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  • Dan Patterson May 6, 2019, 11:00 AM

    Bless him.
    Prayers for comfort to his family, friends, and brothers-in-arms.

    Is it possible to identify the man, some of his history? He was once a badass among badasses.

  • Dan Patterson May 6, 2019, 11:05 AM

    I neglected to note the touching tributes paid to the man by his fellow veterans, and the haunting, stirring notes of “Taps”.
    Rest in Peace.

  • Dirk Williams May 6, 2019, 1:46 PM

    Our generation has fail his generation. Rest in peace sir.


  • Joe May 6, 2019, 3:32 PM

    We have done more than any nation in history to help China. They have a strange way of thanking us.

  • Casey Klahn May 6, 2019, 3:46 PM

    RIP. Great respects.

    I had an interesting dinner in New Mexico a couple of years back; maybe I already told this story. As it turns out, we were at an Irish restaurant and bar, and we discovered that each of us at the table was the son or daughter of a WW II veteran. My father: North Italy with the 10th Mountain Division. Another: his dad was a navy Seabee. His wife’s dad: Ball Turret gunner on a B-24, then wounded-out of flight duty and sent to the infantry. He landed at Normandy on D Day, threw himself over the side of the LC on order, started to drown in the water when his big lieutenant grabbed him and pulled him ashore. Stop right there for a minute: he threw his life away, on order, for basically you. Often.
    Another was an infantryman in Italy, and finally the woman to my left hand, whose dad was an OSS agent in China. The same job this guy in the video had. I was impressed by everyone’s father, but HFS this guy was certainly a super hero.

    The honors rendered aren’t enough, but they do bring some honor to the living as well as the dead veteran. In case you don’t know, the OSS were the CIA/ Green Beret types of WWII. In China, they had to thread the needle between insurgency against Japan, and training, by caveat, the next revolution which was Mao’s. Think about that the next time your job seems a bit hard. Bullshit. These guys knew hard.

    Then, they came home and said basically nothing.

  • PA Cat May 6, 2019, 4:59 PM

    My VA story, which is about 5 years old by now, concerns a Vietnam vet who had just been admitted to the hospice unit of the local VA with terminal cancer. Prognosis: 2 to 4 days at the outside. A friend of mine who worked in the admissions department phoned me with an urgent request for help. It turns out that the vet had come in with a cardboard box that he clung to with all his remaining strength. When the staff peered inside, they saw a tabby cat named Tiger, who was the vet’s only family. They couldn’t allow the cat into any sterile areas, so they stashed Tiger in the office of a nearby veterinarian until they could come up with a plan. My friend called me because Tiger was so fearful he would not have stood a chance of adoption if animal control had picked him up, so I was asked if I could foster him.

    I was happy to do so because I have the necessary supplies for fostering a kitty who has to be kept separate from my own cats. My friend said that a doctor and a nurse from the VA would bring Tiger to me around 5 p.m., which gave me time to get his little “officer’s club” ready for him: clean bed, brand-new toy, the works. I had the sudden inspiration (I’d call it grace) to ask the doctor and nurse to bring a camera with them so that they could photograph Tiger’s new home and reassure his dying owner that Tiger was in a real house with a foster caregiver and not in a kill shelter where he would have been euthanized within a day of intake.

    The MD and RN both thought that was a great idea, and they took about 20 pictures of Tiger in his new digs, including general shots of the living room itself. After they got back to the VA, they made copies of the photos, attached them to a large piece of poster board, and showed them to the dying vet. They told me the next day that he wept in relief to know his beloved cat was safe. They called me back the day after that to tell me that the vet had died about eight hours after seeing the photos.

    While Tiger was indeed one of the most frightened cats I’ve ever seen, he did find a wonderful adopter, a respiratory therapist from the VA with experience in caring for traumatized animals. No, I couldn’t play Taps or salute Tiger’s “cat dad,” but I did what I could to thank him for his service.

  • Missy May 6, 2019, 5:24 PM

    This death of this hugely heroic veteran appears to have happened in a Community Living Center at his local VA. The vets living in CLCs get to be very close, and they know their respective stories, as does the staff. Hence the moving ceremonial departure with taps. I am permanently changed by my experiences at the two VA hospitals that cared for my late husband (100 % wartime disabled). I heard stories that were nothing short of searing from vets in the waiting rooms. I also witnessed a complete absence of self-pity, even among the youngest veterans, many with prosthetic limbs and/or disfigurement. Almost to a man, I would overhear them say to one another that they would do it again. These guys would not considered “heroes,” but I found them, nonetheless, heroic.

  • Bad_Brad May 6, 2019, 7:11 PM

    Both my parents are gone now but my father was part of the “Lucky Bastards Club”. He flew 3 tours in a B24. Ironically starting out in Benghazi. Later in his years he suffered from severe arthritis in his ankles. The result of a hard landing in a B 24. I mention that because he’d always been an active guy. He eventually lost his will to live. No matter. Rural Northern California supplied an honor guard. A gray heard little guy that played a pretty good trumpet and cried harder than the rest of us. Right after he presented my mother with a folded up flag. We spent the rest of the funeral consoling him. Almost funny now.

  • Walt Gottesman May 7, 2019, 1:41 PM

    Rest in peace soldier, now that you’ve gone to Post Everlasting. May you long be remembered by those you’ve left behind.

    Thanks GVL, for sharing a video of this moving ceremony.

    If you get a chance, I hope you’ll also feature something about the 21-year-old UNCC ROTC cadet, Riley Howell, who tackled a gunman that had entered his classroom, thereby stopping him from killing more students, but giving his life in the process. He was buried with military honors, this past Sunday. His story is deeply moving. He too is a hero who should not be forgotten. I personally think he deserves to receive, posthumously, the Medal of Honor. He is a hero in this new type of war in which we find ourselves.

  • Suburbanbanshee May 7, 2019, 4:28 PM

    High school and college ROTC cadets have done us proud at school shootings over the last few years — but we have not done our adult part to keep them safe. Very sad.

  • Walt Gottesman May 7, 2019, 5:30 PM

    Suburbanbanshee: You are right on all counts, to honor the heroic actions of the young cadets, mourn the loss of those among them who died while protecting their fellow students, and lament our failure to have in place trained and armed adult personnel to defend school populations from attackers.

    It’s not a good excuse, but midway into my eighth decade I’ve been noticing that my memory isn’t as sharp as I think it once was. I forgot about Peter Wang and the other cadets at the Florida high school shooting last year who were killed while trying to keep others safe. They should not be forgotten.

  • Waepnedmann May 11, 2019, 1:21 PM

    Casey Klahn,
    Thirty-some years ago Bill and I worked as carpenters to build the offices for Hecla Minining in Nortern Idaho.
    Bill was 10th Mountain Division during WWII.
    He had been recruited when the 10th was formed because he could ski.
    He fought through Northern Italy, so I am sure he knew your father.
    Bill was a fine craftsman and a tough, but quiet man.
    The only time I heard him talk of the fighting was his expressing dislike for both the M1 Garand and the Germans he used it on with great effectiveness. And the Weasel.
    The 10th has a reunion every year which Bill anticipated with relish.
    I am sure he has passed as he was probably in his fifties when I knew him, but he lives in my remembrance as a strong and determined man.
    I was lucky to have him as a partner.