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Memorial Day Remembrance

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Korean War Memorial, Washington, D.C., November 2005

by Kimberly A. Cook

Freedom isn’t free. Those words are powerful if we take the time to really think about the cost in lives. This three-day weekend is in honor of those who have died during military service, whether during war or peace. Men, women, and military animals have given their lives to protect us all.

On this coming Monday, please take a few moments to thank and honor the sacrifice of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free. Remember the cost to their fellow veterans, families and friends and their untimely deaths.

Because we don’t see the numbers, I wanted to list all the military lives lost to defend our country. I also want to honor the military members who stand guard today around the world.

America’s Wars from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

American Revolution
4,435 Battle Deaths

War of 1812
2,260 Battle Deaths

Indian Wars 
1,000  Battle Deaths (VA estimate)

Mexican War
1,733 Battle Deaths
11,550 Other Deaths (In Theater)

Civil War 
140,414 Union Battle Deaths
224,097 Union Deaths (In Theater)
74,524 Confederate Battle Deaths (Incomplete returns)
59,297 Confederate Deaths (In Theater) (Not including 26,000 to 31,000 who died in Union prisons.)

Spanish-America War
385 Battle Deaths
2,061 Other Deaths in Service

World War I
53,402 Battle Deaths
63,114 Other Deaths in Service

World War II
291,557 Battle Deaths
113,842 Other Deaths in Service

Korean War
33,739 Battle Deaths
2,835 Other Deaths (In Theater)
17,672 Other Deaths in Service

Vietnam War
47,434 Battle Deaths
10,786 Other Deaths (In Theater)
32,000 Other Deaths in Service

Desert Shield/Desert Storm
148 Battle Deaths
235 Other Deaths (In Theater)
1,565 Other Deaths in Service

Global War On Terror (Oct. 2001 – Present)
4,541 Battle Deaths Iraq per http://www.icasualties.org
2,411 Battle Deaths Afghanistan per http://www.icasualties.org

These numbers don’t account for the heavy toll of suicide on our troops since this nation was born. Reach out if you know a veteran who needs help.

Veterans Crisis Line 1.800.273.8255
http://www.VeteransCrisisLine.net
Veterans Crisis Line Text 838255

Freedom isn’t free.

Have a great, safe, Memorial Day weekend.

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Big, Gray And Fabulous – Samson And The USS Portland

by Kimberly A. Cook

The sun came out this week and all of Oregon went crazy. Sun party! In addition, we got two huge gray presents to add to the celebration; Samson the new male elephant at the Oregon Zoo and our city’s very own Navy ship, the USS Portland.

Both huge, gray and beautiful, Samson is getting accustomed to his new digs before he meets the rest of the herd.

Likewise, the USS Portland has completed her sea trials, but gets commissioned here tomorrow to send her off on duty. She cruised 125 miles inland up the Columbia River to visit Portland. She brought Navy and Marine crew members with her. She needs staff. Next up? Anchors aweigh!

So have a great, safe, Quirky Friday and fabulous weekend! Go big! Go gray!

 

 

 

 

#USSPortland      #LPD27

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Happy Veterans Day

by Kimberly A. Cook

On Veterans Day eve I want to send out Veterans Day wishes to all our military vets, two and four-legged. Thank you for your service and your dedication to our country.

Since those of us who have served in the military are a smaller and smaller percentage of the United States population, veteran stories may not reach all our citizens.

For veterans struggling with the return from war, deployments and even sexual assault, know you are loved and hugged by your fellow veterans. Reach out and get help. We’re all still in the buddy system.

Whether you prefer Veterans Day ceremonies or choose to spend the day in reflection and quiet, know you have served our country with true citizenship in action.

Thank you. Enjoy your day.

 

 

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Legacy and Sacrifice Live On 75 Years Later on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The importance of military veteran stories grows with the passing of time. For those who have not experienced combat, military service or being in a war-torn country as a civilian, aid worker or journalist, the catastrophe of war can drift away like a mirage.

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Looking from the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri Memorial to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. I took these pictures in November 2012. This photo always gives me pause.

 

 

December 7, 2016 is the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The U.S.S. Arizona lost 1,177 sailors and Marines from her crew that day. There were 333 U.S.S. Arizona survivors.

According to the Time Special Edition “Commemorating 75 Years since Pearl Harbor,” seventy-five years later only six of the sailors who survived the sinking are still alive. Four of the five of them hope to be at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial tomorrow to honor their fellow shipmates.

Some Pearl Harbor stories you might not know:

Doris Miller, an African American serving as a Cook Third Class in the segregated U.S. Navy, fought back manning a machine gun he had never been trained on when Japanese planes fired on the U.S.S. West Virginia. Miller received the Navy Cross for his actions. The first African American to receive the Navy Cross, he died in November 1943 when his next ship, the U.S.S. Liscome Bay, was torpedoed and sank.

“In four years at sea, I sat through 78 air attacks, but nothing was as frightening as the attack on Pearl Harbor,” Warren K. Taylor, ensign, U.S.S. Sumner in Time Special Edition.

The U.S.S. Oklahoma lost 429 sailors in the bombing. While being towed to California in 1947 after being lifted from Battleship Row, the ship was lost at sea. In 2007 the National Park Service opened a memorial to the ship and her crew on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor.

After the bombing a total of 2,403 were killed or missing, half of them from the U.S.S. Arizona, and 1,178 service members and civilians were injured. All the U.S. casualties from sailors to civilians were listed as noncombatants since the U.S. was not in a state of war with Japan.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Congress passed public law 503 which ordered the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them born in America. There was no due process of law for these United States citizens.

All proceeds from her autobiography, “Wherever You Need Me,” by Anna Busby, go to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Fund. Busby was an Army Second Lieutenant in the Nurse Corps who witnessed the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field from the lanai at Tripler Hospital in Honolulu.

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The plaque on the U.S.S. Missouri’s teak deck where the surrender was signed. My Dad’s ship sailed past the Mighty Mo two days after the surrender signing in Tokyo Bay. He was part of the occupation forces first into Japan with the Army Air Corps. After she was discharged from the Marines, my Mom sailed into Tokyo Bay on a Liberty Ship to work as civilian staff for the Army Transportation Department for a year. Mom and Dad both sailed in and out of Pearl Harbor on their deployments.

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One of the U.S.S. Arizona’s three anchors. The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and U.S.S. Missouri Memorial are in the background on the left.

 

“It’s so important that Americans don’t forget this day,” Donald Stratton, 94, Seaman First Class, U.S.S. Arizona.   

IMG_8920.JPGVisit the National Park Service’s World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument web site below.

http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

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Veterans Day Thank You

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

To all who have served in the military, thank you. For all who continue to deal with the challenges of war and service, you are loved and not forgotten. To our future veterans serving today, we look forward to welcoming you when your tours of service end.

Happy Veterans Day to all who have earned it through service to our country. Including our military animals who served and therapy dogs who support our veterans after service.

 

 

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Honor With Remembrance Those We’ve Lost

by Kimberly A. Cook                    (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

While we go about this long weekend spending time with families and friends, we must remember why we have Memorial Day. That is the day the nation honors and remembers the men, women and military animals who have given their lives in defense of freedom.

We take time to honor and remember those who have given the greatest sacrifice since we became a nation. Take a few minutes this weekend to think about and thank those who gave all for our country. Say a prayer for their friends and families who go on without them.

There are thousands of individual stories of these brave military service members who didn’t come home to their loved ones. Below is one story of a veteran who honors our fallen every day by using his talent.

Stay safe this long weekend and enjoy your freedoms; they were earned at the highest cost. Freedom isn’t free.

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Happy Veterans Day U.S. Warriors

by Kimberly A Cook                (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Tomorrow is Veterans Day and I wanted to say thank you to all my fellow veterans for their service. It’s nice to be remembered on a national holiday, but we are veterans every day. For veterans who return with medical and mental health issues, each day is another fight for them and their families and friends.

We don’t ask for parades and big ceremonies; we serve because we love our country and we took an oath to defend the United States against all enemies. Veterans have been hurt and injured during war, peace and in training. Saying thank you is enough, but for wounded and disabled warriors do what you can to help them throughout the year, especially supporting their family caregivers.

Serving changes us all. Even the four-legged vets. Thanks for remembering.

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