Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘soldiers’

A salute to our veterans

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2016

Salute

To those who have served, and to those who serve today:

Thank you.


It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

http://www.pattonhq.com/koreamemorial.html

Thanks, Papa, for your many years of service. I love you and miss you.

On this Veterans Day, please make a contribution to an organization (or two or three!) that supports veterans or active-duty military personnel.

The Signaleer has a nice history of Remembrance Day, which begat Armistice Day, which begat Veterans Day, and he includes the classic World War I poem, In Flanders Fields. Well worth a visit.

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A salute to our veterans

Posted by Richard on November 10, 2015

Salute

To those who have served, and to those who serve today:

Thank you.


It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

http://www.pattonhq.com/koreamemorial.html

Thanks, Papa, for your many years of service. I love you and miss you.

On this Veterans Day, please make a contribution to an organization (or two or three!) that supports veterans or active-duty military personnel.

The Signaleer has a nice history of Remembrance Day, which begat Armistice Day, which begat Veterans Day, and he includes the classic World War I poem, In Flanders Fields. Well worth a visit.

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A Veterans Day salute

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2014

Salute

To those who have served, and to those who serve today:

Thank you.


It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

http://www.pattonhq.com/koreamemorial.html

Thanks, Papa, for your many years of service. I love you and miss you.

On this Veterans Day, please make a contribution to an organization (or two or three!) that supports veterans or active-duty military personnel.

The Signaleer has a nice history of Remembrance Day, which begat Armistice Day, which begat Veterans Day, and he includes the classic World War I poem, In Flanders Fields. Worth a visit.

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Veterans Day salute

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2011

Salute

To those who have served, and to those who serve today:

Thank you.


It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

http://www.pattonhq.com/koreamemorial.html

Thanks, Papa, for your many years of service. I love you and miss you.

On this Veterans Day, please make a contribution to an organization (or two or three!) that supports veterans or active-duty military personnel. Such as Project Valour-IT to help severely wounded soldiers.

The Signaleer has a nice history of Remembrance Day, which begat Armistice Day, which begat Veterans Day, and he includes the classic World War I poem, In Flanders Fields. Worth a visit.

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Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 30, 2011

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

  

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

 
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

 

Today, please remember those who died "that liberty shall live." I'm remembering my dad, Col. Samuel R. Combs — who, in the memorable words of Robert Denerstein, "answered his country's call even before the phone rang." I miss you, Papa. 

If you have friends or relatives — or maybe an elderly neighbor down the street — who are veterans, thank them now. Don't wait until they have a marker over their head. 

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Support Project Valour-IT

Posted by Richard on November 12, 2010

UPDATE (11/12): The competition is over, and we surpassed the $60,000 goal by more than 50% — final tally: $92,542! Thanks to all the donors, and congratulations to the Marine Corps team, which finished well ahead of second-place Army. But we'll get 'em next year! 

*** Last day of competition. Veterans Day. Please thank a vet and give today. ***

As in years past, I'm supporting Project Valour-IT again this year. And again this year, I'm late to the party.

Project Valour-IT (Voice Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops) is a project of the wonderful Soldiers' Angels Foundation. The money raised provides voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines with severe injuries — typically hand and arm injuries or amputations.

The annual fundraising event is a friendly competition among teams of bloggers representing the service branches to see who can raise the most money for this wonderful cause. I join the Army team each year, in honor of my late father, Col. Samuel R. Combs, United States Army Signal Corps, who passed away August 16, 2006, at the age of 89, and who the Rocky Mountain News described as epitomizing the Greatest Generation. ("He answered his country's call even before the phone rang" is a phrase I shall always treasure. Thank you again, Bob Denerstein.)

Donations of any size are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. Please do me the honor of donating through my humble blog by clicking the button below. I've kicked in a C-note, as usual. Give what you can — it's dead simple, whether you use a credit card or PayPal (or one of the other options offered) — and even five or ten or twenty bucks helps a lot. Thanks for your support!

Contribute to Project Valour-IT

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Veterans Day salute

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2010

 soldier saluting flag

To those who have served, and to those who serve today:

Thank you.
 


It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
 

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

http://www.pattonhq.com/koreamemorial.html

Thanks, Papa, for your many years of service. I love you and miss you.

On this Veterans Day, please make a contribution to an organization (or two or three!) that supports veterans or active-duty military personnel. Such as Project Valour-IT to help severely wounded soldiers. Please click here and help me help the Army team in this friendly inter-service rivalry for a good cause.

The Signaleer has a nice history of Remembrance Day, which begat Armistice Day, which begat Veterans Day, and he includes the classic World War I poem, In Flanders Fields. Worth a visit.

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Rules of (mis)engagement

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2010

A short time ago, the U.S. death toll in Afghanistan passed 1000, and the Brits just lost their 300th. Today was an especially deadly day for coalition troops, and this month is turning into one of the deadliest of the war. This is not unexpected. When the surge began, everyone predicted a rise in casualties. More troops engaging in more operations equals more casualties. 

But that alone may not be the full explanation. On Sunday, George Will reported on a troubling email from a non-commissioned officer in Afghanistan. The NCO cited several examples from his own battlefield experiences illustrating that the rules of engagement under which troops are operating are, in his words, "too prohibitive for coalition forces to achieve sustained tactical successes." Here's one of them: 

Receiving mortar fire during an overnight mission, his unit called for a 155mm howitzer illumination round to be fired to reveal the enemy's location. The request was rejected "on the grounds that it may cause collateral damage." The NCO says that the only thing that comes down from an illumination round is a canister, and the likelihood of it hitting someone or something was akin to that of being struck by lightning. 

The others are no less nonsensical and dangerous to the troops. In a counter-insurgency operation, it's both morally and practically important to minimize unnecessary civilian casualties. But there's such a thing as being stupid about it. When a group of villagers is, as in another of the NCO's examples, openly cheering for the enemy and harboring insurgents in their homes, being solicitous of their feelings is unlikely to win their hearts and minds — only to win their greater contempt. 

Right or left, hawk or dove, surely we can all agree that it's wrong to send soldiers to fight under rules that make it impossible for them to succeed and that greatly increase their chances of dying.

(HT: Vodkapundit)

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Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 31, 2010

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

  

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

 
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

 

Today, please remember those who died "that liberty shall live." I'm remembering my dad, Col. Samuel R. Combs — who, in the memorable words of Robert Denerstein, "answered his country's call even before the phone rang." I miss you, Papa. 

If you have friends or relatives — or maybe an elderly neighbor down the street — who are veterans, thank them now. Don't wait until they have a marker over their head. 

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Veterans Day salute

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2009

 soldier saluting flag

To those who have served, and to those who serve today:

Thank you.
 


It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
 

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

http://www.pattonhq.com/koreamemorial.html

Thanks, Papa, for your many years of service. I love you and miss you.

On this Veterans Day, please make a contribution to an organization (or two or three!) that supports veterans or active-duty military personnel. Such as Project Valour-IT to help severely wounded soldiers. Please click the donation thermometer on the left below the calendar and help me help the Army team in this friendly inter-service rivalry for a good cause.

The Signaleer has a nice history of Remembrance Day, which begat Armistice Day, which begat Veterans Day, and he includes the classic World War I poem, In Flanders Fields. Worth a visit.

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Support Project Valour-IT

Posted by Richard on November 6, 2009

I've been meaning to sign up for this year's Project Valour-IT fundraiser all week, but haven't gotten around to it. Today, in the wake of the murderous attack at Ft. Hood, I've made time.

Project Valour-IT (Voice Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops) is a project of the wonderful Soldiers' Angels Foundation. The money raised provides voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines with severe injuries — typically hand and arm injuries or amputations.

The annual fundraising event is a friendly competition among teams of bloggers representing the service branches to see who can raise the most money for this wonderful cause. I join the Army team each year, in honor of my late father, Col. Samuel R. Combs, United States Army Signal Corps, who passed away August 16, 2006, at the age of 89, and who the Rocky Mountain News described as epitomizing the Greatest Generation. ("He answered his country's call even before the phone rang" is a phrase I shall always treasure. Thank you again, Bob Denerstein.)

But this year, I'm also doing it for the killed and wounded at Ft. Hood and their families. Some of the survivors may need those laptops and other devices that Project Valour-IT provides. 

Donations of any size are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. Please do me the honor of donating through my humble blog by clicking the button below (or in the left sidebar). I've kicked in a C-note, as usual. Give what you can — it's dead simple, whether you use a credit card, PayPal, or electronic check — and even five or ten or twenty bucks helps a lot. Thanks for your support!

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Happy 234th birthday, Army!

Posted by Richard on June 15, 2009

A belated Happy Birthday to the United States Army, the oldest of the uniformed services, which was born on June 14, 1775.

U.S. Army 234th birthday coin

As the coin indicates, the Secretary of the Army has designated 2009 as The Year of the NCO. As the son of an officer, I can attest to the fact that NCOs are what makes the Army work. I'm sure my dad would have agreed. 

The occasion merits an inspirational story about a soldier. If this one (HT: Mrs. Greyhawk) doesn't move you, you're not human: 

Even when half your skull is missing, life goes on.
 
For ex-soldier Erik Castillo, gravely wounded by mortar fire in Iraq in 2004, life is going better than expected.
 
Five years have passed since he woke up drooling and paralyzed in an Army hospital with a coconut-sized hole in his cranium — an injury from which doctors said he would never fully recover.
 
The road back to some sort of normalcy has been rife with pain and indignity. He's been stared at by strangers, coped with countless surgeries and infections, and battled rage, self-pity and depression.
 
Through it all, he kept hoping he could reach a point where life seemed worth living again.
 
Finally, he has.
 
"I'm happy with who I am now," said Castillo, 25, a 2001 graduate of Rio Rico High School who now lives in Tucson.
Today, Castillo can walk unassisted — a feat that took more than three years to achieve. He owns a house and plans to go to college next year after more surgery later this year to repair his right eye socket and realign a droopy eye.
 
"I'm making the best of my life," he said. "No matter what, I'm not going to sit around and complain about my suffering."
 
Doctors say his progress represents a triumph of determination over despair, something that isn't unusual among wounded veterans — even those as severely injured as Castillo.
Damn, we've got some amazing young people in this country. Read the whole thing

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Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 25, 2009

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

  

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

 
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

 

Today, please remember those who died "that liberty shall live." And thank the veterans who are still with us.

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Thanksgiving greetings from Iraq

Posted by Richard on November 28, 2008

Bill at Castle Argghh! reported on his Thanksgiving Day in Iraq (don't mind the acronyms and jargon; that's typical military-speak) and passed along a message from the locals:

I stopped to chat with two of the Kurdish kaydets in Class 70. One's best bud is a Sunni and the other has a pal who's Shi'a.

As I was walking to the DFAC, I stopped to exchange pleasantries with a couple of the Turkish Ell-Tees who are here as Liaison Officers — the pilots of the Iraqi 3rd Squadron had invited them to be their guests at lunch.

Walking into the DFAC, I yakked with some troops from the Kurdish Army who'd been invited to have lunch by the MITT working one of the outlying FOBs. The whole group sat with a couple of the Nigerian construction workers operating the cranes that hoist the steel sheeting that a local builder is using to erect the new IqAF Flight School complex.

Every Iraqi soldier I saw this morning wished me a Happy Thanksgiving.

I'd like to pass those wishes along to you guys..

You know, that's heartening on so many levels.

BTW, Castle Argghh! is a fellow member of the Army team raising funds for Project Valour-IT. Have you clicked the banner in the left sidebar and donated a few bucks to this wonderful cause yet? The Army team has extended its lead over Navy to $10,000 now, so we're home free. But the severely wounded soldiers waiting for this technology assistance to aid them with their recovery and independence still need more help.

If you'd rather donate via another service team or directly, that's OK too. But please give. You can donate directly here

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Thank a wounded vet this Thanksgiving

Posted by Richard on November 27, 2008

If you're a regular reader, you've seen my earlier posts (here and here) about this year's Project Valour-IT fundraiser. It's a friendly competition among teams of bloggers representing the different service branches to see which team can raise the most funds for this wonderful cause. 

In honor of my late father, Col. Samuel R. Combs, I'm a member of the Army team (the second blogger to sign up, in fact). The good news is that, after falling well behind Navy for a time, the Army team has now taken a commanding lead of more than $8,000. The bad news is that the total raised by all teams is only a little over $72,000. 

This fine project needs — and deserves — more to continue its valuable work. Let's see if we can't push the total to $100,000 this Thanksgiving (the last day of the competition). Please express your thanks to our severely wounded veterans by clicking the banner in the left sidebar and making a contribution.

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