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Mecca: 'Find the bastards, and pile on'

Far from his wife and newborn, John Butler kept finding himself in the battlefield with one set of instructions: "Find the bastards, and pile on."

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Posted: jul. 22, 2014 5:49 p.m. | Updated: jul. 22, 2014 10:00 p.m.
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Mecca: Sky riders

The cavalry still mount their steeds, but these horses are of a motorized breed. In Vietnam the mounts were named Loach, Huey, Cobra, Osage, Chinook, Mohawk and the superseded Raven (achieved recognition in three early James Bond films). These hi-tech mounts could saddle up more than just one soldier and the cavalrymen gripping the reins were some of the bravest of the brave in Southeast Asia.

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Posted: jul. 15, 2014 5:59 p.m. | Updated: jul. 15, 2014 10:00 p.m.
Mecca: Welcome to the land of peaceful frontiers
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Mecca: Welcome to the land of peaceful frontiers

Seventeen-year-old Macon native Ron Holmes received the displeasing news upon high school graduation in June of 1963 — his appointment to the Air Force Academy had been denied because of a new prerequisite that required uncorrected 20/20 vision.

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Posted: jul. 08, 2014 5:12 p.m. | Updated: jul. 08, 2014 10:00 p.m.
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Hold hands & take the high ground
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Hold hands & take the high ground

Names of high ground speak of glory, honor, and freedom: Bunker Hill, Little Round Top, San Juan Hill, Battle of the Mountain of Reims, Mount Suribachi, White Horse Mountain, Hamburger Hill and the rocky ridges of Kunar Province in Afghanistan. Korean veterans understood the cost of high ground in places called Bloody Ridge, Hill 282, Heartbreak Ridge, Battle of Battle Mountain and Pork Chop Hill, to mention a few.

On April 28, 1953, a 21-man squad moved single file up the rocky slopes of Alligator Jaws. It was pitch-dark; cloud-cover blocked out the moon and stars. The rough terrain features required a march of at least sixty minutes, but 2nd Lt. Costa and his men completed the hike in less than 30 minutes. And they did it holding hands.

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Posted: jun. 24, 2014 4:55 p.m. | Updated: jun. 24, 2014 10:00 p.m.
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Mecca: He entered the war a boy, left a man
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Mecca: He entered the war a boy, left a man

Henry Lee Gaddis was 11 years old on Dec. 7, 1941. “I remember when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the president declared war on Japan,” he said. “We moved from Cherokee County into Atlanta so my dad could work for a dairy. Everything was rationed, sugar, flour, gas … but we did okay.”

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Posted: jun. 17, 2014 5:36 p.m. | Updated: jun. 17, 2014 10:00 p.m.
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