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Old 08-16-2010, 03:00 PM
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Default An old guy and a bucket of shrimp!

Subject: Old guy & a bucket of shrimp


It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.

Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Everybody's gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you. Thank you.'

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn't leave.

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like 'a funny old duck,' as my dad used to say. Or, 'a guy that's a sandwich shy of a picnic,' as my kids might say. To onlookers, he's just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant ... maybe even a lot of nonsense.

Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters.

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida. That's too bad. They'd do well to know him better.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker . He was a famous hero back in World War II. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were.

They needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. Al l he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft.

Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal -- a very slight meal for eight men -- of it. Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait......and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea...).

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first lifesaving seagull. And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

Reference: (Max Lucado, In The Eye of the Storm, pp..221, 225-226)

PS: Eddie started Eastern Airlines.

---END---

God bless Eddie and ALL the other WWII vets!

Gimp
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"We have shared the incommunicable experience of war..........We have felt - we still feel - the passion of life to its top.........In our youth our hearts were touched with fire"

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:40 PM
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Edward Vernon Rickenbacker


Medal of Honor citation

Rickenbacker, Colonel, specialist reserve, then first lieutenant, 94th Aero Squadron, Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy near Billy, France, September 25, 1918. While on a voluntary patrol over the lines Lieutenant. Rickenbacker attacked seven enemy planes (five type Fokker protecting two type Halberstadt photographic planes). Disregarding the odds against him he dived on them and shot down one of the Fokkers out of control. He then attacked one of the Halberstadts and sent it down also.

Medal of Honor citation, awarded November 6, 1930

First Distinguished Service Cross citation
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Montsec, France, April 29, 1918. Captain Rickenbacker attacked an enemy Albatross monoplane, and after a vigorous fight in which he followed his foe into German territory, he succeeded in shooting it down near Vigneulles-les-Hatton Chatel. General Orders No. 32, W.D., 1919

Second Distinguished Service Cross citation
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, Captain (Air Service), U.S . for extraordinary heroism in action over Richecourt, France, on May 17, 1918. Captain Rickenbacker attacked three Albatross enemy planes, shooting one down in the vicinity of Richecourt, France, and forcing the others to retreat over their own lines. General Orders No. 32, W.D., 1919

Third Distinguished Service Cross citation
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action over St. Mihiel, France, on May 22, 1918. Captain Rickenbacker attacked three Albatross monoplanes 4,000 meters over St. Mihiel, France. He drove them back into German territory, separated one from the group, and shot it down near Flirey. General Orders No. 32, W.D., 1919

Fourth Distinguished Service Cross citation
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action over Boise Rate, France, on May 28, 1918. Captain Rickenbacker sighted a group of two battle planes and four monoplanes, German planes, which he at once attacked vigorously, shooting down one and dispersing the others. General Orders No. 32, W.D., 1919

Fifth Distinguished Service Cross citation
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action on May 30, 1918, 4,000 meters over Jaulny, France. Captain Rickenbacker attacked a group of five enemy planes. After a violent battle, he shot down one plane and drove the others away.

General Orders No. 32, W.D., 1919

Sixth Distinguished Service Cross citation
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in the region of Villecy, France, September 14, 1918. Captain Rickenbacker attacked four Fokker enemy planes at an altitude of 3,000 meters. After a sharp and hot action, he succeeded in shooting one down in flames and dispersing the other three. General Orders No. 32, W.D., 1919

Seventh Distinguished Service Cross citation
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in the region of Bois-de-Wavrille, France, September 15, 1918. Captain Rickenbacker encountered six enemy planes, who were in the act of attacking four Spads, which were below them. Undeterred by their superior numbers, he unhesitatingly attacked them and succeeded in shooting one down in flames and completely breaking the formation of the others. General Orders No. 32, W.D., 1919






Eddie Rickenbacker's medals on display at the San Diego Aerospace Museum.










Eddie Rickenbacker with his Medal of Honor

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Old 08-17-2010, 05:22 AM
DMZ-LT DMZ-LT is offline
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Thank you Eddie. RIP Sir
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:27 PM
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Default Gimpy - everything with time

Yep - your right today if we look around we don't see the hero's of yesterday. They are like the shadows of the past. As we are today to those who now serve. When I was in the VA for a check up - some of us were talking about this very subject and I said you know - when we were in our prime we gave it to our country and today we are here worn out and older maybe abit wiser but once more we are moving forward in time quickly and I don't know where it all went so fast.

Hero's! Yes there were many and more will come in this generation and the next. We always remember them in their prime years and maybe that's best. Today I'm not so prime and not so healthy but yet I remember those days fairly well - I just don't know where all the time went?

Ever notice when your young and in the best of health - you didn't think of time so much as you do now. It's like a blurr - like an old movie now. Eddie and his boys back then were much like these kids today.

That's just my thoughts from an old sea dog. I miss the water - the endless water in the dark of night - it used to make me feel really small. I miss the action and the endless days of never knowing what was going to happen next. I miss the rush we got every now and then. I miss the guys (we didn't have any women in my Navy). I miss the liberty and the days off in town just living life like there was no tomorrow.

The long dog days of summer are here. Sure I work and pay the bills but its so routine or like being in a rutt - something I've done for a long time now. I'm just part of the masses jumping through each day only to have it repeat itself the following day. I hate routine life it sucks big time.

Eddie's living his past life of which only he knows so well. We too live ours. But living in the past - and you live in a world of your own. It's nice to visit the past but moving forward is really the way to go. After all you stop getting old - YOUR DEAD!
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"

Last edited by Boats; 08-17-2010 at 02:32 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:04 PM
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BLUEHAWK BLUEHAWK is offline
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Blessings to Eddie, indeed.
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