This just in:
One of this reasons I love cyber space is that some very nice things can happen to you there.
As a result of this technology I can maintain daily contact with friends and family and have literally all the information in the world at my fingertips; shop, and all the rest. But it is also the chance encounters, the nice people you meet between terminals. I probably have as many "on line friends" as I do the face-to-face type.
Such was the case a couple of days ago. I received a very nice note from Henke Pistorius who wrote to thank me for my support of his son, Oscar, the amazing double-amp athlete about whom I recently wrote.
"Oscar is and has been a "DIFFERENTLY ABLED" athlete/person his entire life - never disabled!! Oscar and his older brother Carl, with younger sister Aimee grew up knowing if they apply their minds with enthusiasm and remained dedicated--they can do anything that anyone else can, even better... with the support of loved ones.
"Oscar did not get where he is today listening to what others perceive as possible. "
I wrote back to tell him that it is clear "an acorn never falls far from the tree."
I'll keep tabs on this great young man from now on.
Having been wildly unsuccessful in smothering the "Lee Marvin said Bob Keshan (Capt. Kangaroo) was an Iwo Jima Marine who received the Navy Cross story"... I'm trying my best with this one:
Plus, it gives me the opportunity to writes about my favorites topics: the Medal of Honor and dogs.
"Brutus" -- a 200-pound "Boxer-British Bullmastiff mix" seems to have "won the Congressional Medal of Honor" (sic) last year in Iraq after his handler and other soldiers were all taken captive by ragheads. Using sign language the handler signaled Brutus to "come back later" and save them.
Whoa.. the dog did and then "quietly tore the throat out of one guard", knocked down a door and untied the captives.
Oh, and he loves cats... and for all I know, he may have ordered a goat cheese pizza before returning to base.
It would seem to be unnecessary to point out the obvious, but I will:
- Bulldogs go to about 55 pounds; Bullmastiffs top out at a buck-thirty. Do the math.
- Such a
breedmistake would never be used for military security.
- Dogs are not capable of understanding and complying with a hand signal that instructs them to "go away and come back later".
- Even 200-pound dogs cannot break down a door; some can't even move.
- Dogs do not untie knots... even Lassie (sorry, Jeff).
- The Medal of Honor?... oh, c'mon. To my knowledge the only dog to be awards actually US military Medals was "Chips", right, who broke away from his handler and attacked an Italian pillbox in1943. He bit one solider and held the others at bay until all were captured. He was wounded in the process and was awarded a Purple Heart and the Silver Star. Both were later rescinded by higher command.
- The national commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart determined that decorating a dog was "...demeaning to servicemen." -wise, neither do war dogs or civilian dog heroes.I can hardly bear the thought that our war dogs were abandoned in Vietnam.
- As a life member of that organization I'd say that no combat veteran familiar with war dogs' service and frequent heroism would begrudge the award. Think about it, Chips is one of us.
- If "Brutus" was such a killer why did he allow his handler and others to be captured in the first place?
- The handler didn't have a hand signal for "tear the bastards' throats out!"?
- How does anyone, let alone a dog tear someone's throat out... "quietly"?
- How are four armed men with a vicious dog captured without firing a shot?
- How did the dog rescue the troops before the military did?
- IslamoNazis almost never take military prisoners and if they do, no one ever sees them alive again.
And... courtesy of Snopes.com:
"Brutus" is actually a great-looking Belgian Malinois named Spike who served with the Scottsdale PD 2001-2007 and is now retired. He never weighed more than 100 pounds.
Other than that, the Brutus story is absolutely true... the US military is in Iraq.like
Despite the fact that almost all war dogs in WWII were returned stateside to their previous owners, of an estimated 5,000 Vietnam war dogs, only 204 returned home. Some remained in the Pacific, and some returned to the United States. None returned to civilian life. Most where euthanized and the others where turned over to the ARVN (South Vietnamese Army).
There was no valid reason for such despicable betrayal of trust and criminal abandonment.
Thankfully, humans have learned a little bit since then; one day, with any luck, they might be as honorable as dogs.
Faithful canines have worked for, protected and fought for their masters since Hammurabi sent them against his enemies 2000 years before Christ. War dogs have been officially used (and misused) by our military since WWI.
Being regarded as the "most decorated American war dog" sort of started it all.
A "stubby" Bull Terrier mix, the future hero served with the 102nd Division in the trenches in early February 1918 after he was adopted by Private J. Robert Conroy when the homeless dog appeared at the training camp the previous year.
His record included participation in 17 engagements in four World War I offensives, Aisne-Marne, Champagne-Marne, St. Mihiel, and Meuse Argonne. Following the retaking Château-Thierry.
He was even solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the
One night in the trenches, Stubby altered and bolted into the night. Private Conroy, rifle in hand came upon a "ludicrous sight. Single-pawedly, in a vigorous offensive from the rear, Stubby had captured a German spy, who'd been prowling through the trenches. The man was whirling desperately in an effort to shake off the snarling bundle of canine tooth and muscle that had attached itself to his differential. But Stubby was there to stay.
"It took considerably more time to convince Stubby that his mission had been successfully carried out and that he should now release" the German.
Stubby even grabbed the Kraut's Iron Cross which was displayed on the ass end of his chamois coat for many years.
In 1918 Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades.
Corporal Conroy perhaps uttered the most telling and accurate quote regarding his friend when he was nearly denied service at the Grand Majestic Hotel in New York City because they wouldn't accept the dog.
With a grumble that might have been worthy of Stubby facing a German spy, Corporal Conroy is reported to have said "This is no dog. This is a war hero!" Stubby was then received and signed the guestbook with a pawprint.
In 1926, Stubby died in Conroy's arms. He was preserved and continues to stand guard at the Smithsonian Museum.
Three Yankee Division Patch French Medal Battle of Verdun ,1st Annual American Legion Convention Meda New Haven, WW1 Veterans Medal Republic of France, Grande War Medal, St Mihiel Campaign Medal, Wound Stripe (replaced with Purple Heart when it was introduced in 1932) the Chateau Thierry Campaign Medal, and the 6th Annual American Legion Convention Humane Education Society Gold Medal.