November 13, 2013

Veterans Day Assembly, Tampico Illinois

We had the privilege On Veterans Day to attend a veteran's tribute  at the TMS.  The program featured  a flag ceremony and presentation of the colors., the TMS leading us in saying the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the national anthem. Mrs Fry, our school's Principal. introduced readings by the 4th grade class and the school children sang the Armed forces medley, asking those that served to stand. Next she introduced  the guest speaker, William Albract.
U.S. Army Capt. William “Bill” Albracht joined an “elite group”   was bestowed 3  Silver Stars(    the third-highest award for gallantry in combat) after his actions helped save the lives of 150 soldiers and allies during the Vietnam War.
Here is the story as described by the quad cities times...

Just 21 years old then, Albracht — one of the youngest Army Special Forces captains — arrived at a remote outpost in South Vietnam known as Fire-Base Kate on Oct. 28, 1969. That same day, North Vietnamese forces attacked the base.
“Against great odds and while being greatly outnumbered by the North Vietnamese, Capt. Albracht led
his soldiers through the first wave of attacks,” Smith said, adding that Albracht and his men were outnumbered 40-1. “It was not looking good for the home team.”
While under enemy fire, Albracht carried a wounded soldier to safety and then risked his life again by directing medical evacuation helicopters.
“At one point, he exposed himself to enemy fire to wave off approaching Medevac helicopters — who were vulnerable to B-40 rockets — while attempting to land,” Smith said.
Later wounded himself, Albracht refused treatment and evacuation “so he could lead the fight.”
Days later with supplies running low, he executed orders to evacuate the remaining 150 U.S. soldiers and South Vietnamese soldiers. On Nov. 1, 1969, he led the group through darkness into the dense jungle to link up with another unit five kilometers away.
“For six hours, Albracht and his men persevered, plowing through the jungle with the North Vietnamese in hot pursuit,” Smith said.
Finally near a wide-open clearing, he “sensed a military force was present but was unsure the other side was occupied by the friendly ‘Mike-Force’ or a North Vietnamese ambush. Albracht then walked alone through the clearing to find the friendly ‘Mike-Force’ was on the other side.” He then led his soldiers “stealthily through more enemy lines” to safety.
What a remarkable man and I have to say, the school children were memorized as they heard him speak of his experiences in Viet Nam and how  it related it to their own personal life experiences. Thank you for your service and for coming to Tampico, Mr. Albracht . Incidentally,  Albracht’s “self-sacrificing nature” made him the only soldier to survive the siege and not receive an award for valor at that time.. He said Albracht was to receive it in a ceremony soon after the action, but when a helicopter arrived to pick him up to take him to the ceremony, he had learned of four wounded soldiers who need to be taken to a field hospital. He asked the pilots to take them there first, missing the ceremony.
Here are some photos of the ceremony at TMS   .
Nice job kids!

Grandparents Day visit ( and close family friends)

Practicing songs for the Christmas Program in Dec. and practice for  cheerleading in Nov.

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