Coach Ben on DDay | Syracusefan.com

Coach Ben on DDay

Roger N

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Just watched “Seize and Secure” a one hour documentary on PBS about the battle to secure the bridge at La Fière on DDay

Capt. Schwartzwalder plays a prominent role in the battle. They identify him as later coaching Syracuse University to the national championship in 1959. They show Ben in his SYRACUSE jacket.

I believe Ben was a 32 year old high school football coach when war broke out. He joined up and he was much older than the other men.

Ben’s underling Lt. John Marr is interviewed extensively for the film and is a real hero. Quite moving. I urge everyone to watch. You can catch it on demand
 

FAL

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Just watched “Seize and Secure” a one hour documentary on PBS about the battle to secure the bridge at La Fière on DDay

Capt. Schwartzwalder plays a prominent role in the battle. They identify him as later coaching Syracuse University to the national championship in 1959. They show Ben in his SYRACUSE jacket.

I believe Ben was a 32 year old high school football coach when war broke out. He joined up and he was much older than the other men.

Ben’s underling Lt. John Marr is interviewed extensively for the film and is a real hero. Quite moving. I urge everyone to watch. You can catch it on demand

Phew! You were right...that really was a moving experience. I remember reading about the action in one of those WWII magazines, but that did not have the impact that this film did. Thanks again for the heads up.
 
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Roger N

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Phew! You were right...that really was a moving experience. I remember reading about the action in one of those WWII magazines, but that did not have the impact that this fil did. Thanks again for the heads up.
One section that was quite moving to me was at the beginning of the final assault, a Lt. Booker stands up and says “Follow Me” and is immediately mowed down. Then all his men charge the bridge.

Earlier in the film a Lt Jones said it was his job to lead and he figured he would die. He stood up and charged.

I have to watch it again. Just to see Ben in his SU jacket
 
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orangecuse

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Just watched “Seize and Secure” a one hour documentary on PBS about the battle to secure the bridge at La Fière on DDay

Capt. Schwartzwalder plays a prominent role in the battle. They identify him as later coaching Syracuse University to the national championship in 1959. They show Ben in his SYRACUSE jacket.

I believe Ben was a 32 year old high school football coach when war broke out. He joined up and he was much older than the other men.

Ben’s underling Lt. John Marr is interviewed extensively for the film and is a real hero. Quite moving. I urge everyone to watch. You can catch it on demand

Wow! Thank you for the enlightenment.
 

SWC75

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Thanks for posting this. I've sent it to several people.
 
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SU68

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Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials have no idea of the sacrifice the WWII guys went through. Sadly, only 29% of our current group of potential draftees can actually qualify to meet military entrance standards.
It probably doesn't matter since only one-half of one percent serve these days. :mad:
 

Crusty

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Wonderful documentary.
One of the main reasons Boomers were somewhat oblivious to the tremendous valor displayed by our soldiers is that none of them ever talked about it. We never heard first-hand stories.

Most of us experienced the stone walling by relatives when queried about their wartime experiences but I also cannot recall ever overhearing vets talking about the war to each other. It was just left behind them.

They were everywhere - teachers, little league coaches, barbers, mailmen, doctors - everywhere. You would think you would overhear many simple conversations between vets. But nothing.

Me stepfather was on an LST at Sicily and Normandy and I never knew until his nephew and I researched his hull number - 40 years later.

In his last year (he knew he was dying) he finally opened up a bit and he teared up every time he started. Quiet one way fragments of a conversation with missing context I knew he couldn't handle. So, I just listened wondering what was bubbling up from the recesses of his mind, trying to piece things together from the somber snippets of memory.
My uncle did the same thing. Out of nowhere, when he was in his 60's, came a story of a time he was a radio operator on a night flight to coastal France where they landed and took right off again in minutes. His memory was vivid of sitting in the front bubble as they landed watching the ground coming up at him. He was telling me the story but his mind was elsewhere.

The Greatest Generation, while certainly imperfect products of the Great Depression, endured the terrors and horrors of a war that killed 50 million. Stoically, they came home and went about building a future for all of us.

When I see these documentaries, I see the faces of the adults of my youth in the men on the screen and a warm smile always makes its way on to my face. My personal heroes.
 

Dinkyspond

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I had an uncle in World War II that would not drive a car after coming home when the war was over. He was a Marine in the Pacific theater. He would be a passenger in the vehicle but not the driver. Nobody knew why. My aunt only said it had something to do with the war. She wasn't even sure why. She always drove. He never talked about the war. He gave me his Marines garrison cap.
 
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tipphill

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in terms of character and greatness paterno should never be mentioned in same breath with ben. had ben been given the resources and facilities that o other coaches had, no telling where we may have been. the lack of them was responsible for his ultimate failures---- he played the hand he was dealt the best he could.
 

gmoney44

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Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials have no idea of the sacrifice the WWII guys went through. Sadly, only 29% of our current group of potential draftees can actually qualify to meet military entrance standards.

Physical Fitness, height weight requirements for our military are a disgrace now and we still can’t come close to hitting our recruiting and retention numbers. We are going to be in a world of hurt if a conflict with a formidable foe kicks off. The scary part is we are a spark away from setting off a powder keg with China, Russia, Iran, North Korea vs the world.
 

SWC75

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Physical Fitness, height weight requirements for our military are a disgrace now and we still can’t come close to hitting our recruiting and retention numbers. We are going to be in a world of hurt if a conflict with a formidable foe kicks off. The scary part is we are a spark away from setting off a powder keg with China, Russia, Iran, North Korea vs the world.

I wouldn't want to be them and I wouldn't want to be us.

 

Roger N

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Wonderful documentary.
One of the main reasons Boomers were somewhat oblivious to the tremendous valor displayed by our soldiers is that none of them ever talked about it. We never heard first-hand stories.

Most of us experienced the stone walling by relatives when queried about their wartime experiences but I also cannot recall ever overhearing vets talking about the war to each other. It was just left behind them.

They were everywhere - teachers, little league coaches, barbers, mailmen, doctors - everywhere. You would think you would overhear many simple conversations between vets. But nothing.

Me stepfather was on an LST at Sicily and Normandy and I never knew until his nephew and I researched his hull number - 40 years later.

In his last year (he knew he was dying) he finally opened up a bit and he teared up every time he started. Quiet one way fragments of a conversation with missing context I knew he couldn't handle. So, I just listened wondering what was bubbling up from the recesses of his mind, trying to piece things together from the somber snippets of memory.
My uncle did the same thing. Out of nowhere, when he was in his 60's, came a story of a time he was a radio operator on a night flight to coastal France where they landed and took right off again in minutes. His memory was vivid of sitting in the front bubble as they landed watching the ground coming up at him. He was telling me the story but his mind was elsewhere.

The Greatest Generation, while certainly imperfect products of the Great Depression, endured the terrors and horrors of a war that killed 50 million. Stoically, they came home and went about building a future for all of us.

When I see these documentaries, I see the faces of the adults of my youth in the men on the screen and a warm smile always makes its way on to my face. My personal heroes.
In reading your post Crusty, I am reminded of a report I watched of a B-17 where the bottom Bubble gunner was locked into position and the plane had to crash land because it's landing gear wouldn't come down. He calmly accepted his fate. I'm tearing up writing this.
 
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Keger03

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Physical Fitness, height weight requirements for our military are a disgrace now and we still can’t come close to hitting our recruiting and retention numbers. We are going to be in a world of hurt if a conflict with a formidable foe kicks off. The scary part is we are a spark away from setting off a powder keg with China, Russia, Iran, North Korea vs the world.
Wow, not sure I would go that far and say a disgrace. Not even a fair argument to judge the complete different times and requirements of both generations like todays generation are a disgrace. Retention rates I will agree with. Again, different generation of recruits.
 

gmoney44

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Wow, not sure I would go that far and say a disgrace. Not even a fair argument to judge the complete different times and requirements of both generations like todays generation are a disgrace. Retention rates I will agree with. Again, different generation of recruits.

I’ve been in the military or worked closely with them for the past 30 years. My perception of their current state of readiness for war is based on much more than a hunch.
 

Keger03

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I’ve been in the military or worked closely with them for the past 30 years. My perception of their current state of readiness for war is based on much more than a hunch.
Not judging your hunch (July 2001-July 2021, Active duty Army) With 5 combat deployments over my years to Iraq and Afghanistan, both Special Operations and Conventional, along with other middle east locations. I can say todays combat effectiveness and ability to conduct operations is not a disgrace.
 

gmoney44

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Well let’s break it down. PT test requirements did nothin but increase since the start of the US Army until the early 2000’s when the 18 - 24 age bracket minimum acceptable passing score was significantly reduced. This was done as an attempt to maintain troop numbers. This is the first time in Army history the youngest age bracket didn’t have the highest PT test requirements. To many troops were getting bounced from the ranks to maintain our “readiness numbers.” The height and weight standers also were reduced for the same reasons. These requirements have further decayed in the subsequent 20 years that have followed.

Don’t confuse me calling the testing requirement a disgrace with me calling the men and women a disgrace. They are the finest men and women our country has to offer and we are doing them a huge disservice by weakening any testing requirements. PT standards are probably the most important as they have a direct impact in all other areas.
 

Keger03

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Well let’s break it down. PT test requirements did nothin but increase since the start of the US Army until the early 2000’s when the 18 - 24 age bracket minimum acceptable passing score was significantly reduced. This was done as an attempt to maintain troop numbers. This is the first time in Army history the youngest age bracket didn’t have the highest PT test requirements. To many troops were getting bounced from the ranks to maintain our “readiness numbers.” The height and weight standers also were reduced for the same reasons. These requirements have further decayed in the subsequent 20 years that have followed.

Don’t confuse me calling the testing requirement a disgrace with me calling the men and women a disgrace. They are the finest men and women our country has to offer and we are doing them a huge disservice by weakening any testing requirements. PT standards are probably the most important as they have a direct impact in all other areas.
You are not wrong. You are correct that the times have changed what is not considered the standard. I will say that up until the early 2000's, the PT test was based on damn near Vietnam physical requirements. If they didn't adjust, it would have done the Services a greater disservice for adapting to the wartime we are currently fighting (terrain, equipment, enemy).

I don't want to hijack the thread away from Coach Ben. I apologize the the group. GMoney, good discussion.
 

721Comstock

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Well let’s break it down. PT test requirements did nothin but increase since the start of the US Army until the early 2000’s when the 18 - 24 age bracket minimum acceptable passing score was significantly reduced. This was done as an attempt to maintain troop numbers. This is the first time in Army history the youngest age bracket didn’t have the highest PT test requirements. To many troops were getting bounced from the ranks to maintain our “readiness numbers.” The height and weight standers also were reduced for the same reasons. These requirements have further decayed in the subsequent 20 years that have followed.

Don’t confuse me calling the testing requirement a disgrace with me calling the men and women a disgrace. They are the finest men and women our country has to offer and we are doing them a huge disservice by weakening any testing requirements. PT standards are probably the most important as they have a direct impact in all other areas.

* standards.

Are they really?

Where less and less of anything any branch of our military is gonna do now or in the future is “boots on the ground”, and more and more logicistical support, driving or flying a vehicle, sitting at a desk driving a keyboard, etc.

Russia’s “10 foot tall men” all looked like they came from central casting of badass enemy fighters, but they got annihilated at the airport in the first few, pivotal days of the UKR war.

Have you seen what the average Murican looks like these days?

The military PT standards would probably weed out 95-98% of everybody from every pertinent age cohort.
 

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