June 13, 2013
“I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy’.” Former President and PT Boat Commander John F. Kennedy
Once affectionately described as “barnacle-encrusted plywood motor boat hardly bigger than a stockbroker’s cabin cruiser,” mention of PT Boats usually triggers memories of former President John F. Kennedy’s PT 109 exploits, the 1945 John Wayne movie “They Were Expendable” and of course, the 1960’s television show McHale’s Navy.
Whatever vision they stir in us, PT Boats served an essential purpose during World War Two. Light weight, small and fast, they would go up against much larger and heavily armed vessels with their torpedoes.
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December 6, 2012
As we all know, Sunday, December 7, 1941 saw a sudden and deliberate attack on the U.S. Navy at anchor in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. The attack drew America into World War Two and was labeled by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as “A day that will live in infamy.”
But few of us know much of what those men in the ships saw and endured on that fateful morning.
I was fortunate to have attended the 70th Commemoration of that attack last year and recorded the words of the few remaining survivors in our area.
May we never forget or let our guard drop like that again.
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June 6, 2012
I thought this matter was settled and behind us. Apparently not.
You may recall not too long ago, both this blog and Clark County Politics took County Commission candidate Joe Tanner to task over questionable claims of “numerous combat medals” in his campaign literature. We were accused by Tanner, according to Stephanie Rice at the Columbian, of having political motivations. In reality, the motivation was Veteran to Veteran, all 3 of us being Veterans of the Military, Joe and myself being actual Vietnam Veterans, Kelly Hinton serving in the Army in Europe as he enlisted towards the end of our involvement there.
While I was an Army Helicopter Crew Chief / Technician on first the OH-6 then transitioning to the OH-58 after Vietnam in Germany, Joe Tanner served in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician from 1966 to 1970 and was aboard the USS Providence, a Cleveland-class light cruiser that was converted to a guided missile cruiser.
As I showed here, Joe’s service was honorable and without anything untoward, evidenced by his receiving an Honorable Discharge.
But, as we first questioned, what Joe did receive in the way of medals and awards were not “combat related” and instead were for meritorious achievement. Such medals and awards, even though not combat related, are nothing to be ashamed of. Many have served and never even received those.
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April 30, 2012
I always find it disheartening to see mispresentations on the Columbian’s website or in their print edition. Whether deliberate or accidental, misrepresentations serve no one and leave people with false impressions of news or something that happened.
As readers know, Clark County Politics blog and I both raised the question about a claim of “numerous combat medals” received by current Clark County Board of Commissioners candidate, Joe Tanner, seeing that he served aboard a ship cruising in the South China Sea off of the coast of Vietnam during the war in support of the war.
Such a claim is vague and leads people to believe such medals to be earned during actual combat by a soldier or sailor if a member of the Navy as was Tanner.
Most that never served in the Military do not see a distinction nor do they see a need to question Military service, unless of course your name is George W. Bush or you’re a Republican.
Seeing that Mr. Tanner was an Electronics Technician most likely serving at sea, the question arose about how “numerous combat medals” could be received. Given that, on April 25, 2012 I sent an email to the Tanner campaign requesting clarification.
On April 29, 2012, a little after 9 pm I received from Tanner;
Lew, sorry for the delay. I have a new grand daughter (my first) and that took priority. By noon tomorrow I will send to you my DD-214 and a statement about my military service. I am taking you at your word that you will publish my DD-214 and statement verbatim on your website. All the Democrats and Republicans I know believe you to be a straight shooter, so I am going to assume that – until and unless you give me a reason to think otherwise. At the same time I will post the DD-214 on my website and also send it to the Columbian and Reflector.
I think we will both be a big part of the political landscape in Clark County for many years, so hopefully we will have a mutually respectful and productive working relationship. By the way, I personally gave my DD-214 to David Madore 2 months ago, given our mutual experience in the Navy. I assumed you already had a copy, but in any event tomorrow you will have it (absent only my social security number).
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April 30, 2012
Joe Tanner, announced candidate for the Clark County Commissioner seat now occupied by Tom Mielke has caught the eye of primarily bloggers who have questioned claims made on his ABOUT JOE TANNER page. Primarily the claim, “As an active duty Vietnam veteran, Joe Tanner received numerous combat medals.“
Mr. Tanner served in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician from 1966 to 1970 and was aboard the USS Providence, a Cleveland-class light cruiser that was converted to a guided missile cruiser. More on the ship will follow below.
As a Vietnam Veteran who served “boots on the ground” in the Central Highlands for 18 months, reading a sailors claim of “numerous combat medals” caught my eye as most sailors served aboard ships cruising in the South China Sea, far away from much of the in country battles in support roles. It also caught the eye of Clark County Politics, also a US Army Veteran with both of us seeking answers and clarification from the Tanner Campaign.
Mr. Tanner has answered with a copy of his Discharge, DD-214 and a statement on his Military Service below.
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November 10, 2010
I have long maintained that nothing surprises me any longer. I am happy to say I have been proven wrong and by a delightful classroom of 3rd Grade children I had the pleasure of sitting down with today, November 10 in recognition of Veteran’s Day.
Let me back up a little, though.
A week ago I received a short message through facebook from a lady I became acquainted with during the 2010 congressional primary campaign season, her and me supporting the same candidate. She asked me if I would be interested it coming by her school for an assembly in honor of Veteran’s Day and afterwards to accompany her to her classroom where I and some other Veterans would sit down with the children and talk to them about being a Veterans.
I accepted the invitation and put together a short presentation that hopefully would appeal to young children, a small assortment of photos of the countryside of Viet Nam and the helicopters I was associated with as well as some patches, badges and such that I have.
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