Facebook iTunes Stitcher RSS Feed Twitter – @warriorradiotuc

Have You Checked out our Podcasts?

Over 12,000 persons have this year!  If you haven’t visited recently, here is what you may have missed:

In addition to some names you might recognize like Roger Staubach, Dale Dye, Jim McDivitt and Radney Foster we have also spoken with others whose names might NOT be so familiar but are true American Heroes:

The brave helicopter pilots who landed on a cliff side to rescue Marcus Luttrell in the “Lone Survivor” story

A Marine pilot who earned FOUR Distinguished Flying Crosses in Vietnam, returning from one mission with palm fronds stuck in his tail section.

A soldier who was a teenager when he jumped into Normandy, survived the Battle of the Bulge and went on to lead clandestine missions in both Korea and Vietnam.

Check out our podcast archives using the tab above, now conveniently organized by broadcast month!

 

Help Us Tell These Great Stories!

Veterans both past and present.  Award winning historians and writers. Musicians, Movie Stars and organizations that support our military. The first responders that keep us safe on the home front.

American Warrior Radio produces some very unique and in-depth discussions with all of these people.  Would you like to join in helping us spread these important messages?

For as little as 50 cents per broadcast, you CAN by becoming a Patron of American Warrior Radio!   Simply click on the Patreon link.

As a reward, you will receive some very cool swag related to some of the guests we have had one the show;

 
Autographed copy of the Rowdy Johnson Band’s CD that features “Unwanted Man”, a stirring song inspired by an encounter with a homeless Veteran.

 

 

Autographed copy of “The Friday Pilots”, a compilation of recollections by several Veterans featured on our program.

 

 

 

 

Your very own American Flag Bottle Breacher, a great Veteran owned and operated company founded by Navy SEAL Eli Crane.

 

Unknown Soldier

unknown soldier

Sgt. Edward F. Younger

On this Day in 1921 – The bodies of four American Soldiers exhumed from four different cemeteries in France arrived at the Hotel de Ville in Paris. The four bodies selected represented the remains of soldiers for which there were no records indicating name, rank, organization or date of death.

Upon arrival at the Hotel de Ville, the official forms regarding the transfer and selection of the bodies were burned, assuring the destruction of any paper trail that would indicate where in France the remains came from.  The four caskets were draped with US flags and placed side by side in a hall of the hotel.

The next morning, at 10 AM, US and French officials entered the hall.  Among them was Army Sergeant Edward F. Younger. Younger had been twice wounded and received the Distinguished Service Cross. When Younger and five other soldiers lined up in the makeshift chapel, he thought his group was to serve as pallbearers. But then Younger was handed a spray of white roses by the officer in charge and left alone in the chapel. HE had been selected to perform a very unique task.

Younger said: “I was left alone in the chapel. There were four coffins, all unnamed and unmarked.  I walked around the coffins three times, then suddenly I stopped.  What caused me to stop, I don’t know, it was as though something had pulled me. I placed the roses on the coffin in front of me. I can still remember the awed feeling that I had, standing there alone.”

Younger faced the casket, stood at attention and saluted.  Then the other officials present, led by General  Duport, Commander of the French 6th Army Corps, all entered the hall and rendered their final salute.

The remains that Sergeant Younger selected would be transferred to a hilltop overlooking Washington DC and placed in a white marble sarcophagus inscribed with the words “Here rests in honored glory an American Soldier known but to God.”

Younger died of a heart attack on August 6, 1942 – almost 8 months to the day after the US entered into World War II.  He is buried in Section 18 of Arlington Cemetery next to his wife Agnes and approximately 300 yards from the soldier he selected to be forever interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

Twenty Third Anniversary of “Blackhawk Down”

Blackhawk Down

Col. Lawrence Casper

Their mission changed when the call went out; Blackhawk Down.

Twenty three years ago, a US Joint Special Operations Force with combined elements of Special Forces units from Army Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command and Navy Special Warfare Command were dispatched on a mission in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia. Their objective was to capture two high value targets.

Blackhawk Down

Ranger Jeff Struecker

A mission planned for an hour turned into a running overnight battle and rescue operation when the Blackhawk Down call went out. By the end of the operation, US casualties numbered 73 wounded, 18 KIA and one pilot captured. The enemy casualties were estimated in the hundreds to as many as a thousand.

Two men received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle; MSgt Gary Gordon and Sgt 1st Class Randy Shughart. (Delta Force) Both volunteered to be dropped into a swarm of enemy militia in order to protect the crew of the downed helicopter Super Six Four.

This battle was to become the subject of the film Blackhawk Down.  Hear more about it from two men who were there.  Army Ranger Jeff Struecker and Colonel Lawrence Casper.

 

USS Arizona Respect and Honor

RESPECT

Lauren Bruner

Lauren Bruner

Twenty one year old Fire Controlman 3rd Class Lauren Bruner scrambled to his duty station 87 feet above the deck of the USS Arizona when the attack on Pearl Harbor began.   10 minutes later Japanese bombs fatally crippled the Arizona, trapping Bruner and his shipmates in an inferno.

The repair ship Vestal was moored nearby and threw over a line. Bruner and six other men climbed hand over hand across the rope.  Bruner was the second to the last man to leave the USS Arizona and had burns over 70 percent of his body.

After 7 months in the hospital, Bruner went right back at it as a crewmember of the new destroyer USS Coghlan.

Now a sharp 95 years old, he has already made arrangements to have his ashes buried along with his shipmates on the USS Arizona when he is finally bid “Fair Winds and Following Seas”.

USS ArizonaA new memorial representing a full scale outline of the 608 foot long battleship is being built in the center of the University of Arizona campus mall. Brass medallions inscribed with the name and rank of every one of the 1,177 sailors and marines killed aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941 will be installed around the perimeter of the memorial. It will be the largest memorial to the Arizona apart from the National Park in Pearl Harbor.
If you would like to support this cause please visit the donation site.

 

 

 

Protecting our Independence

Listening to today’s Independence Day guests, great patriots and warriors all, I found myself getting a little choked up.  My first reaction was slight embarrassment.  Then it dawned on me that this should be the natural response of anyone who holds a deep and abiding love for their country.

Having spent the first nine years of my life overseas incubated my love for the USA in a manner that is hard to shake.  The United States was a magical land. One could drink tap water without fear and daily trips to the market were unnecessary.  Every home seemed to have a television and a telephone.

I recall neighbors from around our block huddled about a small transistor radio listening to broadcasts of the Gemini Space mission. A five year old child’s mind reeled at the concept of a nation so great it could send men into space while we still unloaded airport baggage with ox carts.

When the leaders of my country of birth spoke, the citizens chuckled and rolled their eyes. When the leaders of the US spoke, people all across the globe listened.

My first hard lesson upon coming to the US was involved language. My brother and I were struggling and a note was sent home from school. My parent’s simple reaction was “Well you will just have to work harder than the other kids won’t you?”  There it was; opportunity. The realization that I was in control of my own destiny. The liberty and independence to rise OR fall based upon my willingness to make the extra effort. What a magical country!

My international travels as an adult only reinforced my appreciation for this land of opportunity.  If it was up to me, every young person in our nation would be required to spend 30 days overseas so they can learn a true appreciation for what we have and incubate their own sense of responsibility for preserving this special gift so hard won by previous generations.

It breaks my heart when I hear veterans express their fears that the liberties they fought to defend are being allowed to slip away.  The message I take from their voices is one of disappointment – and a challenge.  As if they are the adults telling that grade school child to work harder.

This morning I read an editorial claiming our battle for independence from Britain was a mistake.  I chuckled and rolled my eyes.  Then I went out and posted my flag.

 

 

 

 

 

A Generation Fades as another steps up to Stand the Watch

Doolittle RaiderThis morning I was saddened to hear the news of the passing of Staff Sergeant David Thatcher, one of only two remaining members of the original 80 Doolittle Raiders. Then Corporal Thatcher was the engineer/gunner on the crew of the 7th aircraft, “The Ruptured Duck”. (Interesting feat given that the tail guns were replaced with painted broom sticks in order to save weight!) After successfully dropping their bombs on industrial sections of Tokyo, they were forced to ditch their aircraft just off the Chinese coast.  Thatcher was the only crew member not injured. The aircraft’s pilot, Lt. Ted Lawson suffered severe injuries that required his leg to be amputated in the field.  Upon his return home, Lawson would author the book “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”.

One of the joys and honors of hosting a military radio show is the opportunity to talk directly to those veterans who have made history. For someone like me, this is the equivalent of sitting down over a beer with an MLB all-star or former President of the US.

As a member of the community that donated the silver goblets used in the famous Doolittle Raiders reunion toasts, I have always felt a special connection to their story. This was further reinforced during my term as Honorary Commander to General Robin Rand and the 12th Air Force. General Rand is a big believer in reminding young airmen of their historical roots and the 12th’s connection to General Jimmy Doolittle was a strong one.

Thatcher’s passing leaves Lt. Col. Richard Cole as the sole surviving Raider.  Cole was Doolittle’s co-pilot in the first bomber to leave the deck of the USS Hornet. One of the greatest honors of my life was to spend an hour with Dick discussing the famous mission. Much like present day warriors, his humility and simple devotion to his duty was inspirational. He talked about flying 200 feet above choppy waves, with full knowledge they did not have sufficient fuel to complete the original egress plan as you or I would talk about a trip to the neighborhood market.

You can hear Cole’s interview here.

Godspeed Sergeant Thatcher! Thank you for your service!

 

Warriors Needed to Save a Life!

Warriors Needed!

There is a scene from the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou” where a candidate for public office repeatedly declares “Is you or is you ain’t my constituency?!”  Right now you have an opportunity to stand up and save a life.

One of the principal tenants of our US military is “We never leave men behind”.

As regular listeners to American Warrior Radio are aware, we have taken up the battle to save the life of “Dave”, a brave Afghan interpreter who responded to the call of liberty and faced combat shoulder to shoulder with our troops based upon the promise that our nation would take care of him and his family.

You can hear/read more about his story and the larger issue here, here and here:

Despite complying with all the requisites for a Special Immigrant Visa under the Afghan Allies Act of 2009, “Dave” and his family have been stuck in bureaucratic limbo for NEARLY THREE YEARS!  In the interim, as the situation in the country continues to destabilize, those who assisted US troops are being systematically hunted down and slaughtered by our jihadist adversaries.  Most recently, these enemies issued a “kill order” for Dave and his family through social media networks.

There are thousands of Afghan interpreters facing similar circumstances and the issue is huge. Often, when a task appears overwhelming, people are frozen into inaction because they don’t know where to start.  We start by picking one issue. In this case, one brave ally among the thousands we promised to help.

While many elected officials have agreed to take up Dave’s cause, the political reality is that most Congressional offices strongly prefer that a request for action come from one of their own constituents.  If someone you know lives in one of the following Congressional Districts and is willing to take up this cause, please contact us immediately!  warriorradio@cox.net

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick       CD 1 – Flagstaff, White Mountains

Rep. Raul Grijalva             CD 3 – Tucson, Nogales, Ajo, Gila Bend

Rep. Paul Gosar                 CD 4 – Prescott, Payson, Wickenburg

Rep. Matt Salmon            CD 5 – Gilbert, Apache Junction, Queen Creek

Rep. Ruben Gallego        CD 7 – Phoenix, Glendale

Rep. Trent Franks            CD 8 – Peoria, Sun City, Litchfield Park

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema      CD 9 – Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa

 

 

 

SACRIFICE A MINUTE FOR THOSE WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES

Memorial Day - McCaskill memorial I still wince when I see Memorial Day advertisements for children’s toys, cosmetics, or mattresses.  Admittedly, not as much as when I hear someone wish “Happy Memorial Day” to a Veteran.

Despite repeated efforts with multiple dictionaries, I could not find the words “barbecue”, “vacation” or “sale” in any definition of the word memorial. However, the word “memory” was often repeated. It’s time that we remember the purpose of this holiday – to memorialize those who DIED serving our nation.

Over 120 broadcasts into the revival of American Warrior Radio, Memorial Day remains the most difficult show for me. Not for the most obvious reason; the dead don’t speak. They certainly don’t conduct radio interviews.  It falls upon the living to speak on their behalf.

Less than one percent of our population serves in the military. Most of our citizens have no personal, visceral experience with the consequences of war. I am part of that fortunate and thankful group. War is a messy, dangerous business. People die. Strike that – people are killed. Death is not confined to the battlefield, it comes even in the preparations to fight. Sailors on our own USS Tucson have shared with me that it is not the threat of an enemy weapon they fear the most. It is a fire several hundred feet below the surface, or a ruptured high pressure hydraulic hose that can cut a hole right through a man.

I recently passed that point in life where one finds themselves attending far more funerals than weddings. One such event took place in a large hangar at Davis-Monthan Air Force base. It is a huge space often vacant. On that day it was full of living souls gathered to memorialize one of their own; Chief Master Sergeant Nicholas McCaskill, a pararescueman killed in Afghanistan. Along with a few dozen other civilians I sat in awe as his comrades filed to the front of the hangar. In pairs, they paid their last respects in silence, punctuated only by the staccato slap of fists driving their crest into Nick’s memorial board and the muffled rustle of fabric as they rendered a last salute. An hour later, the wood surface was covered in brass including a Navy SEAL Trident and several Tucson Fire Department crests.

I have spent my adult life supporting those who serve. I thought I understood. On THAT day, it was as if each of those firm fists pounding crests were simultaneously slapping me across the face. With the ferocity of a Sonoran thunderstorm, the high price paid by so few for so many became abundantly clear.

It would befit the 99.5 % to remember that every soldier, sailor, marine and airman who raised their hand after 1973 to swear an oath to defend our constitution, sacrificing their own life if need be, has voluntarily done so. Today, military families pray for the safe return of a loved one. Some will find their prayers unanswered.

I recently interviewed an Army Ranger medic who chose to sell his business and give away most his earthly possessions to spend his life wandering the world. His rationale is that he would live his life to the fullest as his way of honoring those comrades whose life was cut short far too early.

I am not suggesting all of us should make such a sacrifice, but there are 525,600 minutes in the average year. The least we can do is sacrifice one minute on Memorial Day to pause and remember those who sacrificed the rest of their lives.