Sailor Spotlight! Mission Viejo, California native Steven Muckenthaler

ZHANJIANG, China (June, 2017) Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Steven Muckenthaler, a Mission Viejo, California native assigned to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104), ties a knot during a seamanship competition with People’s Liberation Army (Navy) (PLAN) sailors during the ship’s scheduled port visit to Zhanjiang, China.
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Michigan high school teacher, coach to receive Medal of Honor

The White House recently announced that on July 31, President Donald Trump will present the Medal of Honor to Spc. 5 James C. McCloughan. McCloughan’s valorous actions occurred during 48 hours of intense fighting against enemy forces on Nui Yon Hill near Tam Kỳ, South Vietnam, May 13 to 15, 1969. The combat medic was serving with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division.
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American Water affirms its commitment to employees in the National Guard and Reserve

As America prepared to celebrate both the creation of the U.S. Army and mark Flag Day, Walter Lynch, chief operating officer, signed a Statement of Support for American Water employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Joining Lynch were several employees, veterans, and Don Tretola, chair of the New Jersey Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Committee. The event was held at the company’s Voorhees, NJ headquarters on the eve of Flag Day and the Army’s 242nd birthday.

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2017 Disabled American Veterans Freedom Award Winner

Disabled Army veteran Adam Greathouse was named the 2017 DAV Freedom Award recipient at this year’s National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.

Greathouse, a West Virginia native, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and major damage to his lungs and other internal organs while deployed to Kosovo.

“I had hoses in my left lung, my right lung was suffering other conditions at the time, they had chest tubes in,” he said. “I lost the left one. My right lung has scar tissue, and at the time I had an enlarged heart from all of this and all of my organs were trying to shut down.”

The mortality rate for injures like his are 98 percent. A flag was sent home to his mother’s house to be draped over his coffin, and a warrant officer was dispatched to escort his body home.

Eventually, Greathouse was medically retired. He returned home to his parents’ house, but was a shell of the person he once was. Recovering from the TBI forced him to relearn how to write and walk. He fell into a deep depression.

“I just stayed in the room, as dark as possible; no music, no TV. I hardly ate,” said Greathouse. “I felt like I was a burden and just existing. That’s when I started contemplating taking my own life.”

At his lowest point, he found himself sleeping in his truck in empty parking lots. It was after his mother’s continued encouragement to seek help that he finally relented and went to his local VA for assistance.

He eventually began recreational therapy and attended the The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic sponsored by DAV and the VA in 2012.

“We came here to the winter sports clinic in Snowmass and my life changed forever,” he said. “I took all the stuff I’ve learned here, and I’ve taken it home and applied it to my own recovery process.”

Greathouse takes his personal mission of giving back to fellow disabled veterans seriously.

“He would drive two hours to come here, even on days when he wasn’t scheduled,” said Deborah Brammer, a representative from the Huntington VA Medical Center in West Virginia. “He’s all over the medical center, helping veterans get to where they need to be, pushing wheelchairs, and he always has a smile on his face.”

But despite his commitment, he insists he’s no hero.

“I’m just a regular guy who went through what he had to go through to survive, and I was in survival mode for a real long time,” he said. “Now, after the winter sports clinic, I just go every single day as hard as I can and enjoy life.”



Army Veteran Adam West, Batman Of The 1960s, Dies At 88

Adam West, who donned a cape, cowl and tights to became an overnight sensation in 1966 as the star of the campy “Batman” TV series, has died, his family said. He was 88.

West, who later lamented being typecast as the Caped Crusader but eventually embraced having been part of American pop culture, died Friday in Los Angeles. He had leukemia, according to multiple reports.

A former Warner Bros. contract player West was appearing in TV commercials in the mid-1960s to help pay the rent. But several commercials he did for Nestle’s Quik chocolate powder — parodies of the popular James Bond movies in which West played a dry-witted character called Captain Q — had an unexpected outcome.

They caught the attention of 20th Century Fox TV producer William Dozier, who was looking for someone to star as Gotham City millionaire Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego, Batman, in a farcical new series for ABC.

Based on the DC Comics character created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger in 1939, “Batman” debuted in January 1966 as a twice-weekly half-hour program.

West knew that his life would never be the same the night the heavily promoted first episode aired.

“I stopped at the market on the way home,” he told Esquire magazine in 2004. “I thought, ‘Tonight, I just want to be alone. I’ll stop, get a steak and a six pack, whatever, then go home and watch the debut of the show.’

“As I walked through the checkout line, I heard people saying, ‘C’mon, c’mon, hurry up. “Batman” is coming on!’ And I said to myself, ‘Goodbye, anonymity.’ ”

With West as the strait-laced crime fighter who spoke with what has been described as ironic earnestness and Burt Ward as his youthfully exuberant sidekick, Robin, “Batman” was a pop culture phenomenon in a decade that was full of them.

“This whole thing is an insane, mad fantasy world,” West said of the show in a Chicago Daily News interview shortly before its debut. “And my goal is to become American’s biggest put-on.”

It was high camp indeed, with fight scenes punctuated by comic book-style “POW!” “BOP!” and “WHAP!” exclamations flashing on the screen and an collection of guest-star villains that included Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin, Cesar Romero as the Joker and Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.

In June 1966, The Los Angeles Times reported that “Batman” had been a “life-transforming” success for West: Fan mail was arriving “by the wagonsful” — as were requests for personal appearances and even locks of his hair.

“I love doing the show, and frankly it’s given me more identification than any three movies could have,” West said. “What I’ve got to feel is that if I can make a success of this characterization, I can make a success of other characterizations.”

The “Batman” series spawned a 1966 movie version and a variety of merchandise, including lunchboxes, dolls and toy Batmobiles.

Continue onto Task & Purpose to more about Adam and the Batman phenomenon.