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Veterans Day 2023


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Veterans Day falls on Saturday, November 11, 2023, some businesses also observe this holiday on Friday, November 10. Veterans Day is celebrated in the United States honoring military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Legally, two minutes of silence is recommended to be observed at 2:11 PM Eastern Standard Time.

This post is intended to honor all the veterans at the Malwarebytes Forum, whether staff, volunteers, members or guests. Col. Jack Jacobs says it best on page 135 of his book, If Not Now, When?

The freedom we enjoy today has been purchased with the blood and sacrifice of countless men and women who were simply doing the right thing, what they were supposed to do, when they needed to do it. Valor is the common currency of war, and this is the reality of combat: for every decorated warrior, there are thousands who receive no recognition for their gallantry and their selfless sacrifice.

Gary B Beikirch was a US Army soldier during the Vietnam War. In addition to his many decorations, he founded the Veterans Outreach Center, a place which was progressive for its time, and offered veterans and their families a place to recover a sense of normality. Wives gathered separately in a old 2 story house while their husbands met with counselors. During those turbulent days, this oasis provided a place for everyone to be seen and heard, supported and loved.

We might take a moment during the next few days to think about the freedoms we enjoy, the choices we have, and the ways we choose to treat one another. Thank you to the veterans of Malwarebytes for your past service and continued efforts to keep everyone up to date,  informed and living our digital lives without threats.


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Cats once served as vital members of the US Navy. Old photos show these forgotten service felines.

  • Seafaring cats have been a staple of culture dating back to ancient Egypt.
  • Scot Christenson, the author of "Cats in the Navy," spoke to Insider about these forgotten felines.
  • The animals served vital roles as pest control on boats and friends to the world's sailors.

More photos and complete article HERE

The Surprising Story of the Only Cat Ever to Win the Highest Honor for Animal Military Gallantry.  Simon the Cat deserves his own article



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Pigeons more so.

Such as Cher Ami from the US Army, Fort Monmouth, NJ, Signal Corps




On October 3, 1918, Major Charles White Whittlesey and more than 550 men were trapped in a small depression on the side of the hill behind enemy lines without food or ammunition. They were also beginning to receive friendly fire from allied troops who did not know their location. Surrounded by the Germans, many were killed and wounded and only 194 men were still alive and not captured or wounded by the end of the engagement. Because his runners were consistently intercepted or killed by the Germans, Whittlesey began dispatching messages by pigeon.[3] The pigeon carrying the first message, "Many wounded. We cannot evacuate." was shot down. A second bird was sent with the message, "Men are suffering. Can support be sent?" That pigeon also was shot down. The artillery batteries supporting Whittlesey's men attempted to provide a "barrage of protection" for Whittlesey's men on the northern slope of the Charlevaux Ravine, but believed Whittlesey was on the southern slope of the ravine, resulting in a barrage inadvertently targeting the battalion.[4] "Cher Ami" was dispatched with a note, written on onion paper, in a canister on his right leg,

We are along the road paralell [sic] to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heavens sake stop it.

As Cher Ami tried to fly back home, the Germans saw him rising out of the brush and opened fire.[5] After several seconds, he was shot down but managed to take flight again. He arrived back at his loft at division headquarters 25 miles (40 km) to the rear in just 25 minutes, helping to save the lives of the 194 survivors. He had been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, and had a leg hanging only by a tendon.

Cher Ami became the hero of the 77th Infantry Division. Army medics worked to save his life. When he recovered enough to travel, the now one-legged bird was put on a boat to the United States, with General John J. Pershing seeing him off.


And;  G.I. Joe (pigeon) from the US Army, Fort Monmouth, NJ, Signal Corps




G.I. Joe (March 24, 1943 – June 3, 1961) was a pigeon noted for his service in the United States Army Pigeon Service. The bird is part of the homing pigeons used during World War I and World War II for communication and reconnaissance purposes. G.I. Joe had the name tag, Pigeon USA43SC6390.[1] He was hatched in March 1943, in Algiers, North Africa and underwent a training for two-way homing pigeons perfected at Fort Monmouth, in New Jersey.[2]

During the Italian Campaign of World War II, G.I. Joe saved the lives of the inhabitants of the village of Calvi Vecchia, Italy, and of the British troops of 56th (London) Infantry Division occupying it. Air support had been previously requested against German positions at Calvi Vecchia on 18 October 1943. However, the 169th (London) Infantry Brigade attacked and won back the village from the Germans ahead of schedule but they were unable to transmit a message via radio to call off the planned American air raid.[3] G.I. Joe was dispatched as a last resort to carry the message and arrived in the air base just in time to avoid the Allied air force from bombing their own men. G.I. Joe flew this 20-mile distance in an impressive 20 minutes, just as the planes were preparing to take off for the target. Over 100 men were saved.[4][5]

On 4 November 1946, G.I. Joe was presented the Dickin Medal for gallantry by Major-General Charles Keightley at the Tower of London. The citation credits him with "the most outstanding flight made by a United States Army homing pigeon in World War II".[6] The award is also known as the equivalent of the Victoria Cross or the Medal of Honor for animals.[2] G.I. Joe was the 29th and the first non-British recipient of the medal.[6] In 2019 he was also posthumously awarded the Animals in War & Peace Medal of Bravery.[7][8]

After World War II, he was housed at the U.S. Army's Churchill Loft at Fort Monmouth, in New Jersey along with 24 other heroic pigeons. He died at the Detroit Zoological Gardens at the age of eighteen, and was mounted and displayed at the U.S. Army Communications Electronics Museum at Fort Monmouth.[9][10]


Col. Clifford A. Poutre tossing the last bird in 1957 at the close-out of
the U.S. Army Signal Corps Pigeon Service, Fort Monmouth.


The war birds of Fort Monmouth


Honoring Those Who Served – Pigeon Memorial


ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – On July 5, 1960, a Pigeon Memorial was dedicated at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey as part of the Signal Corps’ 100th Anniversary Celebration. The pigeon on the top of the memorial fountain was modeled on “G.I. Joe,” one of the greatest military pigeons in history. The plaque read, “A Memorial to Homing Pigeons in Combat: Courage, Loyalty, Endurance.”

The Army’s pigeon program, which began in 1917 under the orders of General John Pershing, was headquartered at Fort Monmouth under the Signal Corps from 1919 until its discontinuation in 1957.General Pershing set sail for Europe on May 28, 1917 and arrived in France on 13 June and set up the headquarters for the American Expeditionary Forces in Paris. In July 1917, impressed with the French and British pigeon services, Pershing requested that pigeon specialists be commissioned into the U.S. Army. In November 1917, the Signal Corps Pigeon Service received official authorization, and a table of organization for a pigeon company to serve at Army level was published the following June. The company comprised 9 officers and 324 Soldiers and provided a pigeon group to each corps and division. By the end of the war, the Signal Corps had sent more than 15,000 trained pigeons to the AEF.

The close fighting that was the feature of trench warfare meant that radio messages could be easily intercepted on the open frequencies.  Thus, the Signal Corps built a measure of redundancy into its communications systems as insurance. Traditional communication methods, such as runners and mounted messengers, continued to perform their duties, with the use of motorcycle dispatch riders constituting a modern variation.  Homing pigeons contributed another “low‐tech” but effective means of communication.

The success of the homing pigeons in war prompted the Army to perpetuate the service after the Armistice. The Chief Signal Officer established the Signal Corps Pigeon Breeding and Training Section at Camp Alfred Vail, NJ, which would later be renamed as Fort Monmouth. The officer in charge of the British Service supplied 150 pairs of breeders to the U.S. Army. They arrived at Camp Vail, without loss, in October 1919, and resided together with some of the retired hero pigeons of the World War in one fixed and 14 mobile lofts. At Monmouth, the pigeon experts devoted efforts to improving training, breeding, and equipment for the Pigeon Service. A World War I‐era joke suggested that the Corps was breeding pigeons with parrots so that messages could be transmitted by speaking.

One specialized area of training was night flight, which had proven difficult, but had been successfully trained as a pigeon skill from 1928 until 1930.  New and revolutionary techniques were establishing the Monmouth birds as probably the outstanding stud in America. By the outset of WWII, the Fort Monmouth pigeoneers had perfected techniques for training two‐way pigeons. The first test was conducted in May 1941. Twenty birds completed the approximately 28‐mile roundtrip from Fort Monmouth to Freehold in half an hour. In 1943, an experiment to evaluate pigeons flying over water took place.  This experiment is described in the 1944 Signal Corps Technical Information Letter. The experiment took place at Fort Meade, Maryland, and on the Chesapeake Bay, with the birds finally being released in an area where the bay was 14 miles wide. The generally accepted fact was that homing pigeons were averse to crossing large bodies of water; this exercise was also an effort to acquaint the birds with flying over water

In addition to new training techniques to expand the capabilities of pigeons, the pigeoneers of Fort Monmouth and the Signal Corps experimented with equipment, trying to improve methods of getting pigeons to the front. For such a basic “technology,” it’s amazing how much effort and time went into perfecting lofts, mobile lofts, carrying baskets and cages, protective gear, and pigeon parachutes.

These efforts paid off during WWII.  The Pigeon Center at Fort Monmouth had an emergency breeding capacity of 1,000 birds a month. This represented about one-quarter of the Army’s anticipated requirement. American pigeon fanciers supplied approximately 40,000 racing pigeons voluntarily to the Signal Corps without compensation. These made up the bulk of the 54,000 birds that the Signal Corps furnished to the armed services during WWII. The Signal Corps used its authority under the Affiliated Plan of 1940 to recruit civilian specialists into the Army to fulfil specialized requirements such as pigeon experts.

During WWII, the birds were used on at least 20 different occasions during fighting in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations when they were the only means of communications. They proved valuable in sending information gathered in action behind enemy lines. In the Southwest Pacific area, pigeon communication proved effective with small ships as well as in jungle and mountainous terrain. In Burma, a loft was established behind enemy lines, and pigeons were put to use by agents as well as forward troops.

There were many hero pigeons that emerged from WWII. One of the most famous was “G.I. Joe,” credited with saving the lives of 1,000 allied troops at Covi Vecchia, Italy. The pigeon flew 20 miles in as many minutes carrying an order to cancel the scheduled bombing of the city. The action saved a British brigade, which had entered the city ahead of schedule. For this action, G.I. Joe was awarded the Dickin Medal by the Lord Mayor of London in 1946. The Dickin Medal was awarded to animals and was awarded to dogs, horses, 1 cat, as well as pigeons. G.I. Joe was presented to the Detroit Zoo on the discontinuation of the Pigeon Program, and was preserved upon his death, and is currently located at the Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlise Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Fort Monmouth pigeons also served during the Korean War where they proved particularly useful to covert operatives in enemy‐controlled territory. Hundreds of pigeons were attached to the 8th Army and were sent with agents from 75 to 200 miles behind enemy lines. No messages were ever lost.

Despite significant fame and success, it was determined that the widespread use of radio in conjunction with the airplane to contact and supply isolated parties had rendered the use of pigeon communication nearly obsolete. Chief Signal Officer MG James D. O’Connell ordered the disbanding of the Pigeon Service at the end of 1956, and the service was finally discontinued in 1957 after 40 years. When news of the end of the pigeon program reached the public, protests filtered in from all over the country and made their way to the Pentagon. Many people cited the unreliability of radios in combat and the pigeons’ exemplary combat records. Despite such protests, the deactivation went forward. The 15 remaining living hero pigeons were donated to zoos across the country. The remaining birds, about 1,000, were sold to the public on a first‐come, first‐served basis for $5 a pair. The Public Information Office at Fort Monmouth received 1,500 requests for information on the pigeon sale, and people came from all over the country, and from as far away as Canada and Mexico, and stood in line for over 6 hours to purchase the birds.

As a final tribute to the program and its heroic pigeons, a monument in the form of a birdbath was placed on Fort Monmouth in 1960, the Signal Corp’s centennial year. It was a fitting tribute to the animals who had displayed courage, loyalty, and endurance over 40 years of service to the Army. The memorial no longer survives, but the history of the pigeon service lives on in CECOM history.


Edited by David H. Lipman
Edited for content, clarity, spelling and/or grammar
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This Wikipedia entry offers even more variety about military animal use. My favorite reference is the 2007 Iranian capture of squirrels. 

For espionage[edit]

In the years before the First World War pigeon photography was introduced to military intelligence gathering. Although employed during major battles like at Verdun and Somme, the method was not particularly successful. Various attempts in this direction were made during the Second World War as well. A CIA pigeon camera dating from the 1970s is displayed in the CIA Museum; details of CIA missions using this camera are still classified.[21]

The Acoustic Kitty was a CIA project to use surgically modified cats to spy on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies in the 1960s. Despite expenditure of around $10 million, the project failed to produce practical results and was cancelled in 1967. Documents about the project were declassified in 2001.[22][23]

In 2006, The Independent ran a story that the "Pentagon develops brain implants to turn sharks into military spies".[24][25]

In 2007, Iranian authorities captured 14 squirrels, which were allegedly carrying spying equipment. The story was widely dismissed in the West as "nuts".[26]

A number of spying scares in the Middle East involved birds. According to Israeli ornithologist Yossi Leshem, Sudanese authorities detained an Egyptian vulture in the late 1970s, and a white pelican in the early 1980s, both carrying Israeli equipment used for animal migration tracking. A more mediatized event was the 2011 capture by a Saudi farmer of a griffon vulture, which was eventually released by the Saudi authorities after they determined that the Israeli equipment it carried was used for scientific purposes. This was followed by international mockery and criticism of the Arab media outlets which uncritically had reported on the bird's alleged role in espionage.[27] In 2012, a dead European bee-eater tagged with an Israeli leg band was found by villagers near the south-eastern Turkish city of Gaziantep. The villagers worried that the bird may have carried a micro-chip from Israeli intelligence to spy on the area. Turkish authorities examined the corpse of the bee-eater and assured villagers that it is common to equip migratory birds with rings in order to track their movements.[28]

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November represents a remembrance month because my grandfather, Clark wrote a 12 page letter to his Father during World War I. The 105th anniversary is November 24. This was  preserved and ended up in my hands 22 years ago. 

Overall, this post is about grandfathers and veterans and what they have given to their families and society as a whole. To start, "Grandad" was in my life briefly as a child, we only had 7 years together. I remember him as a fun person who let me arrange his hair, played silly games, laughed frequently and shared his love freely. He was a Scot through and through, proud of his heritage, fierce courage and love of bagpipe music. He left me with an intangible gift: love of writing. He demonstrates that love in a letter he wrote to his Father overseas, while in France. I continue this apparent heritage through cards, letters, journals, blogs and other Internet writing.

If you are a grandfather, every moment you spend with your grandchildren makes an impression. Your choices are your legacy. Whether it's at a family dinner, playing or watching sports, sitting ringside at any event, breathing exhaust fumes from cars, bikes, boats, or lawnmowers, the grandchildren are watching and learning. The bonds you form now are never broken.

Among the cache I received in 2001 were military records going back to the Civil War. I am from 4 generations of those who fought for Independence. Most were farmers, some came from the city. I know regiments, dates, inductions, discharges, all preserved on original documents.

There is nothing new I could say about our freedoms, but with each day, I appreciate them more and more. We have choices, security, abundance, leisure, mobility and peace.

Thank you🎖️


Edited by NewTricks
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  • Root Admin

That is awesome @NewTricks thanks for sharing




World War I, lasted from July 28, 1914 to Nov. 11, 1918

Americans Answer Call to Arms During World War I



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