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Veterans Day 2021

The history of a nation is its National Treasure that must be remembered, studied, respected, and, most importantly, taught to the children of each generation.  It is a unique saga that binds us to the heroes of the past, teaches us the moral basis for our laws and our governmental institutions, and instructs us how to approach the challenges of the future.  It allows us to celebrate our successes with pride and learn from our failures so we can avoid repeating previous mistakes.

As an example, the Old Testament, the Five Books of Moses, is the story of the Children of Israel’s journey from Genesis to the Promised Land.  It originated as an oral history, eventually written down by scribes on holy scrolls.  Each Sabbath, a portion was read aloud to the people so that their entire history was taught to all each year.  The recitation of that history bound the Children of Israel together so that they could survive centuries of oppression and the Holocaust to return to the Promised Land in our time.  

In our digital age, recording history is not the issue.  Anyone with a cellphone camera can be a reporter at the scene of the crime.  One would think that live videos could be accepted as fact, but the digital wizards have also given us the tools to edit and amend videos to bend the truth to fit anyone’s personal agenda.

We are at the mercy of a giant media empire that feeds us fabricated history filled with propaganda, half-truths, and lies to enforce the compliance and obedience of an apathetic public, ignorant of the facts and incapable of logical thought processes.

More than ever before, it is essential that we use any available platform to teach the true history of America, to speak about the greatness of our nation, and to honor those who have served and fought to protect our constitutional freedoms.

Bobby Brookshire

Lieutenant Colonel Bobby Brookshire, a decorated veteran of multiple combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, was one of our guest speakers during the Ninth Annual Benghazi-Twin Towers Memorial Ride this year.  His speech about the history of Veterans Day and Memorial Day National Holidays, printed below, reminds us of the enormous debt we owe to our nation’s veterans and serves as a lesson all must learn if we are to save the soul of our nation.   

Since 1776 more than 40 million American men and women have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, most of them during periods of conflict or war.  This number represents less than 1% of America’s total population alive during that same time period.  Since the birth of our Nation, no single generation has been spared the responsibility of defending the rights of the human spirit to breathe free from the aggression of enemies both abroad and domestic.  From Lexington and Concord to Fort McHenry, from the mountains of Europe and the sands of the Pacific Islands to the deserts of the Middle East, on land, on sea, and in the air, America’s finest have proudly worn the uniforms of United States Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and now most recently, the Space Force.

Since 1776 more than 40 million American men and women have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, most of them during periods of conflict or war.  This number represents less than 1% of America’s total population alive during that same time period.  Since the birth of our Nation, no single generation has been spared the responsibility of defending the rights of the human spirit to breathe free from the aggression of enemies both abroad and domestic.  From Lexington and Concord to Fort McHenry, from the mountains of Europe and the sands of the Pacific Islands to the deserts of the Middle East, on land, on sea, and in the air, America’s finest have proudly worn the uniforms of United States Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and now most recently, the Space Force.

Freedom is NOT Free.  More than 1.4 million of our country’s sons and daughters have given their lives to preserve the dream that was born on July 4th, 1776.   To each of them we owe a debt of gratitude for sacrificing all that they had, so that we may enjoy all that we have.

Defending freedom is not just a matter of facing a hostile enemy in time of war or conflict.  Every veteran, whether in combat duty or peace time service, is in some measure, a Hero.  Heroism is as much a matter of attitude as one of action.  Every man or woman who has proudly worn the uniform of one of our military services, by that very action, demonstrated that they were WILLING to pay the ULTIMATE Price to protect the Freedom of all citizens of this great country.  As a people, we owe our respect and admiration to all these DEFENDERS OF FREEDOM – OUR VETERANS.

The History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28th, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France.  Fighting had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, a temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied Nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month.  For that reason, November 11th, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November, 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations . . . ”

Armistice Train
Site of WWI Armistice Agreement

On May 13th, 1938, Congress made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday – a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.”

Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor Veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen in the Nation’s history and after American Forces had fought Communist aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.”  With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1st, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American Veterans of all wars.

The History of Memorial Day

The act of memorializing soldiers’ graves is as old as war itself.  Nevertheless, the observance that would become known in the United States as Memorial Day has its roots in the great shattering that was the American Civil War – our Nation’s costliest conflict.

One of the earliest documented instances of Memorial Day activities occurred in Savannah, GA in 1862.  The Savannah Republican newspaper noted that on July 21st, 1862, the first anniversary of the Battle of Manassas, a number of Savannah women decorated Confederate graves in Laurel Grove cemetery.  Among those decorated was the grave of Colonel Francis Bartow who was killed leading his brigade at Manassas and for whom Bartow County is named.

Throughout the war, similar observances were held, and the first national cemeteries were chosen.  These observances, like the one in Savannah, were local, without a single overarching national theme.  Local residents decorated the graves, reflected, and prayed that the war would end.

On May 5th, 1868, three years after the end of the American Civil War, Major General John Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (known as the GAR), an organization of Federal Veterans, established Decoration Day as a time for the Nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.  Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30th.

Decoration Day
Memorial Day 1922. Angelenos Do Homage to Silent Warriors; As Heads are Bowed in Memory of the Departed; Decorating graves; Patriotic Join in Memorial day Observances … Members of the women’s auxiliaries of Roosevelt and [sic] Glass campus, U. S. W. V., are shown decorating graves in Rosedale Cemetery.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, the former home of General Robert E. Lee.  Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, Mrs. Julia Grant, and other leading citizens of Washington presided over the ceremonies.  After speeches, members of the GAR decorated the graves of Soldiers with flowers and flags.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30th throughout the Nation.  State legislatures passed proclamations designating Memorial Day a national holiday, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.  Memorial Day was declared a National holiday by an act of Congress in 1971.  At that time, Congress designated Memorial Day as the last Monday in May.  

In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act was signed into law.  The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the Nation.  

These are the histories of our United States’ Veterans Day and Memorial Day Federal Holidays.   On August 7th, 2014, the Georgia National Guard and the Freedom Calls Memorial Foundation dedicated the Memorial Wall at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, GA.  This memorial wall honors the 42 Georgia National Guardsmen who have fallen in service since September 11th, 2001.

In 2012, 4 Americans died in a deliberate attack on our Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.   Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and 2 CIA operatives:  Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy Seals.   Three other elite military operatives fought back that night:  Mark ‘OZ” Geist, Kris “Tanto” Paranto, and John “Tig” Tiegen

And sadly, we add the names of the 13 service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice during America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan:

Marines

Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover
Sgt. Nicole L. Gee
Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo
Cpl. Hunter Lopez
Cpl. Daegan W. Page
Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez
Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza
Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schitz
Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum
Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola
Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui

Sailor

Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak

Army 

Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss

All who serve our country in this time of Global Terrorism are HEROES, no matter where they serve – Military, Diplomatic, or even locally, as First Responders.

No Man (or Woman) Truly Dies until they are Forgotten.

So today, let us not forget the Heroes of Benghazi, Afghanistan, and of all our Wars and Conflicts and NEVER FORGET their Ultimate Sacrifice on behalf of our Nation.

May God Bless and Comfort each and every family member of our fallen heroes, May God Bless our national leaders to make wise and moral decisions, and May God Continually Bless the United States of America!

~ LTC Bobby Brookshire

The Benghazi-Twin Towers Memorial Ride and Veteran’s Welcome Home Event is held on the last Saturday of September every year.  The Tenth Annual ride will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2022.  Additional information will be available on this and other sites prior to the event.

Resist Tyranny and Trust in Freedom!


LTC Bobby Brookshire - Bio

LTC Brookshire enlisted in the Navy in 1988. Upon completion of Stinger Gunner School, he served his first 2 Combat tours in the Persian Gulf as part of Joint Task Force Middle East (Bahrain). He Commissioned into the Transportation Corps, Regular Army, from North Georgia College in 1995. He began his AGR Career (Full Time Active Guard and Reserve) in the Georgia Army National Guard (GA ARNG) as an Officer Recruiter within the Recruiting and Retention Battalion. He has held numerous positions throughout his career to date: Maintenance Company Platoon Leader, Maintenance Company Control Officer, Company Executive Officer, Commander of the 277th Maintenance Company in Kuwait / Iraq, STARC HHD AO/XO, G4/DOL Chief of Maintenance Evaluations / Assistance and Inspections, 148th Brigade Support Battalion Executive Officer in Afghanistan, 78th Troop Command (HRF) Brigade S4 Logistics Support Officer, and Joint Forces Headquarters (JFHQ), Joint Staff, J33 Current Operations Officer which he retired from in 2017 with 30 years of Federal Military Service.

LTC Brookshire’s civilian education includes a Bachelor of Business Administration from North Georgia College and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Kennesaw State University. His military education includes Army Intermediate Level Education Course and Combined Arms Exercise Course from the United States Command and General Staff War College, Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pennsylvannia. He is a graduate of the Maintenance Management Officer Advanced Course, Transportation Corps Officer Basic Course, Army National Guard Officer Recruiting Course, and Stinger Gunner/Missile Training at Fort Bliss, Texas. He as been awarded the Logistics, Ordnance/Maintenance, and Transportation Corps Branch Qualifications, along with the Human Resource Management Functional Area designation.

His Awards/Badges include: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (6 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal ( 1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Reserve Achievement Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), National Defense Service Medal (1 Bronze Service Star), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ M Device, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Bars (4), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Georgia Meritorious Medal, Georgia Commendation Medal, Georgia Special Operations Ribbon, Georgia Counter Narcotics Ribbon, Georgia Army National Guard Recruiting Ribbon, and the Army National Guard Recruiting Badge.

LTC Brookshire (Retired) is the proud parent of two wonderful daughters: Mattie Grace (16) and Lily Ann (14). They reside in Union County, Georgia. LTC Brookshire remains very active within his Church, School, and Local Community. 

LTC Brookshire enlisted in the Navy in 1988.  Upon completion of Stinger Gunner School, he served his first 2 Combat tours in the Persian Gulf as part of Joint Task Force Middle East (Bahrain).  He Commissioned into the Transportation Corps, Regular Army, from North Georgia College in 1995.  He began his AGR Career (Full Time Active Guard and Reserve) in the Georgia Army National Guard (GA ARNG) as an Officer Recruiter within the Recruiting and Retention Battalion.  He has held numerous positions throughout his career to date: Maintenance Company Platoon Leader, Maintenance Company Control Officer, Company Executive Officer, Commander of the 277th Maintenance Company in Kuwait / Iraq, STARC HHD AO/XO, G4/DOL Chief of Maintenance Evaluations / Assistance and Inspections, 148th Brigade Support Battalion Executive Officer in Afghanistan, 78th Troop Command (HRF) Brigade S4 Logistics Support Officer, and Joint Forces Headquarters (JFHQ), Joint Staff, J33 Current Operations Officer which he retired from in 2017 with 30 years of Federal Military Service.

LTC Brookshire’s civilian education includes a Bachelor of Business Administration from North Georgia College and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Kennesaw State University.  His military education includes Army Intermediate Level Education Course and Combined Arms Exercise Course from the United States Command and General Staff War College, Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  He is a graduate of the Maintenance Management Officer Advanced Course, Transportation Corps Officer Basic Course, Army National Guard Officer Recruiting Course, and Stinger Gunner/Missile Training at Fort Bliss, Texas.  He has been awarded the Logistics, Ordnance/Maintenance, and Transportation Corps Branch Qualifications, along with the Human Resource Management Functional Area designation.

His Awards/Badges include Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (6 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal ( 1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Reserve Achievement Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), National Defense Service Medal (1 Bronze Service Star), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ M Device, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Bars (4), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Georgia Meritorious Medal, Georgia Commendation Medal, Georgia Special Operations Ribbon, Georgia Counter Narcotics Ribbon, Georgia Army National Guard Recruiting Ribbon, and the Army National Guard Recruiting Badge. 

LTC Brookshire (Retired) is the proud parent of two wonderful daughters:  Mattie Grace (16) and Lily Ann (14).  They reside in Union County, Georgia.  LTC Brookshire remains very active within his Church, School, and Local Community.

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