Friday, August 5, 2016
Heroes and Brothers
When Donald Trump talks about the vets, and the sacrifice of the vets, I am witness that you do not have to be a combat veteran to hold deep appreciation for and concern for those who have sacrificed so much.
I haven't shared the story of my brother the Bronze Star winner, or my very good friend, another Bronze Star winner, but just now I have permission to tell their stories.
I just got this meme from my brother Michael Oakes (my sister's son) who is a hero of mine, we were raised like brothers. He Is a Bronze Star recipient, held the U.S. Embassy with those under his command, in Pnom Penh, Cambodia, with the Khmer Rouge, Marxist of the infamous "Killing Fields" harassing them and using every kind of psychological means to break their spirits, to take the embassy. They didn't want to just blow them all up, they wanted the embassy in tact, so that they would get their glory shots for the world media, showing them marauding the grounds, firing guns in the air - you know like you saw the same scene in Tripoli at the American embassy, when we had supposedly won in Libya and Al Qaeda was living large at the American Embassy and enjoying the Olympic sized pool. I know you saw the videos. Bubba and those with him held the embassy for three weeks under conditions of hell, until an extraction team finally arrived. I am blessed to have such giants in my life. If you read this, thank Michael Oakes for his service. I know he lived through hell and back and I've always been so very proud to call him brother.
While I'm at it. I want to thank Captain Dan X (I won't use his name without permission). He graduated the Georgia Military Academy, and was in command of the remote listening stations that ran the western mountain range next to the Ho Chi Minh Trail on the western border of Vietnam. We became very good friends, sadly he worked for me at our restaurant as a dishwasher, like so many heroic vets, a broken man. He also was a Bronze Star recipient. In the chaotic days of withdrawal he was ordered to take a squad, with some NSA experts and explosive technicians to destroy all the listening posts. There were over 80 of them. They were dropped in at the northern border, hiked mountain to mountain for hundreds of miles, and destroyed all the equipment. When they got to their extraction point, at the proper time and date, no one came to extract them. They stayed for three days waiting. And against all odds and two fire fights, they hiked across country and were able to signal a patrol boat on the coast, and by God's mercy against all odds were rescued. Captain Dan X, I love ya, man and am so very proud to call you friend.
When someone accuses me of being "anti-American" when I write the painful truths of our history and current state, they don't have a clue how much I appreciate the REAL RED BLOOD that is our nation. BTW I have two nephews that are Bronze Star recipients. I don't have his permission to speak about his heroics. But no uncle could be more proud.