5.20.2016

Armed Forces Day


Armed Forces Day
21 May 2016

Armed Forces Day is an outreach program that began with the support of Harry Truman, and was announced by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on Aug 31, 1949.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) will be celebrating Armed Forces Day with an Army - Navy Rugby Game right after the national anthem is played at 11:55 am. Soldiers with JBLM have dominated the game with Army winning 16 - 1 games over the Navy.

The game is surely worth watching as players from the Army - Navy (as well as two Air Force Airmen) have went on to represent the United States at the Olympics.

Attendees can check out weapons displays and explosive ordnance disposal equipment. The 2nd Connecticut Regiment will display a Revolutionary War Militia Camp demonstrating camp life and flintlock musket firing.

Those seeking to travel back in time, and wish to view historically accurate battle reenactments with authentic vehicles, weapons and more are encouraged to come early for a good seat.

Participants in the 2016 JBLM Armed Forces Day include; Civil War Historians, Friends of Kilroy, Scottish Pipers, The Tuskegee Airmen, … and much more.

Entertainment with Blitz, the Seattle Seahawks mascot, as well as balloons, clowns, comedians and magicians active throughout the event !

Participating Entertainers include Henrik Bothe, Leapin’ Louie Cowboy Comedian, Louie Foxx, Recess Monkey and storytelling by Chuck Amos.

Sponsors include JBLM, MWRThe News Tribune, The Olympian, Tokers Church, Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire, Olympia Obstetrics & Gynecology and Surplus Ammo & Arms.

Armed Forces Day is truly a family event ! Don’t miss the 2016 Armed Forces Day celebration.

Visit JBLMarmedforcesday.com

Bookmark and Share

5.14.2016

Medal of Honor - Emil Fredricksen

Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen



FINDING EMIL
Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen
By Skip Dreps

Last month I received a message from the Veterans Cemetery in Seattle, Brenda Spicer (Office Manager) where I serve on the Advisory Board. They received a call from Ray Johnston who volunteers for the Medal of Honor Society. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

He thought he might have discovered the burial place of a Medal of Honor (MoH) recipient who was awarded in 1905 and buried in the Veterans Cemetery in 1950. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

I was stunned. I have been on the Advisory Committee for more than 25 years and we proudly recognized the seven MoH recipients buried in Evergreen-Washelli's Cemetery in Seattle. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

The possibility that there was one more, and we missed him, was staggering, and thrilling ! Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

His name is Emil Fredricksen. He died without next of kin in 1950 and was buried without a marker. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

He had paid for the plot and the only clue that he was even in the military was a note on faded receipt that he was in receipt of bonus for the MoH. He was buried Emil Fredrickson and had been forgotten until recently. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

After a search of Washington State records in Olympia and a few calls to old friends in the Records Center in St. Louis I had enough information to confirm he was the same US Navy Watertender that was one of the heroes on 5 July 1905, when the USS Bennington exploded in San Diego harbor killing 57 and severely wounding 60 other shipmates. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

It was the worst disaster in San Diego's history at the time and rivaled September 11, 2001 tragedy in its relative scope of population / casualties. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Emil was one of 11 sailors to be awarded our Nation's highest honor that day, and is the single event in military history where so many Medal of Honors awards were issued in peacetime. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Yet, here was only a single, un-detailed line in his award that described his heroism, and generic, as it was the same in all the others. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

There had to be a story of Emil and I was going to find it in San Diego's History Museum in Balboa Park. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Thanks to Jane Kenealy, a San Diego History Archivist, we were able to piece together the details of that day, and after microfilm reel after reel, and several old volumes of naval archives, we found Emil. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Emil was preparing the boilers to get under way when one exploded, and then another. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

There were near the bow and he was at the stern. Immediately steam poured through the ship and four members of his crew where burned into the open hatch that housed the ammunition. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Without hesitation he went below to secure the hatch. Then he rescued five other badly burned sailors and carried them off the ship to the dock before the ship lost its anchor and was towed to burn in the harbor. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

I found even more about Emil. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

His family came from Copenhagen, Denmark (courtesy of former Advisory Board Chairman Michael Eagan). My Father emigrated from Westphalia, Prussia. Emil was on the Ship's Rowing Team. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

He was a big man with a big smile. In finding him, I re- discovered myself. It was important for me to drive to San Diego and try and find a clue to remember him when the cemetery places a MoH headstone on his unmarked grave. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Maybe its because I will be buried in the Veterans Cemetery too, and felt like a neighborly duty; or maybe it was because the story of 11 MoH awardees in peacetime in a single incident was worth finding the tale and to keep the story alive. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Above all, I remembered it is important to all of us that I went on this mission to find Emil more than 100 years ago. I went to find more than just a story of heroism. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

I went because no matter how long it takes, veterans have a sacred duty to honor their country by remembering its heroes. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Soon the Cemetery will order a Department of Defense official Medal of Honor headstone and maybe we will remember the act of bravery above and beyond the call to duty with full military honors, and tell more than a generic line and "...remember the Bennington". Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

We are eternally grateful to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park who has enabled Two Medal of Honor recipients to be afforded full military honors because of their compassionate professionalism. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Finally, I can't help feeling that there are other friends guiding this journey. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Captain Jack Michaels seemed to whisper in my ear when he sees something important from his new home in Heaven and Colonel Phil Smart is sending Godwinks like sunbeams spotlighting what still needs to be done on my watch. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

I am thankful I still have good friends who guide me from an overhead platform that sees the battlefield of life and helps me choose my path in life. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

Finding Emil was as entertaining as a movie, but it was more like going on a holy pilgrimage. Finding Emil helped me rediscover Skip, and for that I am eternally grateful. Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

I hope to invite you all to the dedication of Emil's MoH stone with full military honors. I look forward to seeing everyone there. It will be an historical event !!! Medal of Honor Recipient Emil Fredricksen

See http://www.nwpva.org/history.html

Bookmark and Share

My Veteran Language Translation

Search Vets Helping Vets

Vets Helping Vets Advocacy Organization

www.MyVeteran.org (#MyVeteran) is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Organization (Verify) promoting the Words of Action - Vets Helping Vets

As an Advocacy Organization, Vets Helping Vets is run by David Apperson, Veterans Spokesman providing Administrative, Educational, Informative and Support Services for VA Employees, Active Military, Disabled Veterans and Their Families.

Copyright (c) 2009 - 2015 Vets Helping Vets * www.MYVETERAN.org

 
My Veteran