Monday, November 12, 2012

Holiday For Heroes.

Yesterday was Veterans' Day. Today is the day we officially celebrate the Holiday For Heroes.

Soldier's Prayer...

The soldier stood and faced his God Which must always come to pass...
He hoped his shoes were shining Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you soldier, How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and Said,"No, Lord, I guess I ain't...
Because those of us who carry guns Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent, Because the streets are awfully tough.
But, I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime When the bills got just too steep,
And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place Among the people here...
They never wanted me around Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much, But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne Where the saints had often trod...
As the soldier waited quietly, For the judgment of his God,
"Step forward now you soldier,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."


We have a hero in our family.

He was awarded the purple heart. In addition he is one of less than five hundred servicemen to be awarded both the Navy Cross & The Silver Star. During World War II they were stationed in The Philippines . They were evacuating the island because the Japanese were coming in force and they were going to be badly outnumbered. Officers were evacuated first, including General MacArthur. Their plane crashed. It was to dangerous to rescue them. They were expendable. That didn't stop them. Out of bamboo they built one man paddle boats to survey potential enemy sites. After making tools from what nature provided them they cut down tress and made canoes. They used the canoes to perform sneak attacks until they were captured. They were all beheaded. They were led by the person my brother, Grover, was named after, Lt. Edward Grover Delong. My Mom's first cousin, my second cousin. Here is the official military citations of his awards:

The movie THEY WERE EXPENDABLE was about his troops. It won two Oscars and is a really good World War II movie to rent.

Lt. Delong is buried in Arlington and has a Motor Torpedo Boat named after him. The boat was harbored in Long Beach Harbor for years but is now retired to the shipyard in the sky.

The following two pictures are of the Motor Torpedo Boat the SS Delong and a picture of Lt. Delong. Handsome dude.

They gave their lives so that we may be free. They give their days to protect us. To all military personnel everywhere. THANK YOU.

In closing I'd like to share an article about the improvements we are making in taking care of our homeless soldiers. But we can do better. One homeless soldier is on to many.

Comment Away.


Lady DR said...

Wow, what a post. Thanks for the tribute to our military, Bill. I think they're too often forgotten or taken for granted.

Quite a story about your cousin, definitely a hero and a man to be proud of. I'm so glad you know his history and can pass it on to your nieces and nephews and, hopefully, they're children.

Encouraging article on the homeless veterans and the push to deal with the issue and to recognize the underlying causes, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety/panic disorder. So often people try to ignore it or to self medicate, with drugs and alcohol, which only exacerbates the problem. These men and women have given us so much, not only years of their lives, but their emotions, their families.

I don't know what citations may be applicable (although I know there are some), but I'm proud of the heroes in my family, too. Uncle Lowell flew countless missions in Europe and, I believe, Panama. Daddy served in the Marines on Midway Island, a critical but thankless duty. Neither ever talked about the "realities" of war. Walt served in Vietnam, also never talked about it, but suffered nightmares and flashbacks for years after. More than once, the car, behind the couch, other places, served as "bunkers" to escape the Cong. At that time, at least in Juneau, nobody recognized PTSD. Those experiences, early in our marriage, are part of what makes me so glad to see recognition of what war does to some of our military and efforts to help the whole person.

dona said...

Very nice post Bill, thanks.

And a Special Thanks to all of the men and women in our Military.

William J. said...


One day a year isn't really enough to honor those that serve their country and really us.

I was kind of hoping my brother would be interested in the story of how he was named but really isn't so it is up to me to carry on the story. I am going to print out the medal report and an article for his son to take to the game on Saturday.

The article was encouraging but there should never be a homeless soldier. Ignoring the problem and the causes only allows the problem to continue. They deserve better.

I love the history of your family another great military movie is MIDWAY. These guys were also heroes. Midway turned the Pacific theater to the advantage of the Allies. You can find the citations by either searching Google are searching the link I provided to LT. Delong's awards. That link lists all military awards.
Your uncle and your daddy were part of an amazing generation. And Himself should be commended for his service. Personally the Vietnam Vets were treated so poorly for so long. So wrong for so many reasons.


William J. said...

Hi Dona

This is the military's day. Time to honor them.


Lady DR said...

Oops, clarification. Walt, who served in Nam, was my first husband. Himself was kinda between wars and remained stateside, providing communications.