Unsung Heroes of the Evacuation of Saigon by Colonel Tony Wood USMC (Ret) Leadership Speaker Series Part 1
10/21/2017 I Tom Stokes & Brittany Spaniel
Photo Credit: Tom Stokes I Sports+PLUS
The Metroplex Military Charitable Trust (MMCT) held their first fundraising luncheon, Leadership Speaker Series, on October 19th, 2017 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, TX at Love Field Airport. This was also the 100th Anniversary of Love Field.
I'm sorry to say that this was our first visit to Frontiers of Flight Museum. It's one of those things you pass every day and say to each other "we should go" but never get around to it. We're highly impressed with the facility and what a great place to have this Leadership Series. The museum is run by a lot of retired military personnel so if you get a chance go check them out and bring the kids.
A $75.00 donation was requested with 100% of the funds going to support The Metroplex Military Charitable Trust (MMCT)
Since 1990, MMCT has been an avid supporter of the military community in Dallas, TX and creator of numerous military charities in the region from Toys for Tots to local High School JROTC programs. The first luncheon was a huge success and Congressman Pete Sessions was in attendance.
Colonel Tony Wood, USMC (Ret) described his experiences during the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war. A fascinating and unique experience listening to his story and thinking to myself "Why haven't I heard of this before" All you really hear about is the Embassy rescues.
Colonel Tony Wood, USMC (Ret), served one tour as an advisor to the Republic of Korea Marine Corps Blue Dragon Brigade, began his second tour in 1974 commanding a joint field unit which attempted, despite North Vietnamese attacks, to resolve the status of the several thousand US MIA.
When those operations were cut short by the North’s invasion, Wood was assigned a unique role in planning and executing the evacuation of thousands from Saigon. Both tours resulted in several unusual and, in some cases controversial, decisions and actions.
Brittany and I learned so much listening to The Colonel speak. He was very specific and told a fascinating recount of what, when, who, where and why. As The Colonel was telling his story he paused and glanced into the audience looking for someone and found him saying "I think that's when I approached you and your three men right General" The General nodded in agreement. Then it hit me and I realized "The General" he's talking about is Lt. Gen. Richard Carey.
"Sitting among these men, who made unthinkable sacrifices because they believe and support our country, I find myself humbled and honored thinking... What can I do?." - Brittany Spaniel
Fact: A group of organized American civilian volunteers assisted in the Evacuation of Saigon and Colonel Tony Wood refers to them as Unsung Heroes!
Wow! I said to myself these men are real Heroes I felt so humbled. I started to get upset thinking about how the NFL Players are taking knees to protest our National Anthem. I was suddenly embarrassed because I had planned on asking The General or Colonel what they thought about the protest but never did.
I knew the answer to my question. These gentlemen have nothing to prove to anyone and I cannot see them even trying to argue why protesting the national anthem (for any reason) is a good idea. Besides we were not here to debate anything. When the colors were presented everyone in the room stood with hand over heart to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. This was an awe-inspiring moment, as the room fell silent, attention focused on the flag all you could hear was the pride in their voices for this country we call home.
As I write this I still get a little angry and wonder if any NFL player would have the kahunas to come and sit at a table with these war heroes and explain why they think it's a great idea to protest and denounce their country and flag. I wish I knew what great things have come out of this protesting the flag and National Anthem at NFL games. From what I can see ... Zero. Just a lot of pissed off people shouting at each other. The National Anthem, the flag is about saluting, honoring our military. Taking one small moment out of your time to honor those that protect our freedoms.
These brave men and women of our military fought for you and me and yes even the NFL players kneeling in protest. Colonel Tony Wood didn't hold out for a BIG contract when he signed up for that last tour and General Carey didn't get his bust in bronze in Canton. Men and women served our country and some died for our freedom and the rest came home and back to their lives, mowed the grass, picked up kids from school, became police officers, teachers, and even the oldest rookie to start an NFL game with the Dallas Cowboys.
FACT: Your average military pay is around $33,000 per year. The average NFL player? 2.44 million a year. Sources: PayScale.com
Why am I helping our military today, well we have always been involved with The Marines with Toy's for Tots and Brittany's family has a long history of military service.
We support our military now more than ever and you should too. Especially since the NFL player's protest. I see a lot of people jumping on the protest bandwagon but I don't see a lot in our military's corner. Not one time during all these great interviews during all these kneeling have I heard one media outlet reach out to our military. When I mean military I mean men like Colonel Tony Wood or Lt. Gen. Richard Carey.
FACT: The Department of Defense paid the NFL $6.1 million to honor troops and for recruiting promotions. The league did pay back $700,000 of that, but only after coming under intense criticism. What about the rest of the money? Source:USASpending.Gov
For you, Cowboy fans in case you were wondering The Department of Defense and Homeland Security paid the Dallas Cowboys approximately $327,500 over the last few years. USASpending.gov/DallasCowboys mainly for promoting USMC recruitment.
Why is it important to reach out and support organizations like The Metroplex Military Charitable Trust (MMCT) Because they are the ones that defended and to this day defend this great FREE country of ours. Not some guy playing football for millions and millions of dollars.
You know who knows that more than anyone? The guy that pays them millions, Jerry Jones. I can't really speak for Jerry but I know him well enough he probably would feel silly allowing players to protest the Anthem when he's paying them millions. Jerry loves this Country and has great respect for our military his decision to make players stand has absolutely zero to do with President Trump. All Americans, Not just Jerry Jones, have a basic moral obligation to step up for those who preserve our liberties, livelihoods, and businesses.
It just makes good business sense and Jerry's moral obligation to establish and enforce a company policy that his employees stand for The National Anthem and respect the our great Flag, because at the end of the day The Dallas Cowboys Franchise is a business, and Jerry Jones owns and runs it. If you don't like that maybe find a way to buy the Cowboys from him for about six billion dollars and then you can run your business the way you want.
Taking a knee during Our National Anthem is very selfish and robs a moment that we Honor our Men, Women, and Families of our military. Just remember next time you're on your knees protesting the anthem and denouncing America for a cause. There's probably someone in the stands that served, fighting for you and your freedom to do that and you're not Honoring their sacrifices.
Final Thoughts: To all the NFL players coaches, owners, the ones that are kneeling because of apparent social injustice or protesting the president himself or to raise awareness for whatever other issues they may be promoting. I say you're protesting at the wrong venue. Your message has been watered way down and I think it's time to go protest somewhere else and let us have football back.
I said earlier that I don't see any good coming from the NFL protest but I guess that's not very accurate because it has thrown Brittany and me deeper into helping and supporting our military.
Our civilian support is essential to the morale and well-being of our American troops, retired and active. Don't think you can't make a difference? Colonel Tony Wood would disagree. Look what civilian volunteers did to help save thousands of people in The Fall of Saigon.
Brittany and I encourage you to get involved with The Metroplex Military Charitable Trust (MMCT) You can contact Allen, J.C., GySgt direct by email or Metroplex Marines Coordinating Council email@example.com (214) 691-3975 Not sure what to say? Just tell them you would like to volunteer your time to help those who sacrificed their life for yours.
Tom & Brittany
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