The Following Newspaper article was clipped from the Washington Post on July 11, 1967, and donated by the late David Mercer: If you knew Dave, who used the Handle, you can write his widow, Terri Mercer. Please visit our Taps Page to view Dave's Memorial.

Text above reads:

"A 250-pound bomb breaks loose from an A-4 Skyhawk catapulted from the flight deck of the USS Hancock in the Tonkin Gulf, above, at left, ordnance men race to defuse the bomb and at right, gingerly remove the fuse in time. Below, the errant bomb is wheeled off the deck for an inspection by the relieved ordnance men."

This here is an example of what our men on the flight deck faced daily during the ten years that we served on station in the Tonkin Gulf during the Vietnam war.

It's often easy to forget what risks and dangers our sailors face in the service of their country. My main purpose in this page and more so, in the site is to bring that point home.

Let me put it this way, America.. you are free because we have gallant men and women who are willing to put their VERY LIVES on the line for you! Do you appreciate them? Do you come out to the Veterans Day Parades and observances? Do you put a flag on a fallen comrade's grave on Memorial Day?

You know something America? Memorial Day is not a Three Day weekend! It was never intended to be such; it was intended and set apart by a once caring government to honor those who gave the supreme sacrafice for our freedoms.

A lesser government and people have now made the holiday into a fiasco and placed it always to fall on a monday so they could enjoy three days off from work. Well let me say this to you who forget the true meaning of this day... those who gave their all so that you could be so complacent have done this for you.. It behooves you to remember them!

Thank you's go out to Dave Mercer of Upper Marlboro, MD, for contributing this article!