By Jesse Church
Hello my beloved veterans and people of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans’ news and upcoming events. Why do American flag patches on combat uniforms appear backward? The patch harkens back to when American soldiers carried flags that fluttered behind them as they charged headlong into battle, as they did in the Civil War, for example. To replicate those banners, the blue star field of the flag is embroidered on the patch’s upper right, instead of the left, and faces the front to give the effect of the flag flying in the breeze, as the wearer moves forward.
Pfc. Jorge Espinoza Martinez and his wife were driving near North Hollywood, Calif. last year when a tractor-trailer and two motorcycles collided. The motorcyclists were thrown airborne and fell on the highway while the truck drove away. Espinoza Martinez’s wife was driving, and she pulled over whilr he rushed out to check on the cyclists. She found a flashlight in their care, and Espinoza Martinez used it to wave cars around the crash site. He later said the only thing that kept them from getting hit was that flashlight. Los Angeles firefighters responded to the accident, and LA Fire Captain Doug Reyes recommended to Army leadership that the soldier receive an award. Espinoza Martinez earned the Soldier’s Medal, the Army’s highest non-combat valor award, on Sept. 28 for his actions that night, according to a Defense Department news release.
The Shenandoah was the first U.S. Navy rigid airship, and first flew in early September 1923. The two million cubic foot aircraft used helium gas, and was manufactured the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia. In late 1923 and early 1924, Shenandoah made several flights throughout the eastern U.S., giving the American people their first view of a U.S. owned rigid airship and providing training to its crew. On Sept. 3, 1925, during the first leg of a publicity flight to the Midwest, Shenandoah encountered violent weather over southern Ohio and broke in two. Shenandoah’s external control car and two engine cars fell free, killing the dirigible’s commanding officer and several other men. Some crew members were able to guide the bow section to the ground as a free balloon. Of 43 aboard, 29 survived. The airship was a total loss.
Everyone is invited to celebrate Veterans Day with the Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans at Ho`olehua Veterans Cemetery on Friday, Nov. 11 at 9:30 a.m. Light refreshments will be served. Please remember John Candello, the veterans advocate, will be on Molokai Nov. 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment; please call 553-3611. As we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day, let us not forget our military personnel stationed around the world, and especially those men and women that are in harm’s way. For all they do for us, we send them a big mahalo, and to our veterans for all they have done for us, and the people of Molokai for all the support you have always given them. I know in my heart that you will continue to support them always. You are all very special and dear to me, and I love you all. As we approach Veterans Day, and you’re out and about, and you see a veteran, please say hello, and thank you for your service, that will make their day; do this anytime, not just on Veterans Day. Call old Jesse and say hello, 553-3323.