2LT Robert “Bob” Dole

2017-12-12 Dole

There is no doubt that Senator Bob Dole will always be known for his service to his country; however, most only consider the work he has done through various levels of Government, not realizing that Senator Dole also served in the U.S. Army during WWII, fighting in Italy with the 10th Mountain Division, where he was severely wounded by the Germans.

Senator Bob Dole’s lifetime of public service began with his enlistment in the United States Army during World War II. He was born in Russell, Kansas, on July 22nd, 1923. He graduated from Russell High School in 1941, and enrolled into the University of Kansas to pursue an undergraduate career on the pre-medical path. His university studies, however, were interrupted by his military service during WWII.

After training for nearly ninety days at from Fort Benning, Senator Dole left for Europe from Fort Meade in Maryland. Dole served mostly in Italy as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 10th Mountain Division. Senator Dole served under a group of experienced superiors, and cites in his oral history interview that it was these friendships formed during his service which helped build trust and alleviate intimidation. One individual specifically mentioned is Frank Carafa who rescued Senator Dole from danger after he was hit by a German.  Senator Dole also recalls being marked with an “M” on his forehead— with his own blood—by a fellow GI to signify to the medics who later found him that he had already received one dose of morphine. Senator Dole was shot in the shoulder, suffered from spinal cord bruising, and lost a kidney. He was hospitalized for over a year, and during this time met future Senators Dan Inouye and Phil Hart.

In his interview, Senator Dole describes Eisenhower as a hero and comments on mourning the loss of President Franklin Roosevelt from overseas. Senator Dole served in the Army from 1942 until 1948, receiving the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service, in addition to the American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB). Senator Dole recounts his WWII experience in this oral history interview, but also goes into much more detail in his 2005 autobiography One Soldier’s Story: A Memoir.

After ending his military career, Senator Dole began his public service as a legislator. He ran and was elected first to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1950. This began a long career in governmental work, including service in the United States House of Representatives from 1961-1969, as well as the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996, where he was both the Senate minority and majority leader. Dole also ran for Vice President with President Gerald Ford in 1976 and for President in 1980, 1988, and 1996.

In addition to his military honors, Senator Dole is a highly decorated citizen. In 1989, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Ronald Reagan, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton, and numerous other honors.

We honor you, Robert Dole.

(#Repost @Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

PFC Henry Harrison Ford Jr.

- - Ford

“I remember a young kid with a big smile and a fun loving nature. I served too. Thanks Henry.” – James Logan.

US Marine Private First Class Henry Harrison Ford Jr was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Marine Corps Selective Service and a Draftee, PFC Ford served our country until December 12th, 1966 in Quang Nam, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was married. It was reported that Henry died from artillery fire. His body was recovered. PFC Ford is on panel 13E, line 037 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for less than a year.

He served with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, 3rd MAF.

He was awarded The Combat Action Ribbon(CAR), The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal.

We honor you Henry Ford Jr.

(#Repost @Find A Grave)

LT John Williams Finn

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The December 7, 1941, Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor lasted about 90 minutes, killing 2,333 American military personnel and wounding 1,139 others.

The initial targets were U.S. airfields, to prevent a U.S. counter-attack by air.  The first Medal of Honor awarded in World War II went to a sailor who defended one of those airfields.  His name was John William Finn.

Born on July 24, 1909 in Los Angeles, California, Finn was a then-32-year-old chief petty officer in charge of guns and bombs for the planes at Naval Air Station Keneohe Bay. Once he learned of the attack he raced from his home and wife to the base.

Finn’s Medal of Honor citation states: “During the first attack by Japanese airplanes he promptly secured and manned a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, which was under heavy enemy machine gun strafing fire.

“Although painfully wounded many times, (shot in foot and shoulder) he continued to man this gun and to return the enemy’s fire vigorously and with telling effect throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks and with complete disregard for his own personal safety.”

Finn had to be ordered to go for medical treatment and his wounds kept him in the hospital until Dec. 24.

Admiral Chester Nimitz presented Finn with the first World War II Medal of Honor 75 years ago on Sept. 14, 1942.

Finn served in the Navy from 1926 to 1956 and retired as a lieutenant. He lived to the age of 100 before he died in Chula Vista in 2010.

We honor you, John Finn.

(#Repost @The OC Register)

George Skypeck

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I was that which others did not want to be.
I went where others feared to go, and did what others failed to do.
I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness … should I fail.
I have seen the face of terror; felt the stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment’s love.
I have cried, pained, and hoped … but most of all, I have lived times others would say were best forgotten.
At least someday I will be able to say that I was proud of what I was … a soldier.

SKY, a native of Massachusetts, is one of America’s most prominent military-historical commemorative artists. His name is a registered trademark.

Among nations and places displaying his original artworks and prints are the French Airborne Museum at Ste-Mer-Eglise, Normandy; the Pentagon in Washington; the Korean War Veterans Commission and Ministry of Defense in Seoul, Republic of Korea; Luxembourg; Canberra, Australia, Returned Servicemen’s League Headquarters; the U.S. Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, West Point; the Soldier & Sailors Museum, Buffalo, NY; Arlington National Cemetery; and many military stations at home and abroad. His famous poem Soldier graces several state monuments to honor veterans of all wars and conflicts. His latest painting, Assured Victory… A 09-11-2001 And War On Terrorism Memorial, was loaned for display at Arlington National Cemetery since December, 2001, in honor of the American sacrifices on that day at the Pentagon and New York City World Trade Center terrorists’ attacks and the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and worldwide by U.S. military and civilian forces.

SKY has received several awards and commendations for his military service, and for his artwork from various public, private and governmental sectors, the most prestigious being the award of the Military Order of the Purple Heart’s George Washington Medallion of Merit, joining such recipients as Presidents Johnson, Reagan, George Bush Senior, Senator Bob Dole and actor Bob Hope.

SKY is a combat-wounded and disabled Vietnam Veteran having risen to the rank of Captain from Private in the U.S. Army and holds the coveted Combat Infantryman’s Badge, two Bronze Stars, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, Purple Heart and several foreign awards to include the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry medal, Wound medal and Honor medal (First Class). He served two combat tours as a special warfare and senior intelligence advisor from 1967-71 in isolated outposts. During the Tet Offensive of 1968 battle in Ben-Tre, his outpost coined the famous quote “We had to destroy the town to save it… !” His last assignment on active duty with the Army Recruiting Command in Boston, Massachusetts, was to design and conduct John Wayne’s internationally famous arrival into Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, atop an M-113 armored personnel carrier as a public support event with the Harvard’s Lampoon and Hasty Pudding Club. After release from active duty, he attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Amherst earning a Bachelor in Political Science and a Master in Public Administration and attended MIT for special graduate studies in Arms Control and Defense Planning. He studied art at the Corcoran Museum in Washington and had a studio in the Stars & Stripes newspaper building. He is the creator of the Coors Combat Art collection, co-creator of the Coors Scholarship Fund for veterans’ dependents and the newly published Coors book of his artworks, The Defenders Of Freedom. He is a resident artist member of the famous Society of Illustrators of New York City.

Mr. Skypeck was recently presented with the Blinded American Veterans Foundation Communications and Media award at a reception in Congress’ Committee on Veterans Affairs Committee room. Mr. Skypeck was inducted into the US Army Field Artillery Officer Candidate School Hall Of Fame in 2006 for his veterans’ work and artwork contributions to America. He is also a recipient of the University of Massachusetts’ “125 Alumni to Watch” Award.

We honor you, George Skypeck.

(#Repost @International War Veterans Poetry Archives)

 

 

SGT Arthur Thomas Robb Jr.

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In 1917-1918, Mr. Robb served in France as a sergeant with the 308th Infantry. He was severely gassed during the Oise Marne offensive on August 28, 1918 and spent five weeks in the hospital at Tours before returning to his infantry company on October 17, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

We honor you, Arthur Robb Jr.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)

PVT Benjamin Alvarado

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A combat newbie, Private Benjamin Alvarado was part of the second wave of troops to arrive on D-Day, landing on the Easy Red section of Omaha Beach. In his memoir, he described the adrenaline-filled first moments of the invasion. Continuing into the French countryside with the First Infantry Division, he witnessed tank battles, atrocities committed against French civilians by the Germans, and the sense of relief that permeated the American troops when Paris was liberated. Wounded on September 26th, 1944, he was evacuated from the field; looking in the mirror in the hospital, he at first didn’t recognize himself.

We honor you, Benjamin Alvarado.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

 

CPT Winston Paul Lockard Sr.

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While on a search and destroy mission as a part of “Operation Manhattan” in the Boi Loi Woods, Company B 4/23 (MECH) Infantry, 25th Infantry Division was attacked by a large VC force. The enemy employed small arms, mortars, and rifle grenades. We returned fire with small arms, automatic weapons and artillery. As the battle continued, the guerrillas fired on us with RPG-2 rockets, destroying two armored Personnel Carriers (APCs). We called in close support air strikes and after two hours of intense fighting. The VC broke contact and withdrew, taking with them their killed and wounded. I was the platoon leader of 2nd platoon, Company B, and was wounded in this firefight.

We honor you, Paul Lockard.

(#Repost @Purple Heart Hall of Valor)