Private Joe P. Martinez (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 26, 1943, on Attu, Aleutians. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy. Over a period of several days, repeated efforts to drive the enemy from a key defensive position high in the snow-covered precipitous mountains between East Arm Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor had failed. On 26 May 1943, troop dispositions were readjusted and a trial coordinated attack on this position by a reinforced battalion was launched. Initially successful, the attack hesitated. In the face of severe hostile machinegun, rifle, and mortar fire, Pvt. Martinez, an automatic rifleman, rose to his feet and resumed his advance. Occasionally he stopped to urge his comrades on. His example inspired others to follow. After a most difficult climb, Pvt. Martinez eliminated resistance from part of the enemy position by BAR fire and hand grenades, thus assisting the advance of other attacking elements. This success only partially completed the action. The main Holtz-Chichagof Pass rose about 150 feet higher, flanked by steep rocky ridges and reached by a snow-filled defile. Passage was barred by enemy fire from either flank and from tiers of snow trenches in front. Despite these obstacles, and knowing of their existence, Pvt. Martinez again led the troops on and up, personally silencing several trenches with BAR fire and ultimately reaching the pass itself. Here, just below the knifelike rim of the pass, Pvt. Martinez encountered a final enemy-occupied trench and as he was engaged in firing into it he was mortally wounded. The pass, however, was taken, and its capture was an important preliminary to the end of organized hostile resistance on the island.
Private First Class Gary W. Martini (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 21, 1967, at Binh Son, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 21 April 1967, during Operation UNION* elements of Company F, conducting offensive operations at Binh Son, encountered a firmly entrenched enemy force and immediately deployed to engage them. The marines in Pfc. Martini's platoon assaulted across an open rice paddy to within 20 meters of the enemy trench line where they were suddenly struck by hand grenades, intense small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire. The enemy onslaught killed 14 and wounded 18 marines, pinning the remainder of the platoon down behind a low paddy dike. In the face of imminent danger, Pfc. Martini immediately crawled over the dike to a forward open area within 15 meters of the enemy position where, continuously exposed to the hostile fire, he hurled hand grenades, killing several of the enemy. Crawling back through the intense fire, he rejoined his platoon which had moved to the relative safety of a trench line. From this position he observed several of his wounded comrades Lying helpless in the fire-swept paddy. Although he knew that 1 man had been killed attempting to assist the wounded, Pfc. Martini raced through the open area and dragged a comrade back to a friendly position. In spite of a serious wound received during this first daring rescue, he again braved the unrelenting fury of the enemy fire to aid another companion Lying wounded only 20 meters in front of the enemy trench line. As he reached the fallen marine, he received a mortal wound, but disregarding his own condition, he began to drag the marine toward his platoon's position. Observing men from his unit attempting to leave the security of their position to aid him, concerned only for their safety, he called to them to remain under cover, and through a final supreme effort, moved his injured comrade to where he could be pulled to safety, before he fell, succumbing to his wounds. Stouthearted and indomitable, Pfc. Martini unhesitatingly yielded his life to save 2 of his comrades and insure the safety of the remainder of his platoon. His outstanding courage, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty reflected the highest credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Sergeant Elihu H. Mason (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions during April 1862, in Georgia. His citation reads:
One of the 19 of 22 men (including 2 civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.
Michael’s Top 5 Books
5 - The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings Series) by J. R. R. Tolkien
4 - A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
3 - A Clash of Kings (Game of Thrones Series) by George R. R. Martin
2 - Stardust by Neil Gaiman
1 - When the Lion Feeds (Courtney Series) by Wilbur Smith
I will be honest and tell you I could feel/hear/see Michael age 20 years when I told him I needed a Top 5 list from him. Like me, he is a man of the books... so when I asked for a Top 5 he was able to respond pretty quickly. This was followed up with a number of emails begging for more than just 5 spots because he kept thinking of books he didn't want to leave off. It reminded me of how some college basketball analysts are after the brackets are set for the NCAA Tournament. They talk about what teams they would have as the four #1 seeds and by the time they are done they've listed 25 schools. I know that even as he looks at his list on here he will think of all of the books he wanted to included and then he will curse me for not letting him. And that's why I like him. I mean, that's not the only reason I like him... but it is one of the reasons.
Well this is it… The Top 5 books… The best of the best. I’ve had a fun time sharing all of these books with you. I hope that maybe you saw some that interested you. I didn’t do a personal Top 5 for this because who can limit their list to just 5 books? That’s crazy! Haha… just kidding, I didn’t do a personal Top 5 because this whole list was pretty much a personal list. Of course, like many of you this list changes with time and mood. For the most part, #1 on this list is always my #1 and #2 is always in my Top 5. Others come and go. Something tells me there is a good chance Ron’s new book will crack my Top 5 after I read it. Something tells me I already own a bunch of books that will make this list look a lot different once I get a chance to read them. Maybe in a few years I will update this list. That could be fun (for me, at least). Until then, I hope you enjoy looking at what books make the Top 5 of this countdown…
The I'm just sayin… Top 421 Books of All-Time Countdown
5 The Great Gatsby by: F. Scott Fitzgerald *Don't bother watching the movie (any version of it), because nothing can live up to the book. I probably read 75% of this book while in my ear doctor's office back when I was in high school. It's without a doubt an all-time classic.*
4 A Man Called Intrepid by: William Stevenson *This is the first book DG recommended to me. It was August 2001 and classes were just starting for the Fall semester of my last Senior year at Winthrop. This book is great… so great that I couldn't put it down. And by that, I mean I was reading it every single chance I could (even during my classes). This book is the reason why when DG tells me he thinks I'll like a book, I believe him. This is a great look at the "spy game" during WWII. I won't say you HAVE to read this book... but I will say you really SHOULD read this book. And by that, I pretty much mean you HAVE to read this book.*
3 To Kill A Mockingbird by: Harper Lee *I don't know what it is… but I love reading this book. It's a classic for a reason…*
2 Goodnight Moon by: Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd *Without exaggerating, I have read this book well over 1,000 times. I read it to the girls before bed when they were little and would let me read a book to them before bed. Now, I read it to Daniel just about every night before bed. If you have kids, you need this book. If you don't have kids... you still need this book. It's that good.*
1 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by: Mark Twain *The greatest of all of these great books is an American Classic. I read this in high school and l-o-v-e-d it. English teacher, God bless them, want to analyze books like this and break them down and talk about what each little thing means and that's nice and all and this is a fun book to do that with... but really, this is a GREAT book to just read. I mean, if you want to over think it, it's great for that, too. Just do me a favor and read the real book (I'm not 100% sure if that's the one I linked to or not). If you don't already own it (and I'd question why that is), make sure you flip through the book before buying it. The original has the "n-word" in it... a lot. Later, politically correct versions removed that and probably some other things as well. Here's the thing... I get not liking that word... that's fine. I don't go around using it... but you can't change a classic just because you don't like some parts of it. Either read the book or don't... but don't read some water downed version of it.*
With the weather getting warm, I thought I'd post some more snow pictures on here. One of these pictures is from a different "snow storm" than the others. See if you can tell which one.
|Before Hugo, you couldn't see that house from our back porch. A lot of stuff has now grown up (like a fence) so it doesn't look like this anymore.|
|Yes, Teresa Lynn DID hit me with the snow right after this picture was taken. But she says I'm the mean one...|