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Articles By Author - Pete Mecca


Veterans Story: A Soldier Died Today

He served as a combat medic in Vietnam, picked up pieces of humanity; desperately struggled to save lives during the critical 60 minutes of the 'Golden Hour' in which the survival rate increased to 95%, and treaded through mine fields to recover the dead and wounded.

October 18, 2014 | Pete Mecca | A VETERAN'S STORY


Spirits of the healing wall

From the book "The Tunnels of Cu Chi" by Mangold and Penycate, a quote by highly decorated Army officer Jack Flowers, commander of 'Rat Six', the crack Tunnel Rat unit of the 1st Infantry Division. Jack Flowers personally survived 97 tunnel explorations.

October 11, 2014 | Pete Mecca | A VETERAN'S STORY


Missing in action

The home city of record for Lance Corporal David Nipper is Atlanta. Perhaps the city of Atlanta was listed for convenience, but my theory is a bit more skeptical. This young marine was unintentionally overlooked due to careless record-keeping or the lack of clerical experience dealing with Georgia's first warrior listed as MIA (Missing in Action) during the war in Southeast Asia.

September 30, 2014 | Pete Mecca | A VETERAN'S STORY


Flying with Laughter

Arranging an interview quickly turns into something even more exciting when the veteran suggests, "Let's just fire up the old Stearman and fly down to Peach State Aerodrome for lunch at Barnstormer's Grill. Then we can fly back for an interview at my house." Needless to say, nobody had to twist my arm.

September 23, 2014 | Pete Mecca | A VETERAN'S STORY


We are all Veterans 9/11

The word 'veteran' customarily represents an individual who served in the military. The keyword 'military' customarily represents a fighting alliance like the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines or the Navy. Arguably, two other groups could be classified as veterans: Merchant Mariners and members of the Home Front.

September 10, 2014 | Pete Mecca | A VETERAN'S STORY


A Veteran's story: Orphaned by history

The "Forgotten War" of Korea is also referred to as the war "orphaned by history." The catchphrases 'forgotten' or 'orphaned' may appease intellectuals or the power-players of that era, but for the soldiers who suffered and sacrificed in the hell called Korea their war will never be 'forgotten.' As for being 'orphaned by history', Korean veterans knew from the outset that the diplomatic philosophy of the day guaranteed they would indeed feel orphaned if not blamed for America's first war without a victorious outcome.

September 02, 2014 | Pete Mecca | A VETERAN'S STORY


No color in war

Soldiers of color, be it white, black, red, brown or yellow, have one human characteristic in common: we all bleed the same color. The warrior covering your back most likely wears the same color uniform, yet his or her race, creed or color has no relevance on the value of training or their desire to simply do what is right.

August 26, 2014 | Pete Mecca | A VETERAN'S STORY


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Archive By Author - Pete Mecca


Part 2: Harris pilots bombers to keep world peace

Read the first part of this story online here.

October 23, 2012 | Pete Mecca | News Columnists


Mecca: Pilot sees first combat in days following D-Day

It's been an extraordinary journey for an Alabama boy to become the oldest active member of Mansfield United Methodist Church. Covington resident Frank Harris was born into the tiny farming community of Jamison, Ala. in 1923. His railroading father eventually moved the family to Birmingham where Harris attended school until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor during his senior year. A Golden Gloves boxing champion, tough and ready to fight, he wanted to join the Marines, but a buddy talked Harris into signing up with the Army Air Corps.

Harris said with a grin, "I passed the written and physical ...

October 16, 2012 | Pete Mecca | LOCAL


Surviving Vietnam’s jungles

The 173rd Airborne Brigade was established in 1917 as an infantry brigade before serving in France during World War I. Redesignated in 1942 as the 87th Recon Troop, the 173rd fought in three European campaigns. Inactivated in 1951, it was reactivated in March 1963 and allotted to the regular Army on Okinawa as the 173rd Airborne Brigade, a quick reaction force. Extensive training in mass parachute jumps earned them the nickname "Tien Bien" meaning "Sky Soldiers."

October 09, 2012 | Pete Mecca | LOCAL


British pilot trains, teaches in Georgia

During World War II the British media grumbled, "The trouble with Yanks is that they're over-paid, over-sexed, and over here." One good turn deserves another. British pilots trained in America but unlike their American counterparts, they were under-paid, welcomed here, and not criticized for what comes naturally - not too often, anyway.

October 02, 2012 | Pete Mecca | News Columnists


Local recalls gruesome Vietnam War

On Sept. 24, 1970, Bobby Gayton stopped drinking and gave his life to Christ. He's been preaching ever since, and our country should be grateful he wasn't required to give his life in Vietnam.

September 25, 2012 | Pete Mecca | LOCAL


Medal of Honor recipient’s heroic tale

Roy Benavidez was born in 1935 near Cuero, Texas to poverty-stricken sharecroppers of Mexican and Yaqui Indian ancestry. Both parents died of tuberculosis before his eighth birthday. He and his younger brother Roger, along with eight cousins, were raised by their grandfather, an aunt and uncle, in El Campo.

September 18, 2012 | Pete Mecca | News Columnists


Account of close calls in Iraq

Born in Macon, Covington resident Eurey Hooper grew up in Byron, and joined the Army reserves at 18 years old.

September 11, 2012 | Pete Mecca | News Columnists


Bank of America to assist veterans

As the banking industry receives the brunt of criticism for unpopular government bailouts, reckless lending practices, and has been the favorite target of politicians, apparently Bank of America is at least trying to improve its image.

September 04, 2012 | Pete Mecca | LOCAL


Mecca: Serving in the first Gulf War

Doug Hinton's kinfolk settled in Rockdale County in the 1800s. His parents and grandparents rest in peace at Green Meadows; a great-uncle killed on Iwo Jima and his great-grand parents are interred at Eastview, and his Civil War relatives rest in peace at Smyrna Presbyterian Camp Ground. His new bride Cindy, was born and raised in Yankeetown, Fla. Go figure.

A 1985 graduate of Heritage High School, Hinton received an appointment to the Merchant Marine Academy from Senator Sam Nunn. He said, "ROTC at Heritage prepared me for the Academy, but within two years I decided on another path ...

September 04, 2012 | Pete Mecca | LOCAL


Riding for the fallen

One of the most spirited and self-sacrificing veteran support groups wears leather vests and chaps, helmets, riding or after-riding boots, and the ladies might don an assortment of riding beads. They are known as the American Legion Riders.

September 01, 2012 | Pete Mecca | LOCAL


Mecca: Pilot tells of narrow escape

Continued from last Wednesday's, Aug. 22 edition "From Ga. Tech to bombing Germany."

August 28, 2012 | Pete Mecca | News Columnists


Remembering WWII veteran Gerald Hipps

Columnist and veteran Pete Mecca attended the funeral of World War II veteran Gerald Hipps and wrote some thoughts about the service and the man he interviewed in-depth previously.

August 27, 2012 | Pete Mecca | News Columnists


From Ga. Tech to bombing Germany

On Dec. 7, 1941, Floridian Jim Armstrong listened to the radio with his classmates on the second floor of Harrison Hall at Georgia Tech. As the disaster at Pearl Harbor unfolded, sophomore Armstrong realized his books would soon be exchanged for bullets and bombs.

August 21, 2012 | Pete Mecca | LOCAL


Civil Service secretary experiences Europe

A seldom mentioned group of patriots from World War II were the dedicated men and women of the Civil Service. From the Civil Air Patrol to a clerk typist, members of the Civil Service played a vital role. Their willingness to dedicate talents and time in non-combat positions released untold thousands of men for essential military duties. Miriam "Mickey" Stanley Hogan was one such talent.

Born in 1918 into the tiny farming community of Mendes, Ga., Covington resident Miriam "Mickey" Hogan experienced the Great Depression. "Food and jobs were scarce," she said. "We moved around a lot, including Florida."

August 14, 2012 | Pete Mecca | LOCAL


Mecca: From bat boy to the Tet Offensive

Conyers resident Mike Morris fought house to house in the Chinese Cholon District of Saigon during the infamous Tet Offensive of '68. Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized), 25th Infantry Division as a rifleman, Morris' normal operational area was Cu Chi, also known as "Hells Half Acre." Yet all he could think about was playing second base.

August 07, 2012 | Pete Mecca | News Columnists


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