tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 11, 2010 10:00am-1:00pm EST
president biden and secretary eric shinseki. then we will live from the vietnam veterans memorial. the speakers include ken salazar. and the head of the austrian the fed staff. -- australian vet staff,'. >> this weekend, c-span3 is american history tv visits the eleanor roosevelt papers project. to learn how the longest serving first lady use the media to communicate her ideas. and we will see how very- different thinking american and british leadership work together to defeat the nazis.
then the history of the civil war. live saturday november 20, a day-long symposium on the civil war from the national archives. and american history to be all weekend every weekend on c- span3. >> now a group of former major- league baseball players talk about their service to the country in world war ii. among them are yogi berra, jerry coleman. we are showing a portion of the seabed and then we will go live to the national veterans day ceremony at 11:00 eastern.
>> i thank you for coming. i would like to thank the lerner family and a wonderful staff at the national ballpark for being our coast in this beautiful facility. it is a great pleasure to be here. following this building, which will be on the pentagon's general, there will be a reception in the president's club downstairs. and i would like now to introduce phil woods, the moderator for the panel. he is on numerous radio stations. take it away. >> thank you. first of all, welcome to everyone who showed up here this afternoon. it is a wonderful program we have for you this afternoon. in most of you know that world war ii took a lot of players out
of major league baseball, but something surprising is that only two players were actually killed during the world war ii. one was harry o'neill. the other was omarelmer gideon. professional baseball players served in world war ii by the hundreds. literally by the thousands. 127 minor league players were killed in action during world war ii. these guys on the stage they went over and came back. just to introduce them to you. beginning on your right. john miles. john "mule" miles played for the chicago american giants 1946
through 1949. and he is a member of the texas sports hall of fame in the centennial hall of fame. he was actually drafted by the seattle mariners in june of 2008 when each major-league team that drafted one veteran from the negro league. please welcome john miles. [applause] next to me is a gentleman -- his name is synonymous with the padres. he played second base. on a number of world championship teams. the winner of the baby ruth award as the most viable player in the world series. -- the babe ruth award as the most valuable player in the world series. he is a member of the u.s.
marine corps hall of fame. he won the award for excellence in broadcasting of the hall of fame. he is a member of the padre's hall of fame and the radio hall of fame. ladies and gentlemen, jerry coleman. [applause] to my right lou brissey. keep bids in savannah and won 23 games against five losses. was an all-star in 1949 when he
won the 1611, ladies and gentlemen, lou brissie. [applause] week to take this whole afternoon and talk about our next guest, who had a spectacular career. -- we could take this whole afternoon and talk about our next guest, who had a spectacular career. when spottrarely struck out. managed two teams. almost a storybook, mythical character in the grand scheme of things. in 1959, i was playing little league baseball and i was a catcher and for christmas my parents taught me a yankee uniform with no. 8 on it.
ladies and gentlemen, hall of famer, lou brissyogi berra. [applause] >> one thing about yogi that nobody ever talks about, certainly his numbers are fabulous. but in the minor leagues in two games against roanoke yogi berra had 23 rbis. 13 and one game and 12 in the other. and that has to be the greatest day in baseball history. >> every time i got up the bases were loaded. it is fun to hit when everyone is on base. and >> as we look back at the
military careers of all of you, you were all still basically prospects at the time when you served in world war ii. lou, you went over and obviously saw some action at a fairly young age. the incident that occurred changed your life forever, but was there ever a time when you thought your baseball days were over? >> that was in the 1977. pearl harbor day. no, but shortly after i was wounded it took me about five months to get to the point where they could send me home. right after the for surgery'iesi spkoke to [inaudible]
and he said your job is to get well. when you feel you are ready to play, you let me know. the difference bertran hopelessness and hope is opportunity. when he wrote that, that's said to me to you have the opportunity. that gave me a goal of something to dream about. dreams always help because they make you work harder. i never really thought about failure per say, but i did think about how does a guy try to become a good picture with a bad leg. i was very fortunate to get back. i had a great surgeon. amilitary doctors. they did some great work on me,
and i was very fortunate. he said when you are ready, let me know. i knew the opportunity was there, and that made the difference. >> jerry coleman i believe you were the only major leaguer to see combat anin two wars. >> that is correct, yes. >> in addition to everything else you have done in baseball, after your experience in world war ii, baseball must have seen med like a piece of cake. >> you have not been at home plate recently. [laughter] baseball is always th difficult. i had one play in washington.
i had a ball in my chest. i put my somthumb, i put the bal between my thumb and unfiform and i never forgot that. never mind about that. we have two men with the medal of honor in the burrow. stand up and take a look at them. [applause] -- we have three men with the medal of honor indzeroin thein t row. [applause] i simply wanted to bring that up. i did not see the third man standing in the back. basically they should be dead and they are live. that is how tough it is.
>> john miles, playing in the negro leagues back when major league baseball was first becoming integrated. i know you did not make much money playing baseball, but i am guessing you had your share of thrills back in the days with the players you were able to play against and play on the same team with. >> yes, we did. i met a lot of great ballplayers such as jackie robinson, josh gibson. they were all great ball players. i enjoyed it. i did not make a lot of money, but i had a lot of fun. sleeping on the bus and eating on the bus and dress on the bus and get out and play a double header and making $300 per night. i raised five boys and one girl and enjoyed every bit of it.
i am not complaining, just explaining. [laughter] [applause] >> it was interesting, i was reading a little bit this morning about yogi berra's pimm service as a machine gunner on a rocket launcher and do make the step from locket -- rocket launcher to be at minuteman at a movie theater on the base. -- rocket launcher to a service man at a movie theater on the base. >> jim please sengleason startea baseball team. he looked at me and said what do you do? i said i'd play ball. he said who do play with?
he said you do not look like a ballplayer. he said i thought you were off ba boxer. he never started the inning game over there until it pinch-hit and hit a home run. he said you are the catcher from now on. i think that helped me a lot. we played a lot of big league teams when they played in the service. we played the new york giants. the washington senators. st. louis browns. that was like playing the minor leagues for me. that helped me a lot. and then i went to newark when
i came out. then i got into the big leagues. i was only 22 then. >> how many of you had the opportunity to actually play baseball in the service? >> i play a part of one year in carolina. we won the camp championship. we played at donaldson air base billy hitchcock, who was a big ball player at the time. i roomed with him in philadelphia later. we've been some good ball clubs -- we beat some good ball clubs. we had a good team. a lot of good players. we had four months and then i went overseas after that.
>> did you play in basic training? >> not a lick. >> in terms of the job you are doing in the service, jerry, it is one thing to fire a gun out of the foxhole but something else to be firing an airplane -- flying an airplane. it is a long drought. and-- drop. >> flying an airplane is a clean war. i had roommates that were blown up in front of me. other men that disappeared on missions, it basically your never saw what the ground crew saw. and that to me it is very difficult. air war, now you do not see your targets. andthethen if something happeneo
never saw the blood and gore and real desperation and death. >> that is right. it is a different story now. >> how close did either of you ever get to getting shot down? >> you will never know. [laughter] >> my roommate went up in front of me 100 yards in the air. i saw another one blowout in the runway. and i almost got killed on the runway. an engine quit on me. the next thing i knew i was upside down in the dirt with my knees behind my ears and then i woke up and they have pulled me out. the ground crew did a great job. things like that happen, but you do not see their real disaster a fouof war, which is having a n
shot and killed right in front of you. >> we were ordered to shoot anything that came below the clouds. one plane came down and we shot him down. we were the closest to him. i never heard a man cusse put so much in my life. he was an officer. we got him out of the plane. he was mad as heck. we did have orders to fire anything that came below the clouds. their plants come over like that, and we had orders. >> yogi, you were a teenager involved in d-day.
i told my -- my officer told me you can go up there, but if we go to this invasion and go to africa, he says you will be in trouble. i said i will take a chance. i went up there. i met my family up that way. i got back and i was all right. >> as i recall, you saw the pope too, right? >> he did not recognize you though. >> hi, pope. [laughter] >> when you guys here coaches and players and whatever sport and they talk about a game and they use the worldrd war when ty talk about it, to me it seems
like too much hyperbole. it is nothing like war. >> you are right. you can die. some do. note best since somebody back in 1919. i cannot remember the name. >> ray chapman. >> that is the only death we ever had in baseball. we have had serious injuries. in football there have been several players that have gone down in a hurry. >> the whole idea of war is completely separate from sports. >> there was not at back around that and not have all or gloves -- that did not have a ball or glove.
the thing you would do is throw a few. i never considered that. i considered it a great privilege for me because i should not have been there at all. i enjoyed every minute of it. meeting guys like these fellows up here and getting to know them was the best part of the whole thing. >> do any of you guys think being in the military prepared to better to be major league players? gues>> it did me. >> it helped me a lot. it sure did. >> no, but because i was not in there. it did not affect me at all. >> go ahead. >> it is a little bit of the
motion for me -- emotion for me, and i certainly accept all of these gentlemen on the stage, but while i stand in the presence of medals of honor earner, i resent the term hero for players of games. your on thhat subject. i would just ask audience, am i wrong to ask that question? >> you are right. this year roe heros did not com. that was the difference between being a true hero and someone
who served in the military. people who were doing their duty. >> a new term. [inaudible] let me tell you about bob feller. he was a premier pitcher in major league baseball. december 7, we had the invasion at pearl harbor. december 8 he joined the navy. he gave up four or five years of his career. you find somebody else that did that in my hat is off. -- and my hat is off. >> [inaudible] he would have been right there with you, and i would have made an exception.
>> he was supposed to be here. he is ill is the only reason. >> the do you think the word baseball heros for a game? if he went to war, yes, but if the others do not feel that emotion, but mine is i resent that a little. >> the word has been associated with athletic events since the greek olympics. it goes back a long way, and maybe at this point it is not as appropriate. speaking of what brand of the service you were in, it was interesting to read yogi, that you committed to the navy and decided to change your mind to the army because they gave you more time off before you had to
go in. >> i said how many days do you get off? the navy said you did not have any. the army was giving me a couple of weeks to go home. i said i will stay in the navy. >> you look better in the blue outfit. >> as we look at the way the game changed during the war, there has spent a number of books written about it, teenagers, dies in their 40's. the game and george to produce the only tenant ever won by the st. louis browns. it changed things obviously. the guys who were under contract, they have some guarantee when they got back that they would have a job back in baseball, correct? >> there were no guarantees. they could come back to the club. the one that comes to my mind is
ernie white. he was a great pitcher for the cardinals. he was in france suffered frozen toes and feet and came back but could never run enough to get conditioned. and then there were a couple of other fell leslas. most of them came back. cecile travis was the leading hitter in the 1940's i believe it. 1941. anhe was a little older than mot of been his 30's but when he got back his legs could not take it and he really just retired
because he was not accustomed to it. >> 1941, of the year that ted williams hit 46. had more hits than williams but did not walk as much. a guy that i think should have been in cooperstown on long time ago. an>> could i mention one thing. this might better help understand. i have a thank-you card. on the other side it says serving america. for more than 200 years americans have answered our nation's call. wherever the cause, wherever the duty, matter of the strength or deadly nature of the enemy they stepped forward coming from all walks of life, every culture, and religion in defending our values and freedoms. no duty too difficult, no
sacrifice too great. with courage, loyalty and devotion to comrades in arms, they serve all americans as guardians of their rights and freedoms that we enjoy every day. in the corner i have "we are one." >> thank you, lou. [applause] >> i give this to all the young men in the active duty we have. we have a small contingents there right out of fort gordon. and i go down and visit with them regularly. i also give this to those who
served in vietnam and korea and as a storm. any of them. -- and desert storm. i think it is important. we all make the same pledge, regardless of what the situation may be. that is all. >> lou brissie played for connie mack. john miles played for jim taylor. in terms of the approached those guys took to the game and in managing men, how much to using that aspect of baseball has changed? jerry? >> i think you have to be careful because all the players make more money than the manager, and therefore they do not feel quite as stricken by the problems of the management.
i think players are more independent. they are bigger and stronger and dumber than ever before. they do not play the same game. we'll its advanced runners when we could. we always tried to get the people to do the best job they could what ever their job was. everybody had a different role in the ball club. yogi was a hitter. the best in baseball. he could do everything. not many people could make that statement. johnny bench was probably the next best to yogi. overall i do not know how to answer that question except for i talk a lot and don't say much. [laughter] >> when you retreated to the
cleveland indians, al lopez was the manager. was his approach much different? i'd imagine it was completely different. >> he was. al cohn was hard to decipher, because you never knew what he was thinking. -- al was hard to decipher because you never knew what he was thinking. he did not say a whole lot to you. he was different. anif you had a bad day, he let u know right quick. it today was not one of your better days. he said very little relief. -- really. well liked and a good manager. >> i would think that casey was
difficult to decipher at times. >> i like him when heould go down the bench to look for a pinch-hitter. he would walk all the way down and walk all the way back and point to you. he said how do like kansas city? he knew they were going to trade in the next day. do you remember that? >> sure. absolutely. we will open it up to questions from the crowd. if you have a question, put up your hand and someone will come toward to with a microphone. well we are waiting for that, the whole issue of the program is to reinforce the issue that major league baseball played up big part, a professional baseball played a big part in the war effort in world war ii
and korea as well. ted williams served in both wars. in world war ii he was a flight instructor and did not see combat. when the call came for the korean war, was there any reluctance on your part to go back? >> i was dumb enough to the guy would give up the two years pass and come back to where i was. and i did not come back, but did not bother me in the least. i was always proud to be a marine navy aviator, and it never entered my mind to think i was not going to be as good as i was before. i found out later that i was not. those are the kinds of things -- did you play baseball against your country. it is not a contest.
your country comes first period. >> in terms of the opportunities presented to you. obviously a major league baseball was just integrating at that point in time. did adore does not open for you? -- did a door just not open for you? >> not really. it was hard. he can withstand the pressure. he can do a lot of things. i'd think if i had the same opportunity i would do the same as jackie did. i would not try to intimidate anybody or cause trouble, because that was a a no no no.
i would do the same thing. that a slice. i understood where life was going, and i accepted it. today it has changed a lot, but i am not complaining, i am just explaining. [laughter] >> question? if yes, sir. >> i would like to ask yogi and jerry in particular, but all of you really, you guys got in a war for democracy and you came back to the yankees ended with the next to last major league baseball to integrate in 1955. i wantwondered if this was something you ever thought about or wondered about or questioned?
>> boston was the last team to integrate. in i think you have to remember when you talk about the great black players, martin luther king's lead the march of african-american community. jackie robinson beat him by 10 years. when he broke the color line it was not just a story in brooklyn, a story all over the united states. it opened the doors of a for people like this and all over the place. if you want to look at one. , at one point there were 22% of major league baseball players where african americans. that has dropped to 10% and i cannot fathom why. 26% are latinos. what they do down in those latin countries, i do not know, but they all want to get out of there. they come here for a better life. >> you are right.
i broke in with jackie robinson. he played in montreal. we played against each other. he was a great man. i had no problem with him. as long as i was playing baseball and he played baseball. montclair, a great man. i have no problems with them at all. i miss them. i really do. especially else and howard -- elston howard. my kids went to school with his kids in high school. they are great. jackie who was a great guy. and the only thing i can say
about him is how i attacked them at home plate and he was out. [laughter] -- i tagged him at home plate and he was out. >> q. are right. but the umpire called him safe. -- you are right. >> i mentioned the minor league players that were killed during the war, 127. there are a number of players that sign contracts to play baseball. great prospects who would not yet played any pro baseball. one such gentleman was jimmy trimble, a local prep star at state of birds in the washington area. he signed a contract with the shington senators and was considered a can't miss pitching prospect. he went to war and was unfortunately killed. the gentleman who was with him when he passed away is with us today. don mayes.
we would like you to come up here and tell us a little bit about jimmy trimble. [applause] >> jimmy tremble when he was 17 had been pitching three years for st. albans right here in washington, d.c. and getting quite a few write ups and the local paper. halvorscal griphin passed him te down to the stadium and see what he looked like. the coach and manager told him to bring a t-shirt and a pair of shoes and your glove and we will supply you a uniform. the watched him work out. jimmy told me cal griffon was
not quite that this with the dollar but gave him a $5,000 signing bonus and a four-year scholarship to duke, and he signed a contract. recent he went to -- the reason he went to duke is because they had a marvelous baseball team. he tried to qualify for tehe v-5 team for the marine corps and could not make it because of that that i, but his mother worked for a congressman and got into the regular marines. i teamed up with him in combat intelligence school. we went overseas to the other. we ended up in the third marine division and ended up being scout observers in the third
reconnaissance company. when graves erskin found out he was a ballplayer, he put him on the division team. he won 17 straight games. he was on the marine all storea. he was 6-2. we were in combat together anand it was in iwa jima. jimmy trimble volunteered for this eight-man squad with seven others of us. we were looking for spec it
mortars -- spigot mortors. it is rocket fed. it was not much got no, but a lot of concussion. he said as out for a nighttime patrol -- sent us out day for a nighttime patrol. we got in front of the alliance. he died an honorable but horrible death. he was hit by a grenade. if you go to the marine museum, you will see what they call a 99 a grenade. a japanese soldier with the- strapped to his body -- with a mine strapped to his body and it is a canvas bag filled with powder and has a detonator. after we were hit with a
grenade, he jumped in the foxhole. i pulled myself out and wrap myself around jimmy. the bottom half of jimmy disappeared. the japanese soldiers were a cloud of red. today there is a baseball field that was set up by the third marine division called trimble fied. i-- trible field. this march there will be a statue erected at jamof james trimble of the ball player that did not quite make it. [applause] >> thank you, don. i know we have some questions here. yes, sir.
just shout. >> [inaudible] were there any hard feelings among the people who did go and served and some of the ones who did not go? >> no, no hard feelings. if you have to go, you have to go. that is it. i did not mind going to serve. i was killing young boy, 18 years old. i love it when i was in the navy -- loved it when i was in the navy. i really did. i met a lot of great friends. i went to boot camp. it was great. jim gleason at the manager where i was playined. we had jean thompson over there
with us. it was great. it was good to be in the company. they got good food. [laughter] >> when you came back to a long time to get back on your feet. what was their reaction when you reported to savannah from your other teammates? is this a charity case or can this guy play? >> mr. mack used a lot of thought and that. he said i will give you the opportunity, and i went to spring training. the only pitch me against triple a ball clubs. i had a pretty good spring and then we broke camp.
on the way he set for me and gave me an option. this is really unusual. he says do you want to find out if you can pitch now and then or find out if you can pitch regularly? i said i would like to pitch regularly if i can. he said well i can leave you in savannah. i own that ballclub here that i can assure you you will get to pitch regularly if you go there, but yet done well against the triple a clubs put so i will send you there. i did not have any professional experience at that time. and he said i can send you to buffalo, but it will be up to them as to how they want to work queue. i will have no control over it. i picked savannah. he gave me a choice. it is unusual. >> it paid off. >> it certainly did.
>> all of you guys had not yet played in the major leagues, before you went into service. when you got back here, i am guessing you probably have the respect of your teammates for what you have done. >> i do not think anybody thought about it. and nobody really cared one way or another. i went to florida, which was a kansas city spring training. there must have been 500 people there. when the major league baseball did and not many people talk about, after world war ii caused their roster one from 35 to 40 for a number of years so there are 30 men on major league ball clubs for quite awhile until that ran its course. that gave many players a chance to would not have had the opportunity to become at big- league ballplayer. to be equipped -- to do to be quite honest with you, i do not
think the people who ran baseball knew what they were doing. and eventually many of them made the 30 man roster and tn it went down. and frankly, i think it was a great thing to do to get the players a chance to be big league ballplayers, even though they did not make the 25-man roster. >> the tuskegee airmen have such a recognizable name. i am guessing there are people who know you as that and might be surprised to find out you were a professional baseball player. >> true, true. but in 2008 i was drafted by the seattle mariners as a major- league baseball player. the interviews said what do you think about this day and time if you had been drafted? i said there is one problem,
they waited 65 years too late. >> i really admire is the example that each of the panelists is setting for people my age. my question, because today the technology is in place that no matter where a soldier is stationed, the soldier can follow baseball through the internet and really know what is going on in the game. my question for each of the panelists, perhaps when you were in naples, was there a chance to follow what was going on? did you know what was going on in the major leagues? >> and africa -- in africa, i heard the world series. in st. louis they played the world series. i stayed at and listen to the
game. i love baseball. i still do love baseball. i still love it, but i watched the tv game. i watch any game that is on in any sport. i am a sportsman. i like football. basketball i do not like. i was too slow. [laughter] i played soccer as a kid. and that is when i heard that pro harbor was bombed. i had just come back from playing a soccer game. i think it is a good conditioning game to play. you do a lot of running. and i go to spring training and see a lot of these guys running. you do not see in field anymore. anwe always took infield.
we always did. do not see that anymore. the fans used to love to see that. that's what they came out to sea. i learned a lot. i watch sometimes three games. he is still broadcasting every once in awhile. he has not been very good shape, but he loves the game. >> most people probably know this, but i will mention it anyway ,yogi has a son dale who was a major league player.
remarkable. did you play a mucmuch football? >> we played it, but i have to go to work -0- but i had to go to work. i did everything. it was the depression time. >> sure. sure. >> you mentioned earlier about some of the ballplayers that did not see combat. my understanding is that warren spawn was a combat veteran. >> he was at battle of the bulge may be. >> jack buck was on one side. lindsey nelson on the other.
and the metal was a left-hander. it was a bad bridge. -- in the middle was a left- hander. >> in 1965 he played for the mets. he was a genius. >> he still has a record for most wins pimm for a left- handefor a left-handed pitcher. >> what was your recenmost vivid memory of d-day? >> general davis was a tuscany chairman. i did not come into contact with
him too much. all i knew is that he was a great commander. so was his fault there. -- so was his father. >> your memories of d-day. >> like i said before to the other people, it was like fourth of july. to see all of them planes and ships on normandy, my gosh, it was like -- i stood up on the deck of our boat and looked up and officer told me you'd better get your head down before it gets blown off. i said i like it appear. he said you better get down here before you do not have it and
will not look at anything. being a kid, what the heck do you know? i said nothing can kill me. i go and i find out later on we picked up some people that got drowned in theire. >> we are live now at arlington national ceremony for the national veterans day ceremony. president obama is in asia so vice-president joe biden will replay at the tomb of the unknowns. joining him as eric shinseki. this is live coverage on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [gunshot]
deede ladies and gentlemen, please stand up for the arrival of the official party. major-general paul -- commanding general, the united states army, military district of washington. mr. roger dimsdale, national president, legion of valor of the united states. the honorable eric shinseki, secretary of veterans affairs. ladies and gentlemen, the vice president of the united states. ♪
>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for the possession of the nation's covers and -- colors and those of our service organizations. led by army sergeant joseph valino, who earned the distinguished serving crossed in afghanistan. as the colors are posted, the united states marine band will play the national emblem march. please, place your hands over your hearts or render a hand salute as we post the colors.
-- hundreds of veterans day ceremonies being held this moment all across the nation and the world. today we pause from the rush of everyday living to remember the sacrifice and the service of america's veterans. how very blessed we are to live in a nation that is free, made strong by generations of service members and their families who believe in and were willing to die for american values. these veterans are your gift to our nation. their gift to the world is freedom. we honor them today, knowing that those who serve still carry the wounds of war in their minds, bodies, and spirits. their families, although proud of their service, still suffer a loss that can never be replaced. veterans who have returned from the battle face unexpected challenges on returning home. it helped them to take their
skills and build new and meaningful lives in cities and rural communities all across our land. so, as we gather here, may your presence bring healing and comfort to our nation's veterans and their families. as we honor our veterans, also bless our sons and daughters as they continue to answer the call of duty, to defend the call of freedom, at home and around the world. hear our prayer, we pray. amen. >> now, i would like to invite major kurt lee to lead us in the pledge of allegiance. received the navy cross during the korean war.
>> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> please, be seated. it is now my distinct privilege to introduce the leaders of the national veterans service organizations that comprised the veteran's day national committee. the committee was formed by presidential order in 1954 to hold this annual observance in honor of america's veterans and to encourage and support veterans day observances
throughout the nation. please hold your applause until we have introduced all of our special guests. if you are able, please stand when i call your name. roger dimsdale, legion of valor, usa, clifford wey, jr., a military order of world wars, arthur cooper, national president of the retired enlisted association, brian factor, congressional medal of honor society, lowest tyson, national commander, disabled american veterans, norbert ryan, jr., national president, military officers association of america, national commander polis legion of american veterans, national president korean war veterans association, albert gonzales, national commander, american g.i. forum, stephen sykes,
national commander it jewish war veterans, national commander, american ex-prisoners of war, catholic war veterans of the u.s.a., a.frese, national treasurer, vietnam veterans of america, richard you bank, commander in chief, veterans of foreign wars, gerald, national commander, amvets, dr. roy -- national president, blinded veterans association, associationerwalt, national commander, army-navy union, jean overstreet, national commander, no. -- noncommissioned officers, william fryer, vice commander, american legion, clayton jones, national commander, military
order of the purple heart of the u.s.a., bill -- pearl harbor survivors association, jeffrey gilmartin, fleet reserve association, vic -- national, done, at marine corps league, michael mccoy, sr., national president, military chaplains association, bill lawson, national president, paralyzed veterans of america, the associate members of the committee are located in the boxes to my left. please hold your applause until the end. molly murell, national president, american gold star mothers, catherine frazer, national president, goldstar wives of america, windy hoffman, president, blue star mothers of america, doug burt, director of government relations, air force association, carl barrett, national commander, navy seabee
veterans, and jeffrey, international president, air force sergeant association, robert beckley, chairman of the board, help hospitalized veterans, gerald defrancisco, humanitarian services, american red cross, dr. linda schwartz, president, national association of state directors of veterans affairs, stephen mattune, president, national association of state veterans homes, richard jones, legislative director, national association for uniformed services, servicesnakamoto, president, japanese-american veterans association, darlene baker, chair of the board, veterans land, anthony, wounded warrior project, lisa samansky, a women's army corps veterans association.
late in the denouement, please join me in recognizing veterans national leadership with your applause. [applause] founded in 1890, the legion of valor of the usa is an organization of veterans who are recipients of our nation's highest decorations for valor, the medal of honor, distinguished service cross, navy cross, and air force cross. legion of valor is represented by their national commander, retired colonel -- army colonel roger dimsale, for extraordinary heroism in 1968 in the republic of viet nam. it is now my pleasure to introduce the national commander of the legion of valor of the usa, a host of this year's national veterans day
observance, roger dimsdale. [applause] >> thank you. mr. vice president, distinguished guests, fellow veterans, families, friends of veterans. welcome to the 2010 observance of veterans day at arlington. this day, november 11, is just one of 365 days that the people of our country should remember our veterans. on behalf of the 700 members of the legion of valor, i am honored to be part of this observance. included in the program that you received when you walk into the amphitheater this morning is a brief description of the legion of valor. we are the nation's oldest veterans' service organization, founded in 1890 as the medal of honor legion. for the past 120 years we have strived to demonstrate our commitment to our country and to the ideals for which it stands.
as one of the smaller veterans and service organizations, our outreach programs are limited. we have a program to recognize bravery and non-combat situations. a recent example was the award of legion of valor silver cross to the members of the fort hood military police captured the alleged gunman who shot and killed 13 members of the fort hood community. in addition to the silver cross for bravery, we have an active program to recognize achievement and leadership by rotc cadets. the award of our bonds across is a highly respected award, and is carefully coordinated with the services are otc departments. our small membership, whether, those not preclude our active support and promoting veterans affairs. the numbers of the legion of valor for debate in numerous organizations and committees, working to improve the lives of all veterans.
of particular concern we have a is the challenge of liberty -- returning veterans, the challenge they have in obtaining employment. we are hopeful the government and private-sector programs -- efforts to enhance employment opportunities will be successful. we are proud of these efforts and continue to seek ways in which we can actively contribute. our membership is unique -- not determined by wealth, education, or birth right. we share only one bond, and that bond is having received one of the countries two highest award for bravery against a hostile enemy. the medal of honor, distinguished service cross, a navy cross, or the air force cross. most of these awardees also received a purple heart in connection with this action, which resulted in a membership. and many have been awarded posthumously. on this day we especially want to remember them for the ultimate sacrifice. yet, for all her roles of our
members, we are an unassuming group content to quietly serve our country and for the veterans who sacrificed so much to maintain our freedom. so, this is the legion of valor. we are extremely proud to have had the opportunity to host today's observance. thank you very much for attending. it is now my privilege to introduce to you it the honorable eric shinseki, secretary of the department of veterans affairs. [applause] >> well, good morning, everyone, vice president biden, the medal of honor recipient brian thacker, minority leader boehner and other members of congress, secretary gates, secretary mcqu e, secretary and misses donnelly, a joint chiefs of staff are here and i would like to acknowledge them. vice-chairman and misses carter white -- card right, general and misses casey, general schwartz,
general and mrs. amos and the commandant of the coast guard is here as well. to roger dimsdale, our coast, our thanks for a wonderful ceremony. not the least of which is the great weather you produce. for those of us who were here a year ago, what a difference a year makes. all of the other representatives of our veterans service organizations. we count on your support, your insights, and your leadership. thank you so much for being part of our support network at veterans affairs. fellow veterans, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. for over 90 years now, americans have set aside this day and this hour to honor the men and women who have served our country in peace and in war while wearing
the uniforms of the united states of america. it is a day of remembrance, a day of thanks, a day of prayer is, and a day of promise. promises that the sacrifices of those who served and are still serving will not be forgotten. promises that returning warriors will not bear their wounds alone. that their families will receive help in facing uncertain futures. and that the survivors of those who do not return will be embraced and cared for by a grateful nation. to keep these promises that congress established, the department of veterans affairs. 30 percent of v.a.'s work force are veterans themselves, selfless americans dedicated to meeting the needs of the nation's veterans each day.
veterans do not stride along. -- strive alone. vision of the president, leadership and support by congress, and the veteran service organizations, the good people v.a., and the american people themselves are needed to address and resolve the complex and complicated challenges facing veterans who have given so much, and especially now during difficult economic times. last year president obama and the congress provided the v.a. the largest single budget increase in over 20 years. the 2011 budget request would increase our 2010 funding by another 10%. and over the past 22 months, v .a. has begun using the resources to address some longstanding issues with
critical support, bipartisan support, of the congress. a -- implementing the new post 9/11 gi bill. 384,000 veterans and family members are enrolled in college and did this program. when you include the other education programs, that number goes up over 660,000. awarding service connected for three new diseases for vietnam veterans who were exposed to agent orange. 250,000 veterans are expected to submit claims. and automated payments began last week. granting service connected for all combat veterans suffering from a verifiable ptsd, post- traumatic stress disorder. and finally, granting service connection for nine new diseases associated with the gulf war illness. we will continue our efforts on behalf of veterans on every
front, increasing their access to benefits and health care, eliminating the disability claims a backlog that frustrates all of us, and ending veteran homelessness in the next five years. with the leadership of the president, continued support of the congress, which will provide quality care and timely benefits to those who have sacrificed the most on behalf of our nation. our special guest today fully shares the president's commitment to america's veterans. he has seen his own son off to war, endured the long wait for that son's return, and felt the special pride of knowing that the burden of wartime service was not left entirely to others. ladies and gentlemen, i am honored personally and professionally to present to you a patriot and his own right, the vice president of the united states of america, joe biden.
[applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. general shinseki, thank you for your great service in uniform and now out of uniform, taking care of the millions of vets that have served this country so nobly. a major general, thank you for your hospitality. roger, you spoke well -- roger and i were kidding one another. he said my speech is in big print. and i said, so is mine. we are the same generation, the same era. and to all the veteran service organizations, some of you i've had the honor of having breakfast th this morning, thank you for your service, vigilance, and a constant voice on behalf of america's veterans.
and, jim, thank you, the master of ceronie today, and our new superintendent, thank you very much for your hospitality and a great service you rendered to this nation. leader boehner, good to have you here today, and soon-to-be speaker of the house, congratulations. [applause] and let me say at the outset, i stood in this amphitheater in may to observe memorial day. i think i was talking to secretary gates when i said this is one of the truly great honors, one of the great honors bestowed upon me as vice president of the united states, to be able to return to this and the theater on veterans day. this slight november chill today contrasts -- contrast with the 91 did great -- 91 degree heat
we experienced on a sultry day in may. it should remind us, in my view, that indeed we endured in may was nothing to the heat our veterans endured in world war ii battling a crossed sunbaked islands in the pacific, and in some cases, going for days without water. nothing compared to degeneration of americans who waited through the rice patterns of become the delta in vietnam and nothing compared to the heat experienced when i visited our troops and falluja in the middle of the summer, shoving me the inside of a mrap vehicle that just saved their lives from a roadside bomb. when i got out of the mrap, the thermometer was 115 degrees. these kids do it every single day. the chill in the air today is nothing compared to what our young men fought through in 25
below zero temperatures in north korean now owns, frozen ground, 60 years ago. nothing compared to the snow and cold that hampered our forces 66 years ago. and nothing compares to what the 86 brave combat team with the first battalion 327th infantry regiment or 101st airborne division experience, and will this winter in the mountains of forward operating bases in afghanistan. i have seen it firsthand. spoke to general david rodriguez, when a forced snow squall forced our helicopter to land on a road not much wider than the helicopter. we landed with the 10th mountain -- where the top -- where the 10th mountain division climbed with more than 60 pounds of gear to battle al qaeda.
i'm amazed what these kids alone to do -- and they are not kids, they are men and women. ladies and german, these are fierce warriors and engaged and engaging a fierce enemy on fears terrain. there is a section in john steinbeck's's "east of eden" when cyrus describes to his son adam what it means to be a soldier. here is what is said. a soldier is the most holy of all humans because he is the most tested. a soldier must " learn to put himself in the way of losing his own midlife without going mad. if you could bring yourself to face, not shadows, but real death, describes and recognizable by sabre, arrow, or lans, then you need never be afraid again.
i look out at all of you who served our nation, and all of you who stood by the side and wait as they served. and i see the most tested among us, the most tested of all americans. i also see the most honorable men and women, citizens who have never. the future -- feared the future and are determined to build a better future this day. collectively, soldiers, airmen, air force, marines, who served, are the heart and soul, the very spine of this nation. and as a nation, we pause today to thank the more than 23 million surviving veterans who have so bravely and faithfully protected our freedom.
you gave, and they gave. [applause] those of you assembled here and those who assembled in similar ceremonies all over the country, like my son is attending at the delaware memorial bridge, the millions of you who gave the service, linen and sometimes life, fulfilling the hopes of this nation and for all of us, we owe you. and in doing so, you in part of a responsibility on all of us as well, to recognize, to respect, to honor, and to care for those who risked their lives so that we could live ours. over the past decade, our military is embarked on a longer period of sustained combat then
and all of american history. more than 2 million service members have deployed to iraq and afghanistan, more than half of whom returned to civilian life with the honored title of the veteran. of those men and women, the very best of this nation, over 40,000 have been wounded, 18,000 wounded, unable to return to duty, and over 5700 have made the ultimate sacrifice. including general kelly's son, who returns home today. only 1% of america, only 1 percent of this nation is
fighting these wars. as my wife jill says at every gathering she holds with military families, 100% of america owes them a thank you. 100% of the nation can and must do something to acknowledge what they have done for us and continue to do this very moment for us. in august, our combat mission came to an end in iraq. the mission of roughly 50,000 of those war years remain has been shifted from combat and is now to advise, assist, the train, and equipped iraqi security forces. there is still great danger in this mission, but it is a mission that moves us closer to the day at the end of next year
when our american soldiers returned to america able to leave iraq in the hands of the iraqis. in afghanistan, as i speak, our soldiers are making measurable progress on the overarching goal to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately defeated al qaeda inhofe get -- in afghanistan and pakistan. this mission also comes at a great cost. loss of lives, all of lin, but not the loss of spirit or courage. i, like many of you here, make a habit on a regular basis visiting our hospitals. i was recently at a hospital, and the nurses were taking me around to the veterans who were severely wounded. we walked into a young officers
room who was there with his wife. he had lost one leg, almost at the hip. and the other, just below the knee. and his left hand was mangled. he was asleep. so i said, please, to the doctor or nurse, please, do not disturb him. and the attending physician said no, no, he knows you are here and we did not awaken him. -- if he knows you are here and we did not awakened him, he would be angry. so they will can and i walked in. this young man reached up with is one good hand, the triangle of of his bed, pulled himself up and said, sir, i apologize. it was my intention to be able to stand and salute you when you came in. no self pity.
no, why me. it just service to his country. like hundreds of these young women and men that i met with, you know what i most often get asked when i turn to their spouses, mother or father, and say is there anything i can do, or i leaned down and say is there anything i can do? you know what i most often get asked? and i am not exaggerating one scintilla. in almost every case they say mr. vice president, can you help me get back to my unit. can you help me get back to my unit. [applause] folks, they are sending us a message that they are also sending our enemies in message. the message is that our resolve
in the face of the new threats we now confronts will never, ever waver, because we have so many, so many, brave young men and women of this generation who are willing to serve. as the president said, our spirit is strong and it cannot be broken. you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you. ladies and gentlemen, our veterans strength must be matched by our nation's support. our soldiers today are fighting different wars than their fathers or grandfathers fought. they are suffering different wounds. but our obligation remains the same, to train and equip those who we send it into harm's way and give them every bit of the care that they have earned and
deserve when they return home. it is not just our obligation, it is the only truly sacred obligation we have as a government. we have many obligations, but that is the only genuinely sacred obligation we have. that is why as general shinseki pointed out, we are making such as direct investment in a bipartisan way to help with family support and education and economic opportunity to our returning veterans. the department of veterans affairs, as the gentleman -- general pointed out, vietnam combat veteran myself, has the resources now to do much of what we were not able to do before, to build a 21st century response for those now returning. even while freezing, as soon to be speaker boehner knows, discretionary spending in the
budget, we gave the va when of the biggest budget increases in 30 years, additional $16 million -- $16 billion, a total of $114 billion and they deserve every penny of it. [applause] as the general said, for the first time shifting the burden, no longer will a soldier, sailor, rain would have to prove the need to help but it is on the government to prove he does not deserve the help. we passed the care givers act, for the first time in history trains and compensate relatives and give care to their wounded loved ones. [applause] and as the general pointed out, and the new gi bill that is already helping almost 400,000 veterans, and for the first time their family members are able to earn a college degree.
because, as the poet john milton wrote, they also serve who only stand and wait. our obligation is to the families as well. long after these wars are over and the welcome home parade are finished and memorials are built, that the streets are renamed, our obligation will endure. and only because all of you sitting to my left, absolutely confident that obligation will endure. because you will remind the americans -- the american people long after, long after these wars are over. there are over 16,000 young men and women who require extensive medical care for the rest of their lives, and their life expectancy is over 35 years. ladies and gentlemen, it is an obligation the president and i and soon-to-be speaker are fully
committed to fulfilling, and an obligation i hope every leadership that comes after a understand as well. so, on behalf of a grateful nation, i thank all of our troops and all of you who are here today for sacrificing so much for our country. may god bless you all, and may god bless america, and most importantly, they got protect our troops. thank you. -- may god protect our troops. thank you. [applause] >> please rise and join the u.s. marine band in the singing "god bless america." ♪ gob bless america
>> this is one of several veterans day ceremonies here in washington, d.c.. coming up at 12:50 eastern, we will be live at the vietnam memorial museum. >> as the country marks veterans day, learn more about the holiday and the men and women who served in the military with the c-span video library. oral history, authors on the nation's wars, and veterans day celebratio throughout the years. all free on your computer, any time. >> in one of his first live appearances since its publication, former president
george bush on his new book "decision points." live from miami dade college, sunday at 4:00. >> our veterans day coverage continues with a look at u.s. veterans policy. "washington journal" spoke to a former committee chair. throughout much of the iraq war, duncan hunter was chairman of the house armed services committee. the former congressman has now written a book. congressman, in the first page of this book, you write -- what do you mean by that? guest: the reason i wrote that and the reason i wrote the book is well illustrated by the driver that dropped off the
first several thousand books after they left the printer. he asked me as i was there at the receiving station. he said, what is in the box? what is it about? it is about the victory in iraq proud he said, "we did it? " i then entered a 20-minute conversation with him. that is why i wrote the book. because we did win in iraq. we turned around the province where we had massive the gunfights in 2004, 2005, and 2006 with the insurgency. we made friends with the tribes. they joined us and turned against the al-qaeda. they wiped out al-qaeda in the provinces. in eastern iraq, the surge supported a counter insurgency where we went into baghdad and the other urban areas.
we went into the neighborhoods and provided security for the population. that was the thrust of the surge in early 2007. because of that, we brought down violent by 90% in baghdad and we stabilized baghdad. pretty soon, basis started to operate and people started to go about their daily routine. we now have a government that america built it. lastly, the army stood out. they took the army in 2008 and had control of the oil in iraq in a very strategic location. he sent down on his own the first iraqi division, a division that americans trained. they swept the army out of the area. in the last election, even
though the washington post first said this was a failed again but, sending this first division, there were so successful, they captured arms that were shipped in to fight the americans. in the next election, he got 5.9% of the vote. he should have known any time the washington post declares a politician is going to win a big victory, it is usually the kiss of death. that was the last impediment to a true, freestanding nation with a government that would hold and an army that would hold. we left iraq, which is and in perfect country in in in perfect neighborhood. we definitely want that weren't. there is no doubt about it. host: what about what people call the hearts and minds? guest: one of the real factors
that came out of the iraq war that people do not appreciate enough is that al-qaeda was destroyed in iraq. the world wide war against terrorism is largely directed to al-qaeda. they made common cause with the suuni insurgency against the americans it. we turned the tribes against a cadet. we brought them over to our side. they turned against al-qaeda. al-qaeda was wiped out to. if al-qaeda goes into a neighborhood now in that province, they will have a quick death and an early burial. if they go into the area, there will be met with great hostility and will be wiped out. a cadet was a huge loser in iraq. the critics of the work or right
in saying that al-qaeda was not there when we first went into iraq. al-qaeda came in in numbers. there were manifested in the first or second battle of calusa. the they put together a fairly formidable structure, so al- qaeda and was wiped out in iraq. they were not wacked-out by americans. there were wiped out by a combined force. and the animosity towards the al-qaeda remains. it will not be a state based for terrorism. they have an attitude of animosity towards al-qaeda. we have an ally now.
host: in your book, you look back and talk about 20/20 vision that people had. we have put up the phone numbers on the bottom of your screen to call in. our fourth line this morning is set aside for iraq and afghanistan veterans it. if you want to call in and talk to the chairman of the house armed services committee, the number is on your screen. in your book, you talk about hindsight, 20/20. if you could do it all over again, would you support going into iraq knowing what we know now? guest: yes, i would. i often look at that picture of
the kurdish mothers holding their babies killed it in its stride in the hills of northern iraq by the poison gas from saddam hussein's aircraft. i also reviewed the massive graves that tony blair estimated holding some 300,000 shiites in southern iraq. they bulldozed them into open graves, nazi-style. according to the farmers testimonies, when the military firing squad did not get there in time to kill all of these men, women, and children, they simply bulldozed them alive and covered them up. so we took out a regime that in
many ways had some of the same dimensions as the nazi regime from germany. they used poison gas to kill their own people. they exterminated and killed thousands of people it. we now have a government that is a friend of the u.s., which has a military -- the military that the u.s. built in iraq, the first iraqi division, when they made their last battle filled deployments, they followed those deployments with humanitarian distribution just like the americans did it. they followed the rules of war. they did not abuse prisoners. they took care of people and had discipline. the american model has largely been transfeed to a lot of people in the military and in iraq. i think that has improved that part of the world. host: according to the congressional budget office, the iraq war, $709 billion was the
cost. 1.2 million american soldiers were rotated in and out of iraq at some point. 4000 for -- 4421 american casualties. georgia, you are on first. caller: during the months that president bush was giving saddam hussein time to comply with the united nations, and that was watching many mornings of the trucks moving across iraq, could those trucks that have taken weapons of mass destruction into the surrounding countries? guest: sure, they could have. i looked at the humanitarian abuses, the mass murders and executions and gassing of civilians. both of my sons volunteered to
serve in iraq, one in the marines and one in the army. i think that is justification. saddam hussein, according to the united nations, had over 6,000 liters of anthrax. that is enough to kill over 1 million people. you could put that in one pickup truck with high sides. you had a lot of trucks leaving dodge, so to speak, getting into syria and into iran. who knows what was in those vehicles? i represented the entire california-mexican border. we had massive loads of drugs and other things going across the border on a nightly basis. one reason why i wrote this book, it is a testimony to these guys, these folks that fought in iraq, these 1.2 million people that peter just talked about it.
their mission was successful. this veterans day parade one of the best things to tell a veteran is a "thanks." -- this is a veterans day. one of the best things to tell a veteran is "thanks." we did win in iraq. we built the government and put in place that was voted upon it. we left a military, and military that is holding now, which has a modicum of discipline and a modicum of what i would call it the american model of professionalism. we are leaving a country which is much better than when we came in it. i think over the next several decades, having a friend in that strategic location in the world is going to accrue to the
benefit of americans and also from a moral basis. the idea that we have gone in and have taken out a regime that has murdered some 300,000 people, these guys have done it. there are guys like sergeants who went into a burning bradley while he himself was on fire. he continued to rescue his soldiers. another performed a tracheotomy on a guy while under fire. he held off and shot several insurgents while he was taking care of this wounded man pretty he finally got him medev. the thousands of people who did their job who were separated for months and years from their loved ones, serving in this
place called iraq, those are the best people that america has. they were successful in their mission. i think it was time that someone acknowledged that they won the war in iraq. host: go ahead, mike. on our line for veterans. caller: i am so happy i get to talk to a republican neocon. host: purdue a veteran of iraq? caller: i am a veteran of iraq. mr. hunter, you have a real problem telling the whole truth. the reason the search work, we paid them to fight. why don't you people tell the truth? i was there and i saw what happened. guest: sergeant, you have a problem because both of my sons
served in iraq also, and they tell a different story than the one you have told it. my son just came back. he was in the last combat brigade to leave iraq. if you look at what happened in one of the provinces, al-qaeda came in. there were not there originally. a lot of foreign fighters came in it. they joined with the tribes to fight the americans initially. but al-qaeda were thin on the tribes. they set their own system of law. ibes 40%ed the trive it. they killed some of the leaders. every time you had a recruitment effort, al-qaeda would go in and murder the tribal leaders who were doing the recruitment effort to prevent anyone from
coming in and joining our side. in 2006, a tribal leader, a very brave man later murdered, got together a bunch of leaders and said we are making our stand against al-qaeda. both of his brothers and father were murdered by a cadet. that is why they came over to our side. they were going to side with the americans it. the americans are gone now and we are not paying the tribes. the tribes are not getting american money. they have a fairly significant oil revenue. if you are al-qaeda right now and you go into the province, your life expectancy is very low because the tribes in the province remember the al-qaeda that came in and in some cases killed people for the sin of smoking because smoking was
against their strict version of muslim law, took their women, taxed them and abused them. i had one brain tell me that parts of the province, families would tell their children if al- qaeda puts them in a burning fire, go ahead and breed quickly because you will suffer less pained. it was the abuse from al-qaeda. al-qaeda unwittingly was part of the reason why the tribes came over to our side. they helped forge the american victory. now, with no american money going out there to the province -- the general left in 2009 it. he was a top marine in the province. he start -- he stopped giving out money for projects. he said you are going to have to raise your own money and have your own projects. he put together a budget summit
so they could come up with their own way to fund the projects. they did that in 2009. if you go to that province today, they are not going back to the al-qaeda. host: san antonio, texas. caller: you and the people around you other reason why we are in the mess that we are in it pretty your tunnel vision sent us into a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. you took out saddam hussein out in the middle of the night, popped his head off with no trial. you mentioned the kurdish mothers. where did he get that gas? we did it to him. how did osama bin laden get his money? we give him the money to fight the soviets. you are our friend as long as you are killing the people we want you to kill.
when you quit doing that, then you have become our enemy. the suffering that people are going through right now, the trucking business, going out of business. our debt is caused by the immoral wars. host: duncan hunter? guest: most of those were put together we have a lot in place -- a law in place to keep poison gas from going to other countries that might use them in the way that saddam hussein's use to them. any humanitarian organization in the world will not agree with you that somehow saddam hussein did not do the gassing of
thousands of kurdish people. that he did not shoot by firing squad or bulldozed civilians, men, women, and children and put them in mass graves. our people excavated those graves and found the skulls of mothers with the bullets in the back of their heads. that was on the discovery channel. there were executed before being put into the graves. we could be having the same discussion in 1941 or 1939 about what it did in gasing a lot of people. would the west have responded in a moral manner if they had not been invaded? i like to hope that they would. moral justification for going was solid, with or without weapons of mass destruction. this book has 120 instances of heroism by silver star winners,
guys winnerskip who fought massive firefights in the battle of fallujah and others. american realty believed in this mission and succeeded. you don't do justice to america's fighting forces when you are parts of a voice in america that does not acknowledge to military people when they have succeeded, and their mission was successful. we talk about how well we should treat veterans, one way to do that is to say that you did did abkhaz. this book acknowledges -- at yousay th did the job. kip was firefighting for weeks
in fallujah. he was at a machine gun battle, ended up in an knife fight with one of the last insurgents. he survived that. he was in several other massive firefights. chuck yeager is his grandfather. his father served in the 1 73rd airborne in vietnam. this is a story about terrorism. kip joined the marines at age 17. he came from colorado. there are pictures of me at the temples and foot level. i have a picture of that in the book. 10,000 ft level.
the kelly family is in the book as well. john kelly was the deputy mission commander for the first marine division during the first battle of fallujah. his son robert was a pfc going door-to-door with firefights. his son john was also a marine and was in iraq. if family, generation's going to war. we have been reluctant to tell our soldiers not thanks for serving can and you are good people, but when they win, thanks of winning. this book's as banks or winning. >> a call on the republican line from aidala. >> how are you? host: fine.
caller: can't you consider the chemicals that used as weapons of mass destruction? guest: yes, we've knowledge saddam hussein used weapons of mass destruction, chemical poison gas, to kill the kurdish people in large numbers in northern iraq. that was chemical ali, that was the name of his deputy who was tried and executed. just as we executed people after the november trial after the second world war for gassing jewish people. the question was did he still have supplies of sports and gas. we did not find supplies of prison guess when we arrived in iraq. we did not find weapons of mass destruction. that's true. from my position, the things that's a, did to his people --
debbie lee, her son mark was the first navy seal killed in iraq. what she said was a, is a weapon of mass destruction, himself. if you look at to tony blair estimates that he executed 300 dozen people and bulldozed them into mass graves that have been uncovered, yes, he was a weapon of mass destruction, himself. from my perspective, it is in the american interest to have a nation which is a friend and not an enemy of the 90 states. a nation that has representative government. we have built a model for them. al qaeda, going into the sunni parts of iraq or the shiite product of iraq, today those terrorists have a short life
expectancy. one thing the iraqi people and learned to do was understand the terror that al qaeda brings an end to hate them for it. they're men and women and children have been killed by al qaeda. there was a major strike by the the longates anin war. >> the teams will still be in afghanistan in 2014. we will be there until at least the end of 2014. a change in tone aimed at persuading the afghans and the taliban there will be no significant american troop withdrawals next summer. your reaction? guest: when you set a deadline, the problem is that your allies, the people you are trying to
persuade to be undecided, say say the support of the americans will be gone and i will have to face the bad guys by myself. the bad guys is as if we wait long enough, we can take over in four years. that dynamic is a danger because american politicians and us wanting to get reelected, that is a common thread across republican and democratic lines. we always want to put a withdrawal date on a conflict because we want to assure the families end the american people that we will not be at war for ever -- and the american people. the administration did set a date to get out and that was criticized by the leaders of the fighting forces but since you are sending the wrong message. the reason we won in anbar
province was a private and the pse fighting on the ground, we refused to say that we were going to quit. we gave enough confidence to but sunni tribes. they watched americans dying on machine guns. americans going into firefights and 10 feet until they were the only guy standing. the americans never left wounded soldiers on the battlefield. these americans are going to stick with us. so the tribes and got enough confidence that they said we will declare our independence of al qaeda and they won. in afghanistan we can statement by the administration that we would have a deadline to get out. that was criticized by military leaders. the commandant in the marine corps said that was not the
right message. they have modified that to say that we are not going to set a deadline, that we will be there for long haul. hopefully, that gives confidence to the afghanistan people fighting the insurgency to stick with us. let me tell you what one problem is in afghanistan. our allies. 1361 americans have died in afghanistan. the british have lost -- 26 other nations bardera on an agraria -- 26 other nations are there. they have only lost about half as many as we have lost a combined. we have more battlefield casualties -- almost twice as many as the rest of the free
world combined that are present in iraq. the british have about 300 casualties. the rest of the 26 nato allies and other allies if only hackers about 300. that means they're not going to the dangerous places. there's a game that's is let the americans do the tough stuff. helmand province has lots of firefights. they have switched on us so that the marines are there fighting in helmand province. the europeans have have pulled out of there. one thing the president needs to do is sit down with leaders of france and germany and other countries and say that you have an interest in fighting terrorists, you have an interest in not having terrorist bases in afghanistan that will hurt you in five or 20 years. have erroll in germany but says
your soldiers cannot leave the forest at night. you cannot be in france saying that all we are going to do is guard to the airports. you have to go to the battlefield and stand side-by- side with the americans. president obama needs to say that to our allies. report this is there is little risk to lifting the ban on gays openly serving in the military. according to two people familiar with the draft to the report. guest: i am sure it was worded in a way it that will play out in the way that they hope, which i take it the people that gave that report to the paper on lifting the gay ban. i am strongly against it. you go to a combat platoon of marines in afghanistan and give
them a secret ballot and say are you for lifting the ban on practicing homosexuals being injected into your ranks and the answer would come back nearly 100% no or very close to it. i guarantee that. any combat units, give them a secret ballot and let them vote. we had to the homosexual issue, gay marriage, for example, raised in 31 states. reports in each state that says everything is ago. the only people who end of being against it, now people in uniform cannot vote down the ban or cannot vote on maintaining the gay ban, we will have a corrosive effect on unit cohesion. most people in combat units are conservative.
they have judeo-christian values pure the idea of practicing homosexuality is repugnant to them. if that is their values. they have a right to their values and their judeo-christian background. isey don't get to vote on who in the foxhole with them, that tight compartment on a navy ship either. they don't have a vote on this. we have to stand and have a little courage and stand up for this effort that is an annual effort that has gone on for the last decade, the same group that gave $3 million to bill clinton and got a promise from him that he would put homosexual men in the military is more active than ever. they are very active. they have lots of leverage to pull. if you ask people in the platoons, it would be close to
90% rejection of this idea. just as those states that had gay marriage on. the ballot a post it host: our guest is duncan hunter, author of "victory in iraq.:" -- john on thein \ line from texas. caller: i served in honor reserved -- army reserve. i have a question about the link to al qaeda. i was serving with coalition forces. i saw someone in solitary and asked who it was and they said this was al qaeda. this was in may of 2003. another time, as far as wmd's, i
was going to camp looking for somebody if and there was a gas mask. i inquired where that came from and they said that was taken from iraqi soldiers captured on the battlefield. they had to take their chemical equipment away from them. i thought, that's funny, we are not going to guess anyone, are they carrying chemical equipment? i wanted to address those two observations. guest: regarding al qaeda, i think al qaeda and watched the invasion and made a decision to enter iraq and fight the americans in iraq. the kennedy's battalion in battle of ramadi in early 2004, i asked the lieutenant colonel kennedy if any of the 300 insurgents killed in the fierce firefights were al qaeda and he said they were not, that was part of a sunni insurgency,
which al qaeda started coming heavily into iraq and the timeframe of april of 2004 onward. they were not there in numbers in 2003. that is probably so. you may have seen that designated as al qaeda, that person. he may have been coming to get intelligence on how local was going. but al qaeda was not there in force until 2004. regarding saddam was slain on the poor is investing, he got everybody off balance. he had used it, killed thousands of mhers and children if with poison gas at one time. nobody was sure how much he had or will it was. we did not find any in the end. host: anthony in columbus, ohio, a democrat . caller: saddam was slain
invading the kurds, it was a result of our initial is supporting the kurds, the uprising against saddam hussein's. as a result of that, we abandoned the kurds and saddam was slain punished them for that. you have to admit that we encouraged the kurds' revolt against saddam was sane and they did. when he had an opportunity to punish them, look what happened. guest: i would argue with anybody's right to gas women with babies as a result of any foreign policy mandate or any foreign policy position that was taken. actually, the kurds for time immemorial, the northern part of iraq, have inhabited the area. they have tried to hold on to
their position in northern iraq. in places like turkel where you have an arab population and the kurdish population, you have the friction and you have said, kirkuk areas the curric and the displaced families. now there is disputes. you have a kurdish family with a deed to a piece of land and it comes down to my father's for centuries. and then you have an arrow that's as i got this deed from those of, government a couple years ago, so we have to work those disputes out. rab then you have an a who says they have a deed from a few years ago from saddam hussein from the same piece of
land. the kurds want to be left alone. they have their piece of land in northern iraq. they don't want people flying over them. we did a no-fly zone for years to try to keep saddam was an from having air power into northern iraq. as a result of him guessing men, women, and children. i don't think we were wrong there. if if somebody is guessing women and children on the basis that he does not like the united states, that is not a valid proposition that we are at fault he did the mothers and babies. host: seven minutes left with our guest is duncan hunter, author of "victory in iraq: how america won." now from richardson, texas on the republican line. caller: thanks for writing this book. i appreciate you and i appreciate our military personnel so much. thank god for them.
if they keep us free and they keep us going every day. a couple questions about iraq. first, do you think that the andror groups hamas hezbollah are in iraq? are they the ones murdering and slaughtering iraqi christians? the other question is in afghanistan, is it not true that pakistan and india are doing a sort of war against each other in afghanistan and we are getting caught between them? i think india is sneaking in and their terrorist instigators into afghanistan. host: we have to leave it there. you have to keep your answers short. guest: hezbollah model from iran was injected to some degree
in the training and arming of the special groups of iraqi shiite extremists who were fighting the united states and iraqi government and the sunnis, but we defeated them when the first iraqi division went down and took out the mahdi army. there were hezbollah elements in the training of the so-called army special groups. i have not seen a strong presence of indian espionage in the afghanistan theater. thanks for bringing it back. to the back this book is a tribute to 2 million americans who fought in iraq. -- this book is a tribute. it is published by genesis publishing. you can get it at amazon or go
to victoryinirazbook.com. host: what is genesis publishing? guest: pretty major publishing house in mississippi. the ceo read several chapters before i had it ready to go. he looked at my riding style, which is not the greatest, he called me and said i read the instances of courage and bravery, but the american public would not know otherwise. all they know is that things that happened. but the tales of heroism have not been sufficiently related to the american public so he agreed to publish it. i'm grateful. >> it is laid out chronologically and profiles several generals.
it profiles of difference soldiers who participated. two phone calls. liz on the independent line from new york. caller: thank you to all of our veterans. they have kept us safe hundreds of years and continue to do so today. my father was a world war ii veteran and my husband of vietnam. i have waited years to talk to you about this. i live in upstate new york. i was in new york city at a meeting three weeks after nine size 11. i am aware of the devastation. -- after 9/11. i have always considered the afghan area and illegitimate -- a legitimate war. my question is why did you turn your back on afghanistan? we don't invade every country
that's having trouble. you started two war and let both of them language. the reason we can say we are victorious in iraq is not because of our leadership but simply because of our soldiers. my second statement is why did you ever bring this country to war? why did you never fun galore on anything but supplemental and why did you not institute the draft? host: ok. guest: why did we fund bonds or on supplementals? it's always been that way. -- why did we fund the war on supplementals? it's a little less than the full impact of the bank bailout that we paid for. a more valid program and more valid american terest tha the
massive bank bailout. an impact of a trillion dollars. you fund wars on supplementals not not mean that it's real. you don't know how much you're going to need to spend. so you do it on the basis of looking at what you need for the next couple months, you pay for that, then you go to the next six months and pay for an ad and you do what you have to do to win. second, we had a very successful stand up in afghanistan early on. we went in, knocked al qaeda isleton of afghanistan. it went to pakistan. we stood up the government and the constitution and the court system. there's a lot of corruption and problems right now. you're going to have massive problems in that part of the world standing up a government that is similar to the model of
the united states and that is a model based on honesty, fairness, on having a system that works without corruption. that is always a difficulty. in 2003 through 2005 in afghanistan it was looked at as a model of success. we had very little american casualties. we've had more american casualties in the last year, times as many as american casualties in afghanistan in the last year than we had six years ago. this is an injection of force is largely from pakistan, the >> we are going to leave this segment at this point and continue on our live coverage of veterans day ceremonies. we are going to the vietnam veterans memorial. speakers we expect to hear from
>> okay, we are just about ready to begin today. by the way, how many people, when they served in vietnam, iraq, other places, spend time with soldiers from australia? well, we are here today, in part, because we have someone here from the australian embassy. if you could stand up for a moment. two people. [applause] >> i feel like going to the outback steakhouse right now. i love that commer o