425th Regimental Association

The regimental home of Company F (RANGER) 425th Infantry

The Final Inspection

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The Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced his God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass

“Step foward now you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek,
And to my church have you been true?”

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
“No Lord, I guess I ain’t,
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be saints

“I’ve had to work most Sundays
And at times my talk was tough
And sometimes I’ve been violent
Because the streets were awfully rough”

But I never took a penny,
That was’nt mine to keep
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills just got to steep,

And I never passed a cry for help
Although, at times I shook with fear
And sometimes, God forgive
I’ve wept unmanly tears

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here
That never wanted me around
Except to calm there fears

If you have a place for me here O’ Lord
It needn’t be so grand
I’ve never expected, or had so much
But if you don’t I’ll understand”

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the Saints had often trod
As this soldier waited quietly
For the judgment from his God

“Step foward now you soldier,
You’ve borne your
burdens well
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell”

Don’t Like MRE’s?

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Veterans have always complained about the rations they were issued in the field.  Many of us didn’t know how well we had it.  How would you like to have served during the Civil War?

Hardtack

This simple four and water biscuit was the staple of US soldiers and sailors for most of the nineteenth century.  During the Civil War, nine hardtack crackers a day constituted the campaign ration for soldiers, North and South. If kept dry, hardtack lasts indefinably – it just gets harder and harder.  Soldiers generally dunked, boiled, or crumbled the crackers, which could only be chewed by the hardiest souls.  Many chose to fry bits in salt pork fat making a mess called “skillgallee.”  While soldiers generally despised hardtack, weevils loved it. The crackers were often issued riddle with worm holes.  Veterans considered the worms a supplement to the meager meat ration, but new recruits would dunk and skim or just eat with their eyes closed.

Hardtack Recipe –

Mix ingredients into a big dough blob. Sprinkle with flour so it doesn’t stick to everything.  Knead well and roll 1/4″ thick.  Cut into 1 1/2″ squares.  Use a nail to pierce each square with 16 evenly spaced holes.  Bake at 340 degrees for one hour or until golden brown and hard as a rock.  Enjoy!

Veterans’ Day Discounts

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World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Click this link to see the opportunities available on Veterans’ Day for meals, parks, and retail discounts. http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/

 

Vigilance

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“Nuf said!”

Remembering that Freedom is not FREE

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There are warriors in every branch of our Armed Forces that stand watch in unsafe locations around the world, so that we as a nation, can sleep safely in our beds at night, knowing that our American warriors will protect us with their very lives.  When we try putting a warm and fuzzy focus to their mission, we belittle them and the terrible price they so often pay for their fidelity.

The following video is hard core in its’ intent and execution.  It underlines an inconvenient reality which many of our fellow citizens ignore.  As the majority of our populace grows further away from the one real reason for our military, we take a greater chance of allowing a catastrophe to befall them, and us.

” We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night To visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

                                                                  — George Orwell  1942         

The Original Memorial Day

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HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If our eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us. Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

By order of JOHN A. LOGAN,

Commander-in-Chief N.P. CHIPMAN,

Adjutant General Official: WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

The Purple Heart – the Military’s Oldest Decoration

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“The Purple Heart is the one military decoration all service men and women try their hardest not to receive.  But if awarded, is highly cherished.  Just looking at the Purple Heart Medal instantly reminds us that from the time of George Washington right up to the present War on Terror, our freedom isn’t free.” – Corporal Evans Kerrigan, USMC (ret.), wounded three time in the Korean War.

General George Washington established the Purple Heart at Newburgh, New York on August 7, 1782 to recognize soldiers for meritorious service during the Revolutionary War.  The award was a cloth “Badge of Military Merit” patch with an embroidered purple heart displayed on the left side of the chest.  It was the first U.S. commendation for common soldiers and is the oldest U.S. military decoration still in use.  At least three soldiers during the Revolution were award the Purple Heart.  Today August 7th is celebrated as Purple Heart Day.

The Purple Heart, however, did not become a medal until February 22, 1932, when on the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth, General Douglas MacArthur revived the award to recognize soldiers for meritorious service and wounds received in action.  The medal was shaped like a heart, colored by purple enamel with a gold bust of Washington in the center and the Washington coat-of-arms at the top.  On the back, “For Military Merit,” was engraved with space for the recipient’s name.

Initially an Army decoration in the 1930’s, Marine and Navy personnel who were assigned to Army units were also eligible for the Purple Heart.  In 1932, when the medal was first re-established, the soldier had to be alive and personally apply for the award.  Wounded veterans from past wars – including the Civil War, the  Boxer Rebellion, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the 1916 Mexican Expedition, and others – applied for and received the Purple Heart.

At the start of WWII, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order declaring that the Purple Heart be awarded to any member of the military (regardless of branch or service) who are “wounded in action against an enemy of the United States, or as a result of an act of such enemy, provided such would necessitate treatment by a medical officer.”  The Legion of Merit, created in 1942, took the place of the Purple Heart Medal as a meritorious award.  The new executive order also awarded the Purple Heart Medal to all military personnel killed in action.

Between 1942 and 1997, civilians serving with the military were also eligible to receive the Purple Heart.  Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle was awarded a posthumous Purple Heart after being killed by Japanese fire on April 18, 1945 on Ie Shima, a small island off Okinawa.

In 1997, the criteria for the Purple Heart was again revised and the medal today is only awarded to military personnel.  Civilians who are killed or wounded as a result of enemy action now receive the Defense of Freedom Medal – the civilian equivalent of the Purple Heart Medal created after September 11, 2001.

Purple Hearts Awarded by Conflict (as of 8/21/2008)

Adapted from On Patrol, the USO magazine

The National Anthem

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All FOUR verses of our National Anthem – Note the third and fourth verses!

The National Anthem

Oh, say! can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming;
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there:
Oh, say! does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In fully glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution!
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Parachuting Into Michigan Stadium with the 101st Airborne Division

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This post is courtesy of sports blogger, Erik  Malinowski

Delivering game balls to the official before a football game isn’t normally a big deal. Oh, maybe some famous former player will get to come and wave to the crowd before he hands the ball to the head ref, but it doesn’t often get creative.

Except, that is, during last weekend’s intrastate showdown between Michigan and Michigan State in Ann Arbor. For that, UM officials decided to look to the skies.

That’s how, after a year in the planning stages, Sgt. Adam Sniffen of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, jumped from a Cessna several thousand feet above Michigan Stadium and parachuted into the largest football stadium in the country. Aside from the football and an American flag, Sniffen was also sporting a head-mounted videocam that contained a tongue switch in his mouth that would take still photos. More importantly, it recorded every nuance and maneuver that went into making such an insane leap.

Most fascinating perhaps is the tipping point where you can actually start to hear 109,933 crazed fans screaming as this expert paratrooper — who hasn’t missed a target in more than 800 career jumps — comes in and sticks the landing at the 3-yard-line.

A Soldier’s Christmas

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The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered,  perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
and I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night”

“Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red white and blue… an American flag.

“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,
I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

Michael Marks
December 7th, 2000