Category Archives: Military

An appeal to Democrats: Hillary Clinton is a Wall St. warmonger

An impassioned appeal to the Left, in the form of a warning about Hillary Clinton being a bought-and-paid-for-by-Wall-Street warmonger, from the Center for Research on Globalization (CfRoG).

See also:

H/t Will Shanley

~Eowyn

Saturday Funny: FoxNews terrorist analyst who claims to be ex-CIA was a nightclub doorman

This would be funny if the implications about the gullible media and government weren’t so troubling.

Wayne Simmons, 62, was a U.S. intelligence adviser in Afghanistan in 2010, and had appeared on Fox News as a “terrorism analyst”. To burnish his credentials, Simmons claimed to have been a CIA agent for decades. But neither the U.S. military nor Fox News ever bothered to conduct even a cursory background check or verify his resumé.

It turns out Simmons is neither a former CIA agent nor a terrorism expert. Instead, during the time he was supposed to be a CIA special operative, his jobs included being a nightclub doorman. He is also a convicted felon.

Wayne Simmons, fake terrorism expert

Reuters reports that on July 15, 2016, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, Wayne Simmons was sentenced to 33 months in prison for fraudulently claiming to have been a CIA agent for decades. Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said, “Wayne Simmons is a fraud. Simmons has no military or intelligence background, or any skills relevant to the positions he attained through his fraud.”

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III also sentenced Simmons to serve three years of supervised release, to forfeit two firearms and $176,000 in criminal proceeds, and to pay restitution.

Simmons has appeared on Fox News, the top-ranked U.S. cable television news network, as an unpaid guest analyst on terrorism since 2002.

Last October, a grand jury indicted Simmons for portraying himself as an “Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer” for the CIA from 1973 to 2000. But instead of working for the CIA, Simmons’ jobs during that period included nightclub doorman, bookie, manager of a rent-by-the-hour hot tub business, mortgage broker and defensive back for the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints.

This April, Simmons pleaded guilty to charges of major fraud against the U.S. government, wire fraud and a firearms offense. He admitted that he had defrauded the government in 2008 when he got work as a team leader in an Army program, and again in 2010 when he was deployed to Afghanistan as an intelligence adviser. Simmons also admitted to defrauding an unidentified woman out of $125,000 in a bogus real estate investment.

When he was arrested, Simmons illegally possessed two firearms, which he was barred from having because of prior felonies, including a state conviction and two federal firearms violations.

~Eowyn

Trump’s acceptance speech pivots on America & Americans First

Did you watch Donald Trump’s speech as the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominee last night?

What do you think of it?

If you haven’t watched it, here it is:

It was long, because Trump did not rush his words, but clearly and emphatically articulated (and sometimes shouted) important points he wanted to impress on Americans, and because he paused often, to acknowledge the reaction from the Convention delegates. All of which was not the performance of someone just reading from a teleprompter. Instead, this was a speaker who wanted to convey and impress on his listeners the gravity of America’s problems and how he would deal with those problems.

The heart of Trump’s message is a simple one:

America and Americans First

That principle should be self-evident, requiring no defense or justification — for who else but Americans would and should put America and Americans first? Don’t you put your own and your family’s wellbeing first? How is America to help others if America falls apart? And yet, we haven’t heard this overriding principle from other politicians, not even from Trump’s GOP primary rivals. It is also a message that the Left and their MSM accomplices, as well as the GOP elites, distort and malign as something evil — that standing up for and putting America first is “nativist,” “jingoist,” “fascist”…, as if the obligation of America and Americans is to be a doormat for the rest of the world.

From his central principle of “America and Americans First” — of making America rich and strong again — flows these derivative values and principles:

  1. Law and Order: A country that is in chaos cannot thrive economically. A fundamental responsibility of government is to protect and ensure the safety of the governed against criminals, whether criminals here illegally or those gunning down police. To ensure Americans’ safety, Trump is committed to our right to arm ourselves which is guaranteed by the Second Amendment. It is also on the theme of Law and Order that Trump indicts Hillary Clinton for her lawlessness in having a private email-server while she was secretary of state, and for the Obama FBI’s refusal to indict her for violating U.S. laws and endangering national security with unsecured emails containing classified state secrets and names of CIA agents.
  2. Secure Our Borders, to protect Americans against the flood of illegals, many of whom are criminals, and of Muslim “refugees” who the FBI has admitted cannot be vetted to exclude terrorists. On this, Trump reminds blacks that they are the economic victims of Obama’s and Hillary’s open-border policy, and that LGBTs were the victims of a Muslim gunman in Orlando. In so doing, without explicitly saying it, Trump reminds whites and straights that blacks and LGBTs are Americans, and putting “America First” should also mean putting all “Americans First”.
  3. A strong military, and better treatment for our veterans.
  4. In foreign policy and affairs, the United States will jealously guard our interests, be they financial, trade, or security. Trade treaties and arrangements will be rexamined and renegotiated, in order to restore America’s manufacturing industries and jobs. Our allies will have to pay their “fair share” for military defense (Japan, South Korea, but no mention of Israel) and step up to the plate against terrorism (NATO).
  5. Revive U.S. economy: Via restoring manufacturing jobs, getting allies to pay their fair share of defense costs, and lowering taxes.
  6. Populism: Trump ended his speech by telling America that unlike Hillary, who asks if Democrats are “with her,” his message is that he is “with you, the American people”.

Trump also graciously thanked Christians and Evangelicals for their support, saying he’s not sure he deserves it, which is uncharacteristically humble for him.

So how was Trump’s speech received by GOP elites?

If the editor of a supposedly conservative publication is an indication, it’s bad news for anyone hoping for Republican party unity to defeat Hillary, who will complete the destruction of America. Below is the shockingly vicious “The Demagogue Rises,” by Matthew Continetti, editor-in-chief of The Washington Free Beacon:

Donald Trump delivered the longest, loudest convention speech in recent memory when he accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday evening. He made no attempt to “pivot to the general election,” moderate his agenda, smooth over rough rhetoric. Gone was Mitt Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch, tossed into a dustbin with George W. Bush’s Freedom Agenda, George H.W. Bush’s Thousand Points of Light, Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America. Trump was his usual self: brash, boisterous, overbearing, defiant, inimitable, roiling with anger over the state of the country and the corruption, ineffectiveness, and arrogance of the nation’s elite. Trump won’t change, won’t learn, won’t listen, won’t apologize, won’t cavil, won’t conform to the traditions of presidential politics or adhere to the norms of political discourse. He doesn’t care about facts, he wants to overturn the postwar international order, he champions the will to power, he mercilessly attacks opponents. He’s a demagogue in dark suits, electric ties. I can only imagine what he’d be capable of if he were competent.

Because he’s not competent. He is actually truly, magnificently inept. The convention was a mess, haphazard, disorganized, weird. The botched roll call vote, Melania’s plagiarism, Ted Cruz’s hand grenade, the leaked speech draft—all of these gaffes and scandals occurred against the backdrop of dismal attendance, chants to put Hillary in prison, bizarre speakers, rambling addresses, early departures, and testimonies to Trump’s greatness. His campaign has practically no money, no advertising, no infrastructure, no grassroots operation. The other day, when he expressed uncertainty about whether the United States would lead NATO in defense of the Baltic States if they were attacked by Russia, Trump made history by provoking an international incident without even being president. Many GOP officials wouldn’t come near the convention, including Ohio’s popular governor. There are two Republican parties for the moment: the party led by Trump and the Republican Party in exile, the party of Kasich and Larry Hogan and Nikki Haley and Charlie Baker and Brian Sandoval and Mark Kirk and Ted Cruz. Election Day won’t just determine who will succeed President Obama. It will also determine the fate of Donald J. Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP.

Continetti all but calls Trump a Hitler, and Americans who support Trump mindless Nazis.

Note that Continetti’s criticisms of Trump are all about style, not substantive issues — that Trump was “brash,” “boisterous,” and “mercilessly attacks opponents,” and that he did not pay obeisance to GOP old guard elites, who to the end strove to undermine Trump and boycotted the Republican National Convention. As for the “opponents” whom Trump “mercilessly attacked,” since the only “opponents” Trump attacked were Hillary Clinton and big business fat-cats (with apologies to cats) who hollowed out the U.S. economy with their outsourcing of jobs, that should tell us whose side Continetti is on.

If Hillary wins, it will be because of Republicans like Matthew Continetti who reserve their most vicious venom not for Democrats, but for a fellow Republican and patriot who simply wants to put America and Americans first. Should Hillary become president, the victory of Continetti, Bill Kristol, the Bushes, et al., against Trump will be pyrrhic because all that will be left of their Republican Party is an empty shell, devoid of rank-and-file members.

So what do you think of Trump’s speech? Take our simple short poll!

~Eowyn

 

L. A. Times columnist: There’ll be a military coup against President Trump

Donald Trump hasn’t even been elected President, but he’s already making heads explode. Not just liberal heads, but also those of so-called conservatives.

The latest case of an exploding head is someone named Jamie Kirchick, 33, described as a journalist, writer, and a fellow with the Foreign Policy Initiative — a neo-con think tank.

James Kirchick1In his op/ed for The Los Angeles Times yesterday (July 19), “If Trump wins, a coup isn’t impossible here in the U.S.,” Kirchick tells us that a coup like the one that recently took place — and failed — in Turkey “would not be unfathomable in this country if Donald Trump were to win the presidency.”

Why? Because, in Kirchick’s words,

“Trump is the most brazenly authoritarian figure to secure the nomination of a major American political party. He expresses his support for all manner of strongmen, and his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has actually worked for one: former Ukrainian president and Vladimir Putin ally Viktor Yanukovich. […]

Throughout the campaign, Trump has repeatedly bragged about ordering soldiers to commit war crimes, and has dismissed the possibility that he would face any resistance.”

Kirchick then piously intones that what he calls Trump’s “Blimpish swagger” won’t fly “in a liberal democracy, legally grounded by a written constitution, each branch restrained by separation of powers.”

And so, Kirchick fantasizes, if “Trump commanded our military to do something stupid, illegal or irrational. Something so dangerous that it put the lives of Americans and the security of the country at stake,” and Trump refuses to back down, the U.S. military would be forced to undertake a coup:

“In that case, our military men and women, who swear to uphold the Constitution and a civilian chain of command, would be forced to choose between obeying the law and serving the wishes of someone who has explicitly expressed his utter lack of respect for it.”

Curiously, while Kirchick already anticipates President Trump to violate America’s rule of law, he is sanguine about Trump’s Democratic rival who had already — and repeatedly — violated U.S. laws by using an unsecured private email server while she was secretary of state to exchange emails that contained highly-classified national security information, as well as names of CIA agents. Kirchick writes:

“Needless to say, such dystopian situations are unimaginable under a President Hillary Clinton, who, whatever her faults, would never contemplate ordering a bombing run or — heaven forbid — a nuclear strike on a country just because its leader slighted her small hands at a summit.”

Kirchick then concludes that the only way to avert a military coup in a Trump Administration is if voters stop him from becoming president:

“Trump is not only patently unfit to be president, but a danger to America and the world. Voters must stop him before the military has to.”

The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is a neo-con non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C. From Wikipedia:

“FPI’s Board of Directors consists of former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric S. Edelman, Dan Senor, Editor of The Weekly Standard William Kristol and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Robert Kagan. The latter two were project directors of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century.

In fact, the Foreign Policy Initiative was co-founded in 2009 by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Dan Senor, and Robert Kagan.

Kirchick also writes for Tablet. In a column on March 14, 2016, titled “Donald Trump Is Turning Me Liberal,” he identifies himself as “gay and Jewish” and hysterically compares Trump to Hitler by calling Trump rallies “Nuremberg-esque”.

James KirchickSee also:

~Eowyn

Military says avoid these 37 U.S. cities on Day of Rage tomorrow

The anarchist hacker group Anonymous has called for all of America “to rise up” in solidarity with #BlackLives Matter for a “Day of Rage” tomorrow — Friday, July 15 — in 37 U.S. cities to protest against police “murders” of Blacks.

Although Snopes.com says the Day of Rage is a false rumor, Bill Gertz of The Washington Times says that the U.S. military isn’t taking any chances. On July 8, U.S. Army North sent out a notice warning members of the Armed Forces to avoid those cities tomorrow because things can get violent.

A U.S. Army North spokesman Lt. Col. Jason Shropshire said the safety of soldiers and their families is a high priority:

“For security reasons, we don’t discuss force-protection measures that we put into place at our Army installations or the specifics of cautionary advice we provide to our soldiers. However, the advisory was to provide situational awareness for all Army personnel within the U.S. Northern Command area of responsibility who may find themselves in the vicinity of any protests (planned or spontaneous). At this time, we do not have information regarding any specific threats to DOD personnel.”

Here’s are the 37 cities and the times of protests — places you should avoid tomorrow:

  1. Ann Arbor, MI: 7:00PM (THE DIAG, Burns Park, Ann Arbor, MI 48109)
  2. Atlanta, GA: 7:00PM (OLD DECATUR COURTHOUSE, 101 E Court Sq, Decatur, GA 30030)
  3. Austin, TX: 6:00PM (TEXAS STATE CAPITOL, Outside South Gate-11th and Congress Ave.)
  4. Baltimore, MD: 7:00PM (201 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202)
  5. Boston, MA: 7:00PM (MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 01233)
  6. Carson City, NV: 4:00PM (NEVADA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, 101 N Carson St, Carson City, Nevada 89701)
  7. Chicago, IL: 6:00PM (RICHARD J DALEY CENTER, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, Illinois 60602)
  8. Cleveland, OH: 7:00PM (CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY, 325 Superior Ave E, Cleveland, Ohio 44114)
  9. Columbus, OH: 7:00PM (GOODALE PARK, Columbus, Ohio 43215)
  10. Denver, CO: 5:00PM (CIVIC CENTER PARK, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, Colorado 80204)
  11. Des Moines, IA: 6:00PM (IOWA STATE CAPITOL, 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319)
  12. Durham, NC: 7:00PM (200 E. Main St. Durham, North Carolina)
  13. Detroit, MI: 7:00PM (Campus Martius Park, Detroit, Michigan 48226)
  14. Lansing, MI: 7:00PM (STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933)
  15. Little Rock, AR: 6:00PM (OUTSIDE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Dr., Little Rock, AR 72201)
  16. Los Angeles, CA: 4:00PM (LEIMERT PLAZA PARK, 4395 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008)
  17. Manhattan, NY: 7:00PM (TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan, NY, 10036)
  18. Memphis, TN: 6:00PM (Health Sciences Park Memphis, TN)
  19. Miami, FL: 7:00PM (GWEN CHERRY PARK, NW 71 St., Miami, Florida, 33147)
  20. Milwaukee, WI: 5:00PM (DINEEN PARK, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  21. Minneapolis, MN: 6:00PM (MINNEAPOLIS URBAN LEAGUE, 2100 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411
  22. Nashville, TN: 6:00PM (801 Broadway Nashville, TN 37203 Estes Kefauver Federal Building)
  23. Newark, NJ: 7:00PM (NEWARK CITY HALL, 920 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey 07102)
  24. New Orleans, LA: 6:00PM (LAFAYETTE SQUARE, New Orleans, LA 70130)
  25. Oakland, CA: 4:00PM (FRANK OGAWA PLAZA, 1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612)
  26. Orlando, FL: 7:00PM (LAKE EOLA PARK, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801)
  27. Philadelphia, PA: 7:00PM (LOVE PARK, 1599 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102)
  28. Pittsburgh, PA: 7:00PM (PITTSBURGH CITY-COUNTY BUILDING, 414 Grant St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219)
  29. Phoenix, AZ: 5:00PM (EASTLAKE PARK, 1549 E Jefferson St , Phoenix, AZ 85034)
  30. Portland, OR: 4:00PM (PIONEER COURTHOUSE SQUARE, 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97204)
  31. Salt Lake City, UT: 5:00PM (SALT LAKE CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, 4600 S Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, Utah 84123)
  32. San Francisco, CA: 4:00PM (CIVIC CENTER PLAZA, 355 Mcallister St, San Francisco, California 94102)
  33. Seattle, WA: 4:00PM (QUEEN ANNE BAPTIST CHURCH, 2011 1st Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109)
  34. St. Louis, MO: 6:00PM (GATEWAY ARCH, St. Louis 63102)
  35. Tampa, FL: 7:00PM (OUTSIDE HILLSBOROUGH COURTHOUSE, 800 E Twiggs St, Tampa, FL)
  36. Tucson, AZ: 5:00PM (CATALINA PARK, 900 N 4th Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85705)
  37. Washington DC: 7:00PM (OUTSIDE WHITE HOUSE, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500)

See also “Hacked messages of #BlackLivesMatter leader reveal Obama admin’s plan for ‘summer of chaos’ and martial law“.

H/t GiGi and FOTM‘s Hadenoughalready

Update (July 16, 2016):

It appears blacks in the United States aren’t full of rage after all, for the much ballyhooed “Day of Rage” yesterday turned out to be something of a bust. According to Gateway Pundit, although the protests mostly fizzled and failed, there were events in Texas, Portland, Oakland, and other cities. In Denver and in Portland, the Black Lives Matter protesters incongruously were all whites. Their attempt to block traffic in Portland failed.

~Eowyn

Trump considering a military general for VP

How does “Trump-Flynn 2016” sound to you?

That’ll be the GOP presidential ticket if Trump decides to pick another non-politician — retired Lt. General Michael Flynn — to be his vice-presidential running-mate.

Trump-Flynn 2016

Robert Costa reports for The Washington Post, July 9, 2016, that after weeks of vetting a group of current and former elected officials — including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — in his search for a running mate, Donald Trump is increasingly intrigued by the idea of tapping retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn to project strength and know-how on national security, according to four people familiar with the vetting process.

Those four spoke with The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity to discuss their private conversations in recent days with Trump’s confidants and campaign aides. They say the turn toward a military figure is being driven by Trump himself rather than by his advisers, as Trump believes that national unrest may demand a “tough and steady” presence alongside him on the ticket.

The shift in how Trump is evaluating his short list, being more open than ever to a non-politician, has also been spurred by his growing sense that he does not necessarily want or need a running mate who will satisfy Republican insiders, especially after some testy exchanges with GOP lawmakers during his visit Thursday to Capitol Hill. In Flynn, Trump thinks he would have a partner whom he trusts, based on their close working relationship since Flynn became a campaign adviser in February 2016. Trump also likes the image of a businessman and a general coming to Washington as outsiders. One person said, “Trump-Flynn. I’ve heard him say that, kind of test out the sound of it. I think it’s a brand he finds appealing.”

Trump is also slightly bored by the prospect of going with a traditional Republican. As a longtime celebrity, he knows the need for surprise and star power. But he is torn about whether his gut instincts (to pick a general) should outweigh political calculation (to choose a GOP politician), the people said.

In an interview with the New York Post, Flynn did not deny that he was under consideration, saying that “All I would say is that I have been honored to serve my country for the past three decades and look forward to serving in other ways now that I am retired from the U.S. Army. I’ve been a soldier too long to refuse to entertain any request from a potential commander in chief.”

Here’s what we know about Lt. Gen. (ret.) Michael T. Flynn:

  • 57-58 years old.
  • A registered Democrat, but fierce critic of Obama.
  • He was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from July 2012 to August 2014.
  • He served in the U.S. Army for 33 years, from 1981 to 2014.
  • His military career was primarily operational, with numerous combat arms, conventional and special operations senior intelligence assignments. He was the senior intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command, where he was credited with creating innovative intelligence-interrogation techniques that led to major breakthroughs in counterterrorism operations against Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
  • He did not leave the Obama administration on amicable terms. In 2014, he was effectively forced out of the DIA after clashing with officials over his management style and vision for the agency.
  • Like Trump, Flynn is not hostile toward Russia. Last year, he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Moscow dinner honoring RT, the English-language network aligned with the Kremlin that broadcasts into the United States and other Western countries.
  • Flynn has a B.Sc. in management science from the University of Rhode Island (1981); an MBA from Golden Gate Univeristy; a Master of Miliary Art & Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College; and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
  • A published author, with articles in military and intelligence publications like Small Wars Journal, Military Review, Joint Forces Quarterly, and the Center for a New American Security, Flynn has a book coming out July 12, titled Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.
  • He’s shown a willingness to be an attack dog, a role often played by VP candidates. Flynn said this about Hillary Clinton, when asked by CNN last February about her email practices while secretary of state: “If it were me, I would have been out the door and probably in jail.” Flynn has called on Hillary to drop out of the race.
  • Flynn appears to be liberal on cultural issues:
    • He is “pro-choice,” stating “women have to be able to choose.”
    • On same-sex marriage, he said, “What people do in their private lives, these are not big issues that our country’s dealing with.”

Some Trump advisers are making a case against Flynn, saying he is a possible risk because of his lack of political experience and uncertainty over how he would handle intense national media scrutiny. His views on domestic policy are mostly unknown and his Democratic registration could also be a big problem among Republicans who want Trump to pick a proven conservative leader.

One person encouraging Trump to perhaps choose a general is Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), whose name has been suggested as Trump’s VP and who has become a force inside Trump’s campaign. Sessions shares Trump’s view that, while unorthodox, a general could excite voters from both parties who want to see wholesale change in domestic politics and an aggressive approach to combating terrorism.

What do you think?

~Eowyn

West Point cadet who was born on the Fourth of July is buried on his birthday after he saved a stranger from drowning

The ultimate sacrifice.

Thomas Surdyke

Thomas Surdyke

From Daily Mail: A West Point cadet who died after rescuing a drowning swimmer off a Long Island beach was buried on the Fourth of July, which would have marked his 19th birthday.

Thomas Surdyke, who was a rising sophomore at the military academy, was remembered for upholding ‘the highest level of duty, honor, country’ during his funeral at West Point on Monday.

‘Whether irony or fate, his birth date foreshadowed a young man that held such patriotic pride and a heart of service that his life’s ambition was to become an officer in the United States Army,’ said a statement from his GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $38,000.

The 18-year-old from Festus, Missouri, donated his organs in a last act of selflessness after spending four days on life support.

Surdyke was on vacation in Southampton, New York on June 24 with another cadet when someone they had met on the beach that day got caught in a rip current. He jumped in to help, but swallowed seawater and had to be revived three times on his way to the hospital.

After suffering traumatic brain injuries due to a lack of oxygen, Surdyke’s mother announced he had died in a Facebook post four days later. The other swimmer he was trying to save survived.

On Monday, heartbroken friends and family gathered at the Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity to honor the young cadet as bikers from the Patriot Guard Riders stood with American flags to escort the hearse.

His friend Mekayla Korpinen wrote: ‘Today, I took part in the most beautiful celebration of life I have ever seen. The viewing, pinning, Mass, burial and vigil all spoke of Tom’s amazing love and sacrifice. In life he brought great joy and comfort and in death he has brought unity. The time I have spent with Tom will now be one of my greatest treasures. You have sharpened us as iron sharpens iron and you laid your life down for a stranger. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.’

Tom and his mother Janice

Tom and his mother Janice

His mother Janice Surdyke explained that she wanted her son to rest at the United States Military Academy at West Point based on part of his admissions essay to the school.

It read: ‘I want to dedicate my life to serve and protect those who are not able to do so for themselves. A career in the military is not only something I desire, it is something I truly feel called to do.’

His grandfather Gary Surdyke described him to KSDK-TV in St. Louis as someone ‘with character, integrity and faith’.

His GoFundMe page, established to raise money for a scholarship fund, has raised more than $38,000.

A Memorial Mass for Surdyke will be held at Our Lady Church in his hometown of Festus next week.

Rest in peace young man.

Rest in peace young man.

DCG