By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Remember the heroes
Military matters
Placeholder Image
The Military Channel has so many great shows on and invariably I will see something that just boggles my mind. Recently I watched a show about the B-17 Bomber that devastated Germany in WWII. Over 12,000 were produced and almost one-third were lost in the raids over Germany and other locations where they were used.
One of my old shipmates came by for a two-day stay while traveling I-95 back to Florida to escape the snow and we went to the Mighty Eight Museum in Pooler to see their latest acquisition, a refurbished WWII B-17. It’s an awesome display but still needs a few repairs to be complete. That’s a great day trip if you haven’t been there; go and support the museum, there are always WWII veterans there to answer your questions and enhance the displays with their real life stories of the raids and days of life during the war.
Another day trip from here is the American Civil War POW camp in Andersonville, Georgia. It is also the National MIA/POW Museum and has historical displays from the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Park Rangers conduct tours of the 26 acre compound (that was so infamous for the deaths of 13,000 Federal troops) every hour during the park operating hours. They have a portion of the camp fence and “drop dead line” reconstructed and it really is a moving experience. The North also had a POW camp named Camp Douglas Chicago that was just as infamous, where over 8,000 Confederate prisoners died or were unaccounted for.
The US Air Force Museum in Warner Robbins is another short trip and a very interesting day spent among older aircraft from WWI up to current day models. Patriots Point in Charleston has the USS Yorktown (CV 10) and many carrier aircraft are on display on her flight deck. You can take a short boat ride out to Fort Sumter where the opening shots were fired in the American Civil War.
It is generally believed that the Japanese Kamikazes were the first “suicide bombers” but the Russian pilots rammed over 5,000 German aircraft during WWII. When US military men crossed the Rhine River, while entering Germany, most of them paused to urinate in it. General Patton and Winston Churchill paused there for their “whiz” in the Rhine. The Military Channel sure can lure you into days of trivia; just pass me a coke and some popcorn. By the way, did you know when the supplies landed during WWII in North Africa they included three Coca Cola bottling plants?
On March 14 the mini series “The Pacific” began on HBO. The series was produced and directed by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg of “Saving Private Ryan” fame and cost over $150 million to produce. It’s shot in the same format as the great “Band of Brothers” mini series.
In 2006 Congress passed a law (The Stolen Valor Act) to apprehend and punish Military imposters who claim to have received medals and awards they did not actually earn. I had a lady from an adjacent county call me for information about a former resident of Pembroke who she had met on one of the dating web sites and he had fed her a pretty unbelievable line, complete with photos of him in his fatigues with about seven rows of ribbons and various other “out of place decorations” attached in the wrong place on his clothing. He had spun a tail that would have made Audie Murphy (most decorated American Serviceman in WWII and later a movie star) a coward in combat compared to his exploits. She had found me through a couple of calls and I did in fact know the individual in question and knew him to be a fraud.
He had attended the local Legion post and had been nominated for an Officer position but could not or would not provide the required documentation the State American Legion requires to be installed as an officer.
Shortly thereafter he moved out of the area and we simply said “good riddance.”
It’s been my experience that most military men who have fought the good fight in precarious situations and nasty battles prefer not to share the details with just anyone. He’s in for a rude awakening when they knock on his door to confront him about his phony medals and exploits of valor. Wish I could be there to witness it.
Major Dick Winters of “Band Of Brothers” fame was a highly decorated soldier and said he didn’t consider himself a hero but he had served with many. Another saying by many veterans is “the heroes were the ones who didn’t come home.”
Please be sure to thank our Service people when you encounter them for their service to our country and pray for them, their families and our great country during these perilous times.

Clark is a Pembroke resident and is retired from the Navy. He is actively involved in the American Legion. Clark writes an occasional column on military matters for the Bryan County News.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters