WW2 Medal of Honor Recipient to be Honored with Plaque on Attu Island
| Published: May 14, 2013 at 11:00 am
This is taken from a media release received by Armchair General.
Seventy years ago this month, an act of military heroism helped pinned-down U.S. forces rout the Japanese from a remote Aleutian Island and end a fierce American land battle of World War II.Â To clear a mountain pass, Pvt. Joseph P. Martinez charged into enemy fire at the bloody Battle of Attu, on the westernmost point of North America; he was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor. Next month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will honor the Colorado soldierâ€™s sacrifice by installing a plaque on Attu, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
The Attu installation will add one more task to the crowded schedule of Service and refuge scientists aboard the research ship Tiglax (pronounced TEKH-lah, Aleut for eagle), which leaves Homer May 18 for the Alaska Peninsula and beyond. En route, staff will conduct seabird counts and surveys of bird colonies; deploy bird data- recording devices for later retrieval; monitor an islandâ€™s recovery after a volcanic eruption; and post biologists and supplies on far-flung, normally uninhabited refuge islands for three months of seabird monitoring.
On Attu, refuge biologists and archeologists will also assess environmental threats from wartime debris, chemical contaminants and unexploded ordnance. They will set guidelines for disposing of remains that threaten human safety and island wildlife such as salmon, sea lions and seabirds, including two rare species: Evermannâ€™s rock ptarmigan and Aleutian cackling geese.
Alaska Maritime Refuge war sites are part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument created in 2008 by President George W. Bush.
National Memorial Day Parade 2013 – Highlights
| Published: May 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm
Armchair General received this information about this year’s National Memorial Day Parade, to be held May 27, 2013, in Washington, DC.
Highlights Announced for Ninth Annual National Memorial Day Parade Â Â Â Â Â Â
TRACE ADKINS, ROBERT GRIFFIN III, J.R. MARTINEZ, GARY SINISE
TO HONOR FALLEN HEROES & VETERANS
Â WASHINGTON, DC — The American Veterans Center, organizer of the 2013 National Memorial DayÂ Parade, announced that this yearâ€™s parade will feature several honorary celebrity marshals helping to call attention to the service and sacrifice of our military men and women.Â Joining the parade as Grand Marshal will be U.S. Army veteran, actor, and motivational speaker J.R. Martinez.Â Joining the parade for the first time in 2013 will also be Honorary Grand Marshal and Grammy-nominated country superstar Trace Adkins, along with actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna.Â The parade will also feature musical performances by â€śAmerican Idolâ€ť winner and Paris Las Vegas headliner Taylor Hicks and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan.
Additionally, the 2013 National Memorial Day Parade will feature Honorary Grand Marshals U.S. Army Veterans Robert Griffin Jr. and Jacqueline Griffin,Â along with their son Washington quarterback Robert GriffinÂ III, in a special salute to the sacrifices made by America’s military families.
The Parade will take place Monday, May 27, 2013 at 2:00 PM on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets NW.
The paradeâ€™s television broadcast will be nationally syndicated to more than 100 cities and 80 million households across the country, with LIVE coverage on The Pentagon Channel and American Forces Network.Â It will also be streamed LIVE online at the paradeâ€™s website at www.nationalmemorialdayparade.com.
â€śWe are proud to have such tremendous support from both the military and the world of entertainment for this yearâ€™s parade,â€ť said James C. Roberts, president of the American Veterans Center.Â Â â€śIt is a testament to Americansâ€™ desire to come together on days like Memorial Day and show support for our military and recognize those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our liberties.â€ť
â€śBeing the Grand Marshal for this yearâ€™sÂ Ninth Annual National Memorial Day parade is a tremendous honor,â€ť said Army veteran J.R. Martinez. â€śTo be in theÂ city where individuals have theÂ power to create change for our vets is a greatÂ opportunity to continue to motivate them to continue to establish policies to help our vets on theirÂ road to service and those on the road to recovery. I’m hoping this day of remembrance & celebration reminds not onlyÂ those in the D.C area but everyoneÂ around the country of the sacrifices our Service members and their families make every day of the year, not just on holidays.â€ť
The parade was founded in 2005 and organized by the American Veterans Center, a non-profit educational foundation dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of our military personnel.Â For more information on the parade, visit www.nationalmemorialdayparade.com.
Large Gift Will Transform Norwich University, Oldest Private Military School in U.S.
| Published: May 07, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Armchair General received the following media release from Norwich University, which was not only the first private military college in the United States, it is also the birthplace of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). As the birthplace of ROTC, Norwich houses all four branches of the armed services: Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. It is also home to the annual William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, which counts ACG among its sponsors.
Founded by Capt. Alden Partridge in 1819, it continues to follow his philosophy that a structured military lifestyle combined with rigorous academics would benefit those pursuing careers in both the military world and the private sector. Armchair General is pleased to share the following information that shows NU will have the funding necessary to continue to expand upon its mission.
President announces largest gift in Norwich history
I am thrilled to announce that at the April 25, 2013, Board of Trustees dinner, COL (IL) J. N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired) committed $25 million toward the Universityâ€™s upcoming bicentennial campaign.
This is by far the largest gift in our 194-year history.Â It will transform the University and make a significant impact on future generations of students and faculty.
Col. Pritzker served on Norwichâ€™s Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2007. His gift is a challenge to current, former and emeriti trustees to cumulatively match the contribution.
We will publicly launch the bicentennial campaign at Homecoming 2014, and this gift positions us to be successful in meeting our fundraising goals.
â€śIt gives me great joy to support Norwichâ€™s upcoming fundraising campaign with this gift to ensure that it has the facilities and resources to meet every challenge as it begins its third century of service to the nation,â€ť said Pritzker. â€śThere is no other place like Norwich University. This gift demonstrates my dedication to the University, its mission and my faith in its leadership.â€ť
Col. Pritzker is president of the Tawani Foundation, trustee emeritus and founder of the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago.Â This historic donation was made through the foundation.
We are all here at Norwich for one purpose: to educate Americaâ€™s future leaders.
I am humbled by this charge and extremely grateful for Col. Pritzkerâ€™s remarkable support as we prepare to celebrate the 200th anniversary of our founding in 2019.
Richard W. Schneider
Win a Trip to The National World War II Museum
| Published: April 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm
Armchair General received this media release from The National World War II Museum. To upload a picture of your “animal hero,” go to the link below and click the Like button at upper right on the Facebook page. That will bring up an option to submit photos.
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Submit a Photo of Your Animal Hero for a Chance to Win a Trip to New Orleans*, an Autographed Copy of Loyal Forces, and Membership to The National World War II Museum
â€śIn the frightening and uncharted world of war, servicemen and women could count on the transport given by horses and mules, the protection offered by dogs, the communication delivered by pigeons, and the solace provided by mascots and pets.â€ťâ€”from Loyal Forces
Baton Rougeâ€” Celebrate the animals that helped the Allies to victory by submitting your own animal hero to the Loyal Forces Photo Contest.Â Go to http://bit.ly/loyalforcesÂ and enter to win a trip to New Orleans, an autographed copy of Loyal Forces, and a membership to The National World War II Museum. Contest ends May 3, 2013 at midnight. Presented by LSU Press and The National World War II Museum.
More about the book Loyal Forces:
At a time when every American was called upon to contribute to the war effortâ€”whether by enlisting, buying bonds, or collecting scrap metalâ€”the use of American animals during World War II further demonstrates the resourcefulness of the U.S. military and the many sacrifices that led to the Alliesâ€™ victory. Through 157 photographs from the National World War II Museum collection, Loyal Forces captures the heroism, hard work, and innate skills of innumerable animals that aided the military as they fought to protect, transport, communicate, and sustain morale.
From the last mounted cavalry charge of the U.S. Army to the 36,000 homing pigeons deployed overseas, service animals made a significant impact on military operations during World War II. Authors Toni M. Kiser and Lindsey F. Barnes deftly illustrate that every branch of the armed forces and every theater of the war utilized the instincts and dexterity of these dependable creatures, who, though not always in the direct line of enemy fire, had their lives put at risk for the jobs they performed.
Lindsey F. Barnes, senior archivist and digital projects manager at the National WWII Museum, earned her masterâ€™s in library and information science from Louisiana State University.
Toni M. Kiser, assistant director of collections and exhibits and registrar at the National WWII Museum, earned her masterâ€™s in museum studies at the George Washington University.
*Trip to New Orleans via $200 Jet Blu Gift Card, other rules apply see contest website for more information
Clearing landmines from Quang Tri Province, Vietnam
| Published: April 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm
Wars can continue to kill long after hostilities cease.
In Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, 83% of the land is still riddled with unexploded weapons and landmines left over from the war. This unexploded ordinance is a threat to all who live and work there. Farmers, children, animalsâ€”all are at risk of stepping in the wrong place with tragic results.
To help clear this lethal legacy of war from 222 acres, the TED Challenge: Defuse, Heal & Grow campaign, a pilot project, is raising funds on behalf of PeaceTrees Vietnam, a Seattle-based, humanitarian de-mining organization that has been clearing land in Quang Tri Province for the past 18 years.
If you would like to learn more and perhaps donate to this cause, visit the Website, http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ted-challenge-defuse-heal-grow-partnership-project-with-peacetrees-vietnam.
Great American Fighters
| Published: April 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm
One of our partner publications, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary soon. In honor of the occasion, MHQ put together from its archives a special issue, “Great American Fighters.” You can get more information at MHQ.
BIRDIES FOR THE BRAVE 2013 Honors Men and Women in Uniform
| Published: March 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm
Armchair General received the following media release about an annual event that aims to honor and assist current military personnel and veterans.
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Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. â€“ Continuing a PGA TOUR tradition of honoring men and women in uniform, THE PLAYERS Championship today unveiled a full slate of activities and programs that will take place during the 2013 event as part of Birdies for the Brave, a military outreach initiative proudly supported by the PGA TOUR. Highlighting the military appreciation activities in the tradition of years past, THE PLAYERS announced, along with Capitol Records Nashville, that country music star Dierks Bentley will give a special performance on Wednesday, May 8, during Military Appreciation Day, as the tournament returns to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, May 6-12.
On Wednesday, May 8, multi-platinumâ€“selling singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will be a part of the Military Appreciation Day ceremony, this year themed, â€śA Salute to the United States Navy.â€ťÂ The program on the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse Lawn will include pageantry by military personnel, performance by the Jacksonville Childrenâ€™s Chorus, as well as remarks from PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and other dignitaries.
Bentley has forged his own brand of country music, combining classic country songwriting, influences of bluegrass instrumentation and the energy of rock â€™nâ€™ roll in a way that have garnered 11 GRAMMY nominations.
In addition to the performance, THE PLAYERS will provide all active duty, retired, and Reserve military personnel along with their dependents with complimentary admission to the tournament all week. THE PLAYERS also offers discounted admission to veterans.Â Military members who are interested in the complimentary admission should go to PGATOUR.COM/THE PLAYERS and click on the ticket link for instructions about how to gain complimentary access to the tournament, which is a different process than the past. Non-career military veterans should also log on to PGATOUR.COM/THE PLAYERS and find instructions about how to obtain discounted tickets to the tournament.
More information about THE PLAYERS is available at PGATOUR.COM/theplayers.
Joe Galloway’s Farewell Tribute to CSM Basil Plumley
| Published: January 09, 2013 at 12:32 pm
One of ACG‘s partner publications, Vietnam magazine, published a tribute to Command Sergeant Major (ret.) Basil L. Plumley, whose exploits at the battle of Ia Drang were told in the book We Were Soliders Once â€¦ and Young. The tribute was written by the CSM’s friend, retired journalist Joe Galloway, who co-authored the book with Lieutenant General Hal Moore. Actor Sam Elliot portrayed CSM Plumley in We Were Soldiers, the 2002 movie based on the book. Elliot attended his burial service.
Click here to read Farewell to CSM Basil Plumley.
Wounded Warriors Kick Off New Year with Punt, Pass & Kick Competition during U.S. Army All-American Bowl Week
| Published: January 03, 2013 at 2:02 pm
Wounded Warriors paired with America’s top high school football players at a Punt, Pass & Kick Competition in the Alamodome to kick off the New Year during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Week in San Antonio, Texas.
49ers Owner Greets Military Before Patriots Game
| Published: December 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm
December 16, 2012. San Francisco 49ers Owner Dr. John York, right, greets members of the military before the New England Patriots Sunday night game, presenting a Niners pin to one soldier on the field at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Dr. York is the Chairman of the NFLâ€™s Health & Safety Committee, which includes the joint study now under way between the NFL and the U.S. Army to study Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Dr. York has been conducting this pre-game of greeting 49ers fans and giving them pins and Field Passes for the past eight years. (Photo by John Ingoldsby)
Click here to read NFL & Army Teaming Up To Tackle Traumatic Brain Injuries
March-On for Midshipmen & Cadets Kicks Off Army-Navy Game Pageantry
| Published: December 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm
My first Army-Navy game began bright and early when I arrived at Philadelphiaâ€™s Lincoln Financial Field four hours before kickoff, where I settled into my Press Box seat before walking down to the field level for the traditional March-On. As pictured above, each and every Midshipmen from the Naval Academy and Cadet from West Point march in precision onto the field with accompanying announcements identifying each unit with its leaders and hometowns. After starting the day with this pageantry, the USMA and USNA students then settle into their seats in the stadium corners at the same end awaiting the next spectacle of the Invocation, National Anthem, the two teams taking the field, and the coin toss with Vice President Joe Biden. In the meantime, the stadium fills with soldiers and sailors in every conceivable uniform towards its traditional sellout, as the buzz builds to a fever pitch unmatched in American sports. Then, as daylight turned toward darkness, the purest game of all began as the two institutions battled for the first time in years to take the Commander-In-Chiefâ€™s Trophy, awarded yearly (including Air Force) to the winning service academy in football. With the annual backdrop of almost every senior playing their last football game ever, the game went down to the final minute when Army fumbled in the red zone while driving for the potential winning score, and Navy pounced on the loose ball to win their 11th straight game over Army, the longest winning streak in the 113-year series.
Holiday Shopping Guide 2012
| Published: November 19, 2012 at 11:56 am
"What do you want for Christmas?" "I don’t know what to buy for … "
Armchair General answers these questions and more, including how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, in our 2012 Shopping Guide! Surprise your favorite history buff or gamer with a selection from our lists of choice books, DVDs and games—or print out the list, circle some items, and innocently leave it lying in a conspicuous place where your family will find it. Happy shopping!
(We were just kidding about the angels on a pinhead part.)
First up, here is a partial list of good reads and good viewing selected by Armchair General Editor in Chief Jerry Morelock. For the complete list, see Armchair General, January 2013, on newsstands now. For additional selections by the staff of ArmchairGeneral.com and our writers and reviewers, see below.
- The 100 Greatest Military Photographs, by Robert J. Dalessandro, Erin Mahan, and Jerry D. Morelock (Whitman Publishing, 2012)
- Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, by Arthur Herman (Random House, 2012)
- George Washington’s Military Genius, by Dave R. Palmer (Regency History, 2012)
- Military History: The Definitive Visual Guide to the Objects of Warfare (Smithsonian and DK Publishing, 2012)
- Shiloh, 1862, by Winston Groom (National Geographic, 2012)
- Cain at Gettysburg (historic fiction), by Ralph Peters (Tor Forge, 2012)
- Wings (Paramount DVD and Blu-Ray, 2012), restored 1927 classic, the first film to be awarded the Best Picture Oscar
- Act of Valor (Relativity Media, 2012)
- Navy SEALS: Inside the Secret World of America’s Elite Warriors (Topics Entertainment, 2012)
Additional selections by the staff of ArmchairGeneral.com and our writers and reviewers
PC GAMES, HISTORICAL
Combat Mission Fortress Italy (Battlefront.com) Combat Mission is truly a series of "thinking man’s" wargames. Fortress Italy focuses on the American campaign in Sicily. It features 17 ready-made battles, playable from both sides, that emphasize reconnaissance and command control rather than “blazing guns” rushes.
Armchair General Rating: 89%
Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy – Commonwealth Forces (Battlefront.com) The unique formations that make the Commonwealth and German forces fight differently are modeled here in great detail. Two new campaigns, more than 30 one-off battles, and dozens of new vehicles and small arms make this a significant expansion on the original. New and lavish scenery brings northern France to life. The core game, Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy is required in order to play this expansion.
Armchair General Ranking: 96%
Crusader Kings II (Paradox) Crusader Kings II is a rarity in strategy games today; it is as far from a click-fest as a player can be in a pausable real-time game. Add in depth of historical detail, a smooth interface, and outstanding graphics and music.
Armchair General Rating: 98%
Decisive Campaigns: Case Blue (Matrix/Slitherine) Set during the Stalingrad and Caucasus campaigns of World War II, DC Case Blue is a quick-playing game that allows the armchair general to concentrate on his strategy and tactics without getting swamped with information on, and movement of, bullets and beans.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Publisher, 2K Games; developer Firaxis) XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a stunning achievement that brings an entire genre forward nearly 20 years. It streamlines the user interface to fit comfortably on a controller, speeds up the gameplay, and miraculously keeps intact the tension from the 1998 original. Critics writing under every flag pretty much agree that this is a serious game-of-the-year contender.
Amateurs to Arms! (Clash of Arms) Amateurs To Arms! is a fantastic game design, a card-play game that is also a solid simulation of the strategic military, economic, and political factors that shaped the multisided War of 1812.
Armchair General Rating: 95%; Solitaire Rating: 2 (1 is low, 5 is high)
Mark H. Walker’s Lock ‘N Load: Forgotten Heroes Vietnam, 2nd Edition (Lock ‘n Load Publishing) An updated version of the Vietnam War man-to-man classic. Fully suitable for solitaire play, it comes with a fistful of scenarios; plus, its long-out-of-print supplement ANZACs will be available again in 2013.
Armchair General Rating: 90%; Solitaire Rating: 5 (1 is low, 5 is high)
Next War: Korea (GMT Games) This game has tons of positives in its favor whether you want to play it as a standard or advanced game or just focus on the air war aspects. As a simulation of modern combat on the strategic level, this game is a huge success and its payload delivers tons of value for the money spent.
Armchair General Rating: 95%; Solitaire Rating: 4 (1 is low, 5 is high)
Nightfighter (GMT Games) A game of nighttime aerial combat over Europe and the Pacific in World War II, Nightfighter features well-written rules and many scenarios. With the downloadable rules supplement, it is suitable for solitaire gaming.
Armchair General Rating: 90%; (95% with downloaded solitaire rules) Solitaire Rating: 1 (out of the box) but 5 with solitaire rules from GMT Website (1 is low, 5 is high)
Panzer (GMT Games) This update of the classic Yaquinto title has a near-perfect rules set. Two expansions to expand the unit types and scenarios have already been published.
Armchair General Rating: 95%; Solitaire Rating: 4 (1 is low, 5 is high)
Samurai Battles (Zvezda) – Comes with 122 incredibly detailed Samurai models, two complete rule systems, great maps and components; wonderful value for the price.
Armchair General Rating: 96%; overall Solitaire Rating: 2 – 3.5 depending on which rules system is used (1 is low, 5 is high)
Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan (GMT Games) Beautiful mounted map and high quality, real-wood blocks and markers. Succinct rules with great examples.
Armchair General Rating: 95%; Solitaire Rating: 1 (1 is low, 5 is high)
Warlords of Europe (Conquest Gaming LLC). The rulebook for this epic strategy game of Medieval warfare is well illustrated and nicely laid out. The game features a mounted map board
Armchair General Rating: 87%; Solitaire Rating: 2 (1 is low, 5 is high)
Wings of Glory – World War II Starter Set (Ares Games)
Wings of Glory – World War I Rules and Accessories (Ares Games)
An easy-to-learn game system, well-written rules with plenty of examples, the miniature airplanes used in the game are gorgeous, and they are backward compatible with the former version of this air combat game Wings of War. Additional miniatures can be purchases individually, in a buy-what-you-want fashion rather than in groups of randomly packaged figures.
World War II Barbarossa 1941 (Zvezda) Beautiful mounted, modular map boards with 3D extra terrain and 21 minutely detailed snap-tight model kits. Fantastic value for the money. Good introduction to World War II miniatures gaming. One expansion, Battle for the Danube, has already been published and more are planned.
Armchair General Rating: 86%; Solitaire Rating: 4 (1 is low, 5 is high)
BOARDGAMES – SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Dungeon Command (Wizards of the Coast) A great reboot for the Dungeons & Dragons miniatures line. Packaging them in matched sets makes it easy for collectors and dungeon masters alike to pick up all the minis they need in one go, and the card-based game play that is engaging and quick.
Armchair General Rating: 90%; Solitaire Rating: 2; possible, but not a lot of fun (1 is low, 5 is high)
Nuklear Winter ’68 (Lock ‘n Load Publishing) Set in an alternative World War II in which a nuclear winter covers Europe and mutants roam the landscape, fighting Nazis and NATO alike. The alternative history background is high concept, the rules for movement and combat are straightforward and easy to game, and the wide variety of weapons systems and vehicles are handled without bogging down play.
Armchair General Rating: 86%; Solitaire Rating: 4 (1 is low, 5 is high)
Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII, by Chester Nez with Judith Schiess Avila. (Berkeley Publishing Group). The title says it all: Chester Nez, one of the original 29 code talkers recruited into the US Marine Corps during World War II, provides insights into how Navajo culture was able to uniquely provide the US with a cryptologic advantage in the Pacific War.
DESPERATE SONS: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and the Secret Band Of Radicals Who Led The Colonies To War. Les Standiford. Publisher, Harper Collins. Desperate Sons charts the rise and activities of the Sons Of Liberty, from their successful opposition to the Stamp Act through the clash at Lexington, with a final chapter discussing what became of the men who indeed did lead the colonies into war with and won independence from Great Britain. Instead of focusing on Boston, as other books have done, it provides a look at Sons Of Liberty chapters at work in nearly all the colonies, particularly the activities of these vigilante patriots in South Carolina and New York.
Great Civil War Heroes and Their Battles: Sesquicentennial Edition, edited by Walton Rawls (Abbeville Press) A unique illustrated compilation of 50 different Civil War officers’ biographies; the illustrations are taken from 19th-century cigarette packaging of the W. Duke and Sons tobacco company. Any Civil War buff will be happy sitting in a favorite chair poring over this book’s detailed biographies while admiring its numerous and impressive illustrations.
Greeks and Parthians in Mesopotamia and Beyond: 331 BC–224 AD., by Wolfram Grajetzki. (Bristol Classical Press) A rare look at the Seleucid empire and Parthia, which are usually overshadowed by Ancient Greece and Rome.
Reporting the Revolutionary War, by Todd Andrlik. (Sourcebooks). A unique coffee-table book that compiles reproductions of actual newspaper pages from the era of the American War for Independence, with additional text to provide background and context. It covers the period from "The Cursed Stamp Act" to George Washington’s resignation as commander-in-chief of the Continental armies.
The Rogue Republic, by William C. Davis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). he Rogue Republic is an exhaustive but fast-paced work describing a little-known episode on the borders between Spanish territory and the new United States in the early 19th century, a very detailed account of the creation of the short-lived Republic of West Florida.
Sioux War Dispatches: Reports from the Field, 1876–1877, compiled by Marc H. Abrams (Westholme Publishing). The story of the Great Sioux War, as told through the eyes of contemporary newspaper correspondents, both civilian and military. Hundreds of detailed annotations provide additional background.
Tarnished Victory: Finishing Lincoln’s War, by William Marvel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). The war is described as current events for the participants, civilian and military. While explanatory text provides context, the focus is on telling the story of people living in tumultuous times. The last book in a series by William Marvel, Tarnished Victory covers the period from ay 1864 to June 1865.
The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam, by Andrew Wiest (Osprey Publishing) The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam chronicles the path that Charlie Company took to Vietnam: from the 9th Infantry Division activation, draft notices, training at Fort Riley, Advanced Individual Training (AIT), deployment to Vietnam, their first heart-wrenching losses, the beginning of replacements, their Freedom Bird, and finally, to the paths their lives took after returning from Vietnam. The use of personal interviews and letters home put a personal touch on the book.
War Stories – World War II Firsthand: The Pacific, Vol. 1: Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal and War Stories – World War II Firsthand: D-Day: the Campaign Across France, by Jay Wertz; edited by Armchair General’s Editor in Chief Jerry Morelock (Weider History Publications). The first two books in a series that combines first-person accounts by veterans of many nations, placed in context by narrative text and accompanied by original maps and extensive illustrations—including photographs of the veterans whose stores are told in their pages.
Wellington’s Wars: The Making of a Military Genius. Huw J. Davies. (Yale University Press) The story of how Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, became not only a great military commander but, like Dwight Eisenhower in World War II, also a political general. An interesting book covering an aspect of Wellington that is not explored in this detail by other biographies of his military career.
Free Admission to U.S. National Military Parks for Veterans Day Weekend
| Published: November 05, 2012 at 8:13 pm
Armchair General received the following media release. We recommend checking with any parks that might have been affected by Hurricane Sandy before trying to visit them.
National Parks Waive Entrance Fees for Veterans Day Weekend
WASHINGTON: America’s 398 national parks will offer everyone free admission during the Veterans Day weekend in honor of those that serve and have served in the United States military.
“National parks preserve places that commemorate our country’s collective heritage – our ideals, our majestic lands, our sacred sites, our patriotic icons – which our military has defended through the years,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are grateful for the service and sacrifice of military members, past and present, and honored to tell their story at many of our national parks.”
From frontier forts to World War II battlefields, more than 70 national parks have direct connections to the military. These include our earliest national parks where army engineers designed park roads and buildings and the cavalry enforced regulations from 1886 until the National Park Service was established in 1916.
National parks throughout the country will hold special events to commemorate Veterans Day. Highlights include evening candlelight tours of Vicksburg National Cemetery where visitors will encounter historical personalities, the 7th annual illumination of 6,000 graves at Poplar Grove National Cemetery in Petersburg National Battlefield, a Continental soldier encampment at Independence National Historical Park, a talk on the African American Civil War experience at Natchez National Historical Park, and an exhibit and talks about the Roosevelts in the World Wars at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.
Additional benefits for veterans on Veterans Day include a free Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area cruise that will pass the USS Constitution on its way to Georges Island, home of Fort Warren and, in partnership with the Gettysburg Foundation, free entrance to the Gettysburg National Military Park museum.
More information is available at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.
The Education Center at the Wall to Tell Veterans’ Stories
| Published: October 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm
Armchair General received the following information from Michael J. Nardotti, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army, Retired. We have made minor changes to the original email.
I come to you on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund which has undertaken the challenge of building "The Education Center at the Wall."
The Education Center at the Wall will be an underground facility in close proximity to the Wall. It will be a state-of-the-art learning facility which, through the use of advanced digital technology, will tell the stories of those who fought and died in the War. A primary goal will be to make available as much information and memorabilia, including pictures, of every person whose name appears on the Wall. Since the information storage capacity of The Center will be enormous, the VVMF also will include information about men and women from other wars, including those who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The VVMF has raised about half of the $85M needed, including contributions or commitments from the Australian and Korean Governments.
The VVMF Annual Gala to raise funds for this project will take place on Thursday, November 8th.
The event also honors Vietnam veterans who have distinguished themselves in various pursuits. One of this year’s honorees will be His Eminence Cardinal Edwin O’Brien – the same Father Ed O’Brien who spent four years with us at West Point. After his tenure at Holy Trinity Chapel, Father O’Brien volunteered for the Army Chaplaincy, went to Airborne School, and served in Vietnam with 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 1st Cavalry Division. He later served as the Archbishop for the Military Services for ten years.
Click here to download a pdf with more information about the 2012 Build the Center Benefit. Tickets for the event are $500 per person—HOWEVER, anyone who would like to see the The Education Center at the Wall become a reality can make donations, in any amount, to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Click for a donation form.
American Veterans Center – Tim Holbert Interview
| Published: September 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm
The American Veterans Center’s stated mission is "to guard the legacies and honor the sacrifices of all American veterans. Through oral history preservation, educational programs and civic events." It hosts radio shows and podcasts that include "Veterans Chronicles," "Profiles in Valor," "Proudly We Hail," and documentaries. "Home of the Brave" on its Website features stories of veterans, such as that about Fritz Emil Wolf, a fighter pilot who few P-40s over China and Burma and later, the article says, led the first carrier-based bombing attack on targets in Japan. The center also hosts Wounded Warrior Dinners and the recently revived National Memorial Day Parade.
The AVC’s Annual Conference and Awards Gala is described as "our nation’s premier gathering of heroes," where veterans share their experiences with hundreds of JROTC and ROTC students, West Point and Air Force Academy cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen. This year’s conference, the 15th such gathering, will be held October 25–27 at the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, DC. Among a long list of those planning to attend are members of the Doolittle Raiders and Heroes of the Battle of Midway groups, Brigadier General R. Steve Ritchie, the only Air Force "ace" of the Vietnam War. George Klein, a Pointe-du-Hoc Ranger, survivors of the Chosin Reservoir battle, highly decorated veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and George Mendonsa and Greta Friedman, who have been identified as the famed "sailor and nurse" kissing in the VJ Day Times Square photo.
Recently, the Executive Director of the American Veterans Center, Tim Holbert, discussed the organization with Armchair General in an exclusive interview.
Armchair General: How did the American Veterans Center come to be?
Tim Holbert: The origins of the American Veterans Center come from the early 1990s, and the 50th anniversary of World War II. During the anniversary commemorations, Jim Roberts, president of the Radio America network, partnered with the National Archives to create a weekly short documentary series titled World War II Chronicles that looked back on events from that week of the war, 50 years ago.
The program proved so successful that Jim Roberts decided to institutionalize the program as a non-profit organization called the World War II Veterans Committee. The Committee sought to continue the documentary work begun with World War II Chronicles, as well as to connect students to World War II veterans, allowing them to learn directly from the men and women of the Greatest Generation. The highlight event of the year, the Annual Veterans Conference around Veterans Day, was begun in the late 1990s.
Following the conclusion of the 60th anniversary of World War II in 2005, the decision was made to expand the organization’s programming to work with veterans of all eras, World War II to today, operating under the title of the American Veterans Center.
ACG: We are coming up on your Annual Veterans Conference, taking place from October 25–27 in Washington, DC. Can you tell us a bit about that?
TH: This is the 15th year for the conference, which has grown into a fantastic event unlike any other in the country. The three-day event will feature distinguished and decorated veterans from World War II to Afghanistan, who will share their lessons and experiences with an audience of several hundred military academy students from West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy, as well as regional ROTC and JROTC programs. The conference is also open to all who would like to attend.
Several of the highlights of this year’s event include the famed Doolittle Raiders from World War II, as well as the Montford Point Marines, recipients of the Medal of Honor, a panel dedicated to the Battle of Midway, and a live conversation with troops on the front lines of Afghanistan via Skype. We will also have a fun conversation with the authors of the new book, The Kissing Sailor, who say that through extensive research they have finally identified the nurse and sailor in the legendary photo "VJ Day in Times Square." The sailor and nurse as identified by the book, George Mendonsa and Greta Friedman, will also be on hand to participate.
The conference will be bookended with two events filmed for television. Opening the conference will be a program titled "The Wounded Warrior Experience." Now in its third year, the program features wounded service members who offer insight and advice to veterans who have suffered both physical wounds and psychological wounds such as PTSD. The conference will close with the American Veterans Center’s Annual Awards, honoring heroes from World War II to the present day.
The awards program has taken place for 15 years, but this is the first year we have brought it to television for The Pentagon Channel. We’ve noticed how popular awards shows are with Americans, but there are currently none that honor those who most deserve it. We are excited to make this into an annual television tradition. Both programs will air on and around Veterans Day, and you can learn more information about tuning in or attending the conference at the American Veterans Center Website.
ACG: Who is eligible to join or become part of the AVC? How would someone go about doing that?
TH: While the AVC is not membership based, our programming is open to all people with an interest in military history, whether they are veterans or not. Our new online program, "Home of the Brave" allows veterans and their families to share their own personal experiences of service. Additionally, all are invited to attend our events, such as the annual conference and the National Memorial Day Parade. More information is available at our website at www.americanveteranscenter.org.
ACG: On your Website "Allies for Honor" says, "Coming Soon." What will this be?
TH: The world is becoming increasingly digital, and "Allies for Honor" is part of the AVC’s effort to keep up with this new age. It will be an online program featuring exclusive and original content for AVC supporters, and we’re excited to kick it off later in 2012.
ACG: Your site features radio shows about veterans. What are a few of those shows?
TH: As I mentioned at the outset, the AVC’s origins are in radio programming, which continues to this day. Over the years, we have produced some fantastic radio documentary programs on military history, including "D-Day: They Were There," "Pearl Harbor: 60 Years of Echoes," and "America Strikes Back: The Story of the Doolittle Raid." Currently, we have two weekly programs airing on Radio America, "Veterans Chronicles" and "Proudly We Hail." "Veterans Chronicles," which features interviews with noteworthy veterans, is also a popular podcast.
ACG: The Center has a publication called American Valor Quarterly. Would you tell us a bit about that publication?
TH: We launched the magazine in 2007 as a means by which to help veterans tell their own stories, in their own words. It grew out of the World War II Veterans Committee’s previous newsletter, also called World War II Chronicles. We found that stories by the veterans themselves, telling their own war stories, were always most popular among our readers. This is also our way of helping these veterans to add their stories to the historical record.
ACG: The AVC hosts the National Memorial Day Parade in the nation’s capital. What can you tell us at this point about the 2013 parade?
TH: The parade will take place on Monday, May 27, at 2:00 PM along Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC. Some of the highlights of the parade are still coming together, but we again expect it to be the largest Memorial Day event in the nation, with some 250,000–300,000 spectators and thousands of participants, including nearly 1,000 active duty personnel. For the first time, we will be syndicating the parade’s television broadcast nationally, making it available on broadcast stations in nearly every city across the country, which we are very excited about.
ACG: Thanks for taking time to share this information with us. Is there anything you’d like to add?
TH: Mainly just a reminder that the Annual Veterans Conference will take place from October 25–27 in Washington and is open for all to attend. I hope that many of your readers will be able to join us—it truly is my favorite event of the year, and ends up being quite a memorable weekend. Thank you again.
NFL & Army teaming up to tackle Traumatic Brain Injuries
| Published: September 07, 2012 at 12:24 pm
WEST POINT, NY, Sept. 7, 2012 – The National Football League and the U.S. Army have shared a storied history of working together, and now have formed perhaps their most important alliance ever in teaming up to tackle Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
The two iconic institutions chose the hallowed grounds of the United State Military Academy at West Point for the announcement, which included a panel discussion on this timely topic before an audience that included 200 Cadets.
The event was kicked off by Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who both stressed the complete collaboration they envision to implement a culture change to reduce brain injuries, including most importantly concussions.
By emphasizing the importance of shared responsibility, self-regulation and peer pressure in battling this issue, the General and the Commissioner spearheaded a candid conversation by a star-studded panel that advocates players and soldiers seek help for a head injury to either themselves or those around them.
This call for healthy behaviors was echoed by the panel that included former players Troy Vincent and Bart Oates, Neurologist Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, a Co-Chair of the NFL’s Head, Neck & Spine Committee, and Major Sarah Goldman, Major Christopher Molino, and Staff Sergeant Shawn Hibbard, all of whom contributed their perspective from the trenches.
In launching this initiative, both organizations created the websites www.NFL.com/military and www.army.mil/tbi, while also pledging to hold forums at NFL team facilities and Army bases, increasing awareness through PSAs and social media, pairing retired players with soldiers transitioning out of the Army, and sharing medical research and information.
John Ingoldsby, a leading writer on the intersection of sports and the military who attended this event, is president of IIR Sports, Inc. (www.IIRsports.com) in Boston, a media & public relations firm. As a former newspaper reporter covering Fort Devens, he was the first New England media representative ever chosen by the Pentagon to cover NATO war games in Europe. His father was a Lieutenant Colonel in General Patton’s legendary Third Army during World War II.
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