Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gene Fluckey.

This is coolbert:

From the recent obituary of the late Gene Fluckey:

"He later ran an orphanage with his second wife, Margaret, in Portugal for a number of years."

At the time of his death, Gene Fluckey was the most highly decorated living American serviceman. The Medal of Honor and four Navy Crosses to his credit!

Gene Fluckey was NOT someone merely content to rest on his laurels. Set a high example in peace as well as in war!

Another notable military man who "showed the way" in peace as well as war was the Englishman Leonard Cheshire VC. A man who distinguished himself in humanitarian endeavors even MORE SO than Gene Fluckey!

[VC. Victoria Cross. The British military award equivalent to the U.S. Medal of Honor.]

"He was the only one of the 32 VC airmen to win the medal for an extended period of sustained courage and outstanding effort, rather than a single act of valour."

A man in a class all by himself!!

Like Gene Fluckey, Leonard Cheshire in the aftermath of World War Two [WW2] also became a man involved with humanitarian work:

"After the war he became a charity worker, setting up:

* The Cheshire Foundation Homes for the Sick for disabled people (later known as The Leonard Cheshire Foundation)

* Leonard Cheshire Centre for Conflict Recovery

* Ryder-Cheshire Foundation

* Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers

* The Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief"

Both Gene Fluckey and Leonard Cheshire, as you might imagine, did distinguish themselves during WW2. The former as a submarine commander, the latter as commander of the RAF 617 "Dambuster" Squadron.

Consider this from the post-war career of Leonard Cheshire:

"Cheshire, a lapsed Christian but one whose faith had been stirring for a while, sat by his bed and picked up the Bible. Soon afterwards he converted to the Roman Catholic Church."

"Cheshire dedicated the rest of his life to supporting disabled people, combining this with lecturing on conflict resolution."

"In 1991 he was given a life peerage as Baron Cheshire"

[such an award, in addition to the VC, is exceedingly rare??!!]

"He lived through his final illness (motor neurone disease) with exemplary spiritual fortitude"

"Queen Elizabeth II paid personal tribute to him in her Christmas message to the Commonwealth in December 1992."

"In the 2002 BBC poll to find the 100 Greatest Britons, Cheshire attained position #31"

Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters once described Cheshire as 'the only true Christian I've ever met'."

[coming from a member of a rock group, that is a tribute of the highest possible order!!??]

Gene Fluckey and Leonard Cheshire, men we can admire for accomplishments both in war AND in peace!!



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