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Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™

Rangers Lead the Way – A Ranger is Laid to Rest

29 November 2016 – Beaufort National Cemetery

In a military honors ceremony, a hero was laid to rest today.   One who gave more than his twenty years of service in the US Army.

major gerard m devlin

MAJOR Gerard “Jerry” M. Devlin USA Ret. fought in two wars – Korea and Vietnam – it was a tour in Vietnam where he earned the Distinguished Service Cross awarded for his gallantry and valor during that conflict.  Beyond his service to the United States – his twenty years in the US Army, he became an author and military historian.

I met Jerry at an event commemorating Operation Dragoon, the second invasion of France during WW II.  He was introduced as the author of the book Paratrooper considered “The Bible of the Airborne”.  As I was in midst of completion of my first book Images of America  – Fort Myer, I shared that I was a new soon-to-be-published author. That was the beginning of a great friendship which was much more with his sage advice and insights.

 

I secured a copy of Paratrooper and immediately delved into the book.  I found it to be well presented and very informative.   Since Jerry lived in South Carolina and I was heading there in a few months, I contacted him to get the book autographed. What was supposed to be “over coffee” turned out to be a rather significant meeting. It also included LTG E. M. “Fly”  Flanagan, who commanded the Special Forces of the US Army in 1968 to 1971 and the author of the book Airborne.

The friendship continued and the coaching about the publishing world along with tips about successful book promotion came along with it.  Much sage advice was provided.  My annual trips to South Carolina always included some time with Jerry.  He also expanded my network in many ways, including befriending the command historian of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

We had what I believe a very symbiotic friendship. My second book,  Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair has been a great success with the insights and coaching from Jerry.   While he was working on a book about LTG William P. Yarborough,  The Father of the Modern Green Berets, I would locate items that might have been of interest or spoken to someone who had contact with the general.

I am thankful to have met him and shared many wonderful minutes with him.  He’ll be sorely missed.

I set up a memorial to Jerry on Find-A-Grave’s website

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Posted 5 months ago at 2:00 pm.

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Who Are These Men?

Written by someone who has been there, the following is a “guest” posting from a dear friend:

silent professionals

During the past decade since the attacks of September 11, 2001, we have been a nation at war.  In Afghanistan, our enemy has been the Taliban, Al Qaida and countless foreign fighters whose only goal has been to kill Americans, in great numbers.       

It has–and continues to be–a long war.  Against an amorphous, enduring enemy.

The centerpiece of that war has been a single, elusive icon of terror who personally directed the mass killings of innocent people around the world. 

From the first day, we fought back.  And we continue to fight.

We have lost friends, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers.  We have heard the sound of Taps echo and linger in the distance.  Many courageous men and women have returned with grievous wounds—sometimes invisible to the naked eye.

Despite the many obstacles, dangers and threats, we continue to fight.

In a long war, the sacrifice is often spread across generations.

Many of those operators who raided that compound 30 miles outside Islamabad were likely too young to drive when the 9/11 attacks occurred. 

And yet, these volunteers most certainly remembered that fateful day, and were thinking about it as they were being transported into Pakistan via Special Operations helicopters in the dead of night.  The images were likely decisive in their decision to take their oath– to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Fueled by adrenalin, a healthy dose of fear, and a supreme confidence in their equipment and training, warriors like these know well that things can and likely will go wrong.  That’s why they rehearse.  Whether they are on their target or supporting from afar, it’s why they look after one another, and will never leave a fallen comrade behind.

They are the best living definition of a team. Because they operate as a single unit toward a common, understood objective.  They never quit.  When the conditions change, they adapt.  They can communicate intuitively, with silent hand and arm signals through the green glow of night vision goggles, or single syllable transmissions spoken into a whisper mike. They often follow orders delivered a continent away.  They are brothers–closer to one another than their own immediate families.

When they are in pursuit of a target, political boundaries are irrelevant.  Moving as a synchronized team, they act decisively and selflessly, and inform their hosts later.

Mission first.

Fortunately, these operators are ours.

It is these remarkable men who are deployed forward in a land they do not seek to permanently occupy, and who, in the most desperate circumstances, continue to fight — for all of us.

–John Fenzel, May 2, 2011

John is a dear friend, a patriot who wears the uniform and author of the outstanding book  “The Lazarus Covenant”

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Posted 5 years, 12 months ago at 11:39 pm.

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48 Years Ago…

Fort Bragg, NC –  An historic meeting occurred that changed the US military – specifically the US Army forever.  For it was on this day,  12 OCT 1961 a visit was arranged that forged a lasting effect that continues until this day –  Presidential validation of the Special Forces – “The Green Berets”

To understand the history though,  one must look back nearly 200 years before, one state south and consider “The Swamp Fox”…

Continue Reading…

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Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 1:25 pm.

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A FLASH of Color…

A few weeks ago, I had a trip to Fort Bragg to witness and record the induction of three retired Special Forces soldiers as “a distinguished member of the Regiment.” While there, I met and spent some time with the Director/Curator of the JFK Warfare Museum and she furthered my knowledge about the origins of the Flashes that are used behind the insignia of rank, certain badges or the regiment.
I had earlier learned that LTG Wm P. Yarborough when confronted with the comment by his commander that the Parachutist Badge which he designed and presented to his commander that “… they’re too … small!” Then Captain Yarborough, with a spark of creative genius used pieces of colored felt that were put behind the badge to make it appear bigger. That same concept was applied for the Special Forces Group Flash.
Originally, a consideration was a “rosette” similar to the ones awarded to recipients of the Purple Heart shown below (now discontinued)

or a Medal of Honor recipient …

Many of the colonial troops wore a rosette in their tricorn hats.
Instead of the rosette, a small piece of colored material to provide “A flash of color…” was the General’s answer…

Shown below are the 1st, 5th and 7th Group flashes worn on their green berets…


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Posted 8 years, 2 months ago at 12:37 am.

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19 Silver Stars awarded…

On the 12 DEC 19 US Army Special Forces soldiers were awarded Silver Stars by LTG John F. Mulholland, Jr. which was the largest number of Silver Stars awarded since the Vietnam War…

After reviewing and recanting the individual situations, said Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, commander of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, who presented the awards to the Soldiers. “Where do we get such men? There is no finer fighting man on the face of the earth than the American Soldier. And there is no finer American Soldier than our Green Berets.”

 Silver Star Medal

The Silver Star Medal is awarded in recognition of a valorous act performed during combat operations while under direct fire from enemy forces. It may also denote an accomplishment of a heroic nature in direct support of operations against an enemy force.

VERITAS ET LIBERTAS
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Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 6:08 am.

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Robin Moore – Hopkinsville KY – "They’re now together…"

On a warm Spring Saturday, those assembled in the Episcopal Church, quietly assembled in the courtyard as final military honors for Robin (Robert Lowell) Moore was smartly executed by the 5th Group of the US Army’s Special Forces. The Honorable Rudi Gresham declared earlier that Robin and LTG William P. Yarborough were once again together – for all time, as their berets were honorably placed on the flag draped casket by Robin’s widow, Helen Moore and General Yarborough’s son, William Lee Yarborough.

The two men formed a lifelong friendship that affected both them and the world around them. Working together, the US Army Special Forces became the “SPECIAL” Forces of the US Military and achieved the recognition that they well deserve.

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Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 12:36 pm.

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Robin Moore – May you rest in Peace…

The noted author Robin Moore, (Robert Lowell Moore Jr), was laid to rest on SATURDAY, 10 MAY 2008 at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, MA where other noted authors – Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott also lie in rest.

The services were attended by close family and friends – military honors were provided by members of the 5th Group Special Forces US Army from Fort Campbell, KY along with The Concord Independent Battery which is headquartered in Concord, MA

Robin worked with LTG William P. Yarborough US Army (RET) to raise the awareness of the work of the US Army’s Special Forces – Besides writing the book The Green Berets, Robin was involved with providing his writing talent to improve the words of the Ballad of the Green Berets sung by SSG Barry Sadler and played a role in the movie, The Green Berets.

Rest in Peace…

Thank You Robin!
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Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 6:00 pm.

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"Take Care of Robin…"

Robin Moore  in Vietnam

Robin Moore
in Vietnam

 

 

 

Those words were among the final ones offered by the late LTG William P. Yarborough, USA Ret., before he passed away in December 2005… They were repeated again this 1st Day of March 2008 when Robert Lowell Moore, Jr.  (Robin Moore) was remembered and honored by family, friends and most of all his US Army Special Forces “family”.

Continue Reading…

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Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 11:21 pm.

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‘Green Berets’ Author Robin Lovell Moore, Jr. Dies at 82

‘Green Berets’ Author Moore Dies at 82
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Robin Moore, a nonfiction author best known for writing “The French Connection” and “The Green Berets,” has died after a long illness. He was 82.
Moore died Thursday night at a hospital in southwestern Kentucky.
Born Robert L. Moore Jr. on Oct. 31, 1925, in Massachusetts, he wrote several books under the name Robin Moore.
“The French Connection,” published in 1969, was about a New York drug bust. It inspired a movie that won five Academy Awards in 1971, including best picture.
“The Green Berets,” published in 1965, was made into a movie starring John Wayne in 1968. Moore also co-wrote “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” which became the signature song of the Special Forces unit.
Moore spent time in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) to write the book, and his connection with the Green Berets endured after the book was written. In 2005 he and his wife, Helen, moved to Hopkinsville, which borders Fort Campbell, the sprawling Army post that is headquarters to a Green Beret group.
Maj. Gen. Gary L. Harrell, deputy commander of the Army’s Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, called Moore a “devoted advocate” for the Special Forces and said his writings became textbooks for the Army’s unconventional forces.
“They were both educational and inspirational and introduced the world to the Green Berets.” Harrell said in a statement posted Friday on an Army Special Forces Web site. “He will be missed.”
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Posted 9 years, 2 months ago at 10:48 pm.

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Latest JFK Meets BG Wm P. Yarborough

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll recall that I’ve recently sent out a mailing of over 300 solicitations / invites for personalized notecards, Christmas cards and the JFK meets BG Wm P. Yarborough.

The phone rang this morning and a voice at the other end asked if I could produce a different version of the collage with the description of what appears on the back of the card appearing where it could be read….

This is my initial and latest take on it

Just an FYI, the response from the mailing has been “minimal” but encouraging — perhaps they’re also accounting for the beginning of the growing red dots on the map — (see the earlier post about Clustr Maps)

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Posted 9 years, 5 months ago at 11:30 pm.

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