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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Guzzistajohn on February 06, 2015, 09:40:21 AM

Title: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Guzzistajohn on February 06, 2015, 09:40:21 AM
Please let me start this post by asking that any comments of a political nature be kept private. This is only an attempt to honor the fighting men of the First Special Service Force and to share what I consider a once in a lifetime experience.

If you're interested in reading more about the force, click on this link.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/congress-awards-first-special-service-force-gold-medal/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAjKfNaf7QQ


Reciently I had the honor of recieving an invatation from the office of John Boehner to attend a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony. Feb. 3rd was the 70th anniversary of the disbanding of "The Force"
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony001_zpseaf8f35b.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony001_zpseaf8f35b.jpg.html)
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony002_zps4ca0bdaa.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony002_zps4ca0bdaa.jpg.html)
41 members of The Force (AKA Devil's Brigade) attended, it was an honor to meet and shake hands with men who fought with my father, Everett Schurke.
We had a great view from the hotel window, The Air Force Memorial and Arlington Cemetary and The Pentagon in the foreground.
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony2_zpse1005e95.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony2_zpse1005e95.jpg.html)
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony4_zps3fc44865.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony4_zps3fc44865.jpg.html)
Speeches were given by John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin. It really makes an impact when leaders of our country use terms like commando and eliete fighting force, really? my old man??
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony6_zps46dc7c49.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony6_zps46dc7c49.jpg.html)
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony003_zps86ec1adf.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony003_zps86ec1adf.jpg.html)
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony004_zps3f263fe5.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony004_zps3f263fe5.jpg.html)
I also had the honor of meeting the men that designed the medal and got them to autograph the program, (what a job those guys have)
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony8_zps185188da.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony8_zps185188da.jpg.html)
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony9_zps2c457358.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony9_zps2c457358.jpg.html)
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony7_zps024f4d0a.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony7_zps024f4d0a.jpg.html)
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony5_zpsc61607e6.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony5_zpsc61607e6.jpg.html)
This gentleman is 107 years old and being given his copy of the medal. He moved from the Philippines to join the Army in '42 and singed up with the force. Pretty impressive I thought.
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/ceremony10_zps9083c5e0.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/ceremony10_zps9083c5e0.jpg.html)
So, Thank you Dad and the other 1799 men who fought and died to free us and many others in Italy, Norway and France from tyranny, and congratulations for recieving this medal and joining the ranks of other brave men like the Navajo Code Talkers and the Tuskegee Airmen.
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/dad2_zpsf51f6c29.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/dad2_zpsf51f6c29.jpg.html)
If it wasn't for these brave men, Mandello might have been cranking out BMW's all these years. (Guzzi content) :D






Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: ken farr on February 06, 2015, 09:50:54 AM
Wow.

Just WOW.

 ;-T

kjf
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: drlapo on February 06, 2015, 10:29:55 AM
USA! USA! USA!
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: biking sailor on February 06, 2015, 11:48:15 AM
John, I can see the resembalance you have with your Father.  You have a right to be proud! 
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Dilliw on February 06, 2015, 11:51:53 AM
Great Post.   ;-T

Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: rocker59 on February 06, 2015, 11:54:26 AM
 ;-T
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: fubar guzzi on February 06, 2015, 12:48:57 PM
it makes me proud just to know YOU!!!
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Jim Rich on February 06, 2015, 12:55:14 PM
You must be proud of him.  Thanks for sharing this. 
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: StuCorpe on February 06, 2015, 01:27:53 PM
 ;-T ;-T
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: LowRyter on February 06, 2015, 01:31:29 PM
 ;-T ;-T ;-T ;-T ;-T ;-T ;-T
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: twodogs on February 06, 2015, 01:54:11 PM
 ;-T ;-T ;-T ;-T ;-T
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: 56Pan on February 06, 2015, 02:04:16 PM
 ;-T  Overdue, but better late than never.
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Guzzistajohn on February 06, 2015, 02:07:00 PM
Awww gee, thanks fellers, I added a link above with a little Black Devil history written by professional writers explaining better than I can.

Dad was a first generation German and Iowa farm boy who answered his call and was originally sent to Fort Reilley, Kansas as a cavalry soldier, he signed up for the F.S.S.F. and was sent to Helena, Montana for training. After training the force was sent to Kiska, Ak. only to find that the Japanese who had occupied the area had moved out.

He survived the battle at Monte La Defensa where many of our boys lives were lost but that hill and many others were taken on the way to Rome.

Dad was wounded in Anzio, Italy were the men fought for 99 days without re-inforcement. Dad mentioned Anzio to me one time, he said they would go out on night raids and force the German soldiers into the buildings with machine gun fire and blow up the buildings with explosives.

After being wounded he spent some time in England, then sent to O'rielly Army Hospital in Springfield, Mo. and was in a body cast for several months.

After his hospital stay he met my mother LaBelle Simmons in a city park, they were soon married and raised 6 little goomers.

Just an example of what our greatest generation did to help make this country great!
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Sasquatch Jim on February 06, 2015, 02:08:54 PM
  I remember that the name Devils Brigade was first used by the Germans they fought against.
  Pretty strong praise from an enemy.
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Guzzistajohn on February 06, 2015, 02:16:49 PM
 I remember that the name Devils Brigade was first used by the Germans they fought against.
  Pretty strong praise from an enemy.
Actually Jim, the Krauts called them "The Black Devils" because they would use boot polish on thier faces for night raids. They had stickers made to place on dead Germans like this;
(http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag65/guzzistajohn/sticker001_zps88016fe8.jpg) (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/guzzistajohn/media/sticker001_zps88016fe8.jpg.html)
                           "The worse is yet to come"
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: canuck750 on February 06, 2015, 05:32:24 PM
Great storey, long overdue recognition for the 900 Americans and 900 Canadians who formed the regiment. A local veteran of the unit made the trip to Washington and his storey was told on the local news. Like many he lied about his age and volunteered at 17. I find it amazing what so many very young men, boys really, did in the Second World War.
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Mayor_of_BBQ on February 06, 2015, 05:36:49 PM
Great story! it's really awesome family members were able to be there even if the honoree has passed.


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Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Guzzistajohn on February 06, 2015, 05:39:37 PM
Great storey, long overdue recognition for the 900 Americans and 900 Canadians who formed the regiment. A local veteran of the unit made the trip to Washington and his storey was told on the local news. Like many he lied about his age and volunteered at 17. I find it amazing what so many very young men, boys really, did in the Second World War.

I've gotten to "rub elbows" with many a fine canuck on the two FSSF functions I've attended. It's been a ball! You guys have a pretty good sense of humor. Interesting, many little towns in the north will have two or three forcemen.
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Nick on February 06, 2015, 05:46:07 PM
 ;-T
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: skromfols on February 06, 2015, 05:51:26 PM
I believe we've always had, and still have, the best trained and most competent fighting force in the world.  I served in the military in Viet Nam, spent a year in the Balkans as a civilian supporting our troops, and now have some very close friends in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and I am proud to know each of them.
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: mgfan on February 06, 2015, 06:19:27 PM
Lets not forget the 10,000 Canadians who volunteered to go Viet Nam.   :BEER:
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Lannis on February 06, 2015, 06:21:15 PM
I believe we've always had, and still have, the best trained and most competent fighting force in the world.  I served in the military in Viet Nam, spent a year in the Balkans as a civilian supporting our troops, and now have some very close friends in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and I am proud to know each of them.

Seeing the old Filipino soldier there reminds me of when my Dad used to have his fellow Navy petty officers over to the house in Norfolk for a barbeque and/or poker game.   Several of them were always Filipinos (enlistment back then being a straight clear path to US citizenship), and they were the nicest, funniest, and most respected guys in the group, for their friendliness and fighting qualities.

Great to see the old fellow being recognized!!!

Lannis
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: oldbike54 on February 06, 2015, 06:28:34 PM
Lets not forget the 10,000 Canadians who volunteered to go Viet Nam.   :BEER:

We haven't  :bow

  Dusty
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Chuck in Indiana on February 06, 2015, 06:35:15 PM
Thanks for that, and congrats.. ;-T
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: dl.allen on February 06, 2015, 07:06:32 PM
super cool
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Aaron D. on February 06, 2015, 07:13:00 PM
Thank you.
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Guzzistajohn on February 06, 2015, 08:53:49 PM
Bar fight scene from the movie, that would br The Gold Bar in Helena, Mt. Spuddy can tell you 'bout it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyYcIc9qlKg
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: Guzzistajohn on February 09, 2015, 08:00:53 AM
Bump sorry my friends @ work want to see pics
Title: Re: First Special Service Force receives Congressional Medal
Post by: AJ Huff on February 09, 2015, 08:20:23 AM
I didn't get the "First" part but now I understand, it's part of the units name.

Neat!  ;-T

-AJ