Wednesday, November 11, 2009


We busted our ass to gets lawns and weeklies done before the rain arrived. The grey morning overcast gave way to even darker clouds and finally to rain just as we were heating up the griddle to make grilled cheese for lunch.

We had an overtime medic on that Sunday, one from our district, but from another station. The medic had just celebrated his birthday and mentioned that he had a "Band of Brothers" boxed set in his locker, one that he had recieved as a gift.

After a quick assessment of our chore schedule and our training needs for the month I decided that a company school on leadership was in order. A few minutes later, we were dining on tomato bisque and grilled cheese sandwiches while seated in the astronaut chairs, watching Easy company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment beginning their greulling journey from basic training to Germany.

12 hours later, despite being interrupted by a few quick calls, the doorbell and dinner, we had viewed all but the last two episodes of this amazing mini-series.

I am sure that many of you have seen this show, which was produced by HBO. If you have not, I strongly urge you to do so. It is the amazing true tale of  everyday americans who stepped up to the plate and literally saved the world.from fascisim.

To us, these men are genuine heroes. To their friends and family they are Grandpa Winters, Uncle Shifty, Buck and Dad. We owe them a lot. We owe them everything.


We also owe the firefighter on E234 C who, as an Army Reservist, has just completed his second tour overseas. Thanks, Joe, thanks to you and you family for the sacrifices that you have made. I was proud to see the blue star on the side window of the engine while you were gone. I was relieved to see it removed when you returned to us and your family, safe and sound.


Thanks to you Grandpa Warnock, for lying about your age during the Great War and joining the U.S. Army at age 15. For spending your 16th birthday in France, picking up wounded soldiers from the field hospitals and taking them to the base hospital.


Thanks to you Cousin Jack. Despite being a pacifist and conscientious objector, you still felt the obligation to your country and served in the U.S. Army as a medic, spending 365 days of your life in Viet Nam.


Thanks to you Mr. Hossler, for serving as a career Air Force loadmaster. Thanks for all that you did during Viet Nam and the cold war. For volunteering for missions that you did not have to perform, for bringing the fallen home, we are indebted.


Thanks to you Jim, Uncle Jim, Ron, Zeke, Chief, Bubba, Teej, Bates, JJ, Joe, George, Fuzzy and a score of other veterans that I know. Well done, we owe you a lot.


  1. I <3'd Band of Brothers.

    I love my Country and I always swelled with pride when I learned and read throughout the years about the brave men and now women who serve in our military. But I must say, my love and pride for this country has grown since my own is now enlisted.

    Thanks for a great post Capt.

  2. Dear Captain Schmoe,
    This is so much more personal than many tributes I have seen.

    I will add to your list here in comments (with peedee), my Uncle Charlie, who served in the Pacific during WW II. He was our next-door neighbor, not a blood uncle at all, but one of the best and most kind men I ever knew.

    Ann T.

  3. Terrific post. My dad had a bad heart valve and couldn't serve, but my grandfather on mom's side was a 31 year vet of the American and Canandian navies.

    Thank you to all the veterans out there.

  4. PeeDee, please give my regards to your daughter, her service is appreciated. You are rightly proud.

    Ann and KC observer, that is what is amazing about our country. Uncles, neighbors, moms, daughters, dads - all people we know and love have made sacrifices in the service of our country. What a place.