Should parents of US KIA's pay Federal income taxes?

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
George Washington

Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
Mark Twain

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Read about this man; As good as they come

My children and I were watching "The Patriot", and out of curiosity, I googled the Swamp Fox.  The resulting four hours at the computer was definitely time well spent.  Somehow, through the magic of the internet, I was able to go from Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, one of the key military Founding Fathers, to Col. John Ripley, who I knew as a kid.  I never really thought of him as a hero, until one day my father, who I always considered a hero, told me that he never met a braver man than John Ripley.  What he did under that bridge at Dong Ha is absolute proof that truth is stranger than fiction.  If the story wasn't true, it would be unbelievable.

Col. John W. Ripley was a contemporary of my father's in the Marine Corps.  An amazing man, with an amazing story.  He had two brothers who were also outstanding Marines, and the first person I met when I checked into the First Battalion, Eighth Marines was his son, who, for a second lieutenant, was also a pretty good Marine.  The Ripley family has given a lot to this country.  And they are just one example of a family with a tradition of defending the freedom of their fellow citizens.

In the Marine Corps, we have a term:  Marine, Junior.  That is a term used to describe a man who has followed in his father's footsteps, very often against the father's advice.  As a Marine, I ran into lots of young men who had famous last names.  And I ran in to lots of Marines whose fathers had been Marines, famous in their own minds, if not in the rest of ours.  I guess the point is, a very few families have carried the burden for a great many families.  I hope they all at least understand that, if not appreciate it.  Those same families will more than likely continue to pay the heavy price of freedom, so that the protected will never know just how much it costs.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. TGP, thats a nice tribute and a well deserved one at that.
    The Corps seems to be one of those military professions that make a kids want to follow in his father's footsteps since I know quite a few 2nd and 3rd generation Marines...some of which are about ready to add the 4th generation to the family roster.

    I was pleasantly shocked to find out that my Great-grandfather was a Redleg as was my Father and then me. The break in the chain was my Grandad who was a salvage diver in WW2 who wore one of those canvas suits with the big brass helmet with the windows in it.

  3. Sepp,

    That certainly proves your Granddad was no coward. I doubt I'd enjoy that job much.

    I worry about the next generation of Smith Marines. I have four daughters, and I am as against women in combat as Col. Ripley was. My dad was passed over for a third star because he wouldn't tell the Secretary of the Navy that he thought women should be allowed in combat.

  4. Tenth,

    Great post - Col Ripley brought out a pretty big group of heroes at that service. I spotted Generals Jim Conway, Bill Keys, and Walt Boomer. I just missed serving under Ripley myself as he took over 1/2 shortly after I transferred.

    Interesting that our country produces men like John Ripley yet still produces trash like Joe Biden. When America stops producing John Ripleys there will be no more America.

  5. TGP,

    I too fear for our Corps, the way they jumped on the homos in the military thing and are drifting into the PC world. Sickening.

    Where is our Al Gray? (Met him in 87 in Iwakuni)

    But when it comes down to slinging rounds down range and kicking ass, have no fear, we're the baddest mo-fo's on the block.

  6. CS,

    Glad you mentioned Keys. I thought, I know that guy, but couldn't place him.

    A lot of those men in that group of advisers should probably have been awarded the Medal of Honor, but there is no doubt about Ripley. If his actions didn't deserve it, they should do away with it.

  7. Gunny,

    If I force myself to think about it, I suppose even a gay Marine would still be a better soldier than anything the rst of the world has, but still. ICK!

  8. Tenth,
    Excellent tribute to a real warrior.

    CS makes an excellent point.

  9. TGP- Wonderful post. I must admit, sometimes I feel a little envious of the bond, and brotherhood that you share with our fellow bloggers. To think, I tried joining the Marine Corps.(Personal story I will post about at another time)

    We had this discussion about a week back, involving our daughters. Although I have the same feelings on the matter, I would be very proud, if my daughter was the first generation of O'Bloggins too serve. Great post brother.

    CS- Why are you calling V.P. Biden trash. Isn't it necessary for our Congress to spend 192 days in session on the use of steroids in baseball?

  10. Calling Biden trash is unfair to trash everywhere.

  11. Johnny,

    Tenth is right, the word "trash" simply isn't strong enough to measure the depth of Biden's depravity.