Sunday, October 25, 2009

One Way To Learn

A Purple Heart is not a discoloration of that all-important muscle inside one's chest. My daughter admitted that was her belief when she was a child.

A Purple Heart Medal is a symbol first established by George Washington, then, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. His order read in part, "Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen."

Authorized by Congress in 1932, awards of the Purple Heart total 1,345,701. (376,801 were battle deaths and 968,900 were wounded)

This medal is not one to be sought. Parents don't rear children to aspire to possessing this honor. Scars, disfigurements, or death can accompany this recognition. In a perfect world there would be no awarding of this medal.

Since most people haven't seen the actual medal or may be unfamiliar with its meaning, the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart has set up a display at the Reynolda Branch of the Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Public Library. The exhibit will be there from October 20 through the end of November. See the actual medal in the top picture.

The display idea was initiated by James Schaller and wife, Carol, who are newcomers to Winston-Salem from Buffalo, New York. Jim is one of 250 Purple Heart Medal recipients in Forsyth and surrounding counties in the local MOPH Chapter 638. Carol is a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary. The chapter raises money and volunteers time to assist veterans at the VA hospitals in Salisbury and Asheville, and the VA Clinic in Winston-Salem.

Visit the Reynolda Library to see the exhibit and click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

Have a good week!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"On the eighth day....

"On the eighth day God created the infantry and all Hell stood at attention". This is the message we saw on a T-shirt while visiting Fort Benning, Georgia on October 10-11, 2009.

Fort Benning was built in 1918 and named in honor of Henry L. Benning, a Confederate general, lawyer, legislator, and judge on the Georgia State Supreme Court. This famous United States military facility has been training infantry soldiers, paratroopers, rangers, and other highly trained commandos throughout its history.

Patriots F. Joe Idol, Robert Helton, and I were there last weekend to attend Region IV's meeting of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

LTC Jon A. Ring, Commander 1-507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, warmly welcomed the MOPH group with opening remarks. His review of Fort Benning's history and its current training mission statistics were interesting to veterans like us.

Robert Helton (top picture) underwent parachute training at Benning in 1948 when he was age 15. He served in the Korean War with the 187th ARCT and the Vietnam War in the 173rd Airborne. He was also in the Green Berets and other army units a total of 33 years. After military retirement, he moved to Winston-Salem where he worked, volunteered, and refereed high school football games in Forsyth and surrounding counties. He now enjoys full retirement and membership in civic groups and military association groups.

Joe Idol (second picture) trained for the infantry at Fort Jackson, South Carolina in early 1967 after being drafted in 1966, served two years of active duty, and fought in Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division where he was engaged in much infantry action.

I volunteered for the military in 1965, trained for the infantry at Fort Gordon, Georgia, completed parachute training at Fort Benning, fought in combat with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam in 1966, and completed three years of active duty.

The three of us are recipients of the Purple Heart Medal. We are members with many other wounded-in-action veterans of the Military Order and serve to help veterans and families who are entitled to assistance. We appreciate your support as we help the Department of Veterans Affairs to supplement the services to aging veterans and new warriors.

Region IV consists of departments and chapters in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

Our planning meeting at Benning was helpful, uplifting, and encouraging.

Bob Helton and I are in the bottom picture with the 250' jump tower behind us. We practiced parachuting from this tower during our training many years ago. Click on the pictures to enlarge for better viewing.

Have a good week!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Walking Update

Here is the status of my walking at C. G. Hill Park for the past seven years. My chart shows over 300,000 points. This translates to 5,454 miles walked.

The second chart shows how I compare to other walkers across the United States who log their exercise from walking the same speed interval. Click on the charts to see them enlarged.

See the below text that describes how the fitness program started.

"The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports was first established as the President's Council on Youth Fitness, on July 16, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower after the President learned the results of a report indicating that American children were less fit than European youth. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy changed the name of the Council to the President's Council on Physical Fitness, expanded the mandate to all Americans as well as youth, and clarified the purpose and function of the Council. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson broadened the Council's mission to include sports and changed the name to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports."

Have a good week!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Recent Woodworking Project

I started with a white oak log 24" in diameter and 6' long. Slabs of bark and sapwood were removed by sawing on 4 sides leaving a "cant" 18 inches X 16 inches. Next I sawed through the middle creating two pieces 8" thick by 18" wide. I then chainsawed the two pieces to reduce their lengths to 60".

Next, one end on each piece was elevated to cut an incline. The pictures here show the steps.

These two ramps will be used for a straight truck to drive its rear wheel onto so the truck bed will be level with a shipping/receiving dock at a distribution warehouse.

Have a good week!