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That Time The Army Had To Save A Bunch Of Hippies At Woodstock
In the summer of 1969, 400,000 hippies, bohemians, artists, and revolutionaries of all stripes descended on a small dairy farm in Bethel, New York for Woodstock, an event celebrating peace, youthful rebellion, and a general disregard for personal hygiene. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was widely regarded as a watershed moment in the counterculture movement and in modern musical history. But by the time the party officially kicked off 48 years ago on Aug. 15, disaster was poised to strike, and it would have if not for the intervention of an unlikely ally: the U.S. Army.
Opening ceremony at Woodstock.Wikimedia Commons
Initially 200,000 festival goers were anticipated, but when the planners lost track of how many tickets had been sold and twice that number showed up, the influx of patrons became a serious problem. How the hell were they going to feed 400,000 hungry hippies? Vendors hiked their prices — $0.25 hot dogs shot up to $1 — and communes began passing out thousands of free cups of oats, nuts, and raisins (the Western world can thank Woodstock for Granola), but food and water shortages remained a concern.
Fortunately, local sheriff Louis Ratner had a hunch that the multi-day peace fest might have trouble feeding the masses. When one of the vendor's booths was burned down overnight — one of the few instances of violence at Woodstock — due to anger over inflated pricing and probably an abundance of lighters, Ratner was ready.
“It's like you get a certain feeling there, that something isn't right," Ratner said in Joel Makower's 1989 book, Woodstock: The Oral History. “So we got permission to get Army helicopters flown by Stewart Air Force pilots, and we already had them that morning. When that thing broke, I had the helicopters on the way."
Though Woodstock didn't frame itself as an anti-war protest, the festival took place during the height of the Vietnam War, and with the counterculture music scene closely aligned with the anti-war movement, the sight of incoming U.S. Army helicopters conjured up images of American militarization.
John Morris, the production coordinator for the festival, was onstage when the helos came in.“It was like a wave," Morris said in Woodstock: The Oral History. “You could see people start to look up ... and all I said was, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the United States Army —' and you could feel it and you could hear it, the tension — 'Medical Corps.' And the crowd broke into a cheer that was just fantastic. And just about then you could see the red crosses on the side."
Woodstock music festival on August 18, 1969.Wikimedia Commons
In total, the Army air-dropped more than 10,000 sandwiches, in addition to canned goods, water, fruit, medical supplies, and blankets to the ill-supplied crowd. Refreshed and refitted, the party raged on until Aug. 18 — a full day longer than it was supposed to run — and the festival rounded out its set list with Jimi Hendrix's iconic rendition of the national anthem. Fitting.
A Corpsman went to a military hospital for a routine shoulder surgery. 4 days later he was dead, and his parents say the Navy is to blame
Jordan Way was living a waking nightmare.
The 23-year-old sailor laid in bed trembling. At times, his body would shake violently as he sobbed. He had recently undergone a routine shoulder surgery on Dec. 12, 2017, and was hoping to recover.
Instead, Jordan couldn't do much of anything other than think about the pain. Simple tasks like showering, dressing himself, or going to the bathroom alone were out of the question, and the excruciating sensation in his shoulder made lying down to sleep feel like torture.
"Imagine being asleep," he called to tell his mother Suzi at one point, "but you can still feel the pain."
To help, military doctors gave Jordan oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opiate they prescribed to dull the sensation in his shoulder. Navy medical records show that he went on to take more than 80 doses of the drug in the days following the surgery, dutifully following doctor's orders to the letter.
Instinctively, Jordan, a Navy corpsman who by day worked at the Twentynine Palms naval hospital where he was now a patient, knew something was wrong. The drugs seemed to have little effect. His parents advised him to seek outside medical advice, but base doctors insisted the drugs just needed more time to work.
"They've got my back," Jordan had told his parents before the surgery, which happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday, he was dead.
The Navy has paused proceedings that could strip Eddie Gallagher and three other SEALs of their tridents while the service awaits a written order to formally stand down, a senior Navy official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
Rear Adm. Collin Green, the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, was expected to decide on the matter after the SEALs appeared before a review board next month. But Trump tweeted on Thursday that Gallagher was in no danger of losing his trident, a sacred symbol of being part of the SEAL community.
"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Thursday to receive the remains of two American soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this week.
Trump, who met with families of the soldiers, was accompanied at the base by first lady Melania Trump, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and national security adviser Robert O'Brien.
Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.
The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.
A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.
The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.
An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.
Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.
Read the entire message below:
VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.
At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.
Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.
Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.
A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.
Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.
This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.
The Army has identified the two soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Wednesday as 33-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, and 25-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr.