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November 8-15, 2012

WWII

Battle Deaths: 291,557 Wounded: 671,846 Medals of Honor: 433 “World War II (19391945) killed more people, destroyed more property, disrupted more lives, and probably had more far reaching effects than any other war in history.” (World Book Encyclopedia) WWII Veterans today are all over 70 years old and subject to all the diseases of aging: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, dementias of the Alzheimer’s type, etc. However, in the early 1940’s, they were among the nation’s fittest and participated in modern warfare that coincided with major advances in modern medicine. The U.S. entered the war in December 1941 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Before it was over, Americans had fought on the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa and in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. At various times, their service was carried out under severe winter conditions, in the harshest of deserts, and in the hottest, most humid tropical climes. Those who joined up or were drafted were in the military for the duration, however long that might be. The war in Europe ended on May 8, 1945, when the Germans surrendered at Reims in France. The war continued in the Pacific for three more months. However, following the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6 and a larger bomb on Nagasaki two days later, the Japanese surrendered aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo har-

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

War Summaries

bor on September 2, 1945. World War II Veterans also were the first to serve in the nuclear age and American POWs were employed in the clean-up of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, thus becoming the first “atomic vets.” Over 350,000 women served with a peak strength of 271,000 representing 2% of the personnel in uniform, compared to the approximately 15% now in the military. Women, mostly nurses, were taken prisoners of war by the Japanese when Bataan and Corregidor fell and were interned in the Philippines for four years. Following the war, the alliance against Hitler swiftly collapsed after the allies failed to agree on peace terms, thus initiating the partition of Germany that started the Cold War, which was to last until 1991.

Korean War

June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953 Total who served in all Armed Forces: 5,720,000 Battle Deaths: 33,741 Other Deaths (In Theatre): 2,833 Wounded: 103,284 Medals of Honor: 131 The Korean War was fought from 1950 until 1953 and pitted the United States, South Korea and their UN allies against North Korea and the Chinese Communists. The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when North Korea, under a communist government, invaded South Korea. North Korea hoped to unite the peninsula under a single Communist government. The newly formed United

Many Thanks To Our Veterans! ten forgotten, it is important that the Veterans who fought in this conflict are not also forgotten. The Cold War generally refers to the period of tension between the U.S., its allies and the Soviet bloc

Nations condemned the actions of North Korea and ordered troops to withdraw. The United States entered the conflict when the UN called on member states to aid South Korea. With the help of U.S. troops, South Korea pushed North Korean troops all the way to the Yalu River. This counter invasion gained the attention of the Communist Chinese government who quickly came to the aid of North Korea. While Soviet Union forces never directly entered the conflict, the government supplied war materials to both the Chinese and South Korean governments. After China entered the conflict, South Korean and U.S. forces were pushed back to the 38th parallel which became the center of the fighting for the remainder of the war. Heavy fighting continued and casualties mounted, the United States lost 36,574 soldiers and another 103,284 soldiers were injured. Finally an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953 which once again designated the 38th parallel as the border between the two Koreas. The Korean War is often called the “Forgotten War” because it was largely overshadowed by WWII and Vietnam. The importance of this war in the history of the United States and the world is vastly understated; this conflict marked the first clear battle of the Cold War. Tensions were already high between the Communist East and the Democratic West, and the Korean War certainly exacerbated the mistrust between the two sides. While this war is of-

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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

from the end of World War II in 1945 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. A major fear of the Cold War was nuclear war with associated health concerns about exposure to ionizing radiation. While the United States and the USSR were allies during WWII, the alliance broke up after the Axis Powers were defeated. The main disagreement concerned the differences in opinion regarding how the post-war world ought to look. The United States and other democratic Western nations believed that previously occupied countries ought to be given the opportunity to hold free elections to form their new governments. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, wanted to install communism in its zones of occupation. The differences in political ideology created mutual mistrust between the two superpowers. The Soviet Union resented the intrusion of the United States into European affairs, and the United States felt threatened by the expansionary policy of Communist Soviet Union. The Cold War never resulted in direct military conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union, but was marked by economic competition, a nuclear arms race, military tension, and proxy wars.

Vietnam

August 4, 1964 - January 27, 1973 Total who served in all Armed Forces: 8,744,000 Deployed to Southeast Asia: 3,403,000 Battle Deaths: 47,424 Other Deaths (In The-

November 8 - 15, 2013

War Summaries...

atre): 10,785 Wounded: 153,303 Medals of Honor: 238 The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular war in which Americans ever fought. The first combat troops arrived in 1965 and fought the war until the cease-fire of January 1973. For many of the American Veterans of the war, the wounds of Vietnam will never heal and the financial cost to the United States for that war was over $150 billion dollars. America’s involvement in Vietnam actually lasted from 1957 until 1975. In 1954, the French were defeated and the former colony of French Indochina was divided into Communist North Vietnam and (non-Communist) South Vietnam. In 1957, the Vietcong began a rebellion against the South Vietnam government of President Diem, whom the US supported with equipment and advisors. In 1963, the government was overthrown, Diem was killed, and a new government was formed. In August of 1964, Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution giving the President the power to take “all necessary measures” to “prevent further (Communist) aggression.” Between 1965 and 1969, US troop strength rose from 60,000 to over 543,000 in country. Despite the US’s superior firepower against the guerilla forces of the enemy, the two sides fought to a highly destructive draw. In January 1968, the Tet Offensive began a new phase with savage attacks on the cities of South Vietnam. In May of 1968, the

US began peace negotiations, which eventually broke down. However, a change in US policy led to the greater emphasis on training and supplying South Vietnamese troops and US withdrawal began in July 1968. TV coverage brought the war directly to America’s living rooms in a way never before experienced. Fighting again intensified in 1972, leading to heavy losses on both sides, but this also led to renewed peace efforts. A cease-fire was signed in January 1973 providing for the withdrawal of all troops and return of all prisoners within 60 days. The last US ground troops left Vietnam in March 1973, after which the peace talks once again broke down. Fighting resumed and South Vietnam eventually surrendered to the forces of North Vietnam in April 1975. In the US, because of increased casualties and higher taxes to support the Vietnam War, great public dissatisfaction and an immense anti-war movement was also a part of this war. Antiwar demonstrations intensified during the war as did concern over war crimes and the environmental impact of Agent Orange. Approximately 2,700,000 American men and women served in Vietnam and it was the first war in which the US failed to meet its objectives. It was also the first time America failed to welcome its Veterans back as heroes. Many Veterans were attacked personally by their fellow countrymen, who opposed the war. This situation magnified the

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stress associated with their combat experiences. Also contributing to the stress many Veterans experienced was the lack of unit cohesiveness as many were sent to Vietnam as individuals and left when their year’s tour was completed. They often traveled to and from Vietnam by air, being an active combatant one day and a Veteran returning to a hostile civilian environment the next. They reported being spat upon as they disembarked at the airport and being uncomfortable wearing their uniform in public. Following the war,

Veterans experienced many readjustment problems and adverse health effects, many of the latter attributed to Agent Orange.

Gulf War

The 1991 Gulf War was considered a brief and successful military operation with few injuries and deaths of U.S. troops. The war began in August 1990, and the last U.S. ground troops returned home by June 1991. On August 2, 1990 Iraqi forces, led by Saddam Hussein, invaded and annexed Kuwait. In 1988, Iraq signed a ceasefire with Iran

which ended an 8 year war between the warring countries. Iraq was initially angry with Kuwait because of its refusal to forgive Iraq’s war debt. Tensions increased when Iraq accused Kuwait of providing excess oil to the market and thereby driving down the price of oil. Iraq was in the midst of recovering from their conflict with Iran, and they needed oil prices to be high to gain enough revenue to rebuild. More conflict over oil occurred when Iraq claimed that Kuwait was stealing

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November 8-15, 2012

Iraqi oil by tilting its drill bits into Iraqi oil fields. Saddam Hussein also argued that his invasion and annexation of Kuwait was justified because Kuwait was a territory of Iraq, not an independent state. After Iraq invaded Kuwait, the UN called for immediate Iraqi troop withdrawal, and imposed economic sanction in the form of a naval blockade until the demand was met. The UN told Iraq to peacefully withdraw troops by January 15, 1991, or face UN coalition force. Saddam Hussein did not comply and Operation Desert Storm began on January 17, 1991. Operation Desert Storm began with aerial attacks aimed at disabling Iraq’s air force and anti-aircraft weaponry. The U.S. led UN coalition had a great technological advantage in the sky and quickly met their objective. The U.S. led UN coalition continued to dominate when on February 23, 1991, ground troops went into Kuwait and quickly overtook Iraqi forces, which burned Kuwait’s oil fields as they retreated. Kuwait was liberated and a ceasefire was declared on February 28, 1991.

War Summaries...

Afghanistan and Iraq War

Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) / Iraq: Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States responded by deploying military personnel in Southwest Asia. By January 2002, more than 30,000 active duty were involved and additional reserve personnel continue to be called to duty. As a result of Iraq’s refusal to comply with United Nations’ mandates, U.S. began deploying troops to the Gulf region in late 2002. Coalition forces subsequently won a decisive victory against the forces under the regime of Saddam Hussein, during April 2003, in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Coalition forces remain in Iraq today as part of ongoing peacekeeping/ nation-building activities. Currently, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), U.S. troops are on the ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and neighboring countries of the former Soviet Union.

Afghanistan - Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

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ban did not comply with the demands of the ultimatum and on October 7, 2001Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) was launched. The stated goals of OEF became ousting the Taliban regime, which was harboring Al-Qaeda, capturing and prosecuting Osama Bin Laden and other leaders of Al-Qaeda, and permanently destroying Al-Qaeda’s organizational capacities. The first objective, removing the Taliban from governmental power, was easily accomplished by a joint effort of US and British forces. Also, several top leaders of Al-Qaeda have been found

On September 11, 2001 the United States of America was the victim of a series of suicide bombings. Nineteen members of a terrorist organization boarded commercial passenger airplanes, hijacked them, and subsequently crashed them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon. Following the attacks, it was discovered that Al-Qaeda, an extremist Islamic militant group, was responsible for these acts of violence. Osama Bin Laden, the terrorist group’s leader, was rumored to be hiding in Afghanistan, where he trained and armed men to perform terrorist acts. While 15 of the 19 people accused of the hijackings were from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan was chosen as a battle ground because it housed many terrorist training grounds and was a meeting place for terrorists around the world. The United States government immediately responded to these acts of terrorism by giving Afghanistan an ultimatum. The Tali-

and either prosecuted or killed. The remaining goals have proved much more difficult because the nature of the warfare has turned to counterinsurgency. Since the Taliban was eradicated, a power vacuum has been created which is being filled by US forces and the International Assistance Security Force (ISAF). US officials fear that if they leave this power vacuum will be filled with counterinsurgents and Afghanistan will once again become a safe haven for terrorists. The United States remains in Afghanistan, and is likely to remain until a strong central

government, capable of enforcing stability, can be established.

Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Iraq War

The United States, with the aid of Great Britain, launched Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 20, 2003. Prior to the conflict there was speculation as to whether or not Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In 2002, The United Nations Security Council, demanded full access from the Iraqi government to ensure that

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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

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War Summaries... Continued from Pages 2, 3 and 4

they possessed no weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations found no verification of weapons of mass destruction when they searched Iraq, but evidence was said to be inconclusive. After OIF began, the search for WMD continued, but no such weapons were ever found. Another justification for Operation Iraqi Freedom was that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al-Qaeda and coordinated the September 11th terrorist attacks with the organization. No evidence of a connection was ever found between Hussein and Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda. The last justification for the attack was that the people of Iraq were being oppressed by Hussein, and The Unit-

ed State’s goal was to free these civilians. Due to the controversial nature of the invasion justification, the Iraq war was protested against in many European countries. Despite the controversy surrounding the entrance into the war, the initial attack was very successful. With the help superior weapons, technology, and leadership the U.S. military, with the help of their British allies, quickly and soundly defeated the Iraqi military. Saddam Hussein and his brothers went into hiding and Hussein was later found, tried, and executed. Once the official Iraqi military was defeated, insurgents began fighting U.S. troops who they felt were wrongfully occupying their

country. Old religious tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims were ignited and violence continued. Iraq is still unstable and The United States remains in the country for purposes of security and nation building. U.S. officials want to make sure that the new Iraqi government will be capable of retaining stability and that the insurgents will not come into power when troops leave. Recently there has been improvement in the situation; the Iraqi government is taking increasingly more responsibility for security measures and daily governance. In 2009 U.S. President Barack Obama laid out a withdrawal plan, which would tentatively have U.S. forces out of the country by the end of 2011.

Former Prisoners of War (POWs)

More than one-half million Americans have been captured and interned as Prisoners of War since the American Revolution. The largest number of POWs occurred during the Civil War when an estimated 220,000 Confederate soldiers were captured by the North and nearly 127,000 Union soldiers, were interned by the South. Since World War I, over 142,000 Americans - including 85 women - have been captured and interned as POWs. Not included in this figure are nearly 93,000 Americans who were lost or never recovered. Nearly 30% of America’s POWs since World War I are still living (29,350). More than

90% of our living POWs were captured and interned during World War II. In 1980, Congress mandated VA to conduct a study of former POWs to assess their health needs, and make recommendations for improvement of benefits and services. As a result, for

more than 20 years, eligibility for health care and benefits has been liberalized, and an Advisory Committee on Former POWs has been established to advise the Secretary about the ongoing needs of POWs and their survivors.

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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

Veterans Day: A Time to Pause and Give Thanks By Guest Writer Wishing Not To Be Named Anybody who lived through the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations of the 1960s and early 1970s recalls, with disgust, that many U.S. servicemen returning from the combat zone in Southeast Asia were spat on, insulted and sometimes even physically assaulted. Even worse were the agonies visited on them during their re-entry into civilian society by a government bureaucracy that too often couldn’t be bothered, in President Abraham Lin-

coln’s words, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” During that era of upheaval, the treatment of America’s Vietnam veterans was beyond sad. But that is the past. Kirt Schlichter, a veteran of Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom, marvels at how different things are today: “All of us privileged to wear the uniform have felt it. You get hugs from grandmotherly types,” he said. “You walk into stores and people shake your

Strong

hand, saying ‘Thank you for your service.’ Little kids salute. You go to a restaurant and the waiter tells you someone has already taken care of the check. I recently stopped at a Starbucks and an older lady tried to buy my Frappuccino.” It’s not just the horrors of 9/11 and its slaughter of 3,000 innocent Americans that account for this sea change in how we have responded to our veterans in recent years. It began with the sight of rescued medical students from the island of Grenada kissing the ground when they returned

to the States, gathered immense momentum from the quiet majesty of President Ronald Reagan’s “Boys of Pointe du Hoc” D-Day tribute, and continued when jubilant crowds assembled along Pennsylvania Avenue to welcome the troops home from Desert Storm. Something Reagan said in his 1984 address in Normandy points to the heart of why it is so very right and proper that Americans celebrate Veterans Day, that we laud those who come home from places such as Anzio and Fallujah, and that we give our deepest thanks to

By Zach Turquand 8th Grade/Parras Middle School Leaving my family and friends Shipped off to somewhere new Where I feel like an alien It is hard to leave my life behind My family behind It is for a good cause though As long as I return That’s my fear leaving my family behind forever So I need to be strong, Army strong Strong as an ox Fight for my life and so many others When I get into that fight, I know what to do I know who I need to save My mission complete and I am going home I am strong after what I have seen What I’ve done I am so glad to get back to my family Continue my life just as it began I am so proud of my accomplishments I am Army strong When I walked into the airport There were more people than stars in the sky They cheered for me, thanked me It was louder than a jet taking off I was so excited I felt like I just won a billion dollars I know what I did was right What I did was Army strong

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those who did not. Speaking of the men who carried out the D-Day invasion, Reagan said: “They were what Gen. Marshall called our secret weapon, the best damn kids in the world. Where do we find them, where do we find such men? The answer came almost as quickly as I’d asked the question. Where we’ve always found them in this country. On the farms, in the shops, the stores and the offices. They just are the products of the freest society the world has ever known.” And so they were. They

still are. Nobody prays more earnestly for peace than the soldier who goes to war, because nobody knows better the sacrifices that may be required. Yet knowing that, they willingly put on the uniform of the United States military and go forth to defend and protect the rest of us and our freedom here at home. That is what the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Greatest Generation did, just as it is with our defenders today. There simply is no greater sacrifice, and every American is forever in their debt.


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

In His Own Words - Wilbur Dean Gott’s Interview After Returning Home as a Prisoner of War During World War II Typed by Judy Heidel - A Statement From Her Grandfather After World War 2 In his own words Wilbur Dean Gott’s interview after returning home as a Prisoner of War during WWII. I was taken prisoner on a Wednesday morning, January 31, 1945, at 7:30 am, near Scheoberg, France in the Voages Mountains. We waited (or were held) in a Jerry C.P. Until 7:00 o’clock at night, then were marched 15 miles and arrived there at 3:00 a.m. Thursday morning, where we were searched and questioned until 6:00 a.m. then we had bread and jam. First food since being captured. At 7:00 am, we continued our march for about 20 miles, arriving at the town of Rufach where we stayed in a hospital from February 2nd to the 6th. There we ate very well, according to the food given other German prisoners. Then we marched for two days and two nights over the rest of the Voages Mountains. We arrived at the town of Walkirch or Waldkirch February 8th. There we had very poor food. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday we had tea for breakfast, soup for supper and dinner. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday we had tea for breakfast and supper and soup for dinner. Every day we received a sixth of a loaf of bread for the day. The soup was nothing but water. We also had to dig a five-mile cable line over the Black Forest Mountains, the ditch being 14” wide and 39” deep. We stayed

until the 4th of March, and then we marched for two days, arriving at Villegren March 6th. While on the march we received a fourth of a loaf of bread and a small piece of cheese each day. We got to Villegren at 3:00, and then marched for 6:00 the 6th until 9:00 the 7th in the evening, arriving at Ludwigsburg. There the soup was a little better, but the rations were the same as at Waldkirch, except that we got 1/7 of a loaf of bread. We stayed there until April 2nd. Then we started off for an unknown destination. Two days later we arrived at a town called Lorch. We played sick, that is, 30 of us out of 1173 there. We stayed two days in a schoolhouse waiting for transportation to a hospital, but we never did get it. April 6th we marched 5 miles to the city of Gnumd and were suppose to go to a hospital, but we didn’t go, but stayed at a stalag in Gnumd. The food there was much better. We had Greek and Dutch slave labor and civilians helping us out. On the 14th at 3:30 in the morning they started moving us by train to a PAR camp, but got to a town called Goppingen and couldn’t go any farther, so we stayed there until night and then went back to Gnumd. The 19th the Jerries tried to march us again as our troops were coming, but we knew it and we refused to walk. They left us alone and at 11:15 of the 20th we were liberated by

our troops. What a happy bunch of boys! There were French, English, Dutch, Indians, Russians, Algiers, Chinese and American, all together about 350 in all. We were supposed to be sick, but you would have never guessed it. After we were freed we went down town and you should have seen the drunks. The civilians on their own and children trying to get in a warehouse to get food. That afternoon they took us to the town of Lorch. There we stayed in a home. April 23rd we wrote our first letters. A buddy and I worked together, and if either of us got something to eat we would split it with the other. Cigarettes almost passed out of the picture, and what we did get we traded for food. April 25th we went to the Post Office, as they wanted us to tell them about our experiences. They sent out messages and also paid for it and us $6.00 a piece. Then we saw our first picture show which was “Seven Days Ashore”. The 26th left Wosbach the 28th for Wanheim. There we got a shower for the first time since January 4th and clean clothes. There we had German prisoners cleaning our barracks and on KP. From Manheim to LeHavre we went by C-47 plane on the 6th of May, on a Tuesday, and then we went to Dieppe on the same day. We received word that the war was officially over. The camp we arrived at is called Camp Ramp, Ramp

stands for Recovered Allied Military Personnel. On May 16 we left Camp Ramp for the boat at LeNavpe, and boarded the ship George Leonard, leaving the English Channel the 17th at Southhampton. The first 7 days of the trip were very rough and quite a few were sick. Then things were all right for a while, then one night the fog was heavy and one ship was hit by an ice berg and 27 others were damaged, 28 in all. The last 2 days were very rough, and we docked in Boston the 2nd of June. From there we went by train to St Louis, Missouri and HOME.

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November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

Everything You Need to Know: The War Nobody Cared About The Kosovo War was an armed conflict in Kosovo that lasted from 28 February 1998 until 11 June 1999. It was fought by the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which controlled Kosovo before the war, and the Kosovo Albanian rebel group known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) with air support from NATO. The KLA, formed in 1991, initiated its first campaign in 1995 when it launched attacks targeting Serbian law enforcement in Kosovo, and in June 1996 the group claimed responsibility for acts of sabotage targeting Kosovo police stations. In 1997, the organization acquired a large amount of arms through weapons smuggling from Albania, following a rebellion which saw large numbers of weapons looted from the country’s police and army posts. It was regarded by the United States, the United Kingdom and France as a terrorist group until 1998, when it was de-listed without explanation. In 1998, KLA attacks targeting Yugoslav authorities in Kosovo resulted in an increased presence of Serb paramilitaries and regular forces who subsequently began pursuing a campaign of retribution targeting KLA sympathizers and political opponents in a drive which left 1,500 to 2,000 combatants and civilians dead and led to the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees. After attempts at a diplomatic solution failed, NATO intervened billing the campaign in Kosovo as a “humanitarian war”, while Yugoslav forces continued to commit atrocities during the two month-long aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia. Despite initial western claims that hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians were killed subsequent investigations have recovered the remains of less than three thousand victims, and in 2001 a United Nations court found that although there had been a “a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arsons and severe maltreatments”, Serb troops had not committed genocide in the region, because the intent was to remove rather than eradicate the Albanian population.[74] The war ended in the Kumanovo Treaty, with Yugoslav forces agreeing to withdraw from Kosovo to make way for an international presence. The Kosovo Liberation Army disbanded soon after this, with some of its members going on to fight for the UÇPMB in the Preševo Valleyand others joining the National Liberation Army (NLA) and Albanian National Army (ANA) during the armed

ethnic conflict in Macedonia, while others went on to form the Kosovo Police. The conflict was at the centre of news headlines for months, and gained major coverage and attention from the international community and media. The NATO bombing and surrounding events have remained controversial. Tensions between the Serbian and Albanian communities in Kosovo simmered throughout the 20th century and occasionally erupted into major violence, particularly during the First Balkan War, World War I, and World War II. The Socialist government of Josip Broz Tito systematically repressed all nationalist manifestations throughout Yugoslavia, seeking to ensure that no republic or nationality gained dominance over the others. In particular, the power of Serbia—the largest and most populous republic—was diluted by the establishment of autonomous governments in the province ofVojvodina in the north of Serbia and Kosovo in the south. Kosovo’s borders did not precisely match the areas of ethnic Albanian settlement in Yugoslavia (significant numbers of Albanians were left in the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Central Serbia. Kosovo’s formal autonomy, established under the 1945 Yugoslav constitution, initially meant relatively little in practice. Tito’s secret police cracked down hard on nationalists. In 1956, a number of Albanians were put on trial in Kosovo on charges of espionage and subversion. The threat of separatism was in fact minimal, as the few underground groups aiming for union with Albania were politically insignificant. Their long-term impact was substantial, though, as some—particularly the Revolutionary Movement for Albanian Unity, founded by Adem Demaci—were to form the political core of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Demaci himself was imprisoned in 1964 along with many of his followers. Yugoslavia underwent a period of economic and political crisis in 1969, as a massive government program of economic reform widened the gap between the rich north and poor south of the country. Student demonstrations and riots in Belgrade in June 1968 spread to Kosovo in November the same year, but were quelled by the Yugoslav security forces. However, some of the students’ demands—in particular, representative powers for Albanians in both the Serbian and Yugoslav state bod-

ies, and better recognition of the Albanian language—were conceded by Tito. The University of Pristina was established as an independent institution in 1970, ending a long period when the institution had been run as an outpost of Belgrade University. The Albanianisation of education in Kosovo was hampered by the lack of Albanian-language educational materials in Yugoslavia, so an agreement was struck with Albania itself to supply textbooks. In 1969, the Serbian Orthodox Church ordered its clergy to compile data on the ongoing problems of Serbs in Kosovo, seeking to pressure the government in Belgrade to do more to protect the Serbian faithful. In 1974, Kosovo’s political status was improved further when a new Yugoslav constitution granted an expanded set of political rights. Along with Vojvodina, Kosovo was declared a province and gained many of the powers of a fully-fledged republic: a seat on the federal presidency and its own assembly, police force, and national bank. Power was still exercised by the Communist Party, but it was now devolved mainly to ethnic Albanian communists. Tito’s death on 4 May 1980 ushered in a long period of political instability, worsened by growing economic crisis and nationalist unrest. The first major outbreak occurred in Kosovo’s main city, Pristina, when a protest of University of Pristina students over long queues in their university canteen rapidly escalated and in late March and early April 1981 spread throughout Kosovo, causing massive popular demonstrations in several Kosovo towns. The disturbances were quelled by the Presidency of Yugoslavia proclaiming a state of emergency, sending in riot police and the army, resulting in numerous casualties. Hardliners instituted a fierce crackdown on nationalism of all kinds, Albanian and Serbian alike. Kosovo endured a heavy secret police presence throughout most of the 1980s that ruthlessly suppressed any unauthorised nationalist manifestations, both Albanian and Serbian. According to a report quoted by Mark Thompson, as many as 580,000 inhabitants of Kosovo were arrested, interrogated, interned, or reprimanded. Thousands of these lost their jobs or were expelled from their educational establishments. During this time, tension between the Albanian and Serbian communities continued to escalate.

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In February 1982, a group of priests from Serbia proper petitioned their bishops to ask “why the Serbian Church is silent” and why it did not campaign against “the destruction, arson and sacrilege of the holy shrines of Kosovo”. Such concerns did attract interest in Belgrade. Stories appeared from time to time in the Belgrade media claiming that Serbs and Montenegrins were being persecuted. There was a perception among Serbian nationalists that Serbs were being driven out of Kosovo. In addition to all this, the worsening state of Kosovo’s economy made the province a poor choice for Serbs seeking work. Albanians, as well as Serbs, tended to favor their compatriots when employing new recruits, but the number of jobs was too few for the population. Kosovo was the poorest entity of Yugoslavia: the average per capita income was $795, compared with the national average of $2,635. In 1981, it was reported that some 4,000 Serbs moved from Kosovo to Central Serbia after the Kosovo Albanian riots in March that resulted in several Serb deaths and the desecration of Serbian Orthodox architecture and graveyards. Serbia reacted by a desire to reduce the power of the Albanians in the province, and a propaganda campaign that claimed that Serbs were being pushed out of the province primarily by the growing Albanian population, rather than the bad state of the economy. In 1982 It was concluded that the Serbs were victims of major prejudice and harassment, several murders had been committed by ethnic Albanians, and forming of serious nationalist groups was reality. 33 nationalist formations were dismantled by the Yugoslav Police who sentenced some 280 people (800 fined, 100 under investigation) and seized arms caches and propaganda material. In 1987, David Binder wrote a report in The New York Times about the rising nationalism among Albanians in Kosovo. In his report he writes about the Paraćin massacre, where an ethnic Albanian soldier in the JNA killed four fellow soldiers and wounded five others. The report quoting Federal Secretary for National Defense, Fleet Adm. Branko Mamula, shows that from 1981 to 1987, 216 illegal Albanian organizations with 1,435 members were discovered in the Continued on Pages 9 -17


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Page 8 JNA. They had prepared the mass killings of officers and soldiers, poisoning food and water, sabotage, breaking in and stealing weapons and ammunition. In Kosovo, growing Albanian nationalism and separatism led to tensions between Serbs and Albanians. An increasingly poisonous atmosphere led to wild rumors being spread around and otherwise trivial incidents being blown out of proportion. It was against this tense background that the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU, from its Serbian initials, САНУ) conducted a survey of Serbs who had left Kosovo in 1985 and 1986. The report concluded that a considerable part of those who had left had been under pressure by Albanians to do so. Sixteen prominent members of the SANU began work in June 1985 on a draft document that was leaked to the public in September 1986. The SANU Memorandum, as it has become known, was hugely controversial. It focused on the political difficulties facing Serbs in Yugoslavia, pointing to Tito’s deliberate hobbling of Serbia’s power and the difficulties faced by Serbs outside Serbia proper. The Memorandum paid special attention to Kosovo, arguing that the province’s Serbs were being subjected to “physical, political, legal and cultural genocide” in an “open and total war” that had been ongoing since the spring of 1981. It claimed that Kosovo’s status in 1986 was a worse historical defeat for the Serbs than any event since liberation from the Ottomans in 1804, thus ranking it above such catastrophes as the Nazi occupation or the First World War occupation of Serbia by the Austro-Hungarians. The Memorandum’s authors claimed that 200,000 Serbs had moved out of the province over the previous twenty years and warned that there would soon be none left “unless things change radically.” The remedy, according to the Memorandum, was for “genuine security and unambiguous equality for all peoples living in Kosovo and Metohija [to be] established” and “objective and permanent conditions for the return of the expelled [Serbian] nation [to be] created.” It concluded that “Serbia must not be passive and wait and see what the others will say, as it has done so often in the past.” The SANU Memorandum provoked split reactions: Albanians saw it as a call for Serbian supremacy at local level, claim-

ing the Serb emigrants had left Kosovo for economic reasons, while the Slovenes and Croats, saw a threat in the call for a more assertive Serbia. Serbs were divided: many welcomed it, while the Communist old guard strongly attacked its message. One of those who denounced it was Serbian Communist Party official Slobodan Milošević. In November 1988, Kosovo’s head of the provincial committee was arrested. In March 1989, Milošević announced an “antibureaucratic revolution” in Kosovo and Vojvodina, curtailing their autonomy as well as imposing a curfew and a state of emergency in Kosovo due to violent demonstrations, resulting in 24 deaths (including two policemen). Milošević and his government claimed that the constitutional changes were necessary to protect Kosovo’s remaining Serbs against harassment from the Albanian majority. On 17 November 1988, Kaqusha Jashari and Azem Vllasi were forced to resign from the leadership of the League of Communists of Kosovo (LCK).In early 1989 the Serbian Assembly proposed amendments to the Constitution of Serbia which would remove the word “Socialist” from the Serbian Republic’s title, establish multi-party elections, remove the independence of institutions of the autonomous provinces such as Kosovo, and rename Kosovo as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In February Kosovar Albanians demonstrated in large numbers against the proposal, emboldened by striking miners. Serbs in Belgrade protested against the Kosovo Albanian’s separatism. On 3 March 1989 the Presidency of Yugoslavia imposed special measures assigning responsibility for public security to the federal government. On 23 March the Assembly of Kosovo voted to accept the proposed amendments although most Albanian delegates abstained. In early 1990 Kosovar Albanians held mass demonstrations against the special measures, which were lifted on 18 April 1990 and responsibility for public security was again assigned to Serbia. On 8 May 1989 Milošević became President of the Presidency of Serbia, which was confirmed on 6 DecemberOn 22 January 1990 the 14 congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY) abolished the party’s position as the only legal political party in YugoslaviaIn January 1990 the Yugoslav government announced it would

press ahead with the creation of a multiparty system. On 26 June 1990 Serbian authorities closed the Kosovo Assembly citing special circumstances. On 1 or 2 July 1990 Serbia approved the new amendments to the Constitution of Serbia in a referendum. Also on 2 July, 114 ethnic Albanian delegates of the 180 member Kosovo Assembly declared Kosovo an independent republic within Yugoslavia. On 5 July the Serbian Assembly dissolved the Kosovo Assembly. Serbia also dissolved the provincial executive council and assumed full and direct control of the province. Serbia took over management of Kosovo’s principal Albanian-language media, halting Albanian-language broadcasts. On 4 September 1990 Kosovar Albanians observed a 24-hour general strike, virtually shutting down the province. On 16 or 17 July 1990, the League of Communists of Serbia (LCS) combined with the Socialist Alliance of Working People of Serbia to become the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), and Milošević became its first president. On 8 August 1990 several amendments to the federal Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) Constitution were adopted enabling the establishment of a multi-party election system. On 7 September 1990 the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo was promulgated by the disbanded Assembly of Kosovo. Milošević responded by ordering the arrest of the deputies of the disbanded Assembly of Kosovo. The new controversial Serbian Constitution was promulgated on 28 September 1990. Multi-party elections were held in Serbia on 9 and 26 December 1990 after which Milošević became President of Serbia. In September 1991 Kosovar Albanians held an unofficial referendum in which they voted overwhelmingly for independence. On 24 May 1992 Kosovar Albanians held unofficial elections for an assembly and president of the Republic of Kosovo. On 5 August 1991 the Serbian Assembly suspended the Priština daily Rilindja, following the Law on Public Information of 29 March 1991 and establishment of the Panorama publishing house on 6 November which incorporated Rilindja, which was declared unconstitutional by the federal authorities. United Nations Special Rapporteur Tadeusz Mazowiecki reported on 26 February 1993 that the police had intensi-

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fied their repression of the Albanian population since 1990, including depriving them of their basic rights, destroying their educations system, and large numbers of political dismissals of civil servants. Rugova’s policy of passive resistance succeeded in keeping Kosovo quiet during the war with Slovenia, and the wars in Croatia and Bosnia during the early 1990s. However, as evidenced by the emergence of the KLA, this came at the cost of increasing frustration among Kosovo’s Albanian population. In the mid-1990s, Rugova pleaded for a United Nations peacekeeping force for Kosovo. In 1997, Milošević was promoted to the presidency of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (comprising Serbia and Montenegro since its inception in April 1992). Continuing repression convinced many Albanians that only armed resistance would change the situation. On 22 April 1996, four attacks on Serbian security personnel were carried out almost simultaneously in several parts of Kosovo. A hitherto-unknown organisation calling itself the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA) subsequently claimed responsibility. The nature of the KLA was at first mysterious. It is widely believed that the KLA received financial and material support from the Kosovo Albanian diaspora. In early 1997, Albania collapsed into chaos following the fall of President Sali Berisha. Military stockpiles were looted with impunity by criminal gangs, with much of the hardware ending up in western Kosovo and boosting the growing KLA arsenal. Bujar Bukoshi, shadow Prime Minister in exile (in Zürich, Switzerland), created a group called FARK (Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosova) which was reported to have been disbanded and absorbed by the KLA in 1998.The Yugoslav government considered the KLA to be “terrorists” and “insurgents” who indiscriminately attacked police and civilians, while most Albanians saw the KLA as “freedom fighters”. In 1998, the U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization, and in 1999 the Republican Policy Committee of the U.S. Senate expressed its troubles with the “effective alliance” of the Democratic Clinton administration with the KLA due to “numerous reports from reputable unofficial sources “. Continued on Pages 10 - 17


November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Pages 8 and 9 In 2000, a BBC article stated that Nato at War shows how the United States, which had described the KLA as “terrorist”, now sought a relationship with the group. U.S. envoy Robert Gelbard referred to the KLA as terrorists. Responding to criticism, he later clarified to the House Committee on International Relations that “while it has committed ‘terrorist acts,’ it has ‘not been classified legally by the U.S. Government as a terrorist organization.’” On June 1998, he held talks with two men who claimed they were political leaders. Meanwhile, the U.S. held an “outer wall of sanctions” on Yugoslavia which had been tied to a series of issues, Kosovo being one of them. These were maintained despite the agreement at Dayton to end all sanctions. The Clinton administration claimed that Dayton bound Yugoslavia to hold discussions with Rugova over Kosovo. The crisis escalated in December 1997 at the Peace Implementation Council meeting in Bonn, where the international community (as defined in the Dayton Agreement) agreed to give the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina sweeping powers, including the right to dismiss elected leaders. At the same time, Western diplomats insisted that Kosovo be discussed, and that Yugoslavia be responsive to Albanian demands there. The delegation from Yugoslavia stormed out of the meetings in protest. This was followed by the return of the Contact Group that oversaw the last phases of the Bosnian conflict and declarations from European powers demanding that Yugoslavia solve the problem in Kosovo. KLA attacks intensified, centering on the Drenica valley area with the compound of Adem Jashari being a focal point. Days after Robert Gelbard described the KLA as a terrorist group, Serbian police responded to the KLA attacks in the Likošane area, and pursued some of the KLA to Čirez, resulting in the deaths of 16 Albanian fighters and four Serbian policemen. The first major act of war had occurred. Despite some accusations of summary executions and killings of civilians, condemnations from Western capitals were not as voluble as they would become later. Serb police began to pursue Jashari and his followers in the village of Donje Prekaz. A massive firefight at the Jashari compound led to the massacre of 60 Albanians, of which eighteen were women and ten were

under the age of sixteen. This March 5, 1998 event provoked massive condemnation from the western capitals. Madeleine Albright stated that “this crisis is not an internal affair of the FRY”. On March 24, Yugoslav forces surrounded the village of Glodjane and attacked a rebel compound there. Despite superior firepower, the Yugoslav forces failed to destroy the KLA unit which had been their objective. Although there were deaths and severe injuries on the Albanian side, the insurgency in Glodjane was far from stamped out. It was in fact to become one of the strongest centers of resistance in the upcoming war. The KLA’s first goal was thus to merge its Drenica stronghold with their stronghold in Albania proper, and this would shape the first few months of the fighting. A new Yugoslav government was also formed at this time, led by the Socialist Party of Serbia and the Serbian Radical Party. Ultra-nationalist Radical Party chairman Vojislav Šešelj became a deputy prime minister. This increased the dissatisfaction with the country’s position among Western diplomats and spokespersons. In early April, Serbia arranged for a referendum on the issue of foreign interference in Kosovo. Serbian voters decisively rejected foreign interference in this crisis. Meanwhile, the KLA claimed much of the area in and around Dečani and ran a territory based in the village of Glođane, encompassing its surroundings. So, on May 31, 1998, the Yugoslav army and the Serb Ministry of the Interior police began an operation to clear the border of the KLA. NATO’s response to this offensive was midJune’s Operation Determined Falcon, an air show over the Yugoslav borders. During this time, the Yugoslav President Milošević reached an arrangement with Boris Yeltsin of Russia to stop offensive operations and prepare for talks with the Albanians, who, through this whole crisis, refused to talk to the Serbian side, but not the Yugoslav. In fact, the only meeting between Milošević and Ibrahim Rugova happened on 15 May in Belgrade, two days after Richard Holbrooke announced that it would take place. One month later, Holbrooke, after a trip to Belgrade where he threatened Milošević that if he did not obey, “what’s left of your country will implode”, he visited the border areas affected by the fighting in early

June; there he was famously photographed with the KLA. The publication of these images sent a signal to the KLA, its supporters and sympathizers, and to observers in general, that the U.S. was decisively backing the KLA and the Albanian population in Kosovo. The Yeltsin agreement included Milošević’s allowing international representatives to set up a mission in KosovoMetohija to monitor the situation there. This was the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission (KDOM) that began operations in early July. The American government welcomed this part of the agreement, but denounced the initiative’s call for a mutual cease fire. Rather, the Americans demanded that the Serbian-Yugoslavian side should cease fire “without linkage ... to a cessation in terrorist activities”. All through June and into mid-July, the KLA maintained its advance. KLA surrounded Peć, Đakovica, and had set up an interim capital in the town of Mališevo (north of Orahovac). The KLA troops infiltrated Suva Reka, and the northwest of Priština. They moved on to the Belacevec coal pits and captured them in late June, threatening energy supplies in the region. Their tactics as usual focused mainly on guerilla and mountain warfare, and harassing and ambushing Yugoslav forces and Serb police patrols. The tide turned in mid-July when the KLA captured Orahovac. On 17 July 1998, two close-by villages to Orahovac, Retimlije and Opteruša, were also captured. Similarly, less systematic events took place in Orahovac and the larger Serb-populated village of Velika Hoča. The Orthodox monastery of Zociste three miles (5 km) from Orehovac— famous for the relics of the Saints Kosmas and Damianos and revered also by local Albanians—was robbed, its monks deported to a KLA prison camp, and, while empty, the monastery church and all its buildings were leveled to the ground by mining. This led to a series of Serb and Yugoslav offensives which would continue into the beginning of August. A new set of KLA attacks in mid-August triggered Yugoslavian operations in southcentral Kosovo south of the Priština-Peć road. This wound down with the capture of Klečka on August 23 and the discovery of a KLA-run crematorium in which some of their victims were found. The KLA began an offensive on September 1 around Prizren,

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causing Yugoslavian military activity there. In Metohija, around Peć, another offensive caused condemnation as international officials expressed fear that a large column of displaced people would be attacked. In early mid-September, for the first time, KLA activity was reported in northern Kosovo around Podujevo. Finally, in late September, a determined effort was made to clear the KLA out of the northern and central parts of Kosovo and out of the Drenica valley itself. During this time many threats were made from Western capitals but these were tempered somewhat by the elections in Bosnia, as they did not want Serbian Democrats and Radicals to win. Following the elections, however, the threats intensified once again but a galvanizing event was needed. They got it on September 28, when the mutilated corpses of a family were discovered by KDOM outside the village of Gornje Obrinje; the bloody doll from there became the rallying image for the ensuing war. Morale was a serious problem for Serb forces; intelligence surveys found that many soldiers disagreed with their comrades’ actions. One tank commander reported: For the entire time I was in Kosovo, I never saw an enemy soldier and my unit was never once involved in firing at enemy targets. The tanks which cost $2.5 million each were used to slaughter Albanian children... I am ashamed. On 23 September 1998 acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1199. This expressed ‘grave concern’ at reports reaching the Secretary General that over 230,000 persons had been displaced from their homes by ‘the excessive and indiscriminate use of force by Serbian security forces and the Yugoslav Army’, demanding that all parties in Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) cease hostilities and maintain a ceasefire. On 24 September the North Atlantic Council (NAC) of NATO issued an “activation warning” (ACTWARN) taking NATO to an increased level of military preparedness for both a limited air option and a phased air campaign in Kosovo. The other major issue for those who saw no option but to resort to the use of force was the estimated 250,000 displaced Continued on Pages 11 - 17


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Pages 8 - 10 Albanians, 30,000 of whom were out in the woods, without warm clothing or shelter, with winter fast approaching. Meanwhile, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, Christopher Hill, was leading shuttle diplomacy between an Albanian delegation, led by Rugova, and the Yugoslav and Serbian authorities. It was these meetings which were shaping what was to be the peace plan to be discussed during a period of planned NATO occupation of Kosovo. During a period of two weeks, threats intensified, culminating in NATO’s Activation Order being given. NATO was ready to begin airstrikes, and Richard Holbrooke went to Belgrade in the hope of reaching an agreement with Milošević. Officially, the international community demanded an end to fighting. It specifically demanded that the Yugoslavia end its offensives against the KLA whilst attempting to convince the KLA to drop its bid for independence. Moreover, attempts were made to persuade Milošević to permit NATO peacekeeping troops to enter Kosovo. This, they argued, would allow for the Christopher Hill peace process to proceed and yield a peace agreement. On 13 October 1998, the North Atlantic Council issued issue activation orders (ACTORDs) for the execution of both limited air strikes and a phased air campaign in Yugoslavia which would begin in approximately 96 hours. On 15 October the NATO Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) Agreement for a ceasefire was signed, and the deadline for withdrawal was extended to 27 October. The Serbian withdrawal commenced on or around 25 October 1998, and Operation Eagle Eye commenced on 30 October. The KVM was a large contingent of unarmed Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) peace monitors (officially known as verifiers) that moved into Kosovo. Their inadequacy was evident from the start. They were nicknamed the “clockwork oranges” in reference to their brightly coloured vehicles. Fighting resumed in December 1998 after both sides broke the ceasefire, and this surge in violence culminated in the killing of Zvonko Bojanić, the Serb mayor of the town of Kosovo Polje. Yugoslav authorities responded by launching a crackdown against KLA militants. The January to March 1999

phase of the war brought increasing insecurity in urban areas, including bombings and murders. Such attacks took place during the Rambouillet talks in February and as the Kosovo Verification Agreement unraveled in March. Killings on the roads continued and increased. There were military confrontations in, among other places, the Vučitrn area in February and the heretofore unaffected Kačanik area in early March. On 15 January 1999 the Račak massacre occurred when “45 Kosovan Albanian farmers were rounded up, led up a hill and massacred”.The bodies had been discovered by OSCE monitors, including Head of Mission William Walker, and foreign news correspondents. Yugoslavia denied a massacre took place. The Račak massacre was the culmination of the KLA attacks and Yugoslav reprisals that had continued throughout the winter of 1998–1999. The incident was immediately condemned as a massacre by theWestern countries and the United Nations Security Council, and later became the basis of one of the charges of war crimes leveled against Milošević and his top officials. This massacre was the turning point of the war. NATO decided that the conflict could only be settled by introducing a military peacekeeping force under the auspices of NATO, to forcibly restrain the two sides. Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, had been subjected to heavy firefights and segregation according to OSCE reports.[15] On 30 January 1999 NATO issued a statement announcing that the North Atlantic Council had agreed that “the NATO Secretary General may authorise air strikes against targets on FRY territory” to “[compel] compliance with the demands of the international community and [to achieve] a political settlement”.While this was most obviously a threat to the Milošević government, it also included a coded threat to the Albanians: any decision would depend on the “position and actions of the Kosovo Albanian leadership and all Kosovo Albanian armed elements in and around Kosovo.”[ Also on 30 January 1999 the Contact Group issued a set of “non-negotiable principles” which made up a package known as “Status Quo Plus”—effectively the restoration of Kosovo’s pre-1990 autonomy within Serbia, plus the introduction of democracy and supervision by international organisa-

tions. It also called for a peace conference to be held in February 1999 at the Château de Rambouillet, outside Paris. The Rambouillet talks began on 6 February 1999, with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana negotiating with both sides. They were intended to conclude by 19 February. The FR Yugoslavian delegation was led by then president of Serbia Milan Milutinović, while Milošević himself remained in Belgrade. This was in contrast to the 1995 Dayton conference that ended the war in Bosnia, where Milošević negotiated in person. The absence of Milošević was interpreted as a sign that the real decisions were being made back in Belgrade, a move that aroused criticism in Yugoslavia as well as abroad; Kosovo’s Serbian Orthodox bishop Artemije traveled all the way to Rambouillet to protest that the delegation was wholly unrepresentative. At this time speculation about an indictment of Milošević for war crimes was rife, so his absence may have been motivated by fear of arrest. The first phase of negotiations was successful. In particular, a statement was issued by the Contact Group co-chairmen on 23 February 1999 that the negotiations “have led to a consensus on substantial autonomy for Kosovo, including on mechanisms for free and fair elections to democratic institutions, for the governance of Kosovo, for the protection of human rights and the rights of members of national communities; and for the establishment of a fair judicial system”. They went on to say that “a political framework is now in place”, leaving the further work of finalizing “the implementation Chapters of the Agreement, including the modalities of the invited international civilian and military presence in Kosovo”. While the accords did not fully satisfy the Albanians, they were much too radical for the Yugoslavs, who responded by substituting a drastically revised text that even Russia (ally of FR Yugoslavia) found unacceptable. It sought to reopen the painstakingly negotiated political status of Kosovo and deleted all of the proposed implementation measures. Among many other changes in the proposed new version, it eliminated the entire chapter on humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, removed virtually all international oversight and dropped any mention of invoking “the will of the people [of Kosovo]” in determining the final status

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of the province. On 18 March 1999, the Albanian, American, and British delegations signed what became known as the Rambouillet Accords while the Yugoslav and Russian delegations refused. The accords called for NATO administration of Kosovo as an autonomous province within Yugoslavia, a force of 30,000 NATO troops to maintain order in Kosovo; an unhindered right of passage for NATO troops on Yugoslav territory, including Kosovo; and immunity for NATO and its agents to Yugoslav law. They also would have also permitted a continuing Yugoslav army presence of 1,500 troops for border monitoring, backed by up to 1,000 troops to perform command and support functions, as well as a small number of border police, 2,500 ordinary MUP for public security puroses (although these were expected to draw down and to be transformed), and 3,000 local police. Although the Yugoslav government cited military provisions of Appendix B of the Rambouillet provisions as the reason for its objections, claiming that it was an unacceptable violation of Yugoslavia’s sovereignty, these provisions were essentially the same as had been applied to Bosnia for the SFOR (Stabilization Force) mission there after the Dayton Agreement in 1995. The two sides did not discuss the issue in detail because of their disagreements on more fundamental problems. In particular, the Serb side rejected the idea of any NATO troop presence in Kosovo to replace their security forces, preferring unarmed U.N. observers. Milošević himself had refused to discuss the annex after informing NATO that it was unacceptable, even after he was asked to propose amendments to the provisions which would have made them acceptable. Events proceeded rapidly after the failure at Rambouillet and the alternative Yugoslav proposal. The international monitors from the OSCE withdrew on 22 March, for fear of the monitors’ safety ahead of the anticipated NATO bombing campaign. On 23 March, the Serbian assembly accepted the principle of autonomy for Kosovo and non-military part of the agreement, while rejecting a NATO troop presence. On 23 March 1999 at 21:30 UTC Richard Holbrooke returned to Brussels and Continued on Pages 12 - 17


November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Pages 8 - 11 announced that peace talks had failed and formally handed the matter to NATO for military action. Hours before the announcement, Yugoslavia announced on national television it had declared a state of emergency citing an imminent threat of war and began a huge mobilisation of troops and resources. On 23 March 1999 at 22:17 UTC the Secretary General of NATO, Javier Solana, announced he had directed the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), US Army General Wesley Clark, to “initiate air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.” On 24 March at 19:00 UTC NATO started its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. NATO’s bombing campaign lasted from 24 March to 11 June 1999, involving up to 1,000 aircraft operating mainly from bases in Italy and aircraft carriers stationed in the Adriatic. Tomahawk cruise missiles were also extensively used, fired from aircraft, ships, and submarines. With the exception of Greece, all NATO members were involved to some degree. Over the ten weeks of the conflict, NATO aircraft flew over 38,000 combat missions. For the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), it was the second time it had participated in a conflict since World War II after the Bosnian War. The proclaimed goal of the NATO operation was summed up by its spokesman as “Serbs out, peacekeepers in, refugees back”. That is, Yugoslav troops would have to leave Kosovo and be replaced by international peacekeepers to ensure that the Albanian refugees could return to their homes. The campaign was initially designed to destroy Yugoslav air defenses and high-value military targets. It did not go very well at first, with bad weather hindering many sorties early on. NATO had seriously underestimated Milošević’s will to resist: few in Brussels thought that the campaign would last more than a few days, and although the initial bombardment was not insignificant, it did not match the intensity of the bombing of Baghdad in 1991.. On the ground, the ethnic cleansing campaign by the Yugoslavs was stepped up. In actions unparalleled since World War Two, Yugoslav forces expelled hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians from Kosovo, in miserable conditions. UNHCR representatives reported on 3 April that, “During 2 April, an estimated 45,000 Kos-

ovars arrived at the Macedonian border with Kosovo, of whom around 25,000 in six trains carrying people who report that they were expelled from Pristina. The new arrivals were exhausted and traumatized.”. On 6 April, UNHCR representatives were reporting that “at least 25,000 Kosovars arrived at the main Albanian border point at Morini between Monday and Tuesday mornings and a further 15,000 at the mountain frontier of Qafa Prushit, bringing the estimated total to 262,000 ... Virtually every Kosovar arriving at Qafa Prushit came on foot in very, very bad physical condition ... refugees interviewed said men were both being tortured and even executed in front of their families ... Serbian police stationed just opposite the Albanian border post warned journalists they would shoot if the correspondents approached. Aid officials were told to withdraw 500 metres from the crossing.” A report written for the UNHCR after the crisis concluded that ‘half a million people arrived in neighbouring areas in the course of about two weeks, and a few weeks later the total was over 850,000’. The Serbian authorities have never acknowledged these UNHCR figures. On 25 March Arkan appeared at the Hyatt hotel in Belgrade where most of Western journalists were staying and warned all of them to leave Serbia. NATO military operations switched increasingly to attacking Yugoslav units on the ground, hitting targets as small as individual tanks and artillery pieces, as well as continuing with the strategic bombardment. This activity was, however, heavily constrained by politics, as each target needed to be approved by all nineteen member states. Montenegro was bombed on several occasions but NATO eventually desisted to prop up the precarious position of its antiMilošević leader, Đukanović. So-called “dual-use” targets, of use to both civilians and the military, were attacked, including bridges across the Danube, factories, power stations, schools, houses, nurseries, hospitals, telecommunications facilities and, controversially, the headquarters of Yugoslavian Leftists, a political party led by Milošević’s wife, and the RTS television broadcasting tower. NATO justified the bombing of such targets as they were “potentially useful to the Yugoslav military “ however, some see the actions as violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions in particular. At the start of May, a NATO aircraft at-

tacked an Albanian refugee convoy, believing it was a Yugoslav military convoy, killing around fifty people. NATO admitted its mistake five days later and the Yugoslavs accused NATO of deliberately attacking the refugees later report conducted by the ICTY entitled Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslaviaopined that “civilians were not deliberately attacked in this incident” and that “neither the aircrew nor their commanders displayed the degree of recklessness in failing to take precautionary measures which would sustain criminal charges.” On May 7, NATO bombs hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three Chinese journalists and outraging Chinese public opinion. The United States and NATO later apologized for the bombing, saying that it occurred because of an outdated map provided by the CIA although this was challenged by a joint report from The Observer (UK) and Politiken(Denmark) newspaper which claimed that NATO intentionally bombed the embassy because it was being used as a relay station for Yugoslav army radio signals. However the report by the newspaper contradicts findings in the same report by the ICTY which stated that the root of the failures in target location “appears to stem from the land navigation techniques employed by an intelligence officer.” In another major incident at the Dubrava prison in Kosovo, the Yugoslav government attributed as many as 85 civilian deaths to NATO bombing[of the facility after NATO cited Serbian and Yugoslav military activity in the area A Human Rights Watch only reported nineteen ethnic Albanian prisoners killed. By the start of April, the conflict appeared little closer to a resolution and NATO countries began to seriously consider conducting ground operations in Kosovo. British Prime Minister Tony Blair was a strong advocate of ground forces and pressured the United States to agree; his strong stance caused some alarm in Washington as American forces would be making the largest contribution to any offensive.[144] U.S. President Bill Clinton was extremely reluctant to commit American forces for a ground offensive. Instead, Clinton authorised a CIA operation to look into methods to destabilise the Yugoslav government without training KLA troops. At the same time, Finnish and Rus-

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sian diplomatic negotiators continued to try to persuade Milošević to back down. Tony Blair would order 50,000 British soldiers to be made ready for a ground offensive: most of the available British Army. Milošević finally recognised that Russia would not intervene to defend Yugoslavia despite Moscow’s strong anti-NATO rhetoric. He thus accepted the conditions offered by a Finnish–Russian mediation team and agreed to a military presence within Kosovo headed by the UN, but incorporating NATO troops. The Norwegian special forces Hærens Jegerkommando and Forsvarets Spesialkommando cooperated with the KLA in gathering intelligence information. Preparing for an invasion on 12 June, Norwegian special forces worked with the KLA on the Ramno mountain on the border between Macedonia and Kosovo and acted as scouts to monitor events in Kosovo. Together with British special forces, Norwegian special forces were the first to cross over the border into Kosovo. According to Keith Graves with the television network Sky News, the Norwegians were already inside Kosovo two days prior to the marching in of other forces and were among the first to enter into Pristina. The Hærens Jegerkommando’s and Forsvarets Spesialkommando’s job was to clear the way between the striding parties and to make local deals to implement the peace deal between the Serbians and the Kosovo Albanians. On 3 June 1999, Milošević accepted the terms of an international peace plan to end the fighting, with the national parliament adopting the proposal amid contentious debate with delegates coming close to fistfights at some points. On 10 June, the North Atlantic Council ratified the agreement and suspended air operations. On 12 June, after Milošević accepted the conditions, the NATO-led peacekeeping Kosovo Force (KFOR) began entering Kosovo. KFOR had been preparing to conduct combat operations, but in the end, its mission was only peacekeeping. It was based upon the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps headquarters commanded by then Lieutenant General Mike Jackson of the British Army. It consisted of British forces (a brigade built from 4th Armored and 5th Airborne Brigades), a French Army Brigade, Continued on Pages 13 - 17


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Pages 8 - 12 a German Army brigade, which entered from the west while all the other forces advanced from the south, and Italian Army and United States Army brigades. The U.S. contribution, known as the Initial Entry Force, was led by the 1st Armored Division which was spearheaded by a platoon from the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment attached to the British Forces. Subordinate units included TF 1–35 Armor from Baumholder, Germany, the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment from Schweinfurt, Germany, and Echo Troop, 4th Cavalry Regiment, also from Schweinfurt, Germany. Also attached to the U.S. force was the Greek Army’s 501st Mechanized Infantry Battalion. The initial U.S. forces established their area of operation around the towns of Uroševac, the future Camp Bondsteel, and Gnjilane, at Camp Monteith, and spent four months—the start of a stay which continues to date—establishing order in the southeast sector of Kosovo. During the initial incursion, the U.S. soldiers were greeted by Albanians cheering and throwing flowers as U.S. soldiers and KFOR rolled through their villages. Although no resistance was met, three U.S. soldiers from the Initial Entry Force lost their lives in accidents. On 1 October 1999, approximately 150 paratroopers from Alpha Company, 1/508th Airborne Battalion Combat Team from Vicenza, Italy parachuted into Uroševac as part of Operation Rapid Guardian. The purpose of the mission was primarily to warn Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević of NATO resolve and of its rapid military capability. One U.S. soldier, Army Ranger Sgt. Jason Neil Pringle, was killed during operations after his parachute failed to deploy. The paratroopers of the 1/508th then joined paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne and K.F.O.R. in patrolling various areas of Kosovo, without incident, through 3 October 1999. Following the military campaign, the involvement of Russian peacekeepers proved to be tense and challenging to the NATO Kosovo force. The Russians expected to have an independent sector of Kosovo, only to be unhappily surprised with the prospect of operating under NATO com-

mand. Without prior communication or coordination with NATO, Russian peacekeeping forces entered Kosovo from Bosnia and Herzegovina and seized Pristina International Airport. In 2010, James Blunt described in an interview how his unit was given the assignment of securing Pristina during the advance of the 30,000-strong peacekeeping force and how the Russian army had moved in and taken control of the city’s airport before his unit’s arrival. As the first officer on the scene, Blunt shared a part in the difficult task of addressing the potentially violent international incident. According to Blunt’s account, verified by General Mike Jackson, there was a stand-off with the Russians, and the NATO Supreme Commander, US General Wesley Clark, gave orders to overpower them. Whilst these were questioned by Blunt, they were rejected by General Jackson, with the now famous line, “I’m not having my soldiers responsible for starting World War III.” Furthermore, in June 2000, arms trading relations between Russia and Yugoslavia were exposed which led to the retaliation and bombings of Russian Checkpoints and area Police Stations. Outpost Gunner was established on a high point in the Preševo Valley by Echo Battery 1/161 Field Artillery in an attempt to monitor and assist with peacekeeping efforts in the Russian Sector. Operating under the support of 2/3 Field Artillery, 1st Armored Division, the Battery was able to successfully deploy and continuously operate a Firefinder Radar which allowed the NATO forces to keep a closer watch on activities in the Sector and the Preševo Valley. Eventually a deal was struck whereby Russian forces operated as a unit of KFOR but not under the NATO command structure. Because of the country’s restrictive media laws, the Yugoslav media carried little coverage of events in Kosovo, and the attitude of other countries to the humanitarian disaster that was occurring there. Thus, few members of the Yugoslav public expected NATO intervention, instead thinking that a diplomatic agreement would be reached. Support for the Kosovan War and, in particular, the legitimacy of NATO’s bombing campaign came from a variety of sources. Every member of NATO, every EU country, and most of Yugoslavia’s neighbours, supported military actionwith statements from

the leaders of Bill Clinton, Václav Havel and Tony Blair respectively describing the war as, “an attack by tanks and artillery on a largely defenseless people whose leaders already have agreed to peace,” “the first war for values”and one “to avert what would otherwise be a humanitarian disaster in Kosovo.”. Others included the then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan who was reported by some sources as acknowledging that the NATO action was legitimatewho emphasised that there were times when the use of force was legitimate in the pursuit of peacethough Annan stressed that the “Council should have been involved in any decision to use force.” The distinction between the legality and legitimacy of the intervention was further highlighted in two separate reports. One was conducted by the Independent International Commission on Kosovo, entitled The Kosovo Report, which found that: [Yugoslav] forces were engaged in a wellplanned campaign of terror and expulsion of the Kosovar Albanians. This campaign is most frequently described as one of “ethnic cleansing,” intended to drive many, if not all, Kosovar Albanians from Kosovo, destroy the foundations of their society, and prevent them from returning. It concluded that “the NATO military intervention was illegal but legitimate”, The second report was published by the NATO Office of Information and Press which reported that, “the human rights violations committed on a large scale in Kosovo provide an incontestable ground with reference to the humanitarian aspect of NATO’s intervention.” Some critics note that that NATO did not have the backing of the United Nations Security Council meant that its intervention had no legal basis, but according to some legal scholars, “there are nonetheless certain bases for that action that are not legal, but justified.” Aside from politicians and diplomats, commentators and intellectuals also supported the war. Michael Ignatieff called NATOs intervention a “morally justifiable response to ethnic cleansing and the resulting flood of refugees, and not the cause of the flood of refugees “while Christopher Hitchens said NATO intervened only, “when Serbian forces had resorted to mass deportation and full-dress ethnic “cleansing.”” Writing in The Nation, Richard A. Falk wrote that, “the NATO campaign achieved the removal of

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Yugoslav military forces from Kosovo and, even more significant, the departure of the dreaded Serbian paramilitary units and police” while an article in The Guardian wrote that for Mary Kaldor, Kosovo represented a laboratory on her thinking for human security, humanitarian intervention and international peacekeeping, the latter two which she defined as, “a genuine belief in the equality of all human beings; and this entails a readiness to risk lives of peacekeeping troops to save the lives of others where this is necessary.” Some criticised the NATO intervention as a political diversionary tactic, coming as it did on the heels of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Some support for this hypothesis may be found in the fact that coverage of the bombing directly replaced coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal in American news cycles. Also, some point out that before the bombing, rather than there being an unusually bloody conflict, the KLA was not engaged in a widespread civil war against Yugoslav forces and the death toll among all concerned (including ethnic Albanians) skyrocketed following NATO intervention. However, the absence of war did not mean the presence of peace between Albanians and Serbs, as other sources have noted, citing the deaths of 1,500 Albanians and displacement of 270,000 prior to NATO intervention and the systematic repression of the Albanian population through constitutional changes by the Milosevic regime that imposed an “apartheid” in Kosovo. U.S. President Clinton and his administration were accused of inflating the number of Kosovo Albanians killed by state forces After the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Chinese Premier Jiang Zemin said that the US was using its economic and military superiority to aggressively expand its influence and interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Chinese leaders called the NATO campaign a dangerous precedent of naked aggression, a new form of colonialism, and an aggressive war groundless in morality or law. It was seen as part of a plot by the US to destroy Yugoslavia, expand eastward and control all of Europe.[174] The United Nations Charter does not allow military interventions in other sovereign countries with few exceptions which, in Continued on Pages 14 - 17


November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Pages 8 - 13

general, need to be decided upon by the United Nations Security Council; this legal enjoinment has proved controversial with manylegal scholars who argue that though the Kosovo War illegal, it was still legitimate. The issue was brought before the UN Security Council by Russia, in a draft resolution which, inter alia, would affirm “that such unilateral use of force constitutes a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter”. China, Namibia, and Russia voted for the resolution, the other members against, thus it failed to pass. The war inflicted many casualties. Already by March 1999, the combination of fighting and the targeting of civilians had left an estimated 1,500–2,000 civilians and combatants dead. Final estimates of the casualties are still unavailable for either side. John Pilger said that the bombing campaign was partly designed to prepare the way for a free market-based reconstruction by wealthy foreign powers. Perhaps the most controversial deliberate attack of the war was that made against the headquarters of Serbian television on April 23, which killed at least fourteen people. In June 2000, the Red Cross reported that 3,368 civilians (2,500 Albanians, 400 Serbs, and 100 Roma) were still missing, nearly one year after the conflict. A study by researchers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia published in 2000 in medical journal the Lancet estimated that “12,000 deaths in the total population” could be attributed to war. This number was achieved by surveying 1,197 households from February 1998 through June 1999. 67 out of the 105 deaths reported in the sample population were attributed to war-related trauma, which extrapolates to be 12,000 deaths if the same war-related mortality rate is applied to Kosovo’s total population. The highest mortality rates were in men between 15 and 49 (5,421 victims of war) as well as for men over 50 (5,176 victims). For persons younger than 15, the estimates were 160 victims for males and 200 for females. For women between 15–49 the estimate is that there were 510 victims; older than 50 years the estimate is 541 victims. The authors stated that it is not “possible to differentiate completely between civilian and military casualties”. In the 2008 joint study by the Humanitarian Law Center (an NGO from Serbia and

Kosovo), The International Commission on Missing Person, and the Missing Person Commission of Serbia made a nameby-name list of war and post-war victims. According to the Kosovo Memory Book, 13,421 people were killed in Kosovo during the conflict, from 1 January 1998 up until December 2000. Of that sum, 10,533 were Albanians, 2,238 were Serbs, 126 Roma, 100 Bosniaks and others. Yugoslavia claimed that NATO attacks caused between 1,200 and 5,700 civilian casualties. NATO’s Secretary General, Lord Robertson, wrote after the war that “the actual toll in human lives will never be precisely known” but he then offered the figures found in a report by Human Rights Watch as a reasonable estimate. This report counted between 488 and 527 civilian deaths (90 to 150 of them killed from cluster bomb use) in 90 separate incidents, the worst of which were the 87 Albanian refugees who perished at the hands of NATO bombs, near Koriša. Attacks in Kosovo overall were more deadly due to the confused situation with many refugee movements— the one-third of the incidents there account for more than half of the deaths. Various estimates of the number of killings attributed to Yugoslav forces have been announced through the years. An estimated 800,000 Kosovo Albanians fled and an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 were killed, according to The New York Times. The estimate of 10,000 deaths is used by the United States Department of State, which cited human rights abuses as its main justification for attacking Yugoslavia. Statistical experts working on behalf of the ICTY prosecution estimate that the total number of dead is about 10,000. Eric Fruits, a professor at Portland State University, argued that the experts’ analyses were based on fundamentally flawed data and that none of its conclusions are supported by any valid statistical analysis or tests. In August 2000, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) announced that it had exhumed 2,788 bodies in Kosovo, but declined to say how many were thought to be victims of war crimes. Earlier however, KFOR sources told Agence France Presse that of the 2,150 bodies that had been discovered up until July 1999, about 850 were thought to be victims of war crimes. Known mass graves:

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers investigate an alleged mass grave, alongside US Marines • In 2001, 800 still unidentified bodies were found in pits on a police training ground just outside of Belgrade and in eastern Serbia. • At least 700 bodies were uncovered in a mass grave located within a special antiterrorist police unit’s compound in the Belgrade suburb of Batajnica. • 77 bodies were found in the eastern Serbian town of Petrovo Selo. • 50 bodies were uncovered near the western Serbian town of Peručac. Military casualties on the NATO side were light. According to official reports, the alliance suffered no fatalities as a result of combat operations. However, in the early hours of May 5, an American military AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed not far from the border between Serbia and Albania. Another American AH-64 helicopter crashed about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Tirana, Albania’s capital, very close to the Albanian/Kosovo border. According to CNN, the crash happened 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Tirana. The two American pilots of the helicopter, ArmyChief Warrant Officers David Gibbs and Kevin L. Reichert, died in that crash. They were the only NATO

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ground casualties during the war, according to NATO official statements. There were other casualties after the war, mostly due to land mines. After the war, the alliance reported the loss of the first US stealth plane (anF-117 Nighthawk) ever shot down by enemy fire. Furthermore an F-16 fighter was lost near Šabac and 32 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from different nations were lost. The wreckages of downed UAVs were shown on Serbian television during the war. Some claim a second F-117A was also heavily damaged, and although it made it back to its base, it never flew again. A-10 Thunderbolts have been reported as casualties, with two shot down and another two damaged. Three American soldiers were captured by Yugoslav Forces across theMacedonian border. NATO did not release any official casualty estimates. The Yugoslav authorities claimed 462 soldiers were killed and 299 wounded by NATO airstrikes. The names of Yugoslav casualties were recorded in a “book of remembrance”. Of military equipment, NATO destroyed Continued on Pages 15 - 17


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Pages 8 - 14 around 50 Yugoslav aircraft including 6 MiG-29s destroyed in air-to-air combat. A number of G-4 Super Galebs were destroyed in their hardened aircraft shelter by bunker-busting bombs which started a fire which spread quickly because the shelter doors were not closed. At the end of war, NATO officially claimed that they had destroyed 93 Yugoslav tanks. Yugoslavia admitted a total of 3 destroyed tanks. The latter figure was verified by European inspectors when Yugoslavia rejoined the Dayton accords, by noting the difference between the number of tanks then and at the last inspection in 1995. NATO claimed that the Yugoslav army lost 93 tanks (M-84’s and T-55’s), 132 APCs, and 52 artillery pieces. Newsweek, the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S, gained access to a suppressed US Air Force report that claimed the real numbers were “3 tanks, not 120; 18 armored personnel carriers, not 220; 20 artillery pieces, not 450”.Most of the targets hit in Kosovo were decoys, such as tanks made out of plastic sheets with telegraph poles for gun barrels, or old World War II–era tanks which were not functional. Anti-aircraft defences were preserved by the simple expedient of not

turning them on, preventing NATO aircraft from detecting them, but forcing them to keep above a ceiling of 15,000 feet (5,000 m), making accurate bombing much more difficult. Towards the end of the war, it was claimed that carpet bombing by B-52 aircraft had caused huge casualties among Yugoslav troops stationed along the Kosovo–Albania border. Careful searching by NATO investigators found no evidence of any such large-scale casualties. However, the most significant loss for the Yugoslav Army was the damaged and destroyed infrastructure. Almost all military air bases and airfields (Batajnica, Lađevci, Slatina,Golubovci, Kovin, and Đakovica) and other military buildings and facilities were badly damaged or destroyed. Unlike the units and their equipment, military buildings couldn’t be camouflaged. thus, defence industry and military technical overhaul facilities were also seriously damaged (Utva, Zastava Arms factory, Moma Stanojlović air force overhaul center, technical overhaul centers in Čačak and Kragujevac). Moreover, in an effort to weaken the Yugoslav Army, NATO targeted several important civilian facilities (the Pančevo oil refinery, Novi Sad oil refinery, bridges, TV

Wreckage of Yugoslav MiG-29 jet fighter shot down on March 27, 1999, outside the town of Ugljevik, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Destroyed tank near Prizren antennas, railroads, etc.) Kosovo Liberation Army losses are difficult to analyze. According to some reports there were around 1,000 fatalities on the KLA side. Difficulties arise in calculating an accurate figure. Things are complicated by the difficulty of determining who was a KLA member and who was a civilian. For example, the Yugoslavs considered any armed Albanian to be a member of the KLA, regardless of whether he was officially a card-carrying member, so someone who is counted as a civilian by the Albanian side might be counted as a KLA combatant by the Serbs. Also, many KLA members were not wearing any uniforms and had no identification. Within three weeks, over 500,000 Albanian refugees had returned home By November 1999, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 848,100 out of 1,108,913 had returned. According to the 1991 Yugoslavia Census there were 194,190 Serbs and 45,745 Romas in Kosovo. According to the Human Rights Watch, 200,000 Serbs and thousands of Roma fled from Kosovo during and after the war. The Yugoslav Red Cross had also registered 247,391 mostly Serbian refugees by November. The persistent antiSerb attacks and riots, including against other non-Albanians, had remained in the anarchic stage until some form of order

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was established in 2001. This order disintegrated during the 2004 pogrom against non Albanians. More than 164,000 Serbs have left Kosovo during the seven weeks since Yugoslav and Serb forces withdrew and the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) entered the province. Serbian war crimes Before the end of the bombing, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević, along with Milan Milutinović, Nikola Šainović, Dragoljub Ojdanić and Vlajko Stojiljković were charged by theInternational Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with crimes against humanity including murder, forcible transfer, deportation, and “persecution on political, racial or religious grounds”. Further indictments were leveled in October 2003 against former armed forces chief of staff Nebojša Pavković, former army corps commander Vladimir Lazarević, former police official Vlastimir Đorđević, and Sreten Lukić. All were indicted for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. Later, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) legally found that Serbia “use[d] violence and terror to force a significant number of Kosovo Albanians from their homes and across the borders, in order for the Continued on Pages 16 and 17


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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Pages 8 - 15

state authorities to maintain control over Kosovo ... This campaign was conducted by army and Interior Ministrypolice forces (MUP) under the control of FRY and Serbian authorities, who were responsible for mass expulsions of Kosovo Albanian civilians from their homes, as well as incidents of killings, sexual assault, and the intentional destruction of mosques.” Albanian war crimes The ICTY also leveled indictments against KLA members Fatmir Limaj, Haradin Bala, Isak Musliu, and Agim Murtezi for crimes against humanity. They were arrested on February 17 and 18, 2003. Charges were soon dropped against Agim Murtezi as a case of mistaken identity, whereas Fatmir Limaj was acquitted of all charges on November 30, 2005 and released. The charges were in relation to the prison camp run by the defendants at Lapušnik between May and July 1998. In 2008, Carla Del Ponte published a book in which she alleged that, after the end of the war in 1999, Kosovo Albanians were smuggling organs of between 100 and 300 Serbs and other minorities from the province to Albania. The ICTY and the Serbian War Crimes Tribunal are currently investigating these allegations, as numerous witnesses and new materials have recently emerged. On March 2005, a U.N. tribunal indicted Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj for war crimes against the Serbs. On March 8, he tendered his resignation. Haradinaj, an ethnic Albanian, was a former commander who led units of the Kosovo Liberation Army and was appointed Prime Minister after winning an election of 72 votes to three in the Kosovo’s Parliament in December 2004. Haradinaj was acquitted on all counts along with fellow KLA veterans Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj. The Office of the Prosecutor appealed their acquittals, resulting in the ICTY ordering a partial retrial. However on 29 November 2012 all three were acquitted for second time on all charges. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), “800 non-Albanian civilians were kidnapped and murdered from 1998 to 1999”. After the war, “479 people have gone missing ... most of them Serbs”. The Yugoslav government and a number of international pressure groups (e.g. Amnesty International) claimed that NATO had carried out war crimes during the conflict, notably the bombing of the Serbian TV

headquarters in Belgrade on April 23, 1999, where 16 people were killed and 16 more were injured. Sian Jones of Amnesty stated, “The bombing of the headquarters of Serbian state radio and television was a deliberate attack on a civilian object and as such constitutes a war crime”. However, a later report conducted by the ICTY entitled Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia sided with NATO’s version of the attack, opining that, “Insofar as the attack actually was aimed at disrupting the communications network, it was legally acceptable” and that, “NATO’s targeting of the RTS building for propaganda purposes was an incidental (albeit complementary) aim of its primary goal of disabling the Serbian military command and control system and to destroy the nerve system and apparatus that keeps Milosević in power.” In regards to civilian casualties, it further stated that though they were, “unfortunately high, they do not appear to be clearly disproportionate.” Activist/Leftist-Writer Noam Chomsky claims this is inaccurate as the mass exodus of civilians did not occur until after the NATO bombing, and in his view NATO acted without the support of the United Nations and therefore this constitutes a war crime. International reaction to NATO intervention

Africa • Libyan Jamahiriya leader, Muammar Gaddafi had opposed the campaign and called on world leaders to support Yugoslavia’s ‘legitimate right to defend its freedoms and territorial integrity against a possible aggression.’ Asia • Cambodia was against the campaign. • The People’s Republic of China deeply condemned and strongly opposed the bombing, saying it was an act of aggression against the Yugoslav people, especially when NATO bombed its embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, riots and mass demonstrations against the governments of the United States and Great Britain have been reported against both the attack and the operation overall. Jiang Zemin, the President of the country at the time, called ‘once more’ for an immediate halt to the airstrikes and demanded peaceful negotiations. • India had condemned the bombing. The

Refugee camp in Fier, Albania Indian foreign ministry also stated that it ‘urged all military actions to be brought to a halt’ and that ‘FR Yugoslavia be enabled to resolve its internal issues internally.’ • Indonesia was against the campaign. • Japan’s PM Keizō Obuchi had advocated the bombing, stating that Yugoslavia had an ‘uncompromising attitude. ‘Moreover, Japan’s foreign minister Masahiko Kōmura said that, ‘Japan understands NATO’s use of force as measures that had to be taken to prevent humanitarian catastrophe.’ • Malaysia had supported the bombing, stating that it ‘was necessary to prevent genocide in Kosovo.’ • Pakistan’s government was concerned about developing situations in Kosovo and called for UN intervention. • Vietnam was against the bombing campaign. Europe • Albania had strongly supported the bombing campaign. This resulted in the breaking of diplomatic ties between Albania and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who had made claims of the Albanian government harboring UÇK insurgents and supplying them with weapons. • France had mixed responses to the bombing, despite being a combatant. • Slobodan Milošević, the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had called the bombings, an ‘unlawful act of terrorism’ and the ‘key to colonize Yugoslavia’. TheYu-

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goslav population also strongly opposed the bombing and showed defiance with culturalrelated themes. Milošević also stated that, ‘the only correct decision that could have been made was the one to reject foreign troops on our territory.’The Yugoslavs who opposed Milošević also opposed the bombing, saying that it ‘supports Milošević rather than attacking him.’ • Greece was opposed to the NATO bombings with around 97% of the Greek population completely condemning it. • The bombing was met with mixed reactions in Italy, despite the country’s participation in the air campaign. Silvio Berlusconi along with the centre-right had supported the bombardment while the far left strongly opposed it. • Russia strongly condemned the campaign. With the president Boris Yeltsin stating that, ‘Russia is deeply upset by NATO’s military action against sovereign Yugoslavia, which is nothing more than open aggression.’They also condemned NATO at the United Nations saying that NATO air strikes on Serbia was ‘an illegal action.’Many Russians volunteered to Kosovo to not just fight the UÇK, but to also oppose NATO. • As a member of the bombing, the United Kingdom had strongly supported the bombing campaign. A majority of the British population had supported it. Continued on Page 17


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

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The War Nobody Cared About... Continued from Pages 8 - 16 Oceania • Australia had supported the campaign. Prime Minister John Howard stated that, “history has told us that if you sit by and do nothing, you pay a much greater price later on.” United Nations • The United Nations had mixed reactions to the bombing. The bombing had also been carried out without its authorization. However, Kofi Annan, the UN SecretaryGeneral had said this, “It is indeed tragic that diplomacy has failed, but there are times when the use of force is legitimate in the pursuit of peace.” The Kosovo war had a number of important consequences in terms of the military and political outcome. The status of Kosovo remains unresolved; international negotiations began in 2006 to determine Kosovo’s level of autonomy as envisaged under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, but efforts failed. The province is administered by the United Nations despite its unilateral declaration of independence on February 17, 2008. The UN-backed talks, led by UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari, had begun in Feb-

ruary 2006. Whilst progress was made on technical matters, both parties remained diametrically opposed on the question of status itself. In February 2007, Ahtisaari delivered a draft status settlement proposal to leaders in Belgrade and Pristina, the basis for a draft UN Security Council Resolution which proposes “supervised independence” for the province, which is in contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244. By July 2007, the draft resolution, which was backed by the United States, United Kingdom, and other European members of the Security Council, had been rewritten four times to try to accommodate Russian concerns that such a resolution would undermine the principle of state sovereignty. Russia, which holds a veto in the Security Council as one of five permanent members, stated that it would not support any resolution which is not acceptable to both Belgrade and Priština. The campaign exposed significant weaknesses in the U.S. arsenal, which were later addressed for the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns. Apache attack helicopters and AC-130 Spectre gunships were brought up to the front lines but were never used after

Members of the Kosovo Liberation Army turn over their weapons to U.S. Marines

US Marines captured Yugoslav soldiers on July 3, 1999 during the ceasefire and the implementation MTA from Kumanovo of 9 June. two Apaches crashed during training in the Albanian mountains. Stocks of many precision missiles were reduced to critically low levels. For combat aircraft, continuous operations resulted in skipped maintenance schedules, and many aircraft were withdrawn from service awaiting spare parts and service. Also, many of the precisionguided weapons proved unable to cope with Balkan weather, as the clouds blocked the laser guidance beams. This was resolved by retrofitting bombs with Global Positioning System satellite guidance devices that are immune to bad weather. Although pilotless surveillance aircraft were extensively used, often attack aircraft could not be brought to the scene quickly enough to hit targets of opportunity. This led missiles being fit onto Predator drones in Afghanistan, reducing the “sensor to shooter” time to virtually zero. Kosovo also showed that some low-tech tactics could reduce the impact of a hightech force such as NATO; the Milošević government coöperated with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, passing on many of the lessons learned. The Yugoslav army had long expected to need to resist a much stronger enemy, either Soviet or NATO, during the Cold War and had developed effective tactics of deception and concealment in response. These would have been unlikely to have resisted a full-scale inva-

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sion for long, but were probably in misleading overflying aircraft and satellites. Among the tactics used were: • U.S. stealth aircraft were tracked with radars operating on long wavelengths. If stealth jets got wet or opened their bomb bay doors, they would become visible on the radar screens. An F-117 Nighthawk downed by a missile was possibly spotted in this way. • Dummy targets such as fake bridges, airfields and decoy planes and tanks were used extensively. Tanks were made using old tires, plastic sheeting and logs, and sand cans and fuel set alight to mimic heat emissions. They fooled NATO pilots into bombing hundreds of such decoys, though General Clark’s survey found that in Operation: Allied Force, NATO airmen hit just 25 decoys—an insignificant percentage of the 974 validated hits. However, NATO sources claim that this was due to operating procedures, which oblige troops, in this case aircraft, to engage any and all targets, however unlikely they may be. The targets needed only to look real to be shot at, if detected, of course. NATO claimed that Yugoslav air force had been devastated. “Official data show that the Yugoslav army in Kosovo lost 26 percent of its tanks, 34 percent of its APCs, and 47 percent of the artillery to the air campaign.”


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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

The Truth of Military Service Submitted by John Roby The profound truth of military service is that a very small segment of the populace chooses to suffer the worst of times so that the rest of them may enjoy the best. It should stir the soul that we have among us fellow citizens who will voluntarily choose to place themselves between us and war’s desolation. It certainly stirs mine. There are legions of men and women who will have no more days with their loved ones. Who will not see their children grow. Who will never know another holiday dinner around the table. And they chose, voluntarily to do what they did so that the vast majority of the populace can enjoy all those things in peace. My God, the least we can do to honor them and remember them is give them a single day of gratitude and remembrance. Soldier I was that which others did not want to be. I went where others feared to go, and did what others failed to do. I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness ... should I fail. I have seen the face of terror; felt the stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment’s love.

I have cried, pained, and hoped ... but most of all, I have lived times others would say were best forgotten. At least someday I will be able to say that I was proud of what I was ... a soldier. -George L. Skypeck Personal note: Yes, I served. Yes I am very proud of my service. Yes, I made the same bet (my life) that everyone else who volunteered made. Yes, I appreciate the thank yous for my service. But let there be no doubt that this country and her citizens owe me NOTHING. Thirteen years of my life is a small price to pay for the freedoms we enjoy; especially when compare to those who sacrificed their very lives. Lisa, I am a nobody kid from Wyoming. I was an officer in my nation’s Army. I was entrusted to command her sons and daughters in battle. This nation provided me the training and the trust to fulfill that mission. ‘Military officer’ is a position that for generations in many countries was reserved for the sons of aristocrats. In many nations, that’s still the case. Is there any greater testament to the founding principles than the fact that I and millions like me were/are the nation’s battle commanders? In my mind, the answer is a resounding ‘no.’

Selectel Wireless Salutes Our Veterans!

We appreciate you! Veterans Thank you for your service! 2007 S Douglas Hwy, Gillette 307-682-3314

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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

A Sinking Memory Note: It is our pleasure to reprint this story about Charlie Heinl, a WWII vet currently receiving hospice services through State of the Heart Hospice. State of the Heart cares for families and patients in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life-limiting illness. This hospice is a national partner of We Honor Veterans. On January 4, 1944, Charles (Charlie) Heinl left his hometown of Minster, Ohio at age 17. Little did he know that 10 months later he would be involved in the tragic sinking of the ship he was aboard, the USS Gambier Bay, and he himself would survive 42 hours hanging onto a life raft in the Pacific. It happened 67 years ago, and the memories are captured in Heinl’s story which is one of the personal accounts of that tragic ocean battle on October 25, 1944. Heinl’s ship, a small escort carrier, was attacked by Japan’s largest battleship, the Yamato. The ship, Hienl recalled, “was monstrous.” Today, Heinl, 85, of Maria Stein, OH, is a State of the Heart Hospice patient and is considering attending the annual reunion of the estimated 800 men who survived the Japanese attack. More than 120 of the ship’s sailors were killed. The reunion is scheduled for October, 2011 in St. Louis. Time has taken its toll on the number of survivors, Heinl explained; only about 13 are still living and will likely attend. Whether he goes or not depends on his health and is somewhat “iffy” explained his wife Rita. An optimistic Heinl, responded, “There’s still a chance.” Family members have helped the couple attend in recent years. Heinl was one of the youngest men on the ship. Heinl recalled he “jumped” into the water as the ship was going down. For a day, he had no life jacket and hung perilously to a life raft with other sailors. “As we watched back, we saw the ship roll over on its hull and begin to sink bow first, exposing the screws. It then sank,” he explained in his personal account of the battle on a “survivor’s page” on the Internet story about the sinking of the USS Gambier Bay. In his account, he tells of the six to eight foot swells of water and how he and others took turns hanging onto the raft. “The men began seeing sharks and I thought I

saw them too. Someone close to me was attacked. As time went on the sharks became a real menace.” It was not until six hours after the Gambier went down that orders were issued to conduct a search and rescue mission. Staying alert and being aware of hallucinations became a problem as Heinl and the others struggled to stay awake. On October 27, 1944, they were finally rescue by a US PC boat. “The men rescuing us said they couldn’t get us out of the water fast enough as there were a lot of sharks in the area.” Heinl escaped with only minor injuries and was later discharged from the Navy. But, his connection with the USS Gambier Bay was not over. Heinl, just as others, never got to see his shipmates again after the sinking of the ship. They all went their separate ways on various Navy assignments. That fateful day, however, lived in their minds. Just as others, Heinl, spoke rarely of his narrow escape from death. His dark memories of that day remained buried. However, the thought of seeing his shipmates again lingered with him. He and several others he had contacted spent nearly two years trying to reconnect with their shipmates. “He would find phone books and get phone books of various cities across the country from friends and search through them for names of the survivors,” his wife explained. Then, one day in October, 25 years to the day that the USS Gambier Bay went down, the survivors gathered for a reunion. It was the first time they had seen one another since the ship was sunk. “I have never seen so many men cry at one time,” said Mrs. Heinl. “Charlie had never talked of the sinking of the ship much until then. I think it helped them all to openly talk about what they all went through.” Heinl became active in the group and served as president, treasurer and secretary. Today, his son Mark has taken his position on the board. The couple has another son, John. The couple said they appreciate their hospice services. “Everyone is very nice and helpful to us,” Heinl said. To this day, Heinl feels lucky that he was not seriously hurt in that tragic ship sinking

67 years ago. “I am happy to be alive after that experience,” he said from his comfortable home where he and Rita have lived for the past 56 years. State of the Heart Hospice is very pleased to be part of NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans initiative. Kelley Hall, education coordinator for State of the Heart said, “All hospices nationwide are serving veterans, but in many instances are not aware of the patient’s Armed Forces service. Our veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country and now it’s our turn to proudly serve them. Now, it’s time for us to step up, acquire the necessary skills and fulfill our mission to serve these men and women with the dignity they deserve. State of the Heart Hospice is proud to be providing care to Mr. Heinl.” The NHPCO launched the “We Honor Veterans” campaign as a collaborative effort with the nation’s VA Centers. The

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resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgement, coupled with Veteran-centric education of health care staff caring for veterans. By Larry Kinneer,

THANK YOU VETERANS Fax: 307-682-5740 ospws@collinscom.net

403 Commerce Drive • Gillette, Wyoming 82718


November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

Medal of Honor Living Recipients BACA, JOHN P. Specialist 4th Class U.S. Army Vietnam War BALLARD, DONALD E. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class U.S. Navy Vietnam War BARNUM, HARVEY C., JR. 1st Lieutenant U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War BEIKIRCH, GARY B. Sergeant U.S. Army Vietnam War BRADY, PATRICK HENRY Major U.S. Army Vietnam War BUCHA, PAUL WILLIAM Captain U.S. Army Vietnam War CAFFERATA, HECTOR A., JR. Private U.S. Marine Corps Korean War CARTER, TY M. Specialist U.S. Army War In Afghanistan CAVAIANI, JON R. Staff Sergeant U.S. Army Vietnam War COOLIDGE, CHARLES H. Technical Sergeant U.S. Army World War II CRANDALL, BRUCE P. Major U.S. Army Vietnam War CURREY, FRANCIS S. Private First Class U.S. Army World War II DAVIS, SAMMY L. Private First Class U.S. Army Vietnam War DEWEY, DUANE E. Corporal U.S. Marine Corps Korean War DIX, DREW DENNIS Staff Sergeant U.S. Army Vietnam War DONLON, ROGER HUGH C. Captain U.S. Army Vietnam War EHLERS, WALTER D. Staff Sergeant U.S. Army World War II FERGUSON, Chief Warrant Officer FREDERICK EDGAR U.S. Army Vietnam War

FISHER, Major BERNARD FRANCIS U.S. Air Force Vietnam War FITZMAURICE, Specialist Fourth Class MICHAEL JOHN U.S. Army Vietnam War FLEMING, JAMES P. 1st Lieutenant U.S. Air Force Vietnam War FOLEY, ROBERT F. Captain U.S. Army Vietnam War FOX, WESLEY L. 1st Lieutenant U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War FRITZ, HAROLD A. 1st Lieutenant U.S. Army Vietnam War GIUNTA, SALVATORE A. Staff Sergeant U.S. Army War In Afghanistan HAGEMEISTER, Specialist Fourth Class CHARLES CHRIS U.S. Army Vietnam War HAWK, JOHN D. Sergeant U.S. Army World War II HERDA, FRANK A. Private First Class U.S. Army Vietnam War HERNANDEZ, RODOLFO P. Corporal U.S. Army Korean War HUDNER, Lieutenant THOMAS JEROME, JR. U.S. Navy Korean War INGMAN, EINAR H., JR. Sergeant U.S. Army Korean War INGRAM, ROBERT R. Petty Officer U.S. Navy Vietnam War JACKSON, ARTHUR J. Private First Class U.S. Marine Corps World War II JACKSON, JOE M. Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Air Force Vietnam War JACOBS, JACK H. 1st Lieutenant U.S. Army Vietnam War JENKINS, DON J. Private First Class U.S. Army Vietnam War

KELLEY, THOMAS G. Lieutenant U.S. Navy Vietnam War KELLOGG, ALLAN JAY, JR. Staff Sergeant U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War KERREY, JOSEPH R. Lieutenant, Junior Grade U.S. Navy Vietnam War KINSMAN, Private First Class THOMAS JAMES U.S. Army Vietnam War LEE, HOWARD V. Captain U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War LEMON, PETER C. Specialist Fourth Class U.S. Army Vietnam War LITEKY, ANGELO J. Captain U.S. Army Vietnam War LITTRELL, GARY LEE Sergeant First Class U.S. Army Vietnam War LIVINGSTON, JAMES E. Captain U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War LYNCH, ALLEN JAMES Specialist Fourth Class U.S. Army Vietnam War MARM, Second Lieutenant WALTER JOSEPH, JR. U.S. Army Vietnam War MAXWELL, ROBERT D. Technician Fifth Grade U.S. Army World War II McGINTY, JOHN J., III Staff Sergeant U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War MEYER, DAKOTA Sergeant U.S. Marine Corps War In Afghanistan MIYAMURA, HIROSHI H. Corporal U.S. Army Korean War MIZE, OLA L. Corporal U.S. Army Korean War MODRZEJEWSKI, Captain ROBERT J. U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War NORRIS, THOMAS R. Lieutenant U.S. Navy Vietnam War Continued on Page 21

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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

Medal of Honor Living Recipients... O’MALLEY, ROBERT E.

Corporal U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War PATTERSON, Specialist Fourth Class ROBERT MARTIN U.S. Army Vietnam War PETRY, LEROY A. Staff Sergeant U.S. Army War In Afghanistan PITTMAN, RICHARD A. Lance Corporal U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War RASCON, ALFRED V. Specialist Fourth Class U.S. Army Vietnam War RAY, RONALD ERIC 1st Lieutenant U.S. Army Vietnam War ROBERTS, GORDON R. Specialist Fourth Class U.S. Army Vietnam War ROMESHA, CLINTON L. Staff Sergeant U.S. Army War In Afghanistan ROSS, WILBURN K. Private U.S. Army World War II ROSSER, RONALD E. Corporal U.S. Army Korean War RUBIN, TIBOR Corporal U.S. Army Korean War SAKATO, GEORGE T. Private U.S. Army World War II SASSER, Specialist Fifth Class CLARENCE EUGENE U.S. Army Vietnam War SIMANEK, ROBERT E. Private First Class U.S. Marine Corps Korean War SPRAYBERRY, JAMES M. 1st Lieutenant U.S. Army Vietnam War STUMPF, Staff Sergeant (then SPC 4) KENNETH E. U.S. Army Vietnam War SWENSON, WILLIAM D. Captain U.S. Army War In Afghanistan TAYLOR, JAMES ALLEN 1st Lieutenant U.S. Army Vietnam War

THACKER, BRIAN MILES THORNTON, MICHAEL EDWIN THORSNESS, LEO K. VARGAS, JAY R.

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First Lieutenant U.S. Army Vietnam War Petty Officer U.S. Navy Vietnam War Major U.S. Air Force Vietnam War Captain U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War

Continued from Page 20

WEST, ERNEST E. WETZEL, GARY GEORGE WILLIAMS, HERSHEL WOODROW

Private First Class U.S. Army Korean War Private First Class U.S. Army Vietnam War Corporal U.S. Marine Corps World War II


November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

Sgt. Reckless The story of Reckless is not only remarkable - it is unusual. And once you learn about her, you will see why the Marine Corps not only fell in love with her - but honored her and promoted her every chance they got. And it wasn’t just the Marines that served with her in the trenches that honored her - her last promotion to Staff Sergeant was by Gen. Randolph McC Pate - the Commandant of the entire Marine Corps. You can’t get higher than that in the Marines. Reckless joined the Marines to carry ammunition to the front lines for the 75mm Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marines - and she quickly earned the love and respect of all of the Marines that served with her. Lt. Eric Peder-

sen paid $250 of his own money to a young Korean boy, Kim Huk Moon, for her. The only reason Kim sold his beloved horse was so he could buy an artificial leg for his older sister, Chung Soon, who lost her leg in a land mine accident. Kim’s loss was the Marines’ gain. It was not only Reckless’ heroics that endeared the Marines to her - it was her incredible antics off of the battlefield. You will not believe her antics when she was being ignored, or if she was hungry – let’s just say you never wanted to leave your food unattended. As legendary as she was for her heroics – her appetite became even more legendary. This horse had a mind of her own – not to mention, being very determined.

Reckless had a voracious appetite. She would eatanything and everything – but especially scrambled eggs and pancakes in the morning with her morning cup of coffee. She also loved cake, Hershey bars, candy from the C rations, and Coca Cola – even poker chips, blankets and hats when she was being ignored – or if she was trying to just prove a point. One of Reckless’ finest hours came during the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953. At the time of this battle it was written that, “The savagery of the battle for the so-called Nevada Complex has never been equaled in Marine Corps history.” This particular battle “was to bring a cannonading and bombing seldom experienced in warfare … twenty-eight tons of bombs and hundreds of the largest shells turned the crest of Vegas into a smoking, death-pocked rubble.” And Reckless was in the middle of all of it. Enemy soldiers could see her as she made her way across the deadly “no man’s land” rice paddies and up the steep 45-degree mountain trails that led to the firing sites. “It’s difficult to describe the elation and the boost in morale that little white-faced mare gave Marines as she outfoxed the enemy bringing vitally needed ammunition up the mountain,” Sgt. Maj. James E. Bobbitt recalled. During this five-day battle, on one day alone shemade 51 trips from the Ammunition Supply Point to the firing sites, 95% of the time by herself. Shecar-

ried 386 rounds of ammunition (over 9,000 pounds – almost FIVE TONS! -- of ammunition),walked over 35 miles through open rice paddies and up steep mountains with enemy fire coming in at the rate of 500 rounds per minute. And as she so often did, she would carry wounded soldiers down the mountain to safety, unload them, get reloaded with ammo, and off she would go back up to the guns. She also provided a shield for several Marines who were trapped trying to make their way up to the front line. Wounded twice, she didn’t let that stop or slow her down. What she did in this battle not only earned her the respect of all that served with her, but it got her promoted to Sergeant. Her heroics defined the word “Marine.” She was BELOVED by the Marines. They took care of her better than they took care of themselves – throwing their flak jackets over her to protect her when incoming was heavy, risking their own safety.

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Her Military Decorations include two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of

which she wore proudly on her red and gold blanket, along with a French Fourragere that the 5th Marines earned in WW1. There has never been a horse like Reckless, and her story needs to be honored. She wasn’t a horse - She was a Marine!


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

Arlington at Christmas

Anchors Aweigh

Rest easy, sleep well my brothers. Know the line has held, your job is done. Rest easy, sleep well. Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held. Peace, peace, and farewell...

Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths -- some 5,000 -- are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He’s done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.

Rocky Mountain

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We are proud of our vets in this great community.

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Frank's alignment is Veteran owned


November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

The Christmas That Almost Stopped a War

The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides – as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units – independently ventured into “no man’s land”, where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another. The truce is seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of modern history. It was not ubiquitous; in some regions of the front, fighting continued throughout the day, while

in others, little more than an arrangement to recover bodies was made. The following year, a few units again arranged ceasefires with their opponents over Christmas, but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting such fraternization. In 1916, after the unprecedentedly bloody battles of the Somme and Verdun, and the beginning of widespread poison gas use, soldiers on both sides increasingly viewed the other side as less than human, and no more Christmas truces were sought. In the early months of immobile trench warfare, the truces were not unique to the Christmas period, and reflected a growing mood of “live and let live”, where infantry units in close proximity to each other would stop overtly aggressive behavior, and often engage in small-scale fraternization, engaging in conversation or bartering for cigarettes. In some sectors, there would be occasional ceasefires to allow soldiers to go between the lines and recover wounded

A cross, left in Saint-Yves (Saint-Yvon - Ploegsteert; Comines-Warneton in Belgium) in 1999, to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce. The text reads: “1914 – The Khaki Chum’s Christmas Truce – 1999 – 85 Years – Lest We Forget”

British and German troops meeting in no man’s land during the unofficial truce (British troops from the Northumberland Hussars, 7th Division, Bridoux-Rouge Banc Sector) or dead comrades, while in others, there would be a tacit agreement not to shoot while men rested, exercised, or worked in full view of the enemy. The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation – even in very peaceful sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable. The five months of World War I had saw an initial German attack through Belgium into France, which had been repulsed outside Paris by French and British troops at the Battle of the Marne in early September 1914. The Germans fell back to the Aisne valley, where they prepared defensive positions. In the subsequent Battle of the Aisne, the Allied forces were unable to push through the German line, and the fighting quickly degenerated into a stalemate; neither side was willing to give ground, and both started to develop fortified systems of trenches. To the north, on the right of the German army, there had been no defined front line, and both sides quickly began to try to use this gap to outflank one another; in the ensuing “Race to the Sea”, the two sides repeatedly clashed, each trying to push forward and threaten the end of the other’s line. After several months of fighting, during which the British forces were withdrawn from the Aisne and sent north into Flanders, the northern flank had developed into a similar stalemate. By November, there was a continuous front line running from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier, occupied on both sides by armies in prepared defensive positions.

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In the lead up to Christmas 1914, there were several peace initiatives. The Open Christmas Letter was a public message for peace addressed “To the Women of Germany and Austria”, signed by a group of 101 British women suffragists at the end of 1914 as the first Christmas of World War I approached. Pope Benedict XV, on 7 December 1914, had begged for an official truce between the warring governments. He asked “that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang.” This attempt was officially rebuffed. Though there was no official truce, roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved in unofficial cessations of fighting along the length of the Western Front. The first truce started on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium and particularly in Saint-Yvon (called Saint-Yves, in Plugstreet/Ploegsteert - Comines-Warneton), where Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather described the Truce. The Germans began by placing candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were excursions across No Man’s Land, where small gifts were exchanged, such as food, tobacco and alcohol, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats. The artillery in the Continued on Page 25


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

The Christmas That Almost Stopped a War... Continued from Page 24

region fell silent. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently killed soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Joint services were held. The fraternization carried risks; some soldiers were shot by opposing forces. In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but it continued until New Year’s Day in others. Bruce Bairnsfather, who served throughout the war, wrote: “I wouldn’t have missed that unique and weird Christmas Day for anything. ... I spotted a German officer, some sort of lieutenant I should think, and being a bit of a collector, I intimated to him that I had taken a fancy to some of his buttons. ... I brought out my wire clippers and, with a few deft snips, removed a couple of his buttons and put them in my pocket. I then gave him two of mine in exchange. ... The last I saw was one of my machine gunners, who was a bit of an amateur hairdresser in civil life, cutting the unnaturally long hair of a docile Boche, who was patiently kneeling on the ground whilst the automatic clippers crept up the back of his neck.” Captain Sir Edward Hulse Bart reported how the first interpreter he met from the German lines was from Suffolk where he had left his girlfriend and a 3.5 hp motorcycle. Hulse Bart went on to describe a sing-song which “ended up with ‘Auld lang syne’ which we all, English, Scots, Irish, Prussians, Wurttenbergers, etc, joined in. It was absolutely

astounding, and if I had seen it on a cinematograph film I should have sworn that it was faked !” Nor were the observations confined to the British. Leutnant Johannes Niemann: “grabbed my binoculars and looking cautiously over the parapet saw the incredible sight of our soldiers exchanging cigarettes, schnapps and chocolate with the enemy.” General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, commander of the British II Corps, issued orders forbidding friendly communication with the opposing German troops. Adolf Hitler, then a young corporal of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry, was also an opponent of the truce. In the following months, there were a few sporadic attempts at truces; a German unit attempted to leave their trenches under a flag of truce on Easter Sunday 1915, but were warned off by the British opposite them, and later in the year, in November, a Saxon unit briefly fraternized with a Liverpool battalion. In December 1915, there were explicit orders by the Allied commanders to forestall any repeat of the previous Christmas truce. Individual units were encouraged to mount raids and harass the enemy line, whilst communicating with the enemy was discouraged by artillery barrages along the front line throughout the day. The prohibition was not completely effective, however, and a small number of brief truces occurred. An eyewitness account of one truce, by

German soldiers of the 134th Saxon Regiment and British soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment meet in no man’s land, December 26

Llewelyn Wyn Griffith, recorded that after a night of exchanging carols, dawn on Christmas Day saw a “rush of men from both sides ... [and] a feverish exchange of souvenirs” before the men were quickly called back by their officers, with offers to hold a ceasefire for the day and to play a football match. It came to nothing, as the brigade commander threatened repercussions for the lack of discipline, and insisted on a resumption of firing in the afternoon. Another member of Griffith’s battalion, Bertie Felstead, later recalled that one man had produced a football, resulting in “a free-for-all; there could have been 50 on each side”, before they were ordered back. In an adjacent sector, a short truce to bury the dead between the lines led to official repercussions; a company commander, Sir Iain Colquhoun of the Scots Guards, was court-martialled for defying standing orders to the contrary. Whilst he was found guilty and officially reprimanded, this punishment was quickly annulled by General Haig, and Colquhoun remained in his position; the official leniency may perhaps have been because he was related to Herbert Asquith, the Prime Minister. In the later years of the war, in December 1916 and 1917, German overtures to the British for truces were recorded without any success. In some French sectors, singing and an exchange of thrown gifts was occasionally recorded, though these may simply have reflected a seasonal extension of the live-and-let-live approach common in the trenches. Evidence of a Christmas 1916 truce, previously unknown to historians, has recently come to light. In a letter home, 23-year-old Private Ronald MacKinnon told of a remarkable event that occurred on 25 December 1916, when German and Canadian soldiers reached across the battle lines near Vimy Ridge to share Christmas greetings and trade presents. “Here we are again as the song says,” the young soldier wrote. “I had quite a good Christmas considering I was in the front line. Christmas eve was pretty stiff, sentry-go up to the hips in mud of course. ... We had a truce on Christmas Day and our German friends were quite friendly. They came over to see us and we traded bully beef for cigars.” The passage ends with Pte. MacKinnon noting that, “Christmas was ‘très bon’, which means very good.” MacKinnon was killed

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shortly afterwards during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. In the following years of the war, artillery bombardments were ordered on Christmas Eve to try to ensure that there were no further lulls in the combat. Troops were also rotated through various sectors of the front to prevent them from becoming overly familiar with the enemy. Situations of deliberate dampening of hostilities still occurred. For example, artillery was fired at precise points, at precise times, to avoid enemy casualties by both sides. The events of the truce were not reported for a week, in an unofficial press embargo which was eventually broken by the New York Times on 31 December. The British papers quickly followed, printing numerous first-hand accounts from soldiers in the field, taken from letters home to their families, and editorials on “one of the greatest surprises of a surprising war”. By 8 January pictures had made their way to the press, and both the Mirror and Sketch printed front-page photographs of British and German troops mingling and singing between the lines. The tone of the reporting was strongly positive, with the Times endorsing the “lack of malice” felt by both sides and the Mirror regretting that the “absurdity and the tragedy” would begin again. Coverage in Germany was more muted, with some newspapers strongly criticising those who had taken part, and no pictures published. In France, meanwhile, the greater level ofpress censorship ensured that the only word that spread of the truce came from soldiers at the front or first-hand accounts told by wounded men in hospitals. The press was eventually forced to respond to the growing rumours by reprinting a government notice that fraternising with the enemy constituted treason, and in early January an official statement on the truce was published, claiming it had happened on restricted sectors of the British front, and amounted to little more than an exchange of songs which quickly degenerated into shooting. A Christmas truce memorial was unveiled in Frelinghien, France, on 11 November 2008. Also on that day, at the spot where, on Christmas Day 1914, their regimental ancestors came out from their trenches to play football, men from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welch Fusiliers played a football match with the German Battalion 371. The Germans won 2–1.


November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

Heros Deed

LYRICS BY AARON LETRICK, A PROFESSIONAL SINGER/SONGWRITER FROM NYC, AND THE SON OF A USMC VIETNAM VETERAN. HE WROTE THIS SONG FOR OUR BRAVE SOLDIERS AND WISHES TO GET IT OUT AND TO THEM. HIS ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO DONATE THE PROCEEDS TO THE FAMILIES OF FALLEN SOLDIERS. HTTP://WWW.MYSPACE.COM/AARONLETRICK Mental distance, from a place that he calls home He fights to free them, and loves them as his own He hears the dark words, stories twisted, and the lies He sees the truth get buried as the power hunt still thrives (CHORUS) A Heroes Deed…Selfless acts of valor He’ll give his life to save a world that treats him like a failure A Heroes need, Is not lost in battle He knows he strives for truth and nothing else will matter He has a vision, an unending sense of pride His motivation, born of something deep inside He sees the news from home; they’re carrying their signs He wonders if they know they have that right Because of what the signs decry (CHORUS) I never could afford to feel contempt for those with passion Or climb on board the latest fashion I never will be found outside burning flags or chanting But when I know who’s wrong and right Ill stand beside The hero that keeps us free And only time will tell, what consequence awaits Maybe we should recognize, the role the Hero plays Rather than to criticize, lets find a better way I never could attempt to feel a foreign type of passion I’ll fight the latest Fascist I never could be found outside burning flags or maybe chanting But when I know who’s wrong or right Ill stand beside The hero that keeps us free, Oh Lord I’m free! The Heroes Deed will light the way Don’t bring him down The Heroes Deed, The Heroes Deed

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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

Holly Galloway and her son Nicholas in Oct 2010

To Those Who Serve And Have Served

For advertising email us at Advertising@ CampbellCountyObserver.com

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November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

Quasi-War: The Forgotten War The Quasi-War was an undeclared war fought mostly at sea between the United States and the French Republic from 1798 to 1800. In the United States, the conflict was sometimes also referred to as the Undeclared War With France, the Pirate Wars and the Half-War. The Kingdom of France had been a crucial ally of the United States in the American Revolutionary War since the spring of 1776, and had signed in 1778 a treaty of alliance with the United States of America. But in 1794, after the French Revolution toppled that country’s monarchy, the American government came to an agreement with the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Jay Treaty, that resolved several points of contention between the United States and Great Britain that had lingered since the end of the American Revolutionary War. It also contained economic clauses. The United States had already declared neutrality in the conflict between Great Britain and post-revolution France, and American legislation was being passed for a trade deal with Britain. Coupled with the U.S. refusal to continue repaying its debt to France on the grounds that the debt had been owed to the French Crown, not to Republican France, the French outrage at the United States led to a series of responses. French privateers began seizing American ships trading with Britain, and the French government refused to receive the new United States minister Charles Cotesworth Pinckney when he arrived in Paris in December 1796. In his annual message to Congress at the close of 1797, President John Adamsreported on France’s refusal to negotiate and spoke of the need “to place our country in a suitable posture of defense.” In April 1798, President Adams informed Congress of the “XYZ Affair”, in which French agents had demanded a large bribe for the restoration of diplomatic relations with the United States. The French Navy inflicted substantial losses on American shipping. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering reported to Congress on June 21, 1797, that the French had seized 316 American merchant ships in the previous eleven months. The hostilities caused insurance rates on American shipping to increase at least 500 percent, since French marauders cruised the length of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard virtually un-

opposed. The administration had no warships to combat them; the last had been sold in 1785. The United States possessed only a flotilla of small revenue cutters and some neglected coastal forts.[3] Increased depredations by privateers from Revolutionary France required the rebirth of the United States Navy to protect the expanding American merchant shipping. Congress authorized the president to acquire, arm, and man not more than twelve vessels, of up to 22 guns each. Several vessels were immediately purchased and converted into ships of war, and construction of the frigate Congress resumed. July 7, 1798, the date that Congress rescinded treaties with France, is considered the beginning of the Quasi-War. This was followed two days later with the passage of the Congressional authorization to attack French warships. The U.S. Navy operated with a battle fleet of about 25 vessels. These patrolled the southern coast of the United States and throughout the Caribbean, seeking French privateers. Captain Thomas Truxtun’s insistence on the highest standards of crew training paid dividends as the frigate USS Constellation captured L’Insurgente and severely damaged La Vengeance. French privateers usually resisted, as did La Croyable, which was captured on July 7, 1798, by the USS Delaware outside of Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The USS Enterprise captured eight privateers and freed 11 American merchant ships from captivity. The USS Experiment captured the French privateers Deux Amis and Diane. Numerous American merchantmen were recaptured by the Experiment. The USS Boston forced Le Berceau into submission. Silas Talbot engineered an expedition to Puerto Plata harbor in the Colony of Santo Domingo, a possession of France’s ally Spain, on May 11, 1800; sailors and Marines from the USS Constitution under Lieutenant Isaac Hull captured the French privateer Sandwich in the harbor and spiked the guns of the Spanish fort. Only one U.S Navy vessel was captured by (and later recaptured from) French forces, the USS Retaliation. She was the captured privateer La Croyable, recently

Continued on Pages 29 and 30

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USS Constellation (left) vs. L’Insurgente (right) Strength A fleet of 54 including: 18 Frigates 4 Sloops 2 Brigs 3 Schooners 5,700 Sailors 365 privateers Unknown

Casualties and losses 20 dead 42 wounded 300+ merchantmen and their cargoes captured 22 Privateer captured (Before US Navy Involvement) Over 2000 ships captured in total, one after Naval involvement (later recaptured) [1] Unknown killed or wounded exactly, but insignificant; Several French privateers captured or destroyed

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Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

The Forgotten War... Continued from Page 28 purchased by the U.S. Navy. Retaliation departed Norfolk on October 28, 1798, with Montezuma and Norfolk, and cruised in the West Indies protecting American commerce. On November 20, 1798, the French frigates L’Insurgente and Volontaire overtook Retaliation while her consorts were away and forced commanding officer Lieutenant William Bainbridge to surrender the out-gunned schooner. Montezuma and Norfolk escaped after Bainbridge convinced the senior French commander that those American warships were too powerful for his frigates and persuaded him to abandon the chase. Renamed Magicienne by the French, the schooner again came into American hands on June 28, when a broadside from USS Merrimack forced her to haul down her colors. Revenue cutters in the service of the United States Revenue-Marine, the predecessor to the United States Coast Guard, also took part in the conflict. The cutter USRC Pickering, commanded by Edward Preble, made two cruises to the West Indies and captured several prizes. Preble turned command of the Pickering over to Benjamin Hillar, and he captured the much larger and more heavily armed French privateer l’Egypte Conquise after a nine-hour battle. In September 1800, Hillar, the Pickering, and her entire crew were lost at sea

in a storm. Preble commanded the frigate Essex, which he sailed around Cape Horn into the Pacific to protect American merchantmen in the East Indies; he recaptured several ships that had been seized by French privateers. American naval losses may have been light, but the French successfully seized many American merchant ships by the war’s end in 1800—over two thousand, one source contends. Although they were fighting the same enemy, the Royal Navy and the United States Navy did not cooperate operationally, nor did they share operational plans or come to mutual understandings about deployment of their forces. The British did sell the American government naval stores and munitions. In addition, the two navies shared a system of signals by which each could recognize the other’s warships at sea, and allowed merchantmen of their respective nations to join each other’s convoys. By the autumn of 1800, the United States Navy and the Royal Navy, combined with a more conciliatory diplomatic stance by the government of First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte, had reduced the activity of the French privateers and warships. The Convention of 1800, signed on September 30, ended the Franco-American War. Unfortu-

nately for President Adams, the news did not arrive in time to help him secure a second term in the 1800 presidential election. The Quasi-War has taken on a significant role in modern debates over the distribution of war powers between the executive and legislative branches in the U.S. according to historian Thomas Woods: Supporters of a broad executive war power have sometimes appealed to the Quasi-War with France, in the closing years of the eighteenth century, as an example of unilateral warmaking on the part of the president. Francis Wormuth, an authority on war powers and the constitution, describes that contention as “altogether false.” John Adams, “took absolutely no

The fight between the USS Constellation and L’Insurgente (William Bainbridge Hoff)

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independent action. Congress passed a series of acts that amounted, so the Supreme Court said, to a declaration of imperfect war; and Adams complied with these statutes.” In a revealing incident that occurred during the Quasi War, Congress authorized the president to seize vessels sailing to French ports. But President Adams, acting on his own authority and without the sanction of Congress, instructed American ships to capture vessels sailing either to or from French ports. Captain George Little, acting under the authority of Adams’ order, seized a Danish ship sailing from a French

Continued on Page 30

Wounded Warriors By Lucy Cain

I AM A MILITARY MOTHER OF AN ARMY RESERVIST AS WELL AS BEING A CHRISTIAN AUTHOR. I WOULD BE HONORED IF YOU CONSIDERED USING THIS POEM IN ANY WAY YOU SEE FIT IN SUPPORT OF OUR WOUNDED.. Lord, I cannot comprehend The pain our soldiers endure Or the sacrifice they make To keep our freedom sure May You dwell within them And give them peace of mind In their injured weakness, Lord May it be Your strength they find Draw them close to You And answer their every doubt Let them see You always near Every time they want to shout Only You know their thoughts For You were always there Never forsaking, Love abides Always present, constant care Silent heroes, wounded warriors Ones that carry the pain So I lift them up to You To heal and make whole again Parts of their bodies may be gone But wholeness comes from within You can use them, Lord Just show them how and when May they seek You daily, Lord To get through life again Embrace their hearts and minds Wounded warriors will fight - and win

The enemy is now at hand Depression, anger and pain Use your training to face each one And freedom from them gain Warriors you will always be Now fight for a different cause The battle is the Lord’s. Think on that and pause He’s the Commander now Your Eternal battle was won The greatest Wounded Warrior Was Jesus Christ, God’s only Son He lifted His eyes to God above When pain was too hard to bear He, too, thought he was forsaken But God was always there Stripes on His Holy back Blood freely pouring down He understands your every pain And memories that cause a frown He came out victorious And can give you victory too Rely on Him my wounded friends Warriors, each one of you I pray for courage and strength To fight the battles ahead Remember the Lord is near you “I will never forsake thee!” He said


November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. We received it by email from several different people.

A 20th century illustration depicting United States Marines escorting French prisoners.

The Forgotten War... Continued from Pages 28 and 29 port. When Little was sued for damages, the case made its way to the supreme court. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that Captain Little could indeed be sued for damages in the case. “In short”, writes Louis Fisher in summary, “congressional

policy announced in a statute necessarily prevails over inconsistent presidential orders and military actions. Presidential orders, even those issued as Commander in Chief, are subject to restrictions imposed by Congress.”

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‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE, IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE. I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE, AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE. I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE, NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE. NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND, ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS. WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS, A SOBER THOUGHT CAME THROUGH MY MIND. FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, IT WAS DARK AND DREARY, I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY. THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE, CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME. THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER, NOT HOW I PICTURED A UNITED STATES SOLDIER. WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I’D JUST READ? CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED? I REALIZED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT, OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT. SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,

AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY. THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR, BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE. I COULDN’T HELP WONDER HOW MANY LAY ALONE, ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME. THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE, I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY. THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE, “SANTA DON’T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE; I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON’T ASK FOR MORE, MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.” THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP, I COULDN’T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP. I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL AND WE BOTH SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL. I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT, THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR SO WILLING TO FIGHT. THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE, WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA, IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.” ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT. “MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.” This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan.


Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

November 8 - 15, 2013

Our Freedom Isn’t Free By Vanessa A. Griego - Gulf War Veteran Written and recited for the NM Elks Lodge Flag Day Ceremony June 14, 2007 I am a U.S veteran; the Armywas my choice. I’m grateful for this moment here to stand and speak my voice. The topic that I represent with pride and glory true, about the flag we know and love; the red, the white and blue. The flag still stands for freedom; for the strong and for the weak. To give us all the right we have to open up and speak. For Flag Day is an honor that we owe our happiness, to soldiers whom have served us well, in this country where we’re blessed. The U.S flag we know and love Old Glory! Stars and Stripes! May under God, we always pledge, to stand for what is right. Our flag in which we put our faith, our love, our hopes and trust, this flag in which we should respect for righteous peace we must. A flag, that in so many lands, she’s horribly abused. By being burned and torn apart, dishonored, and refused. The burning of our nations flag dishonors those who rest. For them I will defend her still and always do my best. To show the people of the world the good that we have done through battles of land, and air and sea, in victories we’ve won. The colors of our nations flag depict a sacred song, like brothers names upon a wall as those of Vietnam. We’ve planted her on foreign lands in dirt with stains of red, forgetting not, Korean vets whose blood they also shed. The caring of, disabled vets, becomes our nations plight. For wounded heroes shine the way like peaceful stars of white. For World War two, a star of blue is hanging in the glass, while mothers mourn, upon a cross that rests above the grass. I’m proud to be American, in knowing that I’m free, to men and women whom have served who gave that right to me. For every fallen soldier, and for every life they’d give to guarantee our freedom and the liberty we live. For those who served beside me and for those who serves us now, let us fly our flag up proudly and show other nations how. For a desert’s storm can blind a heart and make some turn their backs, but avenging souls of nine one, one (9*1*1) is why we’re in Iraq. We all need to come togeth-

er, not divided but as one, to stand up tall to terrorists and show them how it’s done! It brings me such emotion when I think about the brave, the strength, the blood, the sweat and tears their lives in which they gave, for us to have a freedom that no other people know. A life without oppression, where our kids are free to grow. Our troops will have to travel far, with guns in hand, to face the war. They leave their loved ones far behind so we can be with yours and mine. To fly the flag in which we raise, some have to fill an honored grave, with blood they know they’ll have to shed, for stars and stripes of blue and red. The flag draped caskets that we see honoring the bold of those that stay forever young so we can still grow old. We give the flag with memories secured within its folds, to loved ones that are left behind, what’s left of those to hold. What glory and such honor! So brave! So strong! So young! Please rest yourselves in peace my friends, your duty here is done. And though you may not be a soldier fighting for your land their voice is crying from the grave, “Stand up and take a stand!” for of their death and sacrifice they bought a brand new day to wave the flag and raise your hand and let you have your say. So fly that flag with honor through whatever storms descend, that united we shall stand together and be faithful till the end. Until all our soldiers come from war, until the battle ends. Until everyone is safe at home, with family and friends, I shall fly my nations flag with joy for all the world to see that through serving all humanity our freedom isn’t free.

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November 8-15, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2013 Veterans Guide

Freedom

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By Ian Thompson, USMC “I wish that you were here” My wife whispers on the phone Too many times She has realized That freedom is not free “No go away, Daddy” My little girl says She’s barely two But already knows That freedom is not free I have a little boy Born three months ago When I return He’ll be near one Since freedom is not free My parents often worry When I am away They mourn for me And what I miss Since freedom is not free

There are children in this world Rich and poor alike Whose parents do Not understand That freedom is not free There are men who face evil For the sake of all By their stand We realize That freedom is not free There is a God Almighty Nailed upon a cross He paid the price That we might live For freedom is not free Many days I am away From those I love most Yet I thank God And carry on For freedom is not free.

Anne Peterson

advertising sales manager annepeterson@ campbellcountyobserver.com (307) 299-4662

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