Did Anyone See The Tom Brokaw Special Before The Olympics Last Night? - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-27-2006, 05:19 PM   #1
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Did Anyone See The Tom Brokaw Special Before The Olympics Last Night?

This is FYM material, he had a FANTASTIC special about African American soldiers in Italy during WWII and their heroism. Some were awarded the Medal Of Honor (I don't think that's the correct name, whatever the highest award is) posthumously except for one soldier who was still alive - in 1997 by President Clinton

I can't remember the soldier's name and I can' t find anything on NBC web site, etc

It is a complete disgrace that those soldiers faced blatant racism from their own military. When asked why they performed the way they did in the face of that racism, he said it was the only country they had. They were real heroes. Colin Powell was interviewed in the special and spoke of how he owed his military career to those men.

If anyone saw the special and can remember his name, I'd really appreciate it. I'm so ashamed that I can't remember.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:26 PM   #2
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First Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker

Quote:
Citation: For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain. When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans. Continuing forward, he attacked and enemy observation post and killed two occupants. With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions. He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy's fire. On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective. Second Lieutenant Baker's fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.
What the men of the 92nd accomplished in Italy is incredible.

Charging uphill against fortified positions is about the most dangerous thing a soldier can face - they did it and did it well.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:32 PM   #3
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Thank you nbc! How did you ever find that? I was going to Google it but I was too lazy

Yes it was incredible how he led those troops and what he did on his own. It's especially amazing given the racism they faced from their own military




African-American vet receives Medal of Honor
He earned it 52 years ago

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With quiet dignity, former 2nd Lt. Vernon Baker of the 370th Infantry Regiment accepted the Medal of Honor, and the nation's silent apology.

Baker, 77, of St. Maries, Idaho, was one of seven African- American soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor on Monday for World War II valor, an achievement ignored for decades by the once-segregated Army.

Baker was the only veteran still living to accept the honor, the military's highest award for bravery in battle, in person. Relatives of the others attended in their place.

"They helped America to become more worthy of them and more true to its ideals," President Clinton said at the White House ceremony.

Baker said the moment took him back to April 1945, when he destroyed four German machine gun nests killed nine enemy soldiers with a gun and hand grenades. He thought of the other black men who died around him as they awaited reinforcements that never came.

"This day will vindicate those men and make things right," Baker said in a CNN interview.

Baker received a standing ovation as he entered the East Room before a crowd that included Defense Secretary William Perry, retired Gen. Colin Powell and Joint Chiefs Chairman John Shalikashvili.

More than 1.2 million African-Americans served in World War II, most performing menial support tasks in a segregated army. Despite numerous battlefield decorations, no blacks who served in that war had been awarded the Medal of Honor.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:40 PM   #4
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I saw the program and was moved by Baker's character. Quite a story of heroism on its face. Add the racial aspect and it is amazing.

The army made sure the African American regiments were commanded by white southerners. It takes quite a man to respect the rank when the person holding the rank maintains such bigotry.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:46 PM   #5
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Medals were awarded posthumously to:



Staff Sgt. Edward A. Carter Jr. of Los Angeles;


1st Lt. John R. Fox of Cincinnati;


Pfc. Willy F. James Jr. of Kansas City, Missouri;


1st Lt. Charles L. Thomas of Detroit;


Pvt. George Watson of Birmingham, Alabama


Staff Sgt. Ruben Rivers of Hotulka, Oklahoma.


Fox, James, Rivers and Watson were killed in action. Carter died in 1963 and Thomas died in 1980.

Baker said he would have liked to share the moment with the others honored.

"No, I still don't feel like a hero. I just feel I was a soldier and I did my job, and I think I was rewarded for it," Baker said after the ceremony.

Baker is a modest man, and it was not the pomp and ceremony that touched him most. It was the fact that, at long last, his country righted a historical wrong for black soldiers.

"It has a conscience, and it's clearing its conscience, thank God. "
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:51 PM   #6
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Those men faced two enemies. The Nazis & Mousolinis troops and the racist system in the military and they faced the enemies and won. God Bless those brave men. The Allied Soldiers were the greatest generation.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:54 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting this.
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:11 PM   #8
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I watched that special and was very touched. I've read a little on the Buffalo soldiers, but not enough. It was amazing to me the honor they got in Italy and the complete disregard they received in their own country. I was proud of Italy and embarassed for us.
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Thanks for posting this.
I think Dreadsox trademarked that response
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


I think Dreadsox trademarked that response
I thought you were handling that issue for me? As my legal representative I am counting on you!
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Old 02-27-2006, 07:31 PM   #11
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Yes Mrs S I did as a matter of fact catch this. Actually I had the TV on, waiting for the Olympics to start and was on the computer and I heaard the story begin and actually sat in front of the TV and watched it. It was very touching, I had some tears. I never knew this and it was very informative and heartwrenching. Very good story. And appropriate for the Olympics also in my opinion!
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Old 02-27-2006, 08:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
I thought you were handling that issue for me? As my legal representative I am counting on you!
I'll send Verte a cease and desist PM right away!!
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