Slide background

News

Boire9-19-07Being Chairman of Support Our Troops®Â  I am compelled to write regarding the mistreatment of former Army staff sergeant Anthony Maschek Sunday February 20, 2011 at a Columbia University forum. "I went to Columbia" just doesn't have the ring to it than it used to.  In fact I don't know if I would hiring anybody from the place since so many of the people attending it, and so many of the people running it, seem to have parted paths with normalcy years ago. Gone are the days where students of character practiced well-mannered debate of issues.   Now, many higher universities appear to breed thugs of limited thinking and analytical ability, rotten little imps of a five year old mentality lacking civility or realistic reference points from which to proceed in conducting themselves on any subject.
I am 55.  I was privileged to go to four universities, among them Oxford and Vanderbilt.  Anthony Maschek is 28, and a freshman economics major at Columbia.  He was privileged to get shot 11 times for you and me doing his duty for you and me in Iraq.  He was in the Army 10th Mountain Division, to which SupportOurTroops.Org has over the years shipped tons of morale and well-being support. What went wrong happened Sunday during a college forum simply discussing the ROTC on the Columbia University campus.  As reported by the New York Post, Anthony, who is disabled and in a wheelchair, attempted to discuss the military and his experience in it for the benefit of those in attendance who were opposed to the ROTC.   I mean, it is sometimes nice to receive some actual first-hand facts during a discussion instead of just theory. Here, Columbia's little leftists called Anthony a racist.  They hissed him.  They booed him. Now, I must admit I'm a little confused how a white man who went halfway around the world to get himself shot up defending brown skinned Arabs, working to create a better future for their brown skinned Arab kids, is a racist.    But I'm just trying to think clearly here. Anthony also spent two years in Walter Reed recovering from his wounds, while these little idiots ran around in la-la land enjoying the benefits of a vast social support system paid for by others, and while others like them sent anonymous hate mail to his fellow wounded soldiers at Walter Reed. For its part, SupportOurTroops.Org chose to ship tons of peaches, popcorn and other treats to Walter Reed. These crazy students don't get into this condition by themselves.   The point of sports camp, and school classes is to train people.  And that takes a trainer, and Columbia apparently has been stocking up on a lot of crazy trainers and tolerators. As for booing and hissing Anthony, well, these little leftists-in-training by Columbia are pathetic.   Having done nothing of substance themselves in the real world, they set about trying to demean a man in a wheelchair.  Apparently no matter how much facts one dumps into this group of people, they suffer from something causing an arrested emotional development, similar to bipolar disorder, wherein they are stalled at a certain age level in processing information and controlling their behavior.  There has to be a psychological or DNA component at play here, because these students are at one of the supposedly best colleges, where they are surely being challenged in accurate thinking by their professors and taught formal logic, informal logic, gentlemanly conduct, and debate. There is no rational explanation for their behavior, or line of argument if one could call emotionalism and ad hominem attack a line of argument.   And yet the ivy league is presumed to teach rationality.  And any good university course on logic will teach you about the logical fallacy of the ad hominem argument, in which one personally attacks the messenger, rather than debating analytically the message. Perhaps Columbia should start screening for mental illness during the admission and tenure process I can say that in the normal world, I have found that it usually takes a long time for a rational discussion in any setting to reach the pitched level where one side begins spitting venom at the other.  What is interesting is how quickly these little leftists reached that level. But then when one is arrested at the emotional age level of say a five-year-old, I guess all one can do when uncomfortable information confronts them is to rebuff it by screaming at the other fellow. So they laughed at their opponent.  And they jeered him.   This apparently is what Columbia has largely been producing for some time, and will likely produce well into the future.   Not much good stock to hire from it seems   Perhaps what's left of the reputation is an illusion from a former better history. Anthony is a man.  They are ugly little children who will be no better after their education than before. They fall into the increasing group of citizens who seem genetically predisposed to process matters emotionally instead of analytically or logically.   Perhaps it's the result of chemicals in the environment, or defective DNA.   But the poorest dumbest persons I have known in this country have much better manners and practical judgment than this bunch of spoiled, idiotic brats.  They really need to leave their ivory tower and spend a few years digging ditches, pouring concrete, and stacking block with the rest of us; maybe then they'll have a better idea of how the world really works and how people properly treat each other. Fortunately for him, being a real man who is done real things  Anthony's feelings will not be hurt by this incident.  I know his type.   He will look politely with pity and hope for betterment upon these little vacuous underlings who have yet to contribute anything practical to the betterment of mankind.   While they wish him ill, he will wish them well and self-improvement.  This is because he belongs to the class of citizens who have good character. Rare and precious is the man and woman who steps up for another at risk to themselves.  Many pictures show just how precious they are to the overseas children flocked around them in happiness grateful for the opportunities they bring.  And then there are the note with those photos expressing "this is why we're here." So for my part, I ask that God bless and watch over Anthony.   And that God find some way to teach the others how to drag themselves up out of the gutter so that they might be worth something in heaven when this is all over with down here. This writing is just my opinion, and you of course are free to form your own. Though I'm not sure that little animals like these would let you if they were in charge If you want to read the original news report on this,  you can do so at the following New York Post link: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/hero_unwelcome_Zi3u1fwtRpo87vXAiAQfSN Listen to the audio Martin C. Boire, Chairman Support Our Troops® February 21, 2011 They Support Us Let's Support Them!
WASHINGTON Nearly 45 years after he saved almost an entire company of fellow Marines in Vietnam, a Marine Corps veteran was formally recognized today for his actions.
photo: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus presents the Navy Cross to Ned E. Seath at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va., Feb. 11, 2011. Seath also received a Bronze Star with "V" for valor from actions in 1966 during the Vietnam War on the night before the actions that earned him the Navy Cross. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christofer P. Baines   Navy Secretary Ray Mabus presented Ned E. Seath with the Navy Cross -- the second-highest award a Marine can receive for valor -- in a ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va. Then a lance corporal, Seath was serving as a machine gun team leader with the 3rd Marine Division's Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, when he halted an assault of North Vietnamese soldiers July 16, 1966, using an M-60 machine gun he reassembled from spare parts. But his story of heroism was tucked away when his service in the Marine Corps ended. Seven years ago, his story resurfaced during a battalion reunion, leading to a movement started by Bill Hutton, who served with Seath, to recognize Seath's heroism. "All I could think was they're going to be overrun us and they were going to kill us all," Seath said. "I had Hutton and Bennett on my flanks with fixed bayonets holding them off. They gave me a good two more minutes to make one good gun." His unit, one of the four Marine battalions in Task Force Delta, was called into action to support Operation Hastings, an effort to push the a North Vietnamese army division out of South Vietnam's Quang Tri province. The company's mission was to establish a blocking position in the middle of an enemy trail network. Led by platoon commander David Richwine, now a retired major general, Seath's role was to provide machine-gun fire to aid in disrupting North Vietnamese army activity in the area. After landing, Seath's company soon came upon a reinforced enemy platoon waiting for the Marines in a defensive position. During the ensuing onslaught, Seath moved to obtain a disabled machine gun from a wounded Marine nearby, building an operational M-60 machine gun out of two inoperative weapons, and he quickly returned devastatingly accurate fire to the oncoming enemy. One of the weapons simply malfunctioned, Seath said, while another fire team a few fighting positions away could provide only semi-automatic fire. He pulled out a clean poncho, grabbed some grease and a brush, and went to work on the two weapons to craft the one the Marines so desperately needed. Richwine said Seath began laying down machine-gun fire in the prone position. As his field of fire became obstructed by enemy casualties, he completely disregarded his safety as he knelt at first and eventually stood up, fully exposed to enemy fire, to continue repelling the enemy's advance. "Everyone was fighting for their lives," Richwine said, noting that the advancing enemy was closing in. "Several Marines even had affixed bayonets. Seath was providing well-aimed, disciplined machine-gun fire, which ultimately killed their attack. It was a combined effort stopping the enemy, but Seath was the guy with the tool to do the job best - all while in the dark." All that illuminated the sky that night was sporadic flairs from passing aircraft, but what lit the battlefield was the tracer rounds -- red streaks from the Marines and green streaks from the North Vietnamese army, Richwine said. "If it weren't for Ned Seath, I'd be buried right now in Arlington [National Cemetery]," said Hutton, who fought alongside Seath during that battle. "We were surrounded and outnumbered. But Ned didn't quit. He went above and beyond the call of duty. He saved a company of Marines." By this night, only the second night of the operation, Seath was very familiar of the possibility of dying on the battlefield for the sake of his fellow Marines. Just 24 hours earlier, he had rushed to the aid of two wounded Marines under heavy machine-gun fire that already had claimed the lives of two Marines, and dragged them to safety. For these actions, he received the Bronze Star Medal with a "V" device for valor, which was presented along with his Navy Cross. "What Ned went through - what he did - is emblematic of the Marine Corps," Mabus said. "This is one of the biggest honors I have. Ned Seath is a hero." Feb. 11, 2011: By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christofer P. Baines- Defense Media Activity Marine Corps
 
[caption id="attachment_4163" align="alignleft" width="300"]FallenMarinesFamily02042011 Brady Rusk, 12, gets a somber kiss from Eli, a bomb-sniffing military working dog, during a retirement and adoption ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 3, 2011. The Labrador retriever was assigned to Brady's older brother, Marine Corps Pfc. Colton Rusk, who was killed in Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III[/caption] LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas "Whatever is mine is his," Marine Corps Pfc. Colton W. Rusk wrote about Eli, his military working dog, in the final days of their deployment in Afghanistan.
Yesterday, Rusk's family helped to prove his words true when they adopted the black Labrador retriever in a retirement and adoption ceremony at the military working dog school here.After Rusk, 20, was killed Dec. 5 in Afghanistan's Helmand province by Taliban sniper fire, Marine Corps officials told Darrell and Kathy Rusk, his parents, that Eli, the young Marine's infantry explosives detector dog, crawled on top of their son to protect him after he was shot.The Rusks drove here from their home in Orange Grove, Texas, along with their sons -- Cody, 22, and Brady, 12 -- as well as Rusk's aunt, Yvonne Rusk, and his grandparents, Jan Rusk and Katy and Wayne O'Neal. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jessy Eslick of the Defense Department's military working dog research and development section handed the leash to the family, praising Eli as "a dog that brought Marines home to their families." [caption id="attachment_4164" align="alignleft" width="300"]FallenMarinesFamilyC02042011 Eli, a bomb-sniffing military working dog, was assigned to Marine Pfc. Colton Rusk, who was killed Dec. 5, 2010, in Afghanistan. Eli loyally stayed by his handler's side, even biting at Marines trying to move their fallen comrade. Rusk's family traveled to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 3, 2011, after officials granted permission for them to adopt the dog. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III[/caption] Eli immediately began licking Kathy Rusk's palms and fell into the arms of his former handler's father. "In his last letter we got the day before we buried him, at the very top was a little smudge that said 'Eli's kisses,'" said the fallen Marine's mother, who wore a two-sided pendant with a photo of her son on one side and another snapshot of him with Eli on the other. "[Colton] thought whatever was [his] was Eli's. "We're Colton's family, so it's just right that we're Eli's family now."
Eli, who was trained in the military working dog program here, reportedly is the second working dog the Marines discharged to permit adoption by a fallen handler's family. Cpl. Dustin J. Lee's family adopted his German shepherd, Lex, after the Quitman, Miss., Marine died from wounds he received in a mortar attack in Iraq's Anbar province March 21, 2007. The corporal's family worked for nine months with an online petition and congressional help to secure the adoption.Kathy Rusk said her family didn't have as many obstacles in their quest to adopt Eli. Texas Gov. Rick Perry started the process of working with the Marines on the dog's discharge, and Scooter Kelo, who trained Eli and also taught Rusk on working with the dog, also helped to make the adoption possible."It gets our mind off the sadness of losing Colton," she said, "just knowing we're going to have a little piece of Colton in Eli. I just wished he could talk and tell us some stories. Just to know we're going to be able to share the love we have for our son with something that he loved dearly." Rusk joined the Marines after he graduated from Orange Grove High School and committed himself to the Marines the same week that his best friend, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Rokohl, lost both legs in southern Afghanistan. Rusk deployed to Afghanistan on his 20th birthday, with Eli, as part of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, from Camp Pendleton, Calif. "He wanted to be a Marine since he was 10 years old," his mother said of her fallen son. "We talked to him about maybe going to college first, but he said he had to fight for his country first."
[caption id="attachment_4165" align="alignleft" width="300"]FallenMarinesFamilyB02042011 The family of Marine Corps Pfc. Carlton Rusk, who was killed Dec. 5, 2010, in Afghanistan, greets Eli, his bomb-sniffing military working dog at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 3, 2011. Defense Department officials granted the Rusk family permission to adopt the dog. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III[/caption] Rusk often told his parents how dogs like Eli were well-trained here and in South Carolina, where he was trained as a bomb detector dog handler. "We've had dogs all of our lives," Darrell Rusk said. "Since all of the boys were babies, they had one. Colton was probably the better handler of the bunch. When he went to train in South Carolina, he said, 'Dad, we don't know how to train dogs. These dogs here will bring you a beer, they'll open the can for you, but sometimes they'll drink it for you, too.' He said that was how well-trained the dogs were, and he was really amazed how much you can do with a dog once you've worked with them." The dog Rusk liked to call "My boy, Eli" earned a reputation for wanting to be wherever his handler was. Eli didn't want to sleep on the ground; he slept in Rusk's sleeping bag. They even ate together outside after Rusk found out that Eli wasn't allowed to eat in the chow hall. "He told a story of when they were in the chow line one time," the fallen Marine's father said. "One of the Marines kicked at the dog one time and told him to get the dog out. Colton and the Marine got into a little scuffle. They told Colton he could stay inside and leave the dog outside, but from then on, Colton and Eli ate outside. That's how tight he and the dog were." The family met Eli once when they visited Rusk at Camp Pendleton the week he deployed. After the retirement and adoption ceremony, the Rusks took Eli to their home on more than 20 acres of land, which he will share with the family, their horses and three German shepherds. Jan Rusk said this was another way to honor her grandson's memory, but it also will help the family as they continue to cope with their loss. "Eli was a part of Colton, and now they have a little part of Colton back," she said. Feb. 4, 2011: By Randy Roughton- Defense Media Activity-San Antonio
[caption id="attachment_4180" align="alignleft" width="300"]navyNurseDiscusses02032011 nLt. Cmdr. Ronda Hartzel, a Navy nurse, met with a reporter from her hospital bed at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center where she is being treated for breast cancer, Feb. 2, 2011, Bethesda, Md.[/caption] WASHINGTON Lt. Cmdr. Ronda Hartzel is a Navy nurse who worked diligently to maintain her healthy lifestyle. She routinely worked out, ate lots of salads and no red meat, and never smoked. When she found a lump in one of her breasts, she didn't think too much of it.
"I had a few friends with a bad mammography read, and another whose mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer," Hartzel said. "That motivated me to be seen."That was Dec. 31, 2009. Stationed as an operating room nurse on a fleet surgical team at San Diego Naval Medical Center, Hartzel was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer at age 36. In January 2010, she asked to be reassigned to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where she had been stationed before. "But when I got here," she said, "they found it was in my ankle and my hip. So, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, which was pretty devastating." When the 14-year Navy officer arrived at Bethesda, she said, her long hair was intact and she still felt like herself. She comforted herself with the fact that she had no family history of the disease. "Slowly but surely, you start to let go," Hartzel said. "Cancer doesn't discriminate. It takes on anybody and everybody." Hartzel's medical regimen for her breast cancer didn't include radiation. Instead, she had chemotherapy once a week for six months, followed by six months of chemo every three weeks. She had a double mastectomy in August, followed by removal of her ovaries the day before Thanksgiving. The next day, she ran in a local turkey trot race. "The doctors didn't want me to, but I wanted to in case I wasn't here next year," she said. Hartzel received breast implants Dec. 16. Losing her hair proved the most difficult part of the entire process, Hartzel said. She shaved her head because the chemotherapy made her hair fall out. "Looking in the mirror, I didn't see myself at all," she said. "I struggled with it, but you get to the point where you have to fight. I learned very quickly if I had a positive attitude and tried to pick myself up, it makes a big difference." Hartzel said she felt invisible. When people saw her in the hall, most said nothing. "They wonder what's wrong with you. They want to ask, but don't know what to say to you," she said. "Other people just avoid you, because they can tell something's wrong." Yet, she said, some positives marked her diagnosis, surgeries and treatments, noting she's had support from the hospital staff, family and friends while soothing the fears of other women with breast cancer. "The Navy's been great to me, and I've always felt a lot of love and that's why I came [to Bethesda]," she said. "It always felt like home to me." Still, said Hartzel, who recently was selected for promotion to commander, there are only so many times you can tell your story, especially when you know it's devastating to your friends and family. "My mother is still struggling," she said. "She's in denial." After her diagnosis, Hartzel said, she wondered if she could have done something to prevent the cancer. "I wondered, 'Maybe I should have come in sooner; it might have made a difference,'" she said. "I think I did everything I possibly could. I was in the best shape of my life. I was working out every day. Sometimes you have to realize some things are out of your control." Cancer can make a person do a lot of bartering, Hartzel said. "As a Stage 4, I wish I could go back to a Stage 2," she said. "When I was a 2, I wished I could go back to a Stage 1. I decided I'm going to live every moment just like it's my last. None of us knows how much time we have left on this Earth." Hartzel noted that she just returned from Hawaii. "I don't put things off any more." She said. "I make sure I take the opportunities." In two or three weeks, Hartzel will have all of her scans repeated to see if the cancer has spread to her bones or anywhere else. "This could be my last chemo," she said while lying on a gurney undergoing a treatment. "I am determined to be a success story and beat the odds. I want to be one of those 20 percent who lives." Feb. 3, 2011: By Terri Moon Cronk- American Forces Press Service
 
[caption id="attachment_4265" align="alignleft" width="299"]AirGuardTeam01132011 Air Force Brig. Gen. John Owen, right, a Missouri Air National Guard member who is the Air Guard advisor to the command surgeon of Air Mobility Command, talks with Air Force Col. Bruce Guerdan of the Florida Air Guard, second from left, and Master Sgt. Jody Nitz of the Michigan Air Guard, left and back to camera, after he lands at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, Jan. 9, 2011. Owen worked with AMC to provide the Air Guard medical personnel needed for critical care air transport teams. Guerdan and Nitz are members of the first Air Guard CCATT deployed to Ramstein. In the right foreground is Air Force Maj. Joey Jackson of the Tennessee Air Guard, an air operations officer deployed to Ramstein. U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke[/caption] WASHINGTON After a six-year hiatus, the Air National Guard is back in the critical care air transport team business.
"As the Guard migrated into the homeland defense mission, we got away from the CCATT mission," Air Force Col. Brett Wyrick, air surgeon for the Air National Guard, told participants in a "DOD Live" bloggers roundtable Jan. 11."However, recently what we've discovered is that there is a need for the Air National Guard in the CCATT mission," he said, "and also we've got quite a bit of expertise in the Guard and in the Reserve that allows us to meet the demands of the mission and take some of the strain off the active-duty sources, who have been stretched quite thin by the ongoing conflicts." The Air Force surgeon general introduced the concept about 10 years ago to meet a need for transporting the most critically injured patients in the aeromedical evacuation system. "This is a mission where we actually bring everything that you would find in an intensive care unit to the air frame," Wyrick said. "And it gives us the ability to move injured and wounded soldiers and airmen, Marines from the forward areas of the battlefield back to a tertiary care facility either in Europe, the Pacific or the United States." A critical care air transport team consists of an intensive care physician, a critical care nurse and a respiratory technician. The first Air Guard team is on alert at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany. "If there's a need downrange, they can deploy forward from Ramstein into Iraq, Afghanistan or even into the African continent if there's a need for that," Wyrick said, "and then they [are transported with] the patients back to the United States or back to Europe, wherever the mission [dictates]." After this requirement was validated, it took less than six months for the Air Guard to field its first team with the help of the Air Force Expeditionary Medical Skills Institute's Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills at the University of Cincinnati. "We're going to have a constant and persistent line in the [aeromedical evacuation flight] now [and] for the next two years out of Ramstein," he said. Wyrick said the Air Guard plans to stand up 18 full teams from 17 states. Many of them have begun training, and they are expected to reach full operational capability within the next two years. The Air Guard also has volunteers from all 54 states and territories who would like to augment these teams when needed, he said. "There're a number of Guardsmen out there from various states who want to participate in the mission, who have the medical training and qualification to participate in the mission," Wyrick said. "And we're accepting them as volunteers." The current team consists of Col. (Dr.) Bruce Guerdan, who is the state air surgeon for the Florida Air Guard, Lt. Col. David Worley, a nurse from the Kentucky Air Guard, and Master Sgt. Jody Nitz, a respiratory therapist from the Michigan Air Guard. "So, we did combine people from all over the country to put these volunteer teams together," Wyrick said. The doctors will rotate about every 30 days, and the nurses and respiratory technicians will average about 60 days. At least one nurse has volunteered to serve for six months. All of these Air Guard medical personnel have one thing in common: experience. "If you look at your average Guard physician, he's got at least 15 to 20 years in medicine," Wyrick said. "Many of those are in primary care. And when you look at it most of us have an active-duty background, and then after they leave the military, then they go back out and they respecialize or they subspecialize. "So, we've got a lot of critical care physicians, a lot of surgeons, anesthesiologists -- guys who have literally written the book on modern medicine are residing in the Air Guard," he continued. "And by putting them in the CCATT mission, we bring years of experience and we bring years of knowledge that make us a good total force partner for the Air Force." Many of the volunteers, he said, have critical care air transport team experience, but "a lot of them, by virtue of the fact that there are already specialists in the civilian health care world, they bring that experience and they're readily trainable to the CCATT mission." In addition to its federal mission, a team also could be used for emergency response here at home. "For instance, if we had a situation on the Gulf Coast where a big hurricane rolls up on shore and you need to evacuate civilian patients from a civilian hospital in the hurricane's path, that would be another use for the CCATT teams," Wyrick said. "It gives you a way to transport critically injured patients from the strike zone to areas of safety. So it's not just battlefield and combat casualties; it could also be in humanitarian roles or in a disaster situation." Wyrick added that the states have access to Air Force equipment in the event of a disaster. "There just aren't the barriers that there used to be," he said. "After [Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005], there's been a lot of crosstalk, there's been a lot of planning, and we have access to the equipment and supplies that we need when we need them." Air Guard critical care air transport teams use life-support equipment that has been tested and verified as being safe and airworthy. "When you're talking about transporting patients through the air, what you have is what you bring with you," Wyrick said. "And the systems have to be super-reliable, there has to be redundancies in there, and they have to be safe for flight." The team's typical patient will come with a stretcher, a monitor, intravenous pumps and also a ventilator to maintain respiration throughout the mission, he said. In addition to the equipment, the teams often fly with a full aeromedical evacuation crew, which cares for the less-critical patients. However, the critical care air transport team may not have an aeromedical crew with them on every flight. "It depends on whether it's a routine scheduled mission or whether it's an emergency," Wyrick explained. "In a pinch, these guys can convert anything into [an] air evac platform." Wyrick said the Air Force has moved away from the concept that aeromedical evacuation is an air frame. Critical care air transport teams are the "back-end medical crew," he said. "As far as the aircraft goes, the CCATT teams can use an aircraft of opportunity, and while everybody prefers to have a C-17 because of the design in the room, we also fly missions from the theater far forward in Afghanistan back to the United States in KC-135s, or we can also do this in a C-5 or whatever aircraft is designated as the aeromedical evacuation platform." Only the most-critical patients will require a critical care air transport team, Wyrick said. "We're taking patients that otherwise wouldn't be candidates for the aeromedical evacuation system, because we really are talking about the most severely injured patients [at Landstuhl Army medical Center in Germany]," Wyrick said. Each team can handle up to four patients, who are flown directly from Landstuhl back to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington or National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., or to the burn center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. How quickly a patient is transported back to the United States depends on the patient's needs, Wyrick said. "A lot of times when the patients come back from the forward areas, there's more surgery to be done on them," he explained. "And after they've undergone the combat resuscitation and stabilization, then when they get to Landstuhl, there could be other procedures that are done where they take the patient back to the [operating room], and then it might be several days, or even weeks, before the patient is actually ready for transport back to the United States." He added that a patient who has suffered a burn could be shipped back almost immediately to San Antonio. The Air Guard critical care air transport team was scheduled for its first flight back to Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington in Maryland on Jan. 11, no critical care patients needed movement from Landstuhl back to the United States. "So that's actually a good thing," Wyrick said. "Because the fewer injured patients there are for the United States military, the better things are going. So they're sitting alert right now, and they're ready." Jan. 13, 2011: By Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke- National Guard Bureau
FoldedFlagRAPID CITY, S.D. A retired South Dakota National Guard officer was one of the bystanders who subdued the gunman who allegedly killed six people and shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 8.
Bill Badger, 74, a former Army colonel who now lives in the Tucson area, tackled suspect Jared Loughner, although Badger himself was wounded by one of the rounds fired during the shooting.Badger said his military training took over after he was shot and then faced the suspected shooter. While living in Pierre, S.D., from 1965 to 1973, he served in the South Dakota National Guard, flying helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Three of his children -- sons Tim and Brady Badger and daughter Jody Hardwick -- still live in Pierre, and another, Lonnie Badger, lives in Sioux Falls, S.D.The former Guard member said he communicates regularly with Giffords and her staff, and he was invited to attend the event the congresswoman was holding in a supermarket parking lot. He said he was waiting to speak with Giffords and was talking with other people when he heard the shots, he said.Giffords, a federal judge, and a 9-year-old girl already had been shot when he saw what was happening, Badger said. "He was just coming right down the line. He wasn't walking. He was just aiming and just shooting everybody that was sitting in a chair there," Badger said. "Some of them who were being hit were falling over, and the rest started to hit the pavement." As he tried to get to the ground, Badger said, he felt "a burning sensation" in the back of his head and knew he had been hit by a bullet. Once he heard the shooting stop, he added, he stood up and saw the suspect standing in front of him, going right to left. As the suspect walked past by him, Badger said, someone hit the alleged assailant with a folding chair. At the same time, he recalled, Badger and another man grabbed the suspect by the arms and shoulders, pushing him to the pavement, and kept him there until police arrived. During the takedown, Badger said, he saw the suspect try to throw away a small plastic bag full of money and personal identification, Badger said, and he pointed out the bag to law enforcement officers. Badger, one of 19 people injured in the shooting, said he didn't have time to worry about being killed, and that his military training took over. He stressed that he doesn't consider himself to be a hero, and just did what anyone would have done. "I have to be the luckiest person in the world," he said. "Some individual told me I should go and buy a lottery ticket. I said, 'I just won the lottery by not being killed.'" Tim Badger said he and his siblings are proud of their father and thankful he was not seriously hurt. Jan. 12, 2011: From a South Dakota National Guard News Release
 

GET INSPIRING TROOP NEWS AND AMAZING PICTURES DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX