Military News

Friday, November 05, 2010

1231 Military Servicemembers

With the addition of CW2 Marc Yablonka, CSMR, Military-Writers.com now lists 1231 US Military Servicemembers who have authored over 3900 books

Chief Warrant Officer Marc Yablonka, CSMR, “is a graduate of the Professional Writing School of the University of Southern California. He served as a Public Affairs Officer (CWO-2) with the 40th Infantry Division Support Brigade and the Installation Support Group, California State Military Reserve, at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California, between 2001 and 2008. He also served with the Sar-El unit of the Israeli Defense Forces. Marc Yablonka is the author of Distant War: Recollections of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.”


According to the book description of Distant War: Recollections of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, “This is a newly-edited compilation of eighteen years of Yablonka’s reportage on American involvement in Indochina and the people affected by America’s connection to that part of the world. After all those years and numerous articles about an indelible mark on American history published in the likes of the U.S. Military’s Stars and Stripes, Army Times, American Veteran, the Weider History Group publication Vietnam Magazine and others, these stories needed a wider audience for the world to know what they suffered, how most survived, and how they overcame adversity. Distant War: Recollections of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, will be the vehicle to the reader’s understanding of a war and its aftermath that may seem distant now, but what is important is that it will make readers realize—if they haven’t already—that in war, whether in the jungles of Vietnam or the sands of Iraq, in a very real sense, while who wins and who loses is obviously important, what is equally necessary is that good somehow must and shall prevail.”

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http://www.military-writers.com/

Coast Guard Heroes: Kathleen Moore

Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young
With contributions from LTJG Ryan White

This Compass series chronicles the first 14 heroes the Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters have been named for. These men and women, who stood the watch before us, lived extraordinary lives as they lit the way for sailors in times past, braved gunfire in times of war and rescued those in peril at sea. As Coast Guard heroes, their stories are a constant reminder of our service’s legacy. As the namesake of the Coast Guard’s newest patrol boats, they will inspire the next generation of Coast Guard heroes.

Kathleen “Kate” Moore devoted her entire life to those at sea as the keeper of the Black Rock Harbor Light on Fayerweather Island, a small seaside community south of Bridgeport, Conn.

Moore first stood the watch at the age of 12, when her father began tending the light in 1817 after a shipboard injury prevented him from going to sea. As Moore grew older, and her father’s health worsened, she took on most of the duties herself, although she was not officially appointed as head keeper until 1871.

She served at the station for an astounding 72 years where she continually braved the harsh storms of Long Island Sound to save those in peril. As keeper, her light was literally the difference between a successful journey or catastrophe for the more than two hundred vessels sailing the sound nightly.

On one particular night, Moore heard cries of distress coming from the harbor. She went out in her rowboat with her brother and cousin searching for the sailor, and after an hour’s search they found two men clinging to a capsized boat.

In her later years, Moore was interviewed by a reporter who asked her about the dangers she encountered at Black Rock Harbor. “You see, I had done all this for so many years, and I knew no other life, so I was sort of fitted for it.,” Moore replied.

Moore’s career was filled with ardent determination and she is officially credited with saving 21 lives. When she retired from service in 1878 at the age of 84 and was asked about her saves, Moore said, “I wish it had been double that number.”

A special place in the Coast Guard’s history

Despite the seclusion of the many locations where keepers served, they were true pillars of their maritime communities. The Black Rock Harbor Lighthouse, originally built in 1808, was built on an island in Long Island Sound at the mouth of Black Rock Harbor. The isolated lighthouse served as an important beacon on the busy seaports along Long Island Sound as it was the only light between Eaton Neck, New York and New Haven, Connecticut.

Daily work at a lighthouse included many repetitive and routine tasks but the men and women who stood the watch for those at sea required dedication and self-sufficiency to ensure their vital labors were accomplished.

“It was a lifetime of service,” remarked Vice Admiral Brice-O’Hara of Lighthouse Keeper Kathleen Moore’s career as Keeper of Black Rock Light. “Though not named the official Keeper until her late seventies, Moore had been assisting her injured father with lighthouse duties since the age of 12. She ran both the lighthouse and the family homestead from an early age, and didn’t retire from her post until 1878 – when she was 84 years old.”

Credited with saving over 21 lives, Keeper Kathleen Moore slept in her work-clothes, facing the window to make sure her light stayed burning. “She proved that women performed with distinction – whether the job at hand was harrowing or dutifully and diligently routine,” admired Vice Admiral Brice-O’Hara, “The crew of the Kathleen Moore will have high standards to uphold in honoring the legacy of this remarkable Keeper.”

Coast Guard Heroes: Charles Sexton

Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young
With contributions from LTJG Ryan White

This Compass series chronicles the first 14 heroes the Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters have been named for. These men and women, who stood the watch before us, lived extraordinary lives as they lit the way for sailors in times past, braved gunfire in times of war and rescued those in peril at sea. As Coast Guard heroes, their stories are a constant reminder of our service’s legacy. As the namesake of the Coast Guard’s newest patrol boats, they will inspire the next generation of Coast Guard heroes.

Many of the Coast Guard’s heroes fought in wars abroad or found themselves under enemy fire in foreign countries. But, Charles W. Sexton found himself faced with danger in the course of his everyday duties at Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment. Sexton, a machinery technician, was rescuing four fishermen in peril when the seas tragically took him.

On January 11, 1991, Sexton and his crew launched motor lifeboat 44381 after they received report that the fishing vessel Sea King, a 75-foot stern trawler, was taking on water four miles northwest of the Columbia River Bar. The Sea King had four men on board and was in danger of sinking with her decks awash and the engine room steadily filling up with water.

Sexton went aboard the foundering fishing vessel with other crewmembers to treat the injuries of a Sea King crewmember who had fallen to the deck.

Once the victim was stabilized, Sexton focused his attention on dewatering the vessel. Because the Sea King was so flooded, it required several dewatering pumps to remove the initial quantity of seawater from the engine room along with hourly dewatering the vessel to ensure the boat did not submerge.

After more than six exhaustive hours of dewatering and maintaining the vessel, with the worst of the treacherous bar crossing behind them, the Sea King rolled over without warning and threw its passengers into the agitated seas. The power of the water trapped Sexton in the enclosed pilothouse and he, along with two fishermen, went down with the vessel.

Retired Chief Quartermaster Bill Segelken was on scene as a crewmember aboard Coast Guard Cutter Iris when Sexton was lost to the sea. He was a First Class Quartermaster at the time and remembers vividly the sight of Sea King overturning.

“The Sea King took a long roll to port. While the vessel appeared to be recovering from the roll the port quarter went under and the ship began to roll,” said Segelken. “While in our minds, as we observed this, it seemed to take forever, the reality is that once the ship started to roll she was capsized in seconds.”

A special place in the Coast Guard’s history

There is a certainty of danger that Coast Guardsmen encounter in the line of their every day duties, whether it is the shifting water’s of a river bar or towing an unstable vessel, and it is an unvarying reminder of how fragile life is.

“The Columbia River Bar is always a treacherous place to navigate,” said Segelken. “Even on a nice day the swells could be running at six to eight feet and as quick as the current changes directions they could build to 10-12.”

Despite the perilous complexities in the Sea King’s rescue, Sexton exhibited courage and devotion to save others in the most humbling of ways. Sexton’s courage was recognized as he was posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Medal for extraordinary heroism.

“It has long been understood that the Coast Guard faces danger every day, but that could not be more true than a day on the Columbia River Bar,” said Segelken. “In my career after this incident I have spent nearly 15 years in command centers. I have launched countless aircrews and small boats into harm’s way. This case provides me a firsthand reminder of the potential impact of those dangers.”

At a ceremony on May 17, 1991 Rear Admiral Joseph Vorbach, commander of the 13th District commented on Sexton’s heroism: “Keep bright his memory so that next time someone asks who are your heroes, you wont hesitate to answer Petty Officer Sexton.”

Today in the Department of Defense, Friday, November 05, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates hosts an honor cordon to welcome Slovenian Minister of Defense Ljubica Jelusic to the Pentagon today at .  The cordon will be held on the steps of the Pentagon River Entrance.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the Pentagon River Parking Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort to the cordon.

Secretary Robert Gates is honored at 6:30 p.m. EDT at the American Patriot Award Gala presented by the National Defense University Foundation in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington D.C.  For more information on the American Patriot Award and the Gala, please visit  http://www.americanpatriotaward.org and http://www.NDUFoundation.org/Gates or contact Nancy Miller at 202-685-2527, email: millern@nduf.org.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn has no public or media events on his schedule.