Walls Don’t Matter

A few years ago, my good buddy Dick Pope gave me a book to read. Now Dick awaits me at our Supreme Commander’s camp grounds where he and others who served keep the fires going and the “Joe” hot (coffee civilians). The book was read, information absorbed, and now it resides in the Hut library. It concerned the Berlin Airlift that was ongoing while he served in Germany at that time. It began the change from the Army Air Corp to the USAF. It was an amazing story of risk and success on a flying mission that laid the ground work for our current aviation worldwide industry.

Today in 1948, in response to the Soviet blockade of land routes into West Berlin, the United States begins a massive airlift of food, water, and medicine to the citizens of the besieged city. For nearly a year, supplies from American planes sustained the over 2 million people in West Berlin. On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked all road and rail travel to and from West Berlin, which was located within the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany. The Soviet action was in response to the refusal of American and British officials to allow Russia more to say in the economic future of Germany.
The U.S. government was shocked by the provocative Soviet move, and some in President Harry S. Truman’s administration called for a direct military response. Truman, however, did not want to cause World War III.

Instead, he ordered a massive airlift of supplies into West Berlin. On June 26, 1948, the first planes took off from bases in England and western Germany and landed in West Berlin. It was a daunting logistical task to provide food, clothing, water, medicine, and other necessities of life for the over 2 million fearful citizens of the city.

For nearly a year, American planes landed around the clock. Over 200,000 planes carried in more than one-and-a-half million tons of supplies.
The Soviets persisted with the blockade until May 1949. By then, however, it was apparent to everyone concerned that the blockade had been a diplomatic fiasco for the Russians. Around the world, the Soviets were portrayed as international bullies, holding men, women, and children hostage in West Berlin and threatening them with starvation. The unbelievably successful American airlift also backfired against the Russians by highlighting the technological superiority of the United States. By the time the Soviets ended the blockade, West Germany had become a separate and independent nation and the Russian failure was complete.

One of the lighter moments was when the “Candy Bomber” began, on his own, packaging small parcels of goodies for the children with small parachutes. Donations from the troops flooded him. Although unauthorized it became a positive face on the efforts to help those on the east side of the wall.

We will be putting out flags on Main Street and Highway 99 & 20 on Friday June 29th at 9:00 AM. We will pick up flags on Friday July 6th at 9:00 AM. Then we will have a short flag raising and salute at 9:00 am on July 4th at the Legion Hut flagpole.

Get yours now! The Department of Oklahoma in OKC has Legion 100th Anniversary coins for sale at $15 each. I got my 10 coins and they are beautiful (I have awarded nine of them to special folks in my life). I will continue to distribute mine to folks who have a special meaning to me. Also, please participate in our rifle raffle. Carl Blue has set up opportunities at the NAPPA Store (Thanks to the Breedloves) and The Hominy Pawn Shop.

Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in June are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy with always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things must be postponed. Attend our next meeting July 5th at 7:00 pm. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

 

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Happy Belated 14 June Army Birthday!

I was AWOL last week due to pressing matters and other distractions. Commander O’Leary has me on KP for a bit (LOL). But this past 14 June in 1775 an important event occurred.

When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the modern sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies. They had no unified chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by informal agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders. The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies from which they were raised.

In the spring of 1775, this “army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stand a chance against Britain’s seasoned professionals.

Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army. Reportedly, at John Adams’ request, Congress voted to “adopt” the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision.

Also, on this day, Congress resolved to form a committee “to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army,” and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City. Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.

George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775. The U.S. Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of the American nation. It has drawn on both longstanding militia tradition and recently introduced professional standards.i

Commander O’Leary has been traveling back from El Paso, TX, after the Special Forces Association meeting down there. Last word I heard they were bivouacked in Midland TX this past week. Hopefully he will be back in gear with us this week.

Get yours now! The Department of Oklahoma in OKC has Legion 100th Anniversary coins for sale at $15 each. I got my 10 coins and they are beautiful (I have awarded nine of them to special folks in my life). I will continue to distribute mine to folks who have a special meaning to me. Also, please participate in our rifle raffle. Carl Blue has set up opportunities at the NAPPA Store (Thanks to the Breedloves) and The Hominy Pawn Shop.

Next Legion meeting will be Thursday June 21, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Hut. Jerry Sebert will be cooking something for us at 6:00 PM on the 21st. With the way the weather is, it might be cold cuts or watermelon.

Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in June are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy with always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things must be postponed. Attend our next meeting June 21st at 7:00 pm. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

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Memorial!

Hominy and Buck proud! Babo and Sherry Carter lead the whole Hominy team of friends and relatives, with the Legion team, and our new City Manager Jimmie Ratliff with family to place flags of our passed veterans. To grasp the future, you need to understand the past. Hominy is one place that understands that. Salute to those who served and lay in hallowed ground. Salute to all those who came out to honor our passed veterans. Commander O’Leary and Auxiliary Commander Nancy were front and center. So here is the story.

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Glory!

Do you remember the movie “Glory”? Here is a tribute that on this day in 1900 Sergeant William Harvey Carney was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery on July 18, 1863, while fighting for the Union cause as a member of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry. He was the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, which is the nation’s highest military honor.

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Geronimo!

We old skydivers have a great shout we give exiting an aircraft GERONIMO! Today in 1885, for the second time in two years, the Apache chief Geronimo breaks out of an Arizona reservation, sparking panic among Arizona settlers. A famous medicine man and the leader of the Chiricahua Apache, Geronimo achieved national fame by being the last American Indian to surrender formally to the United States. For nearly 30 years, Geronimo and his followers resisted the attempts of Americans to take away their southwestern homeland and confine them to a reservation.

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