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Do you believe…   SOME FOLKS PAY FOR MUD TREATMENTS?

The finest spas in the world cannot compete with the thorough mud baths offered Freshman Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.  In this photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Bonaparte Jr., an underclassman struggles to overcome yet another obstacle during “Sea Trials”, a grueling test of toughness and teamwork at the end of their first year’s training. 

Modelled after the punishing Marine Corps “Crucible”, Sea Trials require “plebes” to negotiate extreme obstacles, crawl under barbed wire, drag ammo boxes uphill and tread water holding a rifle above their heads.  Teamwork is tested via exhausting log carry exercises during the 14-hour ordeal designed to build character, competence, and professionalism in the next generation of naval officers.

Support Our Troops.org is a national charity providing troop support including care packages and family support activities for our servicemembers here and around the globe.

Go to: supportourtroops.org/donate

Perhaps I’m Overdressed   DEFUSING BOMBS IS NO JOKE

Ft. Carson, Colorado (April 4th, 2022): Parents hate to admit it but lighting those 4th of July firecrackers can be a bit intimidating, what with the high explosives and all. Most of us try to avoid things that tend to explode, let alone willingly seek out the most dangerous ordnance (bombs) in the world.
 
In this photo by Staff Sergeant Apolonia Galspar, First Lieutenant Ian Roxas, Ordnance Disposal Officer with the 764th Ordnance Company,  is fully geared up while participating in the “Ravens Challenge” at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma. The Challenge is a gathering of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians from multiple nations, all branches of the military and local governments to hone their skills while sharing the latest on bomb disposal technology.

This proud unit served in the Pacific in World War II including Saipan and the Philippines and most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To become an Explosives Ordnance Disposal Technician, you must pass a grueling 36 Week School at Ft. Lee, Virginia that is both physically demanding and psychologically challenging.  Students study electronics, chemical and biological agents, and robotics while training to remain focused in dangerous situations. As you can imagine, this course has a high attrition rate.  Graduates go on to handle assignments around the world.

OK… PULL OVER!

Gulf of Oman (May 16, 2022): There you are, just your average drug smuggler, minding your own business, when the “Swede” arrives.

In this case, it is the U.S.S. Momsen, an American Arleigh Burke-class Guided Missile Destroyer assigned to the U.S. 5th Fleet doing a friendly “Flag Check” on a suspicious fishing trawler off the Gulf of Oman in waters known for illegal activity.   Named after Vice Admiral Charles B. “Swede” Momsen (1896-1967), this vessel is part of a 34-nation task force confronting maritime threats in the Middle East.

This is always bad news for drug smugglers.

MEET YOU AT THE REC CENTER

We were Army Brats, my six brothers and sisters and I, who grew up on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii in the loving arms of the 25th Infantry Division.  The Viet Nam War was raging then, and we military families learned to do without.  The Army did what it could to give us the basics, so no special programs were available. What we did not have then that all military families enjoy today is support from Support Our Troops.org charities. Here are just a few of our activities:
 
Family reintegration help when spouses return from deployment
Summer camps for base kids to socialize, make new friends
Establish weekly clubs among bases so military children “already belong” when they relocate

Fund food and sports activities on base 
All these efforts strive for one thing, to stabilize military families as they change schools and even countries every three years.  Support Our Troops needs you! Here’s how to help:

Go to: supportourtroops.org/donate

Here you may Donate to help SOT pay for these fine programs at military bases around the world.
 
Jim Spearing, SSG Ret.

The Valiant v. the Vile

The images are disturbing. Brave Ukrainian soldiers, sad but defiant, are loaded onto busses after surrendering to Russian forces after the months-long siege at Mariupol. Many are grievously wounded, starving, and traumatized by their ordeal.

The Russian Army accepting their surrender is guilty of numerous war crimes including deliberate attacks on innocent civilians, mass murder, executing prisoners, and bombing schools and hospitals, The Russians say they have 1,730 soldiers in custody and given their barbaric  behavior, the world can only ask; “How will these courageous souls be treated by their captors?”

Moving bombs around for a living

Eglin AFB, Florida (April 29, 2022):  Talk about no margin for error! In this photo by Samuel King Jr., Senior Airman Jahee Standley and Staff Sergeant Summer Lankford move a GBU-39B small diameter bomb into place during the 96th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s F-15 Eagle weapons load competition.

Air Force weapon loaders have the tricky task of quickly and safely placing a variety of high explosives onto fighter planes in real time and in any type of conditions. Working in three person teams, the weapons loaders transport munitions, prepare the weapon bays and ensure the bombs match their assigned mission. They conduct the final safety checks, pull the safety pins, and watch with great pride as their pilots take off to defend America.

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