Skip to comments.The Heroes of 2011 (Oliver North)
Posted on 11/10/2011 5:08:43 PM PST by jazusamo
CLOVIS, Calif. This little town not far from Fresno may be the perfect place to observe Veterans Day as our nation closes a decade of war. A quiet San Joaquin Valley community in the heart of our most populous state, Clovis has lost 10 of its sons eight of them from local Buchanan High School in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Though the Defense Department apparently doesn't keep statistics on per capita losses for American communities, Clovis may be for this war what Bedford, Va., was for World War II. According to local records, 19 "Bedford Boys" all from the little Shenandoah Valley town died within hours of one another at Normandy's Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. That's why the National D-Day Memorial is in Bedford.
At least for now, Clovis has taken a somewhat different approach. Rather than just a memorial of brick and stone, this community has decided to invest in improving lives those of area veterans. For the past seven years, the citizens here have turned out to participate in what they call the Hubbard-Baro Memorial Golf Tournament. Funds raised by the event are used to supplement recovery, therapy and rehabilitation programs for hurting heroes at the nearby veterans' hospital.
The tournament is named for the first two "Clovis Boys" to die in this long war: Jared Hubbard and Jeremiah Baro. After graduating from Buchanan High, the two friends enlisted in the Marines and went to boot camp and follow-on infantry training together. Paired as a two-man scout-sniper team, they deployed in February 2003 to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The two battle buddies shipped out again the following year to bloody Anbar Province, and on Nov. 4, 2004, they died together when an improvised explosive device detonated beneath their vehicle.
Some have questioned the need for such an event. "Why," asked a fellow passenger on the flight here, "does anyone need to have a fundraiser for these guys? Doesn't the government pay for all that?" The short answer is no. And it's unlikely the U.S. government will ever be able to do all that is needed for the veterans of America's wars.
There should be no doubt that military medicine has improved dramatically in the years since my peers and I were wounded on the battlefields of Vietnam. Innovations in emergency trauma treatment and equipment; advanced training for field medical personnel; and rapid helicopter evacuations of the 36,000 Americans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan to some of world's best shock-trauma hospitals have saved the lives of many who would have died in any other war. But that also means there are thousands of survivors who will need help for years to come.
Private-sector efforts like the Hubbard-Baro golf tourney here in Clovis and projects like those undertaken by donor-supported organizations like Freedom Alliance help fill the gap between government programs and the long-term needs of our veterans. They help ensure that severely wounded veterans can make the transition from "casualty" to "productive citizen." Of equal importance, they help ensure today's veterans won't be cast-offs, like those of the Vietnam era.
Unfortunately, endeavors like these are likely to become even more important in the days ahead. If the Obama administration and some in Congress have their way, there will be major cuts in the amount of care provided for the dependents of active-duty military personnel and new co-pay requirements for veterans receiving treatment for service-connected disabilities. That means even greater demands on local communities like Clovis and foundations like Freedom Alliance for everything from specially enabled housing to custom-equipped vehicles to service dogs.
For a decade now, I have been covering America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines for Fox News. Notably, the night before Veterans Day is the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. This year, I observed the anniversary the 236th with the families of several fallen Marines. We didn't talk politics. What we did speak of were issues like winning the war in which they lost their loved ones and how cuts in pay, medical care, family housing and even death benefits will adversely affect recruiting in an all-volunteer military.
The 2.4 million bright, brave, incredibly fit and remarkably talented young Americans who have served in our armed forces since we were attacked on 9/11 are indeed all volunteers. As Gen. David Petraeus put it during a conversation we had in Afghanistan, "They all came or stayed, knowing they were going to war." For more than a decade, these patriots and their loved ones have made extraordinary sacrifices for this country. They embody the classical definition of heroes: those who put themselves at risk for the benefit of others.
On this Veterans Day, these heroes and their families deserve our thanks not program cuts from the American people they so courageously defend.
Amen to that, Col. North!
RIP Capt Arnold Holm. He was placed to rest yesterday at Arlington. He was shot down in Vietnam in 1972. My heart goes out to his family.
Amen, and thank you.
I live one block south of Buchanan High School and cannot tell you how much our “cowboys and rodeo” town has given in blood and treasure. The Hubbard family lost not just one, but TWO sons in Iraq. All three sons were deployed and only one came home after the second son was killed. As for the proposed cuts in military medical coverage, the third and only surviving Hubbard son had to enlist political help to continue his military benefits due to his “early out”. His wife was pregnant and when he decided not to return to his unit, his benefits were dropped. Fortunately, some in Congress believed his family had given quite enough and that this young man deserved to have our thanks.
A big "Roger That".
There is so much more that we Veterans should be doing for those fellow Vets that came home wounded. The VA doesn't get it right in many cases, funding is the big issue. This where we who came home able to carry on, can, and should step up to the plate and help fill those voids.
I urge my fellow Vets, especially Combat Veterans, to contact your former units and see if they have established programs to aid former members (such as the 101st Airborne Division Association's Screaming Eagle Support Fund) and help in any way you possibly can...
Yes jaz, “Amen to that Col. North”
I want to put a couple of pennies worth of thought out for discussion. Seems the Left that gleefully cuts our military funding, poisons it with homosexuals, robs it of its dignity are IMO doing what they are doing because they think the military, all military no matter the Nation are responsible for war NOT the leaders of Nations just as they believe also that guns kill, not the person with the gun.
It is their belief I believe from what I’ve seen, read, encountered as a member of the military during the Viet Nam era that the cause of war is warriors.
The idiocy of the Left hasn’t been exposed enough.
You’re so right, JD. I donate to the Wounded Warrior Project and USO but will definately contact the 101st Airborne and see which of their programs is in most need.
Does anyone want to meet a real pacifist? Go talk to a combat survivor. They have seen war up close and very personal. They have no illusions any more; it was bled out of them.
Want to meet a faux-warrior? Go talk to a politician, particularly one who wants “to make the world safe for democracy”; or “extend the blessing of democracy to (nation of his choice).”
You're precisely right, rqsr. The left and especially the leftist politicians in many cases use our military to clean up the messes they make due to their lack dealing with strength instead of weakness in foreign relations. There's no better example than the turkey that sits in the WH now.
Semper Fi Col. North
Prayers for our Nation’s Heroes.
How fantastic would a Cain/North ticket be???
That'd work for me. I also wouldn't mind seeing Ollie as SECDEF in any Conservative's administration.