Not All Heroes are on the Front Lines. A Marine Saved a Life in California

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My last post a shared some sad stories about heroes who gave their all in WWII. Today I am wanting to share a more uplifting story about a hero that wasn’t on the front lines.

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A Marine’s quick thinking meant the difference between life and death for a motorist on an isolated desert road in California last year.

Capt. Stephen Alexander, the executive officer for the Marines’ recruiting station in Dallas, was driving through Elora, California on his way to the Marine Corps ball to celebrate the service’s 245th birthday when a vehicle going the other way lost control and flipped onto its side.

“Once the vehicle came to a final stop, I pulled over immediately,” Alexander said in a press release. The Marine was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in a ceremony in Texas on Dec. 11.

“There was a vehicle in front of me that also pulled over with [3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment] Marines,” said Alexander, who at the time of the incident was a first lieutenant with 3/4 stationed in California. “I’d never met them before; they were from a different company. We all ran over to the vehicle; at this point the vehicle was on its side and the driver was at the bottom and not coherent.”

The driver was unconscious and critically injured, and the Marines could not open any of the car doors due to the vehicle damage from the crash. Undeterred, one Marine broke through the back window while Alexander smashed through the windshield so that he could start applying trauma care.

“Once they smashed in the window I hopped in and started treating as many injuries as I could find,” Alexander said. “Every once and a while the driver would come back to consciousness and say he couldn’t breathe.”

There was no cell service in that part of the desert, and the nearest ranger station was about an hour away. The Marines would have to make do until help arrived. Alexander found that the driver’s leg was partially severed, so he used belts as tourniquets to stop the bleeding before another Marine provided an actual tourniquet.

“We came to Vegas with our dress blues, not tourniquets or our emergency field kits,” Alexander said. “Had the other Marines not been there, there’s no way I could have acquired the things needed to treat him. I would have tried my best, but there’s not a whole lot I could have done once I got in the vehicle had they not continued to provide whatever resources they could find.”

After about an hour, park rangers arrived, followed by a nurse who took over treatment for the driver. The nurse found that the driver also had a punctured lung which was causing his shortness in breath. After about two hours, a helicopter arrived to take the driver, but it couldn’t find a place to land. Luckily, an ambulance came by, at about the same time and Alexander moved the driver into it so he could get to a hospital.

A former infantry officer, Alexander had been trained for this sort of situation. But in the end, he said no amount of training can fully prepare you for the real thing.

“I think reacting to something like that, you either do or you don’t,” said Alexander. “There’s no Marines Hymn playing in the background as you run across the road; you just do something.”

Alexander himself suffered a traumatic brain injury which could have killed him just four months prior to the car accident. He never expected he would wind up treating a driver suffering the same injuries, he said in the release. Though he never found out what happened to the driver, the quick actions of Alexander and the other Marines deserve praise.

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There are many of these kind of stories I will be sharing in the future. But, my next post will be all about my new book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.”

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How are you doing my friend? The rush of Christmas and the pandemic that doesn’t allows us to see family, and it can pull us down like a huge magnate.

Hope everything is going great for you, but if it isn’t, remember over 10,370 fellow veterans follow this site, and they all have your back.

However, if it is getting too overwhelming, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. They have highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK.

Don’t take on anything alone in this not so friendly world.

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it.

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Heroes Go Way back to WWI, Saving Lives

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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Going to start out by sharing some stories about heroes. Not iraq, not Afghanstan, not vietnam, not WWII, or even Korea. These stories are all about WWI.

  1. PFC Charles D. Barger 0f L company, 354 Infantry, 89th Infantry Division, was a soldier from missouri who endured the harships 0f combat service on the Western Front. He had the best cheerful atitude possible. On October 31st, 1918. (Halloween at home) while fighting in the Banthevillle Wood, Barger along with PFC Jesse Funk made two trips in front of friendly fire to rescue two wounded officers left behind during a reconnissance patrol.
  2. PFC Jesse Funk of the same group, was a cowboy from Colorado when he entered the Army in early 1918. Although wounded earlier that day, he volunteered to join Barger in rescuing the two officers. They both crawled through no-man’s land twice to bring the comrades back to safety.
  3. Army !st Luetenant Howard A. Furlong– After German machine-gun fire killed his commanding officer, Furlong moved out from a protected area in the Banthaville forest. He manuvered behind a German line of machine-guns and engaged them with his rifle. He killed a number of enemy soldiers, knocked out four machine-guns, and captured 20 prisoners.

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Some stats or WWI:

  1. Hostile deaths 53,513
  2. Non-hostle deaths 63, 195
  3. Wounded 204,002

+ Most of the Non-hostle deaths were do to an influenca epidemic that swept through stateside Army Camps.

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Here is th new Veteran’s Creed:

  1. I am an American Veteran.
  2. I proudly served my country.
  3. I live the values I learned in the miitary.
  4. I continue to serve my community, my country, and my fellow veterans.
  5. I maintain my physical and mental discipline.
  6. I continue to lead and improve.
  7. I make a difference.
  8. I honor and remember my fellow comrades.

+Read this several times and see how you are doing.

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I shared an interview with you from my book, Signs of hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. Now I am going to share an endorsement. This endorsement is from a General.:

Most of us are fortunate not to have experienced the stress of combat.  Words cannot adequately define the grinding daily pressure of knowing that every time you step outside the gate the enemy will try to kill you and your buddies.  You are constantly alert, on point; but how can you protect your team from the instantaneous blast of the IED?  You are part of a highly-trained team poised to execute, but what has prepared you for the mental toll of being on edge every moment.  The skills that helped you survive….have taken a toll and are now working against you when you return home.  What do you do now; where do you turn?  Whether you are dealing with PTSD, TBI, depression, homelessness, or recovering from wounds; Doug Bolton has answers…..this book has answers!

Jim Jaeger

Brigadier General, USAF, ret

San Antonio, TX

Member of the Board, Victory for Veterans

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How are you doing today my friend? Life is a little rough? Too many fires burning at once? Feeling a bit overwhelmed? You are not alone. There are 9,485 fellow veterans on this site who have your back.

However, if it is just too much for you now, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number for you to call. It has has highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

USS Aircraft Carrier Found in the South Pacific

I am going back to sharing some military stories. Many are very recent. Some are short and some are very informative.

USS Hornet Found in South Pacific

The wreckage of a U.S. aircraft carrier famous for launching a bombing raid on Japan four months after the Pearl Harbor attack was discovered in January.

B-52 bombers took off from the Hornet took off on April 18th, 1942 to attack the Japanese mainland. The attack was led by Lt Col James H. Doolittle.

Six months later the Hornet was put out of commission after being struck by multiple bombs and torpedoes.

While being towed by the USS Northampton the Hornet was attacked again by 11 Japanese bombers.

To prevent its capture, U.S. ships scuttled the Hornet with 16 torpedoes. When it finally sank It took the bodies of 140 sailors with it.

The estate of Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, funded the operation to find it.

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I have another interview to share with you from my upcoming book:

In my book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life,

I have many interviews. Here is part of one of many:

I had the honor of accidentally connecting with a WWII veteran while shopping at my local grocery store. I saw him as I walked down the first aisle. I walked past him and then thought, Why didn’t I say hello and thank him for his service.

Then when I came into the milk aisle I saw him again. I walked over to him and told him thank you for his service. He said he was in Okinawa during the war. That was one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

We said our goodbyes, and went on. Then I wondered why I didn’t ask him if I could interview him. I was very angry with myself.

I got all my groceries and was heading towards a register. They have those dividers between each register so you can’t see the head of the line until you get there.

I came around the divider and there was the WWII veteran right ahead of me. That did it. I quickly asked him if we could meet and let me interview him. He said he would be glad to do it.

He gave me a card with his phone number on it and we parted our ways.

The next day I arranged to meet him at his home.

Here is what happened during the interview

I sat on the couch close to him because his hearing wasn’t good. I found out he was 98 years old. He look great for that age.

I began to ask him questions

DB

What did you do while in Okinawa?

WWII VET

I was a Captain, and in charge of a company of shipping crews. We unloaded the ships as they came into the harbor.

DB

You actually unloaded the supplies, ammo, and equipment for those that were on the front not far from you? That was a pretty vital mission.

WWII VET

Yes it was, and we were being bombed by the Japanese constantly.

DB

What was your worst moment?

WWII Vet

I was on one of the ships and I fell overboard right between a barge and the ship. They were very close together. I had to struggle and swim to the end of the ship to get out.

I also had to keep our men safe from all the bombing.

There is much more to this interview, but you will have to buy the book to find out what else he said. (This is called a hook!)

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As a veteran, if you are struggling with the world as you know it, and having trouble mixing in the civilian world, you certainly are not alone. There thousands of your fellow brothers and sisters struggling along with you.

It is not showing you are weak by getting help. 22 veterans take their own lives every day. Many didn’t even try to seek help.

If you are struggling with PTSD, TBI, anxiety, depression, get help and do it now. There is a 24/7 connection for you to call at:

1-800-273-8255

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never ever, give up!