Tag: Vietnam War

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Power Line pointed to an opinion piece at the Hill, comparing news media and their coverage of the 1968 influenza pandemic with media coverage of COVID-19. While the Hill piece provides good factual support for the wildly different coverage, I believe the author gets it wrong in claiming the media personalities then would not weaponize […]

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A True Hero’s Homecoming: Retired USAF Colonel, Congressman Sam Johnson


The news media condemns itself, as does our political class, once more, with their relative silence. A true American hero, whose virtue was proved in the skies of two wars, the hell on earth of the worst part of the Communist Vietnamese torture chambers, and in the halls of Congress that so often corrupt, has been called home. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, retired Congressman Sam Johnson went home on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at the age of 89. There is a famous photograph of Colonel Johnson reunified with his wife, Shirley, after seven years of captivity. At the end of May 2020, I believe they were reunified a second time. We do not know what Heaven is actually like, but we may well imagine these two people embracing again in bodies not ravaged by this fallen world.

Sam married his high school sweetheart, Shirley in 1950, shortly before graduating from Southern Methodist University. They remained faithfully married for 65 years until Shirley was called home before Sam. Shirley Johnson’s obituary confessed their faith:

During Sam’s captivity, Shirley’s faith in the almighty God became more real. Prior to the POW years, she and her husband had faithfully attended church. In the blink of an eye, God was comforting her, and her faith blossomed so that she was reliant on God for the answers to her life’s tribulations. This undying faith stayed with her the remainder of her life and became a hallmark of her quiet strength, gracious manner and gentle personality. [. . .] Sam and Shirley remained inseparable, enjoying seeing new places and learning about new cultures. They found the greatest joy however, spending time with family and giving praise and thanksgiving to their Lord and Savior.

100 Years, 3 Wars, 409 Combat Missions: Living Memory


On Friday, 6 December, Col. Charles McGee went flying for his 100th birthday. He actually flew the aircraft, with a copilot, and walked on and off the aircraft firm of voice and stride. Colonel McGee started flying in World War II, then stayed in the cockpit for the next thirty years, seeing combat in both Korea and Vietnam. He holds the US Air Force record, to this day, of 409 combat missions. As we commemorate the 75th anniversaries of D-Day at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge this year, we note the number of World War II veterans rapidly falling to the far end of the actuarial tables. Accordingly, each one who remains with us, still of firm mind and voice, becomes more of a treasure.

Vice President Pence Thanks Millennial Military

Jordan 2019, AZANG and Army Reserve TOA

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class SHAIYLA HAKEEM Area Support Group Jordan, July 2019

This weekend, Candice Owens uploaded her latest podcast, an interview with Vice President Mike Pence. As he brought the interview to a close, he made a comment that prompted reflection. Vice President Pence grounded his optimism about our nation’s future in the fact of 5.5 million young people have signed up for military service, since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Indeed, the latest cohort of recruits was born after that date, and for at least the past four years, recruits have had no living, personal, memory of that day.

Retired Marine Sergeant Major John Canley: Our Latest Medal of Honor Recipient


Wednesday afternoon, retired Sergeant Major John Canley became the 300th Marine to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. President Trump presented the award to the 80-year-old Marine, who is still straight of back and clear-voiced, standing tall in his sharp dress uniform. Sergeant Major Canley was belatedly recognized for one especially noteworthy episode in a long career.

Canley, who spent 28 years in the service, left El Dorado, Arkansas, at the age of 15 to join the Marines. [He used his brother’s documents to enlist two years below the youngest recruiting age!]

He was deployed to Vietnam several times from 1965 to 1970 and his efforts saved the lives of many men, earning him the Navy Cross.

Richard Epstein reviews how the new film The Post portrays the Supreme Court’s free speech jurisprudence in the Pentagon Papers case.

Carpet Bombing: A Brief History


Ted Cruz locked onto the phrase “carpet bombing” on the campaign trail and repeated it in the most recent Republican debate. He presumably means heavy, concentrated, tactical airstrikes such as those used in the First Gulf War. In popular imagination, these were also decisive in the Second Gulf War, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the 1995 NATO bombing campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the 1999 campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In other words, he probably means a massive concentration of tactical airstrikes against all C3 targets (command, control, communication) and against enemy logistics and operational forces.

It’s true that the air rate of sorties (one craft, one mission) against ISIS has been very low compared to those campaigns. It seems that Cruz envisions using air power alone to destroy ISIS by accelerating the tempo of strikes. For some reason, he’s confused the phrase “carpet bombing” with this idea. Perhaps he saw it on a documentary somewhere.

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I’ve been writing about how social class has emerged in the work of the most successful contriver of popular spectacles, Marvel / Disney, who is never suspected of peddling anything but mindless fun. I am not really surprised at this development: Heroes in America tend to emerge in stories about protection–about caring for those in need […]

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Fall of Saigon, 40 Years On


640px-Saigon-hubert-van-esYesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. I think the Ricochet community would benefit from hearing from any members who may have been in — or offshore of — South Vietnam at the time, whether serving in the American military, employed by other US government agencies, or struggling to escape the communists to begin a new life in the USA. Anyone, for that matter, who was around at the time who would like to talk about it.

I would be greatly appreciative of people’s thoughts on this.  It was clearly a very profound event in the lives of many. PBS is airing a new documentary on the commemoration called the “Last Days in Vietnam.

Image Credit: “Saigon-hubert-van-es” by Source. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Fall of Saigon” <href=”Saigon-hubert-van-es.jpg”/>Fair use via Wikipedia.