A Soldier Comes Home

Closing Thought–19Mar19

Another Korean War Unknown soldier has been identified…..

The remains of an Ohio soldier killed during the Korean War have been identified.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said in a statement Monday that Army Cpl. Stephen Nemec, of Cleveland, was accounted for on July 13, 2018.

Officials say the 21-year-old soldier was reported killed fighting against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces at Turtle Head’s Bend, near the village of Unsan, North Korea, on Nov. 2, 1950. He was buried at a United Nations cemetery that was soon closed as the situation in North Korea worsened.

Remains received in an exchange with Chinese and North Koreans after the war were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

A renewed effort to identify unknown remains resulted in Nemec’s identification. Burial arrangements haven’t been announced.

May the family of Cpl. Nemec find the closure they have long been denied and may Cpl. Nemec Rest In Peace.

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Giving Respect

Closing Thought–29Jan19

Recently I wrote a post about the respect shown to an “Unclaimed” veteran……..https://lobotero.com/2019/01/22/those-unclaimed-veterans/

And again an outpouring of respect for the “Unclaimed” veteran…..

When the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery announced that 72-year-old Joseph Walker was to be buried as an “unaccompanied veteran,” with nobody present but cemetery workers, the response was overwhelming. Roads around the cemetery were jammed and the service had to start late to accommodate the estimated 2,000 to 5,000 people who showed up to honor the Air Force veteran Monday, CNN reports. The cemetery said it had been unable to contact any relatives of the Vietnam-era vet, who served from 1964 to 1968 and received an honorable discharge. “If you have the opportunity, please come out and attend,” the Killeen cemetery said in a Facebook post. “We do NOT leave Veterans behind.”

Sen. Ted Cruz and CNN’s Jake Tapper were among those spreading word of the funeral. It was officiated by Marc George of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, NPR reports. “Today, we’re not strangers; today, we are family,” he said. “This is our brother, Joseph Walker.” Cemetery staff say the turnout included airmen and veterans from all over Texas. “It’s completely overwhelming,” Texas General Land Office communications director Karina Erickson tells the Killeen Daily Herald. “It really sends the message that this is Texas, and we don’t leave our veterans behind.” She says the agency, headed by George P. Bush, changed policies in 2015 to ensure that all veterans are buried with recognition of their service. (In New Mexico, a funeral home paid for a full military funeral for a veteran whose body was unclaimed in a hospital morgue.)

Bless the people that showed such respect….for NO veteran should be buries without people in attendance.

Death By Gun

Closing Thought–24Jan19

NO! This is not intended an anti-gun post…this is continuing with my series on suicide….I am sure that some will want to tie this into my statements from the past…but it is intended as info not oppo……

I have been watching the different suicide rates in the US from farmers to vets to military and now the youth of the nation…..

But first just a reminder of the series…….

https://lobotero.com/2014/09/03/older-vets-committing-suicide-at-alarming-rate-military-com/

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/military-suicides-arent-linked-to-deployment-study-finds/

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/veterans-suicide/

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/27/closing-thought-27jul18/

That was a quick tour of my thoughts on these suicides…..

This report on the startling amount of suicides among the nation’s young….suicide with guns involved…..

Suicide rates among U.S. children and teens have hit startling rates and a study now finds one clear predictor of youth suicide: gun ownership.

Youth suicides rates are higher in states with high gun ownership rates, a team at Boston University School of Public Health found.

“Household gun ownership was the single biggest predictor of youth suicide rate in a state,” Dr. Michael Siegel, a public health specialist at BU, told NBC News.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/state-state-study-links-gun-ownership-youth-suicide-n959946

Again mental health has been ignored for too long….time for some sort of major change in the thinking of those that make the rules.

“Zach” Beale–R.I.P.

One of the saddest post I write are those of our fallen service people protecting our nation across the world….22Jan19 another US servicemen has been killed in Afghanistan….

SFC Joshua Beale KIA Afghanistan January 2019

SFC Joshua Beale, age 32, died on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Joshua Beale, succumbed to wounds sustained from small arms fire. He was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Beale – who was also known as “Zach” – was a native of Carrollton, Virginia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University in 2008.

Beale is survived by his wife and two children .

WE at IST send our condolences to his family….may he Rest In Peace.

Those Unclaimed Veterans

Closing Thought–22Jan19

Before I go to the meat of this post….on this day in 1950 George Orwell died…the quote attributed to him…….”If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Most move on…….

I try to focus on our veterans because I am one but my life has been a bit better than some….I also try to report on the soldiers that are killed in service to their country,

There are times when there are no family member to claim the bodies of the dead…has anyone ever asked what happens to their remains?

When the flags were removed from the caskets and folded with military precision, there were no family members there to receive them.

So, the banners were passed, hand-to-hand, through the crowd.

Some mourners wept as they clutched the flags briefly. Others kissed them. But the three veterans laid to rest on a rainy Memphis morning were strangers to most of those who gathered to honor their memory.

So, the banners were passed, hand-to-hand, through the crowd.Some mourners wept as they clutched the flags briefly. Others kissed them. But the three veterans laid to rest on a rainy Memphis morning were strangers to most of those who gathered to honor their memory.The service was part of a national effort by funeral homes, medical examiners, state and federal veterans’ affairs departments, and local veterans’ groups to pay final respects to members of the military whose bodies were not claimed by any relatives. Since 2000, Dignity Memorial and other funeral homes in more than 30 cities have organized about 3,000 funerals for soldiers, sailors and Marines who died alone, but still deserved a dignified funeral and burial, said Jeff Berry, Dignity’s general manager in Knoxville.
 
Army soldiers Arnold M. Klechka, 71, and Wesley Russell, 76, and Marine Charles B. Fox, 60, were laid to rest in a service attended by about 700 people at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis on Thursday. There was a gun salute, and a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.”
 
But none of them had family members present.
 
Good to see that their remains were treated with care and the respect they deserve……
 
May they Rest In Peace!

 

More US Deaths–2019

With all the debate on whether we are pulling out of Syria or not there is one thing that never changes….the chance of being killed in service to the country.

4 American soldiers were killed in Manjib, Syria by a suicide bomber…..

Described as the deadliest attack against US troops in Syria, a suicide bombing in the city of Manbij killed at least 15 people, including four US troops, and wounded a number of others, including three US troops.

The attack was claimed by ISIS, and that started an immediate furor among opponents of the announced US withdrawal from Syria, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who suggested the very idea of the pullout had provoked the attack by emboldening ISIS.

This is almost certain to grow dramatically, with huge numbers of lawmakers and media pundits opposing the Syria pullout bound to present this as vindication for keeping the war going.

This is not just a convenient case for hawks to be mad, but also for ISIS themselves. ISIS, like its al-Qaeda predecessors, is very keen to keep US forces in the immediate vicinity as a way to keep them globally relevant. As with al-Qaeda in places like Afghanistan, the US has long been willing to give them exactly what they want.

So while now many are gearing up to try to further slow, if not outright stop, the Syria pullout, the reality of the situation is that if the US had kept to the reported 30-day pullout in the first place, the troops attacked today almost certainly would’ve already been out of Syria.

The names have not been released….I shall update this post as soon as the names are available…..

The sad thing is to see the media and war hawks try and use this incident of sadness as a rallying cry to stay the course in Syria. (A separate post to follow soon)

112 Years Of Service

Closing Thought–28Dec18  #2

I was derelict in my duty over the last few days…..I try to give our troops and veterans all the respect they deserve….sad to say that from time to time I miss a chance to tell their story…..as it was over the days after Christmas that I decided to take a “few days”…..

Another sadness is that we lost another veteran of World War Two….their numbers are dwindling fast….the oldest veteran has died……

A family member says the nation’s oldest World War II veteran, who was also believed to be oldest living man in the US, has died in Texas. Richard Overton was 112. Shirley Overton, whose husband was Richard’s cousin, says the Army veteran died Thursday evening at a rehab facility in Austin, the AP reports. Overton had been recently hospitalized with pneumonia. Overton was in his 30s when he volunteered for the Army and was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese attack in 1941. He once said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home. In 2013, he was honored by former President Obama at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

I apologize that I missed his passing and did not post an obit……our greatest generation is slowly dying off…soon they will be all gone and the next will be the Korean War many of whom were fighting in WW2….then my generation will be the ones that they talk about….probably not lovingly.

Mr. Overton….Thank you for your service to your country……May you Rest In Peace.