Happy Alvin C. York Day

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Happy Alvin C. York Day

From Checkiday.com, from which I get all holiday reminders:

Today we remember the famed World War I hero, Alvin C. York. Born on December 13, 1887, in Pall Mall, Tennessee, York became a member of the Church of Christ in Christian Union while in his twenties. This fundamentalist group forbade violence, among other things, which influenced York to become a pacifist. After receiving his draft registration notice, his pastor advised him to seek conscientious objector status. He wrote "Don't want to fight" on his draft card before registering. His request was denied, he was drafted in November 1917, and was sent to basic training.

Rather than go through his bio from that website, I'll give you this excellent video:

Checkiday helpfully notes how you can celebrate the day:

One way to celebrate the day is to travel to a location of significance to Alvin C. York. There is perhaps no better place to stop than the location where York demonstrated his feat of bravery. Other sites where you could stop include the Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park, which is located where York's farm was in Pall Mall, Tennessee; the Alvin C. York Institute in Jamestown, Tennessee, which is now a high school; and the Tennessee State Capitol, where a statue of York is located. If staying closer to home better suits you, you could watch Sergeant York or read a book about York, such as Sergeant York: His Own Life Story and War Diary or Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne. You could also join the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation.

My friend and coworker Matt Grills also has an excellent piece about York and his involvement with The American Legion:

Throughout the 1920s, York traveled extensively to raise funds for education, with crowds everywhere responding to his appeals for help. “In this great nation of ours, we have numerous districts in the rural sections that have been forgotten,” York told Kansas Legionnaires at their department convention at Fort Scott in 1926. “Many are up there who can’t sign their own names. I am giving my life and trying to raise money to establish a school there.” 

A charter member of The American Legion – he attended an organizational meeting in Paris in 1919, and helped found Mark Twain Post 137 in Jamestown – York had the full support of the Tennessee Legion. It passed a resolution recommending posts contribute funds to “establish this much needed institution.” 

When the York Institute opened in 1929, York told members of Capt. Belvidere Brooks Post 450 in New York that the fight to finance and build it was “heaps harder than the little shootin’ in the Argonne.”

And, for you purists with time to spare, here is the full 1941 autobiographical movie with Gary Cooper:

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.