- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 10, 2005

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

A recent TV show referred to the remains of the late Ted Williams still being stored upside down and headless at a cryogenic storage facility in Arizona. His son, John Henry, who brought about this ghoulish scenario, is now himself dead.

As a baseball legend and a Marine fighter pilot who fought in both World War II and Korea, losing 4 years of his major league playing career, Mr. Williams deserves to be rescued from this degrading situation and given a dignified burial with honors. Can’t Major League Baseball, the people of Boston and the Marine Corps pool their influence and ensure his dignified burial, or is this American icon destined to remain forgotten?

John Kujawski,

U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran

Dear Jack:

It is unconscionable that this American hero and baseball superstar is left hanging upside down and headless like a piece of cowhide in a dark deep freezer. I urge the powers that be in Major League Baseball and the U.S. Marine Corps to use their muscle to ensure that the remains of Mr. Williams be buried with dignity and honor in the sacred grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

Shaft notes

• The Sarge is looking forward to joining other members of the National Press Club and their guests at a luncheon featuring Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson.

The president said when he announced Mr. Nicholson’s nomination to be the secretary of Veterans Affairs:

“Jim Nicholson is a patriot, a man of deep conviction who has answered his country’s call many times. As a young man from Iowa, raised in modest circumstances, he became a cadet at West Point in the late 1950s and went on to become an Army ranger and paratrooper. As a ranger, he fought in Vietnam, where he won multiple decorations for bravery in combat, including the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge. After eight years on active duty, he joined the Army Reserve, in which he served for 22 more years before retiring as a full colonel.

“Throughout his career, Jim has shown the same honor, integrity and commitment to service that defined his life as a military officer. He and his wife, Suzanne, have given back generously to their community and have been leaders in numerous volunteer causes in their home state of Colorado. He was a respected chairman of the Republican National Committee. And for the past three years, he has served as the United States ambassador to the Vatican.”

“Jim has worked with the Vatican to advance many vital foreign-policy goals, including fighting poverty, hunger, AIDS, expanding religious liberty around the world and ending the brutal practice of human trafficking.

“I’m grateful to Jim for his superb work as our ambassador, and I now have asked him to accept a new assignment, to serve his country and his fellow veterans.”

The luncheon will be at noon April 20. For more information, call Pat Nelson at 202/662-7500.

• The Sarge salutes the U.S. Postal Service for agreeing to pay the employees’ share (in addition to the Postal Service’s share) of health insurance premiums for up to 24 months for career USPS employees who are called to active military duty. The change was made in response to a request from the American Postal Workers Union.

The policy took effect March 17 and is retroactive to Dec. 28, 2002. It applies to qualified career employees of the Postal Service activated for military service under Executive Order 12302 or 13223 in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Postal Service will assume the full cost of employees’ premiums for the time that they perform qualifying military service only.

• The Sarge also salutes Amvets for their new initiative with the National Guard. As the Guard faces increasing deployments, Amvets has partnered with the National Guard Bureau to help maximize support for the families affected by these deployments.

This agreement, formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Amvets National Commander William A. Boettcher and National Guard Bureau (NGB) Chief Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, marks the first time the NGB has partnered with a national veterans service organization to expand the Guard’s Family Program volunteer network.

“As veterans, we fully appreciate what it means to have support on the home front for our men and women in uniform,” Mr. Boettcher said. “It’s particularly important for those who serve in the National Guard, where their families often do not live in close proximity to the services normally available to active-duty personnel.”

Under the new arrangement, the AMVETS Family Support Network of local posts will work closely with state National Guard Family Program directors and coordinators to ensure that no Guard family “falls between the cracks.”

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, PO Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330; call 202/257-5446; or e-mail sgtshaft@bavf.org.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide