I grew up many years in Long Beach California. That was a busy Navy town during the Vietnam War times. In the apartment complexes my folks had us in housed many Navy families. Navy families carried heavy burdens as, usually, Dad shipped out to sea for six months or more at a time and the Mom’s and kids struggled to get along. While many other branches had that same burden, some families could be at home station in Europe and other places.
Do you have a favorite movie genre? Being a guy, I like the military ones most. Gee, being an old lifer that should be no surprise. One of my favorite movies of all time was Sargent York. Played by Gary Cooper, it captured the conflict of faith and war. It really made an impact on this young mind.
Many great folks have come from Oklahoma. On this day in 2004 Gordon “Gordo” Cooper, one of the original Mercury astronauts who pioneered human space exploration, died. He was 77. One of the original seven Mercury astronauts, Cooper piloted the final flight of the Mercury program, the United States’ first manned spaceflight program.
An Oklahoman, Cooper was born March 6, 1927, in Shawnee. Cooper was a World War II veteran. He joined the Marines and transferred to the Air Force in 1949. He earned a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1956 and served as a test pilot in the Flight Test Division at Edwards Air Force Base. Cooper was selected as a Mercury astronaut in April 1959. On May 15, 1963, Cooper piloted the “Faith 7” spacecraft on a 22-orbit mission that lasted 34 hours and 20 minutes.
In 1965 he served as command pilot of the Gemini 5 mission. He and Charles Conrad established a new space endurance record by traveling more than 3.3 million miles in an elapsed time of 190 hours, 56 minutes, and proved that humans could survive in a weightless state for the length of a trip to the moon. It also tested a new power source for future flights – fuel cells. During a 1995 reunion of surviving Mercury astronauts, Cooper was asked who was the greatest fighter pilot he ever saw, Cooper answered, “You’re looking at him!”
Apologies for the gap on posting, something happened to happened to this non-teckie. Thanks to Mike Frazier I got it fixed.
I love football. More specifically I love Kansas City Chiefs football. Yesterday the social media and television was ablaze about the President’s comments about “taking a knee” and patriotism. He was supported and condemned broadly across all media. NFL owners posted statements supporting, for the most part, their players. I was determined that if the Chiefs took a knee I would take a break and go do something for productive on a Sunday afternoon. Amazingly the cameras began at kick off, skipping the whole drama.
Here is my take on things. The flag represents two things to me. Our history and a vision of what we want to become. Ours has been a history of greatness but also of disappointments and weakness. What we should become may never be realized but I think when you don’t strive to improve and have no higher aspirations, you are doomed to mediocrity and malaise. That’s what veterans support, the securing of a system that has an environment of reaching dreams and equality. The flag and the veteran are inseparable.
Today in history, at the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778, Mary Hays supported the Revolutionary soldiers by giving them water. Just before the battle started, she found a spring to serve as her water supply. Two places on the battlefield are currently marked as the “Molly Pitcher Spring.” Mary Hays spent much of the early day carrying water to soldiers and artillerymen, often under heavy fire from British troops.