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Army veteran honored for saving woman from assault with his karate staff
Ricardo Delano Whitehead isn't your average 69-year-old. Despite being just a few weeks shy of 70, the U.S. Army veteran still practices martial arts. In his younger years, he even taught it to an Army battalion at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
On Feb. 13, Whitehead happened upon a man he saw tackle a woman before repeatedly punching her in the doorway of a Live Oak, California business. Whitehead yelled at the suspect to leave the woman alone, at which point the other man turned his attention on the veteran.
Before the suspect could confront him, Whitehead had retrieved a wooden karate staff from the trunk of his vehicle and used it to keep the suspect at a distance. Enough time had been given for the victim to get away, and when the suspect again tried to chase her down, Whitehead distracted him by telling him the police had been notified. That's when the suspect reportedly brandished a knife from his pocket and pointed it at Whitehead, though a confrontation was prevented when police arrived and arrested the other man.
"It was just instinct to do something," Whitehead said. "I was protecting myself and my wife, and I'm glad the other woman was able to get away safely."
Whitehead said he was in the right place at the right time.
"I'm happy I had my karate staff with me. If I didn't, he had his blade in hand and wanted me bad," Whitehead said.
Sutter County Undersheriff Scott Smallwood said Whitehead's bravery to put himself in harm's way for someone he doesn't know didn't go unnoticed by the department.
"It takes a community and its citizens to work with us to make sure the entire community is safe, we cannot do it alone," Smallwood said. "We don't ask people to put themselves in harm's way, but (Whitehead's) act alone is an example of someone who cares about this community and about his people. For someone to do that, that's important. We are honored and proud of the gentleman."
Whitehead was recognized at the Live Oak City Council meeting on Wednesday night, where he received a letter of appreciation from the sheriff and a proclamation presented by council members "for his bravery and willingness to get involved and do the right thing by putting the safety of the female victim ahead of his own."
"It shows a lot of courage and good character on his part," said Live Oak Mayor Lakhvir Ghag. "If more people did what he did, trying to help others when in trouble or even make a phone call to get police there, I think it would make our community much safer."
Whitehead said the commendation felt good, but being recognized was the furthest thing from his mind at the time. He just wanted to stop something bad from happening and his instincts kicked in. He hopes others would do the same when needed.
"If a crime is being committed, I believe that as a citizen if we can do something to help, not endangering our own lives or others, we should just do it," Whitehead said. "Whether it is making a phone call, yelling out for help or getting the attention of other people, if we can do something, no matter what, we should do our best."
©2019 the Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.