Saturday, January 12, 2008

Along with discussing the crap I mentioned earlier, I wanna start a collection of the most bad ass real people. I think I shall call the project, "Remembering Bad ass-ness" and it will consist basically postings of articles or military citations etc. detailing someone who is of notable bad ass-calibur.

The idea is not clever/original I know, but I feel like my expertise on the field would yield great material to add to my collection.

I was about to list some criteria, but I think that that list needs very careful consideration and many sleepless nights staying up with a team of researchers in order to even be a worthy criteria. So needless to say, another day I shall transcribe one.

Until then let me start with the person who acted as the catalyst for my decision to make this collection, and that man, man of Bad Ass-ness is Senator Jim Webb (pictured right).

I first heard of Jim Webb via The Daily Show and decided to wikipedia him to look up his military record (the reference on the show to him talked about how he served in Vietn--er, sorry, 'Nam). And I found out that he got the Navy Cross, second highest bravery medal for the Navy/Marines only to the Medal of Honor. Furthermore, the citation was available...

I will make bold the parts important to Webb's addition to the RBAnC*

"The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to James H. Webb, Jr. (106180), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb's platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex which appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade which detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search which yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."

Ok, not only did he push his buddy out of the way of the grenade, but he also SHIELDED HIS FRIEND FROM THE GRENADE EXPLOSION WITH HIS OWN FREAKIN' BODY. And, almost as if just for a little extra flavor, he shot at the guy who threw the grenade at the same god damned time.

I imagine some guy with his sleeves cut off at the shoulders stoically watching a grenade land in fron of him and his sidekick, look up, utter calmly, "Not today." then reach down and pick up the grenade and hold it in his fist letting the explosion happen. His fist took most of the explosion, only a pitiful stream of smoke slithers out from the cracks between his over-dominating fingers.

That's probably what happened, if only they had a film crew follow this guy...But I hope that that citation is a good example of what I am trying to do with the RBAnC, if anyone can suggest any possible candidates let me know!

Joe Creason

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