

“At this time all are missing,” Bourland said. A military official said the 11 service members are presumed dead.

Bourland told “Fox & Friends” that debris was found near the Navarre Bridge, which is located on a small strip of land between Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

UPDATE I: 7 Marines, 4 Soldiers Presumed Dead After Helicopter Crash in Florida.

Seven Marines and four soldiers were presumed dead this morning after going missing Tuesday when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a routine night training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, base officials said

The helicopter was reported missing at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and debris was located at about 2 a.m., base officials said in a statement.

Eglin Air Force Base spokesman Andy Bourland told ABC News that it’s unknown whether weather played a factor.

“There was fog. I do not know at this time if it was a contributing factor, but when our search-and-rescue personnel arrived on scene there was very limited visibility,” he said.

UPDATE II: We have been able to confirm these were MARSOC Marines on board the Blackhawk that crashed.

We have been able to confirm these were MARSOC Marines on board the Blackhawk that crashed, but MARSOC spokesmen Capt. Barry Morris said they are not releasing the names of those on board yet.

There was some debris found around 2:30 Wednesday morning, but none of the seven missing marines or four Louisiana-based missing soldiers have been found.

Mother of Chad Littlefield Gives Emotional Statement after Jury Found Eddie Ray Routh Guilty of Murdering Her Son

The emotional words of the mother of murdered Chad Littlefield following tonight’s guilty verdict. Eddie Ray Routh was found guilty Tuesday night of the 2013 shooting deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the author of “American Sniper,” and his friend Chad Littlefield.

Pearl Harbor Day 2014: 73rd Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor … December 7th, 1941, a Date That Will Forever Live in Infamy

Pearl Harbor Day 2014 …  December 7th, 1941, a Date That Will forever Live in Infamy …

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the day the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked the Empire of Japan and the United States would never be the same. We remember those brave men and women that died that fateful day. And we honor those that survived and fought on to defend the United States, freedom and liberty. The reprehensible and treacherous sneak act unified a country and awoke a sleeping giant that provided the resolve to win a war against the evil Axis. It was that resolve, leadership and focus on the enemy that enabled the United States and its Allies to victory.

God Bless the heroism of Our Greatest Generation!

USS Arizona Under Attack at Pearl Harbor

 

 FDR’s Pearl Harbor speech:

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

Pear_Harbor_newspaper

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

Pear_Harbor2

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounded determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

UPDATE I: Pearl Harbor survivors reunite in Hawaii to mark 73rd anniversary of attack.

More than a dozen Pearl Harbor survivors, each more than 90 years old, gathered in Hawaii this week to share stories as they marked the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed 2,400 sailors, Marines and soldiers.

The gathering has been called the last meeting for the USS Arizona Reunion Association – comprised of the remaining nine survivors of the USS Arizona, a battleship that sank in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack.

But Louis Conter isn’t ready to talk about the end.

“I don’t think this is going to be our last. … We’ve still got time to go,” said Conter, 93, of Grass Valley, Calif. “We’ll be back out here no matter whether the rest of the crowd can make it or not.”

Emotional Tribute to Our Veterans: For Our Freedom, Honor and Country … I Fought For You

WOW, this might be one of the best tributes ever to our military, our heroes, our veterans.

It starts out with a grandfather saying to his two grandsons, “some people have short memories and those who are too young to know need to be taught”. The two young  kids obviously had no clue what he was saying. By the videos end, they totally understood.

God bless the brave men and woman of our Armed forced who sacrifice so much for our freedom.

A Veterans Day Prayer from President Ronald Reagan

Since our current president was in China and too busy to lay a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetary, maybe a prayer from a true Commander in Chief is required. The following is a prayer from President Ronald Wilson Reagan.

November 11, 2014 – VETERANS DAY … Thank You for Your Service to America and to Protect Our Liberty and Freedom … God Bless You All

We should thank veterans ever day for the service they perform to protect our liberty and freedom, but we do so especially today on this Veterans Day, November 11, 2014 … Thank you for your service and God Bless … HEROES ALL!!!

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We know that Freedom is never free and thanks to our military veterans, the United States of America continues to be free. A special thanks goes out to all veterans from the bottom of our hearts to the men, women and their families who sacrifice themselves to protect our Liberties so that we may live in the land of the free, and most certainly, the home of the brave. To the men and women who presently serve and who have served in our Armed Forces … THANK YOU!!! Your service to our nation is truly appreciated and shall never be forgotten and should be forever celebrated.

We owe our veterans, those that would sacrifice their lives for ours our love, prayers and support throughout their lives. There should never be such things as VA scandals, our heroes should be put at the top of the list, not the bottom. Our nation should be forever thankful.

Please watch the fantastic video from the NRA below.

VIDEO

Mexican Judge Orders U.S. Marine Veteran Andrew Tahmooressi be Freed from Mexican Jail

FINALLY,  AFTER 214 DAYS IN A MEXICAN JAIL …ANDREW TAHMOORESSI FREED!!!

Judge Victor Octavio Luna Escobedo of the Sixth Federal District Court in Tijuana ordered the immediate release of a U.S. Marine veteran Andrew Tahmooressi, who was being held in a Mexican jail on possession of weapons charges. Tahmooressi had been jailed since March 31, 2014 when he accidentally crossed the US/Mexican border with ammunition and three loaded weapons. The judge ordered his release on humanitarian grounds and dismissed the case on the grounds that were that Tahmooressi was unfit to stand trial because he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

VIDEO – CBS News

A Mexican federal district judge in Tijuana on Friday ordered the immediate release of a U.S. Marine veteran being held in Baja California on federal weapons charges.

Andrew Tahmooressi, who was on trial for crossing the border with ammunition and three loaded weapons on March 31, returned to the United States Friday night and flew to his family’s home in Florida.

The decision by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office to cease its prosecution of Tahmooressi brings to a close a high-profile case that has resounded far beyond the border.

In the United States, it prompted calls for Tahmooressi’s release from politicians, veterans groups and conservative talk show hosts. But for months there had been an impasse, as Mexican federal prosecutors insisted that the case be resolved through the courts — not through diplomatic or political pressure.

U.S. Marine reservist freed from Mexican prison, arrives in San Diego

Mexico freed U.S. Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Paul Tahmooressi, who’d been held in a prison there for seven months.

Tahmooressi boarded a flight for Miami from San Diego.

“It is with an overwhelming and humbling feeling of relief that we confirm that Andrew was released today after spending 214 days in Mexican jail,” relatives said in a statement Friday night.

Tahmooressi family spokesman Jonathan Franks said Friday night in a statement: “The family is overjoyed. They are asking for privacy at this time.”

The court said it found no cause to prosecute Tahmooressi on charges of carrying two firearms used exclusively by the military, possessing cartridges used exclusively by the military and carrying a firearm without a license

The court also recommended he be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Reactions following Andrew Tahmooressi’s release:

“It’s a victory for American veterans,” said former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who had talked to Mexican officials to urge them to release retired Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi on humanitarian grounds. “It’s a victory for the United States.”

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was “elated” by the news and that his PTSD will be treated by specialists in the United States. He had met with Tahmooressi in jail and talked to Mexico’s Jesus Murillo Karam about the case.

The DISRESPECTER in Chief … Barack Obama Salutes Two Marines with a Coffee Cup in Hand

The Latte Salute … or was it Chi Tea?

SHAMEFUL!!! Meet the Commander Community Agitator in Chief who could just care less about the military. Yesterday, President Barack Obama stepped off Marine One in NYC only to salute the two Marines at the bottom of the helicopter’s stairs with a coffee cup in his hand. HEAD SHAKING. It is being dubbed the “latte salute” although it is uncertain as to whether Obama was drinking Chi tea at the time. This president had just come from a White House photo op explaining to America the air strikes against ISIS that most informed Americans had already known about. In essence, he had just committed America to war in the fight against ISIS and Islamo-Nazi’s and somehow between the flight from DC to NYC Obama resorted back in longing for the days of vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard and golfing.

It is not required that a President salute, but if one is going to, don’t half-ass it. Then again, that has been the theme of the Obama presidency. The sick part about it is he did not even realize he did anything wrong. How disrespectful is that? The White House did not even think it was offensive as they posted it on their Instagram account. Obama should have realized his mistake, turned around, put down his coffee cup and provided a proper salute to both marines and then shook their hands and thanked them for their service.

Obama_Latte Salute

President Obama saluting U.S. Marines while holding a coffee cup. Photo via White House Instagram

Some are calling it the “latte salute.”

When President Obama stepped off Marine One at the Wall Street landing zone in New York City, en route the United Nations, he saluted two Marines at the bottom of the stairs as he held a coffee cup in the same hand.

The unusual gesture appeared in an Instagram video posted by the White House on social media.  Obama is also wearing sunglasses as he arrived, with the first lady not far behind.

VIDEO Hat Tip – The Gateway Pundit: A NEW LOW – Obama’s Salute to Marines – Most Degrading Salute Ever to Men in Uniform

Steve in a Red State

State Department Evacuates U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya

Another Barack Obama foreign policy failure …

CNN is reporting that the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya has been evacuated due to the escalating militia violence raging out of control. According to news reports, about 150 personnel, including 80 U.S. Marines were evacuated from the embassy and were driven across the border into Tunisia under the protection of F-16,  MV-22 Osprey aircraft and drone patrol from above. The only option was to drive the embassy officials out as the Tripoli airport had been shut down due to the violence. The removal of the US Embassy staff took place without incident.  As reported at the BBC, It is the second time in more than three years that the US has closed its embassy in Libya. The state department has also urged US nationals not to go to Libya.

VIDEO – NBC News

The U.S. Embassy in Libya evacuated its personnel on Saturday because of heavy militia violence raging in the capital, Tripoli, the State Department said.

About 150 personnel, including 80 U.S. Marines were evacuated from the embassy in the early hours of Saturday morning and were driven across the border into Tunisia, U.S. officials confirm to CNN.

U.S. officials stress that this is a relocation of embassy personnel and the operations have been “temporarily suspended” until “the security situation on the ground improves.” The embassy will continue to operate from other locations.

A senior State Department official said some of the staff from Libya will be sent to other U.S. embassies in the region and others will come back to Washington.

VIDEO – CNN

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that security and safety are a top priority and come first. Really? Also, while there appeared to be no direct threat of an attack against the embassy, it was the rising violence in Libya between the battling factions of warlords for control that caused the evacuation.  Too bad the Obama administration and State Department did not take the same precautions in Benghazi, Libya when violence was escalating and the US Ambassador Chris Stevens asked for more security.

“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly. Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.

Militia fighting in the area of the embassy and airport has degraded security in Tripoli significantly.

Secretary of State John Kerry called upon various factions to engage in a political process, saying “the current course of violence would only bring chaos.” Good grief, are you kidding? That’s the Obama’s administration’s response?

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