Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Commander William Kelly Harrison (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 21-22, 1914. His citation reads:
For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. During this period, Comdr. Harrison brought his ship into the inner harbor during the nights of the 21st and 22d without the assistance of a pilot or navigational lights, and was in a position on the morning of the 22d to use his guns with telling effect at a critical time.
Sergeant John W. Hart (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His citation reads:
Was one of six volunteers who charged upon a log house near the Devil's Den, where a squad of the enemy's sharpshooters were sheltered, and compelled their surrender.
Private William E. Hart (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions during 1864 and 1865, at Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. His citation reads:
Gallant conduct and services as scout in connection with capture of the guerrilla Harry Gilmore, and other daring acts.
It’s finally here! We’ve been counting it down since last year and now Labor Day Weekend 2012 is finally here! I can’t wait to see everyone and tell old stories and new stories and find out how everyone is doing. This really is a great time of the year for me.
I saw something on Facebook that I wanted to talk about today, but I don’t have time. I think I’ll sit on it for a while and see how I feel after a couple of days. Maybe I should just let it go. That’s probably what I’ll do.
But for the record, I’m all for people having to wait for stuff. Why? Because I never have to wait (I’m kind of a big deal… just ask my bank… not because I have money, but because they yell my name when I walk in. Ok, they don’t yell my name, they yell “Norm!” like in Cheers because that was part of the deal for me to move my money from my old bank to my new bank). So if everyone was able to walk right in to a place and, let’s say, go get something to eat without a reservation… well, then I wouldn’t be special anymore. And I think we all know that is unacceptable.
Speaking of unacceptable… there are still some longtime donors missing from my list of donations for my Walk to End Alzheimer’s. If you gave in 2011, then please know that 2011 Greg thinks very highly of you… however, this is 2012 and I left 2011 Greg back in last year. I’m just sayin…
I’m thinking of fining my friends for various things (like missing a group event or not taking my calls or hanging up on me when I call) like sports teams do. I’ll then pool all of the fines together once a year and make a donation to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
I’m kidding, of course, but part of me thinks my friends are cool enough that they’d actually go along with the joke and pay the fines.
Let’s face it, these are the same people that let me rank them in a Top 25 Friends Poll (still my greatest idea ever).
Anyway, don’t forget to join my team by visiting the link below.
If you join my team, please ask other people to donate. If you would “just” like to give, go to:
The I’m just sayin… Know Your South Carolina Athlete
The SC Athlete you should know this week is Felix Anthony "Doc" Blanchard. Doc was born December 11, 1924 in McColl, South Carolina and is best known as the college football player who became the first ever junior to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and was the first ever football player to win the James E. Sullivan Award, all in 1945. He played football for the United States Military Academy at West Point. After football, he served in the United States Air Force from 1947 until 1971 when he retired with the rank of Colonel.
His father was a doctor and had played college football at Tulane University and Wake Forest University. The Blanchards moved from McColl, South Carolina to Dexter, Iowa in 1929. The Blanchards then moved to Bishopville, South Carolina two years later. Even though he was heavily recruited by Coach McKissick (who said he could get his father a job at the shipyard… just kidding… maybe… I mean, I could see that happening… but I can’t say for sure that it did… I’m just sayin’ I wouldn’t be shocked if it did), Blanchard (nicknamed "Little Doc" due to his father's occupation) attended high school at Saint Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He led the school's football team to an undefeated season during his senior year in 1941. Blanchard was recruited to play college football by Army, Fordham University and the University of Notre Dame, among others. Word is that Blanchard chose to play for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, in part because its coach, Jim Tatum, was his mother's cousin. Blanchard decided to enlist in the United States Army in 1943.
During his three years of playing football at West Point (he sat out the 1943 season), his team under coach Earl "Red" Blaik compiled an undefeated 27–0–1 record - the tie coming against Notre Dame (0-0).
An all-around athlete, Blanchard served as the placekicker and punter in addition to his primary roles as an offensive fullback and a linebacker on defense. He teamed with Glenn Davis on the 1944-45-46 teams (Davis won the Heisman in 1946, the year after Blanchard won it). They formed one of the most lethal rushing combinations in football history. In his three seasons at West Point Blanchard scored 38 touchdowns, gained 1,908 yards and earned the nickname "Mr. Inside." Teammate Davis earned the nickname "Mr. Outside" and in November 1945, they both shared the cover of Time magazine.
In 1984 at the awards ceremony marking the 50th Heisman Trophy presentation, Blanchard took the occasion to recall, in comparison to the big glitzy shows for the ceremony today, how he learned of his Heisman selection in 1945. He said, "I got a telegram. It said, 'You’ve been selected to win the Heisman Trophy. Please wire collect.'”
In addition to football, Blanchard was also a member of the Army track and field team, with a shot put championship and a 10-second 100 yard dash in 1945. In 1947, Blanchard graduated from West Point, 296th in order of merit among 310 graduates, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He coached Army’s freshman team in the 1950s, but he never played professional football, choosing a military career instead.
In 1959, while with the 77th Tactical Fighter Squadron and flying back to his base at RAF Wethersfield near London, an oil line in Major Blanchard's F-100 Super Sabre broke and a fire broke out. He could have parachuted to safety, but the plane might have crashed into a village. He instead stayed with the plane and made a perfect landing. The event garnered him an Air Force commendation for bravery.
In the Vietnam War, Blanchard flew 113 missions from Thailand, 84 of them over North Vietnam. He piloted a fighter-bomber during a one-year tour of duty that ended in January 1969. He retired from the Air Force in 1971 as a colonel. After retiring from the Air Force, he spent several more years as the commandant of cadets at the New Mexico Military Institute, a junior college that prepares students to enter the service academies.
Blanchard died of pneumonia on April 19, 2009 in Bulverde, Texas. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living Heisman Trophy winner.
I know this is more than I would usually write in this section… but I really had trouble deciding what info from Wikipedia to cut. By the way, big shout-out again to the fine people at Wikipedia for making my research so easy. Here’s the thing… Doc Blanchard is a legend and I didn’t realize he was from SC (until I started this section at the beginning of the year). So it was a no brainer to include him here.
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