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American Hero John Glenn: THERE'S a Guy Who Knows What Love Is...
Reaganite Republican ^ | March 28, 2012 | Reaganite Republican

Posted on 03/28/2012 5:26:32 AM PDT by Reaganite Republican

An interesting story surrounds last month's 
50th anniversary celebration of the 
Mercury-Atlas 6 manned space flight...

John and Annie Glenn with VP Johnson, 1962

John Glenn's own true hero

For half a century now the world has applauded John Glenn as a heart-stirring American hero. He lifted the nation's spirits when, as one of the original Mercury astronauts, he was blasted alone into orbit around the Earth; the enduring affection for him is so powerful that even now people find themselves misting up at the sight of his face or the sound of his voice.

But for all these years, Glenn has had a hero of his own, someone who he has seen display endless courage of a different kind: Annie Glenn.

They have been married for 68 years... he is 90;
Annie just turned 92-

There has been news coverage of the 50th anniversary of Glenn's flight into orbit. We are being reminded that, half a century down the line, he remains America's unforgettable hero.

He has never really bought that-

Because the heroism he most cherishes is of a sort that is seldom cheered. It belongs to the person he has known longer than he has known anyone else in the world. 

John Glenn and Annie Castor first knew each other when
-literally- they shared a playpen.

In New Concord, Ohio, his parents and hers were friends.
When the families got together, their children played.

John -the future Marine fighter pilot, the future test-pilot ace, the future astronaut- was pure gold from the start. He would end up having what it took to rise to the absolute pinnacle of American regard during the space race; imagine what it meant to be the young John Glenn in the small confines of New Concord.

Three-sport varsity athlete, most admired boy in town
Mr. Everything

Annie Castor was bright, was caring, was talented, was generous of spirit. But she could talk only with the most excruciating of difficulty.
And it haunted her.

Her stuttering was so severe that it was categorized as an "85%" disability -- 85% of the time, she could not manage to make words come out.

When she tried to recite a poem in elementary school, she was laughed at. She was not able to speak on the telephone. She could not have a regular conversation with a friend.

And John Glenn loved her.

Even as a boy he was wise enough to understand that people who could not see past her stutter were missing out on knowing a rare and wonderful girl. 

They married on April 6, 1943. As a military wife, she found that life as she and John moved around the country could be quite hurtful. She has written: "I can remember some very painful experiences -- especially the ridicule." 

Wedding portrait, 1943

In department stores, she would wander unfamiliar aisles trying to find the right section, embarrassed to attempt to ask the salesclerks for help. In taxis, she would have to write requests to the driver, because she couldn't speak the destination out loud. In restaurants, she would point to the items on the menu. 

A fine musician, Annie, in every community where she and John moved, would play the organ in church as a way to make new friends. She and John had two children; she has written: "Can you imagine living in the modern world and being afraid to use the telephone? 'Hello' used to be so hard for me to say. I worried that my children would be injured and need a doctor. Could I somehow find the words to get the information across on the phone?"

John, as a Marine aviator, flew 59 combat missions in World War II and 90 during the Korean War. Every time he was deployed, he and Annie said goodbye the same way. His last words to her before leaving were:

"I'm just going down to the corner store to get a pack of gum."

And, with just the two of them there, she was able to always reply: "Don't be long." 

On that February day in 1962 when the world held its breath and the Atlas rocket was about to propel him toward space, those were their words, once again. And in 1998, when, at 77, he went back to space aboard the shuttle Discovery, it was an understandably tense time for them. What if something happened to end their life together? 

She knew what he would say to her before boarding the shuttle. He did -- and this time he gave her a present to hold onto:
a pack of gum.

She carried it in a pocket next to her heart until he was safely home.

A miracle arrives

Many times in her life she attempted various treatments to cure her stutter- and none worked.

But in 1973, she found a doctor in Virginia who ran an intensive program she and John hoped would help her. She traveled there to enroll and to give it her best effort. The miracle she and John had always waited for at last, as miracles will do, arrived. At age 53, she was able to talk fluidly, and not in brief, anxiety-ridden, agonizing bursts.

John has said that on the first day he heard her speak to him with confidence and clarity, he dropped to his knees to offer a prayer of gratitude.

He has written: "I saw Annie's perseverance and strength through the years and it just made me admire her and love her even more." He has heard roaring ovations in countries around the globe for his own valor, but his awe is reserved for Annie, and what she accomplished: "I don't know if I would have had the courage." 

Her voice is so clear and steady now that she regularly gives public talks. If you are lucky enough to know the Glenns, the sight and sound of them bantering and joking with each other and playfully finishing each others' sentences is something that warms you and makes you thankful just to be in the same room.

Today in the wake of the anniversary of the Mercury space shot, once again people are speaking of the heroism of Glenn, the astronaut.

But if you ever find yourself at an event where the Glenns are appearing, and you want to see someone so brimming with pride and love that you may feel your own tears start to well up, wait until the moment that Annie stands to say a few words to the audience.

And as she begins, take a look at her husband's eyes...

Video/more at Reaganite Republican

NASA   Wikipedia   Scientific American   -h/t Roberto via email

TOPICS: Health/Medicine; History; Military/Veterans; Science
KEYWORDS: annieglenn; gemini; glenn; hero; johnglenn; ma6; mercury; nasa
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To: traderrob6

Moreover on the initial flight into space the idiot decided that he would break protocol and try to drive his ride back into re-entry position. He darned near skipped himself out into the far environs of a cold and dark space. The guy was a hot shot and very arrogant. Give me Alan Shepard any day

21 posted on 03/28/2012 5:55:30 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Reaganite Republican

Too bad he sold his soul for a ride on the shuttle. No telling how much damage he did to us by refusing to look into Clinton’s Chinese money.

22 posted on 03/28/2012 6:01:33 AM PDT by Montanabound
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To: Reaganite Republican

As a fellow Ohion, I used to respect John Glenn. When I was a kid, he was actually one of my heroes. But, any man who would sell his integrity for one last ride on a rocket ship is no man worth respecting or even considering as a hero.

The stench of Clintonian situational ethics will forever linger over the name “John Glenn”.

23 posted on 03/28/2012 6:02:05 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Not Romney - Not ever!)
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To: Reaganite Republican

Thanks for not criticizing MY character and grace for daring to be less than hero-worshipful of Glenn.

I grew up thinking Glenn was a great man, and then I started reading about his politics, disgraceful and supportive of Clinton’s treason, and which have helped give rise to the anti-American criminal intolerant racist anything-goes “liberal” movement of today.

Glenn is as much to blame for the leftist criminals in government today as is anyone who deliberately sabotages America. He just has a better resume.

24 posted on 03/28/2012 6:04:55 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: Tupelo

And he completely derailed the Senate investigation into Chinese Communists funding Democrat campaigns in exchange for one last rocket ride.

He sold every last bit of his American hero status. Now he’s just another Donk traitor.

25 posted on 03/28/2012 6:07:39 AM PDT by EricT. (The GOP's sole purpose is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party.)
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To: FReepaholic

Looks like many others have rebutted you as well or better than I have.

Still think charisma trumps any and all criticism, even if or especially when it’s about a leftist freak?

26 posted on 03/28/2012 6:10:45 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: Reaganite Republican

I have no use for this political whore. He’s one more embarassment from Ohio (Kookcinich, Voinovich, Metzenbaum, etc). I’ll never forget this ba$tard’s attitude and how he voted when it came to throwing the Clinton pig out of office.

John Glenn is garbage.

27 posted on 03/28/2012 6:16:43 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: Reaganite Republican

What a beautiful love story. Everything else people wrote about is true, but what a beautiful love story.

28 posted on 03/28/2012 6:17:18 AM PDT by PghBaldy (Obama is afraid if he needs to start a fight with Catholics. He's losing the women vote!!!)
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To: Reaganite Republican
he sold his vote to Bill Clinton to get a ride on the space shuttle. The term HERO is often used loosely IMHO. I suppose one could make an argument for John Glenn. Having the nerve to do dangerous things does not make one a hero. Photobucket This is my idea of a hero!
29 posted on 03/28/2012 6:18:41 AM PDT by ontap
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To: Last Dakotan

I am glad to see others remember his infamous support of the Democrat party over American secrets. He is nothing but a traitor who deserves ignomy!

I recall him using a few “parlimentary tricks” to keep certain people from answering questions of a Congressional committee investigating the leakage of senitive secret information to the ChiComs . . .

What he did was disgusting!

30 posted on 03/28/2012 6:19:01 AM PDT by Vineyard
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To: edpc
Can't say I agree with his politics, but the dude can take a punch.

But not a bathtub fall.

31 posted on 03/28/2012 6:22:07 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: ontap

Yes, indeed, and not just on the battlefield.

32 posted on 03/28/2012 6:22:13 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: Reaganite Republican

I once debated the merits of freemasonry on Free Republic. Several freemason apologists expected me to be impressed with the fact that every astronaut throughout the 1960s was a freemason.

My take? I would have been impressed to find out that say, freemasons made up only 5% of the population, but 60% of astronauts. But 100%? I was supposed to feel better about freemasons because they succeeded in discriminating against non-masons to the unbelievable extent that only their initiates were allowed in the space program? That doesn’t make them heroes; that makes them conspiratorial a$$40!35!!!

Fortunately for my tinfoil-hat collection, I presumed such a claim was simple boastful hyperbole. But it does seem strange that John Glenn’s was such a vile, corrupt, left-wing, moonbatty (Oh, THAT’S where the word comes from? HHOK!) freak as a politician. On the other hand, the freemasons who dominated the USSC for so many decades were radical, anti-democracy villains, to a person.

(The Freemasons of Washington’s time had only three degrees. Those who are now called “Freemasons” now are most commonly members of the Scottish Rite, an organization founded by Freemasons and which does require masonic membership to join.)

33 posted on 03/28/2012 6:28:04 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Reaganite Republican

A member of the Keating 5 who was loyal to his wife.

34 posted on 03/28/2012 6:30:06 AM PDT by nd76
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To: FReepaholic; kenmcg

The only way I can explain it, is the vast majority of Americans born or raised in the first half of the 20th century, just accepted the mass culture of Rooseveltian Progressivism. Both Roosevelts.

Some beagan to question it,shook it off like Reagan did, and others, like Glenn, couldn’t change when faced with the truth. As to the space ride at 77 incident, well, even Barry Goldwater went soft when he got too old.

35 posted on 03/28/2012 6:33:52 AM PDT by ngat
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To: FReepaholic
I had the pleasure of voting against the SOB a couple of times.

OF COURSE he was charming. He's a politician.

I will not let the leftist puke hide from his execrable POLITICAL record.

36 posted on 03/28/2012 6:42:43 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Reaganite Republican

I will refrain from making a statement about this socialist misguided soul. Ooops!


37 posted on 03/28/2012 6:47:45 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (WOLVERINES!)
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To: Reaganite Republican

From hero to zero, as far as I’m concerned.

38 posted on 03/28/2012 6:53:30 AM PDT by running_dog_lackey
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To: traderrob6

I never cared for John Glenn the politician, but there is no denying that John Glenn the Astronaut was a true American hero. God bless him and Annie.

39 posted on 03/28/2012 6:56:24 AM PDT by Astronaut
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To: Reaganite Republican

He is a political product of his times, he was fairly liberal and big government. I do remember that my father once wrote to him to try and get help for a coworker suffering from black lung and he did take an interest in helping the guy. The old guy was a WW11 veteran like my father and should of qualified for VA assistance he wasn’t getting for some reason that Glenn cleared up. I think that old sick man did not care if the devil himself helped him as long as he could get some help.

40 posted on 03/28/2012 6:58:10 AM PDT by dog breath
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