American Hearts In American Uniforms

We need to start today’s RED with a note of remembrance for Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin,  who was killed in action by small arms fire during combat operations in Afghanistan this past Monday.  Sgt. Griffin, was from Tennessee, served as a Special Forces communications sergeant with 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He was on his fourth combat deployment. He was 41 years old.

He was previously assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and 7th Special Forces Group before attending and graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2014.

Sgt. Griffin had deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2009. He deployed again to Afghanistan in 2016 with 1st Group, as well as served on an overseas rotation to Korea in 2018. awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters; the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three campaign stars; the Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars; the Korea Defense Service Medal; the Parachutist Badge; Master Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge; Combat Infantry Badge; Combat Action Badge; Ranger and Army Special Forces Tabs. He was posthumusly awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.

He leaves behind his wife and children.

God bless his family and team, and bless our Special Forces as they have had an incredible burden of loss this year. Lord please keep them safe.

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The United States Military has a long history of being the WORLD’S number one disaster relief organization. Take a trip back in time with me….

Dorian Response 2019: the stories of the US Military’s Dorian Response will take a while to collect, edit, and post. But they were ready:

“Overall, more than 8,000 Army and Air National Guardsmen — about 5,000 in Florida, 1,400 in Georgia, 1,400 in South Carolina and about 1,000 in North Carolina — are engaged in response activities in response to Hurricane Dorian … The guardsmen provide aviation assets, medical aid, communications, security help, transportation assets, logistic support and more, [General Lengyel] said.

At any one time, the National Guard has between 25,000 and 30,000 service members engaged in a federal missions around the world. In addition to hurricane relief, guardsmen have helped during floods and forest fires, during times of civil unrest, and even in response to volcanoes.”

Kissimmee, Fla. – Florida National Guard Soldiers with the 753rd Brigade Engineer Battalion in Tallahassee, Florida, gather together after staging their vehicles, Sept. 3, 2019. The 753rd is staging their vehicles and Soldiers in preparation to respond to Hurricane Dorian.

Indonesia 2018“On September 28, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, followed by more than 500 aftershocks … more than 2,010 people killed, nearly 10,680 severely injured, nearly 82,780 people displaced. Thousands of homes completely destroyed … USAID requested the unique capabilities of the U.S. military to support its response by providing transportation and logistics assistance … DoD U.S. Indo-Pacific Command deployed three C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, which … delivered nearly 63 metric tons of relief supplies along with transporting USAID’s disaster team and nearly 80 aid workers … The 36th Contingency Response Group, a U.S. Air Force unit based out of Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, is also working at airfields in Palu and Balikpapan to expedite the flow of cargo …”

44th Aerial Port Squadron Reservists Staff Sgt. Jordon Day, 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation craftsman, answers a call while Senior Airman Anna Abat, 380th ELRS passenger service representative and Tech. Sgt. James Rios, 380th ELRS passenger service supervisor, checks the status of a flight, Dec. 24, 2018 at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. The 44th Aerial Port Squadron, located at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, deploy qualified personnel to provide air terminal operations worldwide in support of contingency operations, exercises, unit moves, and foreign humanitarian relief or disaster operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady)

Nepal 2015: “One of the most remote humanitarian operations, Operation Sahayogi Haat … in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. Marine Corps helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft flew relief supplies into remote Himalayan Mountain villages and Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft transported supplies as well.”

Fukushima nuclear power plant, March 11, 2011  “More than 18,000 U.S. military personnel have delivered 240 tons of supplies to quake-stricken Japan, with 19 ships and more than 130 aircraft participating in Operation Tomodachi, the Japanese word for ‘friend’ … food, fuel, drinking water, hygiene supplies, and 500,000 gallons of fresh water to pour on the overheating nuclear Fukushima reactor. Navy divers are clearing cluttered harbors for navigation. Pilots are delivering aid and personnel, flying over collapsed bridges and blocked roads.”

U.S. Airmen and Nepalese service members dismount a pallet of humanitarian aid after an aircraft offload during Joint Task Force 505 humanitarian assistance and disaster relief at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal, May 7. The Nepalese government requested the U.S. government’s assistance after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country April 25. U.S Marines from III Marine Expeditionary Force came together with other services to provide unique capabilities to assist Nepal. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by MCIPAC Combat Camera Cpl. Sara A. Medina/Released)

Pakistan 2010: Massive floods: ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sept. 13, 2010 – “U.S. military aircraft supporting Pakistan’s flood relief efforts … exceeding 5 million pounds of relief supplies delivered since U.S. military relief operations began Aug. 5 … U.S. military helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft … transported more than 5.4 million pounds of relief supplies … rescued more than 13,000 people …”

U.S. and Pakistani soldiers load bags of grain onto a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Pakistan Aug. 5, 2010. Humanitarian relief and evacuation missions were being conducted as part of the disaster relief efforts to assist Pakistanis in flood-stricken regions of the nation. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Horace Murray, U.S. Army

Haiti 2010“The USS Carl Vinson was conducting routine training off the U.S. East Coast when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck southern Haiti. On virtually no notice, the U.S. Navy dispatched the carrier and its support ships to the scene. The carrier embarked additional helicopters and humanitarian relief supplies while transiting south along the coast of Jacksonville, Fla.”

U.S. Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of SOUTHCOM, lauded the contributions made by the men and women aboard the carrier and two ships in support of the critical early stages of the relief effort. ‘I want to thank the thousands of Sailors who steamed towards Haiti in near record time to help the nation overcome the humanitarian crisis that immediately followed this natural disaster,’ Fraser said. ‘From emergency medical care aboard ships, to medical evacuation missions, to the rapid delivery of urgently-needed supplies, they helped save countless lives in the most desperate of times.’

As of today, 19 U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Military Sealift Command ships continue to support Operation Unified Response, and seven additional U.S. military and civilian ships are en route to join the relief efforts … more than 16,000 additional U.S. military personnel have joined relief workers from USAID, the UN, and the international community providing humanitarian assistance.”

[The USS Carl Vinson sailed to Haiti in January 2010 after a massive earthquake killed 230,000 people and devastated the local infrastructure. Air Force special operators controlled a huge amount of air traffic … the Navy assisted with logistics and Marines helped shore up buildings and clear debris.]

Indonesia 2009PADANG, Indonesia — “With only one of the four local hospitals operational, a U.S. Air Force Humanitarian Assistance Rapid Response Team here continues to help local medical professionals treat an increasing number of patients in the wake of recent earthquakes … HARRT members have cared for more than 200 patients in the two days since opening a mobile field hospital.

Staff Sgt. Beth Sherman, an individual duty medical technician also deployed from the 36th MDOS, said most of the patients she has treated here have come in because of infections following injuries suffered during the earthquake.

‘It’s important that we are here treating these infections,’ she said. ‘It has been almost 10 days since the earthquake …’

‘We have the capability to go anywhere throughout the Pacific region in a moment’s notice during times of disaster,’ said Major Parker. ‘No matter how austere the location, we continue on with our mission.’

The 69-member HARRT arrived in Indonesia Oct. 5 and set up a mobile field hospital near the M. Jamil hospital in Padang to work closely with host-nation medical personnel. The field hospital is equipped to provide treatment ranging from acute to surgical care.

Hurricane Katrina 2005More than 60,000 members of the U.S. military forces were on the ground, first saving, then sustaining lives … 18,000 active duty service members joining 43,000 National Guardsmen … Hurricane Katrina affected over 93,000 square miles of the United States … and left an estimated five million people without power … Seabees based in Gulfport, Mississippi, began work with their base essentially underwater … National Guard personnel moved in as soon as conditions allowed … The airport in Mobile became the world’s largest Coast Guard base … Coast Guard personnel rescued 33,544 people … Many of the Guardsmen had lost their homes, yet they were heading out to help others … Guardsmen were soon joined by active-duty soldiers and Marines … The Army Corps of Engineers set about mending the breached levees and getting the pumping stations … working again. It was October before the floodwaters were pumped out.

Indonesia 2004The Defense Department brought into action military assets to support relief operations in Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. The Defense Department has been providing vital supplies and logistics to the humanitarian effort since December 30 … At the height of the DOD humanitarian support activities, there were nearly 16,000 U.S. military personnel in the region focused on this effort … There were 26 ships, 58 helicopters, and 43 fixed wing aircraft.
DOD delivered over 10 million pounds of food and supplies and provided well over 400,000 gallons of fresh water … DOD has treated almost 2,500 patients

Berlin Airlift Jun 24, 1948 – May 12, 1949:  “… the ‘Berlin Airlift’ … carried more than 2.3 million tons of cargo into West Berlin.”

[ lawngren speaking here: I was eleven years old when the Berlin Airlift began. I still have vague memories of the first conscious pride I felt in my country then. ]

From History : “… a total of 277,500 flights, in what would be the largest air relief operation in history … ‘The airlift was a lifeline for West Berlin,’ says Hope Harrison, associate professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University who has written extensively on the Cold War, Germany and Russia. ‘To feel that the U.S. and Great Britain, who had been their enemies, weren’t giving up on them. The last time they were doing anything, they were dropping bombs, and instead they’re bringing in food and coal and everything else.’ … Though the United States hoped to resolve the crisis peacefully, President Harry S. Truman’s administration did send B-29 bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons to Britain during the airlift … By the following spring, it was clear that the Berlin Airlift had become a massive success. Meanwhile, the Allied counterblockade that stopped all rail traffic into East Germany from the U.S. and British zones had dried up the region’s supply of coal and steel, hampering its industrial development and making the Soviets worry about a political backlash … After the terrorist attacks of 2001 on the United States, the city of Berlin took out a full-page ad in the New York Times with pictures of the airlift. It said ‘You helped us in our hour of need—we will help you now.’ ”

Yes, God bless America. As He has, with such Heroes as these. May we be worthy of His sacrifice and of theirs.

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