RED Friday Round Up

There is a major Anniversary this month in Military History…

For 20 days in June 1918, American and Allied forces fought a brutal battle at Belleau Wood in France.  Thousands made the ultimate sacrifice taking a final stand for freedom on that hallowed ground.

From an article at Military Times,

” America was now at war, and the Marines would be called upon…

It is then that the Marine Corps would undergo a radical transformation to do what was asked of them. Following boot camp and Officer Candidate School, Marines would take on more advanced garrison and field training both stateside and following their arrival in France.

However, the German spring offensive of 1918 altered training, causing an immediate movement of under trained troops to the outskirts of Paris. Their mission: Stop the German army breach into the Chateau-Thierry, the front line at a place known as Belleau Wood. This would be among the first large-scale battles involving American troops, and the enemy knew it would set the tone for how the Americans would see themselves.

What happened at Belleau Wood was nothing short of ferocious — a close-range pitched battle, through dense woods, where troops of both sides were desperate to advance the line and succeed the mission. Machine-gun fire, poison gas, mortars, grenades and bayonet counterattacks all were inflicted with hellish delivery.

The Marines met every challenge, mounting major frontal assaults at the enemy six different times for nearly a month. Though the human cost was horrifying, with some 1,811 Americans killed and 7,966 wounded, their brave actions stopped the enemy advance.

American forces cleared the area of enemy soldiers, killing and wounding thousands while capturing more than 1,500 German troops.

In the eyes of the world, the Marines who fought at Belleau Wood proved that the  “Devil Dogs” could battle against the most experienced combat troops in the world, and win.

Army General John Pershing was so amazed by the tenacity of the American troops at Belleau Wood that it brought about one his famous quotes, “The deadliest weapon in the world is a United States Marine and his rifle.””

casualties of Belleau Wood

For another great article about the Battle, check out this one at  Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

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June also marks the beginning of PTSD Awareness Month, with PTSD Awareness Day falling on June 27th.

Tell me, sweet lord, what is’t that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
And start so often when thou sit’st alone?
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheek,
And given my treasures and my rights of thee
To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy?
Shakespeare~ Henry IV

In 2010, Congress proclaimed June 27th as  PTSD Awareness Day (S. Res. 541). In 2014, the Senate designated the full month of June for National PTSD Awareness (S. Res. 481).

For a couple of past articles about PTSD, please read

Why PTSD is Worth Learning About

and

Suicide Among Our Military & Veterans: Still a National Tragedy

The more people begin to understand and share awareness of PTSD, more of our Veterans and others who suffer invisible wounds will understand symptoms and try and get the help they need and deserve.

For those who suffer, please know you are so loved

Closely related to our Veterans and returning troops who have PTSD/TBI, is the problem of homelessness and so many having a hard time transitioning into civilian life.  Our economy is growing, but it’s still far from being healthy and robust- and in many areas around the country, even people who are working, still remain homeless because they don’t earn enough for rent/mortgage and other basic needs.

Daisy recently posted a story about a homeless man who happened to be a Veteran, being treated to lunch by a cop at a Hardee’s restaurant in Horry County SC.

Suffer sent me a similar story earlier this week about a group of volunteers who helped a homeless San Bernardino Veteran find and reunite with his family in South Carolina after more than 30 years apart.

There are a lot of homeless people even in smaller towns like mine, but in states such as California, the numbers swell into the thousands.  When considering homeless Veterans, the numbers while falling slightly country wide, still remain outrageously high in many places around the country.  From an article in Military Times, “Federal estimates on the number of homeless veterans nationwide declined from 74,000 in 2010 to about 40,000 in 2016, but saw a small rise last year.”

While private sector business working with local and state programs to help our Veterans are making real results, the feds in the VA and HUD know there is still a lot of work to be done. Hopefully we will find more success and good stories about our Vets finding a place where they fit in and belong.
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Most people are aware of the very real effects on many Vietnam Veterans from Agent Orange.  Back during the war, the US Military sprayed over twenty million gallons of herbicide over more than four and a half million acres in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. They needed to defoliate the jungle areas in which the VC would move along hidden paths,  as well as to destroy crops.

As the decades long fight has taken a toll on many Vietnam Vets in their fight the VA and American government to recognize their health issues were directly related to exposure to Agent Orange, now it seems as if a new fight is happening with kids and grand kids of Vietnam Vets who are suffering from their own bouts with birth defects and diseases linked to exposure.

According to this article passed along by Daisy, “Hundreds of studies have been conducted and many point to the association of Agent Orange and birth defects, and in 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2014 the Federal Institute of Medicine’s scientific panels recommended that the Veterans Administration “should review all the possible cognitive and developmental effects in offspring of veterans. Such a review should include the possibility of effects in grandchildren.

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Well, today is Friday, and I hope folks got their RED on.

God bless our Troops wherever they are.  A few of us were grateful this week to find Snake is back home, and hopefully he’ll have some good amount of time before he has to go again.  I know we think about all our military, but it’s hard not to hope for Mean Green to be able to come home soon too.

Please Lord, Keep them all safe, and ever in Your care.

Have a safe and blessed day all.