FOUR COMRADS REMEMBERED 


On Veteran’s day and many other days in nearly 70 years I have specials reverence for my entire WWII band of brothers and sisters but with special prayers for four of my closest brothers. They are part of the 400,000 who gave everything.

The first two were like birth brothers .They are Bill Irwin of Shelby Ohio and Dwight Holmes of Baltimore, Maryland. The three of us had been in the Army’s Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC) in our respective colleges. By competition each of us were admitted to the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). After basic training in Ft. Mc Cleland, Anniston, Alabama we came together at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) .We studied Army Engineering with the idea that when the Army needed engineers we would be commissioned and assigned to combat. As the war progressed ASTP was abruptly cancelled. We were all transferred as rifleman and assigned to the 106 Golden Lion Division at Camp Atterberry in Franklin, Indiana. The three of us soon volunteered to be assigned of a combat unit and were quickly moved to Ft Mead, Maryland. After a weekend visit to New York City and a Birthday Party for Dwight at his home in Baltimore we sailed for England on the Queen Elizabeth. . We had additional training in Litchfield England we were suddenly separated. Dwight and I were sent to separate regiments of the First (Big Red One) Infantry Division and Bill to the 9th Infantry.

.Both men were killed in combat.

The third comrade was a complete stranger. I never even saw his face only the top of his steel helmet. It was at the time of the Normandy breakout We were off Omaha Beach on the troop ship Leopoldville (later sunk on Christmas Eve with loss of 500 soldiers) We were ascending to the landing craft by rope latter. . The soldier above was pushing down on me. Below I could see the Second Lieutenant’s gold shoulder bar inches from my boots. With no warning a sudden shift of wind jammed the Landing Craft crashing against the ships side. It crushed the Lieutenant against the ship. As looked down my boots were covered with blood as his dead body slid into the sea. I was terrified as I dived head first into the LCI just as it hit bottom and as it stated to rise again.

The fourth person is our Company G 18th Regiment Runner Private Harry Kolasa. It was early November 23, 1944 in the Hurtgen Forest near Eisweiler Germany. I spent the nigh as a rifle anti tank gunner at a road block. At dawn I was alone when what probably was a German motor shell hit and I was blown unconscious into the snow. When I came to it looked like my left hand was a goner. I was bleeding profusely. A Lieutenant arrived and told we where the neatest aid station. He asked me if could make it alone and I told him I thought I could. There was constant shelling. . As I moved up the hill I dived into a deep depression in the snow underneath a large tree. I glance up just as Harry Kolas jumped in on top of me. A very large shell hit the tree and a huge blast instantly killed Harry and left me with only a large chunk out of my right shoulder. My combat war was over. I spent 18 months in nine hospitals here and abroad recovering.

The Golden Lion Division later came to Belgium .As a raw division it was assigned to a huge stretch of quiet front. It was overwhelmed by Hitler’s massive secret attack in the Battle of the Bulge. . In one day some 7,800 of my former state side comrades were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. The division was dispended. My mother and bill’s mother became close friends. When they brought Bill home after the war my mother was with me as I was honored to be a part of his burial ceremony.


As long as I live these four will be lovingly be remembered by name in my thoughts and prayers.

Rev Bernard F. Hillenbrand

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CFS’S FRESH HOPE 

On March 4, 1933 at the height of the hell of worldwide depression much more severe than this one President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his inaugural inspired our discouraged nation with a remarkable infusion of hope with his admonition “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” For the one million innocent Americans and their loved ones who daily endure the hell of CFS President Barack Obama has given fresh hope. In a detailed July 26 letter in response to a campaign query by CFS sufferer Robert Miller’s wife Courtney he reported what he has learned about CFS .His letter outlined progress to date and outlines his administration’s CFS plans for a diagnosis and cure. Above all he has shown continuing interest and invites dialogue.

Our CFS fight for a cure seems agonizingly slows. This is particularly the case for those who suffered through the early days of “Yuppie Flu” ridicule and derision and medical indifference. Historically we have seen cures for polio and smallpox and more recently remarkable progress in fighting AIDS. We can find hope in Thomas Edison’s answer to critics who derided his failure in testing 10,000 materials for a filament for his light bulb. He responded that on the contrary to failure he had the success of proving what would not work.

We can be inspired by modern technology and instant communication that constantly marshals the scientists of the entire world to find cures. Recently there has been world-wide attention to a tentative finding of some evidence that mouse leukemia retrovirus impacted CFS. NIH tested blood samples of CFS sufferers and a control group and found no evidence of the virus.
Again we salute Kimberly Mc Cleary and the CFS Association who were the pioneers in CFS research and for more than 20 years have been a research lighthouse. It is my understanding that they are funding studies in related fields to determine if some of the findings might lead to new paths to CFS success.

As President Obama’s letter points out our nation faces great financial challenges. We need to cut expenditures. However care must be given to distinguish the difference between expenditure and an investment. For example at the end of World War II Congress passed legislation offering sixteen million veterans a free college education. The consensus now is that this was not expenditure but was an investment that produced enormous national return. . Imagine the return if research expenditure now found a cure for CFS that freed 1,000,000 Americans to return to the full time work force.

We know that hope beats fear always. .At your last meeting your chairman had it right.

“You have CFS now but that does not mean you will always have it! “

Rev. Bernard F. Hillenbrand

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MITT ROMNEY’S FIRST CHOICE 

Mitt Romney the Republican candidate for President of the United States comes from a very distinguished American family. In the past five years he has for the second time invested his time and money in runs to become President. To win the nomination he has been forced to cater to the far right which dominates the nominating process. He has promised to free our country from President Obama’s socialism and to restore America to its previous greatness.

He has made his first critical decision. . With respect to this choice Governor Romney has repeatedly said that his first consideration was that the person he chooses would have all the credentials for being President of the United States. . Like former Republic Candidate Senator John Mc Cain who selected Governor Sarah Palin to fire up his tea party followers many believe that Romney for the same reason has chosen Congressman Paul Ryan.

The public and many in the press have come to the false belief that a vice president has almost no power and is irrelevant except for narrow political purposes in the political campaign. Older Americans in their lifetime they have seeing one president die; a second president assassinated in office; a third president forced to resign. These former Vice President's became Presidents Harry S. Truman; Lyndon B. Johnson and Gerald Ford. Each of these men proved to have the qualification for President of the United States.

If Mitt Rob becomes president and dies in office how likely it is that Congressman Paul Ryan based upon his record would measure up to these men? In seven congressional terms he has become a voice for the Republican ultraconservative right in the United States House of Representatives. He is a firm believer in tax relief for the very rich and believes that Social Secirity and Medicare should be privatized and ObamaCare should be abolished. He has spent the last four years as a leader and spokesman for the conservative Republicans sole objective which was to defeat President. Barack Obama. He has supported shutting down the federal government to control he national debt which has contributed to the downgrade of our US credit.
Congressman Ryan was a leader in the successful Republican effort to ignore the rights of states and passed national legislation to outlaw same sex marriages.

Our founding fathers lead by Thomas Jefferson from the very beginning constructed a solid wall to separate Church and State. Congressman Ryan (as does his Republic Platform) supports a church supported constitutional amendment to abolish all abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother. Mitt Romney has yet to give the details of his tax returns or any specifies of how he would address our problems and return us to our former greatness. All we have so far is his choice of the man who would succeed him if he is elected and dies in office. Many believe this is not a promising start.

Rev Bernard F. Hillenbrand

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President Obama “has thrown in on our side”....  




(According to the following press release from Bob and Courtney Miller which appeared first on Phoenix Rising (http://PhoenixRising.me), President Obama has shared positive news with them on CFS research in a recent letter).

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Aug 17, 2012:
In an unprecedented step, President Obama has asked the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services to elevate Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in priority, assigning his Deputy Chief of Staff to follow their efforts.

When President Obama promised Courtney Miller to “see if they could do more” for CFS research at a Reno Town Hall meeting last year, he was the first U.S. President to say the words Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Now he has lived up to his promise, becoming the first President ever to ask the nation’s health agencies to elevate the priority of CFS!

Thank you, President Obama!

In a July 25, 2012 letter addressed to Mrs. Miller, President Obama describes a report given him by Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health. The important part of the letter is the last paragraph which speaks to the future:
He has asked his Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, Nancy-Ann DeParle, to “stay in touch with Dr. Collins at NIH and Dr. Koh at HHS about my interest in their efforts on CFS.”
Mrs. Miller’s communications with the White House confirm that the President’s wish to have CFS elevated in priority in the Department of Health and NIH has been conveyed at the highest level.

“President Obama kept his promise in the most important way he can for CFS/ME patients,” said Courtney Miller, “by leading a stronger federal commitment to CFS/ME research and a better quality of life for patients. CFS is a health crisis for more than 1 million Americans, and President Obama has thrown in on our side!”

Thanking President Obama

We all need to thank President Obama. It is important that the President know that many patients and their families are affected by CFS and that we are grateful for his efforts. We have made it easy for patients and friends to email the White House Office of Public Engagement, with the following model email.

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PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER 

As he left the Presidency President Carter’s popularity was at a low mostly because the American humiliation of having Iran imprisoned hundreds of Americans for more than a year. That is changing because of historic developments and his remarkable post-presidency work in constructing housing for the poor: for monitoring elections worldwide and for his steady contribution to religious understanding and to world peace..

During his administration President Carter supported many of NACo’s policy positions .Prior to his election as Governor of Georgia he was extremely active in encouraging economic development in that state. For that reason he was personally better acquainted with the work of wife Aliceann Wohlbruck who was then Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). He was an hit with her members when as President he addressed her annual meeting. I have been inspired by the half dozen or more books he has written on the Christian faith and its application to world affairs.

I became especially close to this administration through his presidential aide Stu Eizsenstadt. He was the President’s Domestic Policy Adviser and Executive Director of the Policy Staff. Our whole NACo staff had instant access to the White House on dozens of policy questions. He is a remarkable human as is his wife Fran. After Carter’s term he went on to a great law career and held many high level government post. He is also world famous for his successful efforts to restore to the heirs some the huge wealth the Nazi’s stole from the Jewish people during the Holocaust.

It was a personal high when Stew arranged for me to attend the September 17 1978 White House lawn ceremony to celebrate the Camp David Accords. These agreements lead to a Egypt Israel peace treaty. It was a joyous moment when a smiling President Carter watched as Pres. Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Israel’s Prim Minister Menachem Begin (who later shared a Noel Peace prize) shuck hands and launched an understanding that has to this day brought peace between these two often hostile countries.

.President Carter also helped us plan and implement a county official’s tour of Communist Russian then the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) He arranged briefings for us at the state department and at our departure met in person with me and the 182 participants in and emotional send off. NACo chartered a British plan for a two week tour of the Communists Soviet Union and nearby Baltic Nations.



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