In Honor Of Our Military

Hosted by Maggie ^O^
Group active since Thu, May 29, 2014

I wanted to create a group where we can honor those who have and are serving our country.

It started as military but will be expanded to include our brave first responders also.

Some members of Just A Pinch are in countries other than the U.S.A.

Please feel free to join us with your stories about your military friends and family members.

This group is not for sharing recipes but rather for sharing the love and the stories of those we know who have served or are serving.

Treat this as a tribute group for the brave men and women who make our freedoms possible.

Maggie ^O^
May 29, 2014

My Story

I have many family members who served in our military. Most made it home but some did not.

Those who made it home came home physically in 1 piece but suffered many different issues as a result of war.

I have always been deeply affected by military people.

When VietNam happened I was horribly angry when we had POW and MIA people .. that just wasn't right.

I began campaigning to make people aware and to do my little part to bring our people home one way or another.

It was approximately 1997 when I came upon a website called Operation Just Cause.

This website was all about our POW and MIA people.

They had an "adoption" form there. I read it and signed up immediately.

What happened was very cool. I was given the name and history of a military person, from my state, who was MIA in VietNam.

At the time I had a website and decided to include a special area for military.

My adopted MIA is named RoberT Wayne Altus.

Captain Altus was an Air Force pilot. He and his weapons and systems operator 1st Lt. William
Phelps were shot down Nov. 23, 1971 over Laos.

Neither of them have ever been found.

I built a page on this person. When it was done I asked the organization to get in touch with his family so they could see what I had done.

His sister contacted me within 2 days via telephone. She told me that his mother had just passed away but his father was still alive. She had shown the page I created to his father and it moved him to tears knowing that a complete stranger cared enough about his son to try and keep the word out about our POW/MIA people.

As time went by I got to meet these 2 wonderful individuals. The sister was so much fun and very helpful and informative. It was almost as though we were sisters. His father was quite the character. He was such a sweet old man. He died in 2006 and the sister passed in 2008.

My time spent with them was very special and will forever be precious in my memory.

We went together to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Portland Oregon one afternoon. We found Robert's name and I have to tell you that it was such a powerful moment to see that name and to touch it.

We did a tracing of his name and spent a fair amount of time in silence holding hands and shedding a few tears.

Here is a link to his story (not my webpage)}&DE={E9FAB9EF-FBFD-4835-A9F9-25E678B7315A}

And here is a photo of my MIA ... RIP Robert Wayne Altus.

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Maggie ^O^
Sep 11, 2016

Our Military - Fighting For Our Country

Remember those who were lost fighting for you due to the events of September 11, 2001.

Remember their families left behind as a result of those events.

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Maggie ^O^
Jul 4, 2016

4th of July

Celebrate but remember ....

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Wiley P
Jun 24, 2016

And then there was one.

With profound sadness we must announce the passing of Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher, engineer-gunner for Crew 7 (Ruptured Duck), who passed early this morning of complications from a stroke he suffered on Sunday. He was 94. Lt. Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot for Crew 1, is now the lone surviving Doolittle Raider.

David Jonathan Thatcher, a longtime resident of Missoula, native Montanan and member of “the Greatest Generation,” was born July 31, 1921 in Bridger, Montana, to Joseph Holland Thatcher and Dorthea Steinmiller Thatcher. One of 10 children, six boys and four girls (two other siblings were stillborn), Thatcher was a child of the Depression, which instilled in him a strong work ethic throughout his life.

His parents homesteaded in Eastern Montana during the early 1900s. When Thatcher was born, they were living in a dirt enclosure built into the side of a hill. His early years were spent attending school and helping his father and brothers make a living for the family. Following graduation from Absarokee High School in 1939, Thatcher enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on December 3, 1940. In December 1941, he completed engine and airplane mechanic training in Lincoln, Nebraska.

After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, drawing the United States into World War II, Thatcher volunteered for a secret mission that would help change the course of the war. Thatcher and 78 other volunteers, led by the legendary aviator Jimmy Doolittle, trained for approximately three months before embarking upon the mission, a raid involving 16 B-25 medium-range bombers on April 18, 1942 which hit selected military and industrial targets in several Japanese cities. The Doolittle Raid had been ordered by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt in retaliation for Japan’s raid upon the U.S.

Thatcher was the tail gunner/engineer on Crew #7, “The Ruptured Duck,” which was piloted by Lieutenant Ted Lawson. After bombing targets in Tokyo, Lawson headed the plane towards China. Running low on fuel, Lawson tried to land the plane on a beach in darkness and heavy rain, but instead crashed in the surf after hitting a wave causing the plane to flip over. The crash seriously injured all the members of the crew except for Thatcher, who was briefly knocked out in the crash but suffered only a bump to his head.

After regaining consciousness and making it to shore, Thatcher saved the lives of his crew by gathering them on the beach, administering first aid and making contact with some friendly Chinese guerillas who had come upon the crew. He convinced the guerillas to take the crew to safety in inland China. Over the next few days, the crew repeatedly barely escaped capture by Japanese patrols searching for the Raiders. For his bravery in saving the lives of his crew, Thatcher was awarded the Silver Star. His other decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Chinese Army, Navy and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.

In 1943, Lawson wrote the first account of the Doolittle Raid titled “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” which became a best-selling book and was subsequently made into an Academy Award-winning movie of the same name directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Spencer Tracey as Doolittle, Van Johnson as Lawson and Robert Walker as Thatcher.

Following the Doolittle Raid, Thatcher served in England and Africa until January 1944, flying in a B-26 bomber in 26 missions over North Africa and Europe, including the first bombing raid over Rome. He was honorably discharged from active duty at the rank of Staff Sergeant in July 1945.

In December 1945, Thatcher married the love of his life, Margaret Dawn Goddard Thatcher. They were married for 70 years and had five children, Sandy, Gary, Becky, Jeff and Debbie. Following his stint in the military, Thatcher worked as a clerk and later a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service delivering mail to houses in and around his neighborhood for more than 30 years before retiring in 1980. In his later years, he participated in camping trips with family and friends and maintained a meticulous vegetable garden in his backyard during summers. He was also active in the International Association of Odd Fellows (IOF) and his church, The First Baptist Church of Missoula, where he was a member for nearly 70 years. He also stayed in contact with the surviving members of the Doolittle Raid and attended nearly every reunion that the group held through the Final Toast in November 2013 and the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Museum of the U.S. Air Force in April 2015 that the Raiders received. Thatcher’s death leaves one remaining Doolittle Raider, 100-year-old Richard E. “Dick” Cole, who was Doolittle’s co-pilot.

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Maggie ^O^
Jun 19, 2016

It's Father's Day

And it's Father's Day for our military men and for those who will never get to come home.

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Maggie ^O^
Jun 14, 2016

Flag Day June 14, 2016

Working as a grade school teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, in 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand held the first recognized formal observance of Flag Day at the Stony Hill School. The school has been restored, and a bust of Cigrand also honors him at the National Flag Day Americanism Center in Waubeka.

From the late 1880s on, Cigrand spoke around the country promoting patriotism, respect for the flag, and the need for the annual observance of a flag day on June 14, the day in 1777 that the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes.

He moved to Chicago to attend dental school and, in June 1886, first publicly proposed an annual observance of the birth of the United States flag in an article titled "The Fourteenth of June," published in the Chicago Argus newspaper. In June 1888, Cigrand advocated establishing the holiday in a speech before the "Sons of America," a Chicago group. The organization founded a magazine, American Standard, in order to promote reverence for American emblems. Cigrand was appointed editor-in-chief and wrote articles in the magazine as well as in other magazines and newspapers to promote the holiday.

On the third Saturday in June 1894, a public school children’s celebration of Flag Day took place in Chicago at Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks. More than 300,000 children participated, and the celebration was repeated the next year
Cigrand became president of the American Flag Day Association and later of the National Flag Day Society, which allowed him to promote his cause with organizational backing. Cigrand once noted he had given 2,188 speeches on patriotism and the flag.

Cigrand lived in Batavia, Illinois, from 1913–1932.

Cigrand generally is credited with being the "Father of Flag Day," with the Chicago Tribune noting that he "almost singlehandedly" established the holiday.

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