Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
We salute the Irish Defense Forces veteran who got the last laugh at his own funeral
There's a lot to be said about the benefits of military service: the camaraderie, the steady paycheck, knowing the reward of a hard days work. But perhaps most important of all is a solid understanding of the value of gallows humor.
Nobody exemplifies this more than Irish Defense Forces veteran Shay Bradley, who made sure that his Oct. 12 funeral ended not only with sorrow, but also laughter.
At his funeral in Dublin, Ireland, Bradley got the last laugh when his voice called out from inside his coffin: "Hello? Hello? Hello? Let me out!" followed by knocking against the coffin lid.
The audio was pre-recorded by Bradley last year, and his plans for the prank were shared with his son, and grandson, but days before the funeral the details of the gag were shared with the rest of Bradley's children and his wife of 43 years, Anne, according to Huffington Post.
According to his obituary, Bradley passed away on Oct. 8 "after a long illness bravely borne," and the surprise was a way to ensure his loved ones left the funeral in stitches, rather than tears.
"Where the fuck am I?" Bradley can be heard saying in the recording, as attendees begin to giggle and wipe away tears.
"Let me out, it's fucking dark in here," continues the audio. "Is that the priest I can hear? The fuck!? Let me out!"
It goes on: "This is Shay, I'm in the box. No, in fucking front of you. I'm dead."
Video of Bradley's funeral was posted to the Irish Defense Force Veterans News Facebook page on Oct. 13 , along with the note: "Was asked a question the other day, it was what's the difference between military humor and civilian humor it's simple, it's black. This video should say it all."
In an interview with Huffington Post, Bradley's daughter, Andrea said her father "wanted to make sure my mam would be laughing leaving the cemetery, not crying. And he done just that."
In an Oct. 13 Twitter post, Andrea Bradley shared a photo of her late father, writing "here is a picture of the legend himself."
A legend indeed.
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.