Thursday, November 11, 2010
A salute to the military and veterans...
Lt. Col. Chester E. Bear (ret.) is the subject of the first of two Yahoo! profiles in today's post. A veteran of three wars, Bear parachuted behind enemy lines in the Korean, Vietnam and Desert Storm conflicts. A gift from a little girl to her father's Air Force Reserves unit, the stuffed animal became a mascot, flying first on a humanitarian mission before moving on to combat, where he received many medals. Bear (above right and left) was even declared MIA for three weeks when the US Infantry found him after a jump and wouldn't give him back.
The second profile I read centered on a rifle squad composed of decorated veterans from two generations and three wars who attend the funerals of fallen vets to provide one last salute. Grown from the original patchwork six members, today's squad features 128 former soldiers spanning 30 years and all branches of the military who are believed to be the nation's only all-volunteer rifle squad.
My Yahoo! email contained a message from First Lady Michelle Obama's office marking Veterans' Day with a message and a link to Serve.org. It's a website full of ways to help military families across the country. One of my six rules to life is the absolute truism that one of the most sure-fire ways to feel better in your own life when you feel low is to help someone who is worse off than yourself. Military families often struggle to get by because of their nomadic lifestyles regardless of whether all members are stateside. Serve.org is a great way to see how you can make your own and someone else's lives richer, often spending nothing but your time.
ESPN alerted me to this last story. The universities of Maryland, Texas Tech and Utah have teamed up with Under Armour to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project. All three teams wore or will wear custom camouflage uniforms in games last weekend and this which feature camouflage numbers and details. The players' last names are replaced with one of the core values of the armed services - duty, honor, freedom, courage, commitment, integrity, country and service. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the games in which they're worn, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project.