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Having Fun At Grafenwoehr With Live-Fire Howitzer Shells
Once, back in the funky times, I was interviewing a howitzer crew at Grafenwoehr maneuver area. I can’t remember what the subject was. They were going to be conducting a live-fire exercise soon.
It was night, and raining, so we all were gathered under a canopy set over the back of the crew’s truck, parked on a slight incline. A sergeant I was interviewing gave one of his soldiers a task. The soldier, grumbling as he slowly moved, didn’t want to get wet, so he hopped up in the truck’s cab to put on a poncho. As he did, he knocked the emergency brake, which had been set.
The truck lurched back, just an inch or two. We turned, surprised, and saw the howitzer shells lined up on the back of the truck’s bed trembling. One dove off, landing in the black German mud just an inch from my big toe.
The sergeant quietly excused himself from my interview with him and went to have a little talk with the clumsy joe.
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.
ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.
That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.
Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.
"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.
"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."
The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.
On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.