Never forget who came before you

Originally posted by cr420:
I just finished reading the book, 'With the Old Breed at Peleiu and Okinawa' by E.B. Sledge. This should be required reading for any American. Truly put my experiences in perspective, and a must read to appreciate our history.

That is an outstanding book. If you haven't done so already, read "China Marine". Its about Sledge's expiriences after the war in China.

"Be a man of principle. Fight for what you believe in. Keep your word. Live with integrity. Be brave. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Serve your country. Teach. Mentor. Give something back to society.  Lead from the front. Conquer your fears. Be a good friend. Appreciate your friends and family. Be a leader and not a follower. Be valorous on the field of battle. And take responsibility for your actions."
Major Douglas A. Zembiec, USMC

This newspaper article and obituary was posted on a mailing list of which I'm a member, and I thought of this thread after reading it. Definite stud board material.

November 1936

Death Near

George Sheram At Death's Door

George Sheram, 98 year old Confederate veteran, who became famous when he refused rides while hiking to veterans' conventions, Friday was at the point of death.

The veteran had been in failing health for more than a year. He took to his bed last Sunday at the Confederate Soldiers' Home here, and the physicians report that his strength is going fast.

Uncle George, as he was known far and wide, was a victim of the wanderlust, and frequently had played hooky from the soldiers' home, disappearing for months. To satisfy his passion for fishing, Mrs. Mary Goudelock, superintendent of the home, frequently took him to a lake near Roswell.

A picturesque figure with white hair and a flowing beard, Uncle George had walked to many conventions, refusing rides along the way. At the age of 83 he made his way to Richmond. He was wounded twice during the War Between the States, and was one of three Georgia brothers who distinguished themselves in the conflict.

As a lad of 14 he enlisted in the Confederate army in 1862. He was a private in Company K of the Fifty-third Georgia Regiment, and served until the end of the conflict. At the Battle of Gettysburg he was wounded in the knee. At Bull Run he fell with a bullet in the shoulder. Neither wound kept him out of service long.

Uncle George started his famous walking trips in 1912 at the age of 75. He made his way to veterans' conventions in Richmond, Chattanooga, Tampa and New Orleans. Motorists on the highways offered lifts to the picturesque old man, but he scornfully refused all aid.

He even made his way to a convention in Los Angeles, but was forced to backtrack through desert country and board a train, lack of water being too much for him. He contended that this was the only time he did not walk all the way.

The veteran entered the Confederate Soldiers' Home here in 1932, and immediately his high spirits, his incurable wanderlust and his insistence upon fishing made him a trial to the superintendent. Rather than see the old man miserable, Mrs. Goudelock made a practice of taking him to a lake north of Atlanta. There he was happy, and his companion always saw to it that he made a catch.

Uncle George could not remain long in one place, however, and he was forever playing hooky from the home. Last November he disappeared. Mrs. Goudelock followed him to Chattanooga, but the veteran gave her the slip. When next heard from he was visiting relatives in Tennille, his boyhood home. He returned after four months, and the day after he came back the superintendent took him fishing.

George Washington Sheram, b. Oct. 11, 1839, d. Oct 2, 1936

Sheram, George Washington -- Enlisted as a private in Company K, 1st Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Ramsey's), June 18, 1861. Mustered out at Augusta, Georgia March 18, 1862. Enlisted as a private in Company K, 53rd Regiment, Georgia Infantry May 6, 1862. Wounded at Malvern Hill, Virginia, July 1, 1862; Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 3, 1863. Appointed 4th Corporal in 1863; 3rd Corporal October 1863; 2nd Corporal August 1864. Absent without leave February 28, 1865. No later record. Pension records shows he was at home on sick furlough April 1865. Born in Monroe County, Georgia, October 11, 1839. Died at Confederate Soldiers Home, Atlanta, Georgia, October 2, 1936. Buried at Barnesville, Georgia.
found this post while prowling, it's 1204 here in the deployed area right now so it's November 13th, 63 years to the day my namesake was killed on board the USS Atlanta in the night actions off Guadalcanal. I wish I had a copy of the only pic we have left of him to post but alas it's not something I travel with.

Location Texas.


"So what are you gonna do if we get hit on this trip?" "Me?, I'm going to shoot some good pics of you nuking their ass. You do your job, I'll do mine. If I have to do yours,(unless you're the medic) we're probably all screwed!" - Standard reply , from Desert Storm through Iraqi Freedom

Here's Gramps..

Kermit Wright, he served in the 335th Harborcraft Unit, US Army.

"This was an amphibious unit stationed in England prior to the invasion of France. We operated out of South Hampton, England from 1943 till 1944.
The 335th was then involved in Operation Mulberry in 1944 during D-Day. Operation Mulberry was the name of the war-time operation that installed portable docks or bridge spans on Omaha or Utah beaches during the D-Day invasion.
After the successful invasion of France the 335th Harborcraft Unit was stationed at Cherbourg, France for the duration of WW II in Europe.
Prior to the D-Day Invasion, the 335th Harborcraft Unit was called the Amphibious Engineers located in South Hampton, England.
Prior to shipping overseas, the 335th trained at Camp Edwards near Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The unit was nicknamed, the 'Cape Cod Commandos' by the local population."

Ready to roll in 1943

This photo was taken in Cherebourg Harbor,France in 1944/45
Kermit and his Motor Launch MTL6-67

Christmas 2002

RIP Kermit, 25 August 2005
[color:RED][b]Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back. Al Swearengen[/b][/color]
One can't help but admire those men that are now known as the greatest generation. We should all show them the respect they deserve. My grandfather fought in WWII and I couldn't imagine ever trying to compare what I call combat to what he experienced. Everything now seems like a cakewalk compared to the stories he told me of what he saw when he was just a kid at 18.

I've never met a veteran I didn't like.

One more from the other side.
My grandpa from my dad`s side was the General Surgeon for the Deutsche Wehrmacht in Poland. His wife, my grandma, was the leader of the 'Bund Deutscher Mädchen' in Poland. She technically commanded every polish girl over the age of 16. My grandpa was killed by the advancing Russians - and grandma packed up her five kids and fled back to Germany on foot.

All men from my mother`s side were grunts. She had four brothers in the Wehrmacht & the SS and all fell during the war, as did her father. I wish I would have had the chance to meet any of them.

Which means, that all males from our family, for the last three generations, were shot to death... non of them died of a 'peaceful death'. My mom is not really thrilled about my profession, but she`s a strong woman and handles my assignments well.
My grandma,the 'Bund Deutscher Mädchen' leader, died peacefully at the age of 92 - she was one tough bitch. I never really liked her, but I have the deepest respect for her. She raised hell all the way to her death (and bought a brandnew car at the age of 91 ...that she trated in two weks later for something fast, cause the thing was to slow for her ;o).

Sorry I don't have any pictures...wish I did:

Father: Hospitalman Petty Officer Second Class, USN 1947-1952.

Uncle Luther: Airborne landed in Europe during D-Day invasion and was in Bastogne during the battle of the bulge. Purple hearts and Silver Star. Uncle Luther went from Platoon Sergeant to Lieutenant to Private to Platoon Sergeant in less than one week! That's the Army.

Uncle Charlie: Landed as Anzio. Lost his best friend to a direct hit from an arty shell.

Uncle Paul: Marine paratrooper in the Pacific WWII.

Mothers Brother: Merchant Marine WWII....survived six ship being torpedoed out from under him. I never met him and I hear he wasn't all there...survived SIX Ships getting sunk under him.

And me....Retired in '98 with 22 years USN as a Chief Hospital Corpsman.
Dad served in the Navy on a destroyer. He was in during the Korean war, but was in the atlantic fleet. Out of 48 months service, he was on the ship 44 months. Red Face BT2 was his rating.
My Grandfather and his brother were in the army during WW2. I dont know much about them, they were dead before I was born.
Dads other uncle was s spy during WW2 (American side, in Germany). He was a "little crazy" according to my Dad. Big Grin Again, he was dead before I was born.
My step grandfather was in the army in WW2. North Africa. He had some crazy stories.
I got to get some pics.
My old man in 'Nam (leftside of the Huey without the brain bucket on):

Touched the pic up a bit with some photo editing programs:
“Out of every hundred men, ten shouldn’t be there, eighty are are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” Heraclitus
Military service has been a bit of a family affair for my father's side. My grandfather on the left, my father on the right, and me in the center. My uncle served in WWII, one cousin in Vietnam, and another retired from the Air Force.



"You should respect his position if for no other reason than he has the power to send loyalists like Chris and JCustis to crush your little rebellion if you get caught seditiously half stepping. " - basicload

Just one of the Shepherd's sheepdogs. Joshua 24:15 Matthew 10:28

Never forget that we wouldn't be free or have a country without the starved, naked, cold, and bloody footprints in the snow CONTINENTAL LINE. THEY won us or independence. I had descendants that fought in that war and everyone needs to remember on Veterans day/ Memorial day that THEIR BLOOD WAS SHED FOR THIS COUNTRY LONG BEFORE GETTYSBURG, NORMANDY OR IRAQ. Just giving credit where it's due!

I wish I had a digital pic of him. Back home in Yuma there's an Armed Services Memorial park, and this is his plaque. My great-grandfather was also in the Army, doughboy in WWI...


"We must be able to apply the appropriate degree of force and discrimination...demonstrating a complete business like attention to detail and if necessary, we must be able to kill with ruthless efficiency" - MSG Paul Howe

My grandfather...Frank Linnell...somewhere in New Guinea/Phillipines w/ the 6th ID in WWII and w/ the 196th LT INF in Vietnam (on the left) pics of Korea, but there too...kinda the touchstone that I go to from time to time...

" I want half of you over here, half of you over here and the other half of you over there..."

My second cousin. Knew him a little. Wish I could have known him more especially after I found out that he was with SOAR.

Sgt. Christopher M. Erberich

Sgt. Christopher M. Erberich died June 1, 2006, when the MH-47 Chinook helicopter he was flying in crashed near Doerun, Ga., during a training flight from his unit's home station at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., to Fort Rucker, Ala.

He was born Oct. 10, 1980, in Oceanside, Calif. Erberich earned his Graduation Equivalency Diploma in 1998 from Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. He then received his Associates of Applied Science Degree in Electronic s Engineering Technology from the ITT, also in Boise.

Erberich enlisted in the Army Jan. 3, 2001, as a helicopter repairman. After completing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and advanced individual training at Fort Eustis, Va., he was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Training Company in August 2001. Upon completion of the Basic Mission Qualification Course, Erberich was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., where he served as a helicopter repairman and then a MH-47D flight engineer.

A seven-time veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, Erberich deployed six times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Erberich's military training includes the Warrior Leader Course, Survival Evade Resist Escape Course, the Basic Mission Qualification Course and the Heavy Helicopter Repairman Course.

His awards and decorations include the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Aviation Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Erberich is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and his parents, Michael and Teresa Erberich.


1:33 AM CDT on Saturday, June 3, 2006

Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. "” A North Texas man was among the four special operations soldiers killed when their helicopter crashed in a field in southwest Georgia earlier this week.

The soldiers were identified as Sgt. Rhonald E. Meeks, 28, of Weatherford; Sgt. Christopher M. Erberich, 25, of Oceanside, Calif.; Sgt. Michael D. Hall, 30, of Little Rock, Ark.; and Chief Warrant Officer Michael L. Wright, 41, of Indiana.

The soldiers died in rural Colquitt County when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed and broke apart Thursday morning during a routine training flight.

The victims were members of the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, an elite unit known as the Night Stalkers that uses MH-47 Chinooks to fly special forces commandos behind enemy lines under cover of night. The battalion is stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah.

I came across a website that shows something that was done in Chris's memory for his wife. Here is the link.

With it or on it. - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

I wish I had the pictures to post of the man, but my Grandfather on my mother's side was MSG Laurie Harris, retired US Air Force Honor Guard. When I was young, he died of internal bleeding from falling on his front stairs, the doctors checked him out and never caught it, didn't seem fair then, doesn't seem fair now.

I am following in the steps of my mother's side of the family, although I believe MSG Harris would kick my ass when he found out I was becoming a grunt instead of a proper Airman, I still like to think that he's proud of me and my accomplishments so far.

Call me sentimental, but I'd like to think it was him and his hand that kept me awake when that RPG went off right next to me, that brought me back to my senses and told me I was almost killed and needed to get up and into the truck.

Maybe, maybe not.

I just hope I'm making the man proud to be in his bloodline.



Just an Infantry guy pretending to understand the Internet.



Joined: 5/1/2007          Location: Illinois, USA

Great thread everybody! I don't have any photos but I do have a cool story... My gradfather was an MP at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, and he served in the Pacific for the rest of the war. My grandmother was a hottie, born in Romania, and toured with the USO all over the Pacific. She had 17 marriage proposals, and eventually said yes to my grandfather, and they settled and lived on Oahu 'til 2000.

Also, it's interesting how many of your relatives were in the German army/navy in WWII. Amazing how time heals wounds.

Edited for content.




Embrace the Hate

"The Bible says 'Thou shalt not kill' ... uh ... well ... Thou shalt not try to kill me either" -- Chuck Mawhinney, USMC, Vietnam

Patriotism from the 1940's. This is a good, two minute read by my former pastor. Times as you all know were different.

by Charles R. Swindoll

My love affair with Thanksgiving takes me all the way back to my boyhood days. I had just turned 10 years of age and was in fifth grade at Southmayd Elementary School in East Houston. As I recall, I was still going barefoot to school--and I combed my hair, maybe three times a week. Girls didn't matter a lot to me when I was 10! It was on a Wednesday, the day before our Thanksgiving holidays began.

The year was 1944. Our nation was at war across the Atlantic into Europe as well as in the Pacific and far beyond. Times were simple back then but they were also rugged. Everything was rationed. Framed stars hung proudly in neighborhood windows--and sometimes they were quietly changed to crosses. Everyone I knew was patriotic to the core. Without television, we relied on "newsreels" that were shown at the movies, bold newspaper headlines, and LIFE magazine, which carried photos and moving stories of courage in battle and deaths at sea. Signs were posted inside most stores and on street corners, all of them with the same four words:

"Uncle Sam Wants YOU"

Draped high across the front of our classroom was a huge American flag with its 48 stars and 13 stripes. We began that Wednesday as we did every other day in school, standing erect beside our desks, repeating the Pledge of Allegiance and then bowing our heads as our teacher led us in prayer. Hanging just below the flag was a large picture of our 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She always remembered to pray for him--and our "soldier boys"; who were serving their country in dark, dreary, and dangerous places a half a world away from my fifth-grade class.

My teacher had lost her husband on the blood-washed shores of Normandy the previous June. After we had saluted the flag, a hush fell across the room as we bowed our heads together. No one moved. As she began to pray and give thanks, her voice broke and she started to weep. I did too. So did Richard Webb, my best buddy. And Wanda Ragland. Even Charles White and Warren Cook, two tough kids who later played high school football when we were all Milby Buffaloes, wiped back their tears. No one moved as she stumbled and sobbed her way through her prayer, which was filled with some of the most moving expressions of gratitude and praise that I have ever heard emerge from a soul plunged in personal grief and pain.

In that epochal moment, time stood still. And I believe it was then--right then--that I fell in love with Thanksgiving. It became, for me, far more than just another holiday; it took on a significance that bordered the sacred.

Lost in sympathy and a 10-year-old-boy's pity for his teacher, I walked home much slower that autumn afternoon. Although only a child, I entertained deep and profound feelings of gratitude for my country, kept free by the bravery and blood of men and women only a few years older than I, most of them fresh out of high school. On that cool afternoon I felt a renewed surge of thankfulness for my mom and dad, my older brother and sister . . . my maternal grandparents . . . my friends . . . for my school . . . my neighborhood . . . my church. Though only a child, I promised God that I would fight to the end to keep this land free from enemies who would take away our liberty and erase America's distinctives and steal the joys of living in this good land.

I have never forgotten that childhood promise. I remembered it at another Thanksgiving, fourteen years later in late November of 1958, when I wore the uniform and silently walked the same beaches of Okinawa where my fellow Marines had sacrificed their lives in the last great battle of the South Pacific in WWII. And as Thanksgiving returns annually, I still pause; I still let the wonder in.

Thanksgiving puts steel in our nerves and causes fresh blood to course through our patriotic veins. It reminds us of our great heritage. It carries us back with humbling nostalgia to those first dreadful winters at places like Plymouth and Jamestown, where less than half of those who first landed survived. But what grand men and women those pioneers became--those who pressed on. Reading their names today is like reading a page out of our national heroes' Hall of Fame. In words taken from Hebrews 11, they were those "of whom the world was not worthy." At this time every year I pause and remember how thankful I am for each one of them. They had the stuff of which greatness is made.

(to be continued on Thursday)

Copyright © 2007 Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
No sacrifice, No victory. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. Rom 5: 8-9 "My friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after can do no more. But fear the One who after he has killed can cast into hell; I tell you, fear him." Christ speaking. Luke 12: 4-5 Bad decisions, Bad outcome.

My grandfather - He was the Co-Pilot of VPB-118 (Webster Crew), Okinawa Japan - 1945

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting


for service as set forth in the following


"For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japa-
nese forces in East China, Korean and Japanese home waters
during the Okinawa Campaign, from April 26 to August 8, 1945.
The first squadron to operate heavy bombers from still-insecure
Okinawa, Patrol Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN
opened a three-weeks campaign on April 26, sending United
States planes for the flrst time into the Sea of Japan and confined
waters around Korea to sink 24 enemy ships and damage 30
others In one of the most successful operations of this kind.
Braving fire from the shore, the targets, escorting warships and
enemy fighters, the Squadron attacked hostile shipping at every
opportunity executed strikes against heavily fortified air bases
and airfields Kyushu and Korea; and on June 7 began its inten-
sive campaign of mining the waterways and harbors along the
coast of Korea while continuing to wreak havoc on enemy land
and shipping targets. With the sea blockade forcing more traffic
overland, the Squadron organized a raid to cripple land communi-
cations between Japan and China and, during missions in eastern
Korea, against Shanghai, and along the coastal waters of northern
Honshu, inflicted extensive damage on railroad, airfield and
shipping installations. Highly successful in effecting the air-sea
blockade of the Japanese homeland, Patrol Bombing Squadron
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN achieved a superb record of ser-
vice which reflects the highest credit upon its officers and men and
the United States Naval Service."

For the President,

(Signed) James Forrestal

Secretary of the Navy
All these vintage photos are unbelieveably, amazingly cool! Thank you all for sharing 'em.

Those of us who know must save those that don't from those that think they do.

"If you count 'three', mister, you'll never hear the man count 'ten'".-John Wayne as Sean Thornton in The Quiet Man

My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.-Exodus 22:24

My grandfather flew 35 missions over Europe in a B-17 bomber. He came home and was very successful at whatever he endeavered. He passed away in 1977 when I was a kid. I miss him still. He was much man!

======================= "I hate rude behavior in a man...Won't tolerate it." Capt. Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove

My grandpa, served with the Canadian artillery in WWI and Was a great old man, I did not hear many stories, but the few were when he had some fun times.

My dad served in the Pacific in WWII on the USS Cowenesque AO-79, it was the first Fleet Oiler hit by a kamakaze. I will look for a pic of him and will post a pic of his ship later.
Brian <><

my grandfather William Toth
drafted in 1942, joined the 29th IF DIV 116th "stonewall" brigade, landed in the first wave on Omaha beach, he was the only person from his landing craft to see D-Day +1, he told me years ago before he died "we were told to just run like i did" he went all the way to St Lo then stoped in Germany. he was a furniture maker before the war so when winter hit and his company didnt have cold weather gear he raided a furniture factory and made everyone coats.
he was later "shot in the face" as he told me like it was nothing, and went to work for Eisenhower himself running the generator for the command tent, my grandmother has a letter from Eisenhower commending my grandfather, i think she sent it to the Eisenhower presidential library. he was awarded the Bronze star for Normandy, but he never got his purple heart, something about haveing to stay longer if he wanted it, not sure.

i was young when he died, but if there is one person i could talk to it would be him


You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.

making mediocre Muslims into extraordinary martyrs.


The older picture is of my Grandad in France during World War II. He was a machine gunner in the 45th Infantry Division. The next is my Dad. He was in the Americal Division during Vietnam. I am a third generation combat vet.
Killer pink bunnies can still kill you. Pain and Death are part of Life.
This is my grandfather.

During WWII he was an aircraft mechanic and mostly worked on C-47 Skytrains (DC-3s). He was stationed all across the Pacific theater until the end of the war.
When I was growing up, he probably showed my brother and I every WWII documentary that had been made up to that point. He is one of the big reasons I chose to join the Army myself.

He passed away in 1995.

The terrorist enemy holds no territory, defends no population, is unconstrained by rules of warfare, and respects no law of morality. Such an enemy cannot be deterred, contained, appeased, or negotiated with -- it can only be destroyed.

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