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Posted: 11/21/2003 12:31:19 PM EDT
I was fortunate to attend a lecture at the USAF museum by Col Bud Day. He flew Fast FACs in Vietnam and was a POW from 67-73. He is a CMH recipient, too.

I brought up the topic of women in front-line combat positions, to which he replied, "When did we run out of men to do it?", then he was off and running. He said the topic comes up all the time, and once in a while some young female 2Lt fresh out of college tells him, "Col Day, you just don't get it." Let's see, 34 years in the military, 3 wars, combat experience, he was a POW, and this chick thinks he's naive??!!!

I also got to meet USMC 1Lt Clebe McClary at a prayer breakfast on a base I was stationed at. To hear him tell the story of the night he & his men spent on top of that hill in VN makes you realize what true heroes are.

During my career I tried to be professional and fulfill my duties the best I could, but I was never in a position to do anything I'd consider heroic. I was honored to have met these two men.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 1:08:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 1:40:33 PM EDT by EX11B]
I do exterminating as my job. Ive had the pleasure of having some real heroes as customers.
Gen Joe Foss, was a customer of mine for 2 years.Dude was a high speed marine fighter pilot who earned the CMH.
Real great guy, quiet, and loved talking guns. He really knew his stuff. Sad to see him go, Joe passed away this year.www.sightm1911.com/lib/legends/foss.htm
Andre Galerne is a current customer, and another WWII hero. He fought the nazis as a member of the French Resistance, he was a resistance frogman, and was actually captured by the germans, and as the germans were shooting the others that were captured, he got away. Andre is also a pioneer in commercial diving, and is considered the "father of tromix" and was first commercial diver to use Nitrox 50/50, he also helped make many discoveries with healing with the use of hypobaric chambers, and has been commended by the NYFD for his efforts.
Last but not least Lt Col Marm, who was the commander of my basic training Battalion. as a young 2LT he was awarded the CMH www.army.mil/cmh-pg/mohviet2.htm
Although these three have done amazing things, i also consider anyone who chooses a profession that makes them sacrifice, and put their lifes on the line, not for money, but because they feel the need to serve, as heroes, basically anyone in the armed forces, police ,firefighters, and folks like that should be our heroes.
Also when i did my time as a grunt, early on in the 80's many of my squad leaders, platoon sgts, etc were VietNam vets, and i looked at alot of those guys as my heroes.
One in particular was one of my Plt Sgts who was first in Marive Recon during VN, and later re-upped in the Army because the marines wouldnt allow him another tour in VN. I think he did 4 tours total 2 marine corps, and 2 with the Army. He wouldnt take shit from anyone, and saw him tell many officers to fuck off and to leave his men alone, to include company commanders, and battalion command officers.also saw him nail a squad leader with a mess kit hurled at high velocity, almost knocked him out.
and in the field, you had to wake him with a stick, he would come out of sleep ready to kill anyone in his close vicinity.
They dont make NCO's like that anymore.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 1:35:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 1:36:40 PM EDT by bigsapper]

Originally Posted By EX11B:...and in the field, you had to wake him with a stick, he would come out of sleep ready to kill anyone in his close vicinity.
They dont make NCO's like that anymore.



I had a Plt Sgt like that. My first FTX..."Hey cherry, go wake up SFC Grissom!"
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 2:19:15 PM EDT
I met Joe Foss at the NRA National Convention in Kansas City a few years ago. If you look up the word "gentleman" in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Joe Foss.

He had to have been in his eighties, but still greeted each and every person with genuine respect, signed every autograph, and stood for every snapshot with anyone who asked for one without ANY hint of inconvienience.

Compare that with the shitty attitudes you see todays sports "heros" and celebs displaying.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:06:31 PM EDT
In boot camp we met a senior chief SEAL. He had just gotten back from Afghanistan two weeks ago and brought a silver star with him. I don't recall his name, but I was in awe the entire time
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 6:00:39 PM EDT
I know a real hero well. Don't know if he ever saw the enemy. Don't know if he ever heard a shot fired in anger.

What I do know is, he was in his second year at Yale (on scholarship - no one in his family had any silver spoons growing up) and walked out to enlist to fight Hitler and Tojo. Spent the next 4 years away from home. Went where they said. Risked everything cause his nation called.

Once we won, he went back home and never served in the military again.

Yeah, I think my Dad and thousands like him are real heroes. A real hero simply offers himself when the call comes. No questions.

Link Posted: 11/21/2003 7:51:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jimmybcool:
I know a real hero well. Don't know if he ever saw the enemy. Don't know if he ever heard a shot fired in anger.

What I do know is, he was in his second year at Yale (on scholarship - no one in his family had any silver spoons growing up) and walked out to enlist to fight Hitler and Tojo. Spent the next 4 years away from home. Went where they said. Risked everything cause his nation called.

Once we won, he went back home and never served in the military again.

Yeah, I think my Dad and thousands like him are real heroes. A real hero simply offers himself when the call comes. No questions. Well said.


Link Posted: 11/21/2003 9:34:32 PM EDT
I knew a guy who humped a radio all over Ft. Bragg and Ft. Stewart, during the early sevneties, he jumped out of planes. In the mid seventies he flew patrols over the DMZ in Korea, the mid eighties it was the Fulda Gap and the Berlin Corridor, in a Hawk. He spent over twenty years in the military, from 2972 until 1992, the only time he saw any combat was in the first Gulf War. Long before the Gulf War, I knew he was a hero, when he turned down big money in the early eighties (he could have flown ferries on oil rigs for big bucks), to go to Rucker and be an IP, teaching kids who had been high school seniors less than a year before, to fly instruments and NVGs. I knew he was a hero when he would come home early in the morning with ice in his hair from flying all night over Graefonvehr(SP?) with the heater in the bird on the fritz. He never complained that he hadn't won any prestigous medals, he didn't complain as his ears slowly stopped working, he didn't allow anybody in his shop to complain about how tough there job was. He often told me how lucky he was that he had never been to combat. He did not avoid combat, it was just the luck of the draw, he served in the 82nd ABN. 101st ABN, 8th and 24th ID(Mechanized) and many other less well known units, so there can be no doubt that he served in combat units, it just wasn't his lot to serve in combat until the very end of his carreer. As you may have guessed this man was my father, I knew many other men who have a similar story. I often here people who have never served disparaging people they went to high school with or whatever because they joined the military and never went to combat, it really makes me sick to see how poorly regarded these warriors are. My father attended my Basic Training graduation ceremony wearing his dress greens (this was after the gulf war) and it astonished many of my buddies that my dad was wearing a 101st combat patch, not one of them noticed the Master Aviators badge (which he waas far more proud of). There were many thousands of service men who served during the cold war while there was no major conflict going on anywhere, and they seem to be forgotten or treated as if thier service was not of any importance, and this is wrong. I used to work with a gentleman who when asked if he had served in the military, would answer "not really, I spent six years in Libya in the Navy, but there was no war going on" the sad thing is that he believed that his sacrifice did not count because it hadn't occured ten years earlier. I wish that more people would recognize the dedication to duty and country it takes to serve during peace time, that it is often as difficult to stay in and give up far more pay and prestige in the civilian sector, because there is a job that needs to be done, whether it is flying a patrol over some god forsaken wasteland and freezing yoiur nuts off, or cleaning dishes at 0430 so that the pilot who just flew that mission that nobody back home even cares about can go to bed with a full stomach. It is to often forgotten that the radio man who preforms well in combat, was trained back at Ft. Stewart in an unamed swamp doing everything over and over again until he could do it in his sleep, by a man who never once saw a live round fired outside of a practice or qual range.

Yes I have met a hero, I knew he was a hero long before he went to Iraq and was given a buch of medals, I knew he was a hero as soon as I was old enough to realize what kind of a man it took to do a thankless job that had to be done. I knew he was a hero when I saw hin sitting in his tiny office in the basement of our crappy apartment in Germany, holding back tears as he wrote a letter to the mother of a young Native American pilot he had taught to fly at Rucker and then commanded in Germany, I saw he was a hero when he took it upon himself to try and explain to a greiving mother why her only child had been killed flying a lonely patrol over a foreign border that nobody even cared about. I knew he was a hero, when I realized that he went to the funeral of every pilot he had taught to fly who was killed in an accident (at his own expense, using his own leave time). He later explained to me after he had retired that every time he went to one of those funerals he felt as if he had failed his student, that he had failed to teach them something that may have saved thier life. I knew he was a hero when I realized that regardless of how much comabt I had seen, I would never have the intestinal fortitude, or strength of charcater to measure up to that, the sense of honor it takes to feel that deeply responsible for those you are put in charge of. I grew up on Army bases, surrounded by men of character, and courage. I saw with my own eyes the relationships between these men, I witnessed the respect, they gave, I saw many men who had been to hell and back on countless battlefields, who were willing to follow the orders of men who had never stepped foot onto a field of battle, to the very end of the earth facing certain death, yet would not give the time of day to men who had more medals on thier greens than a twenty star general. It is more than acts on a battlefield that make a hero, it is an issue of what is in a mans soul. More the stuff he is made out of than what actions he has taken in a momnent of extreme danger, character is defined by what a man does year after year, of his own free will, not what he does in a moment when he may not even be aware of what dangers he may be facing.

I am not belittleing the Valour and Courage of any war Hero, I am just trying to point out that there are many heros who have never and will never be recognized for thier contribution to our nations security, and well being, and often who are the very men that taught the war heros the skills that they needed to perform thier heroic acts, ask yourself how many lives have been saved by that overweight, out of uniform, Lazy Marksmanship Instructor at Ft. Bening, or that washed up radio man back at Ft. Lewis who was always nit picking his guys about the little stuff that no one else cared about, but was in school when it came time to deploy.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 11:07:47 PM EDT
I met a BGEN that had won the CMH during the Korean war for killing 38 guys while his buddies watched over a fence. he just got out of openheart surgury and was taking a walk though the shooping mall.

I also met the guy who fell off the ship in nam and was the only prisoner cleared for early release. He came back with all the names of the guys in the Hilton,zoo, plantation, etc. His name was Doug Hedgal and he runs the SEAR school on the westcoast. I got his and Stockdales signature on my certificate. He told us all kinds of stories and was one of the neatest guys I have ever met.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 11:08:58 AM EDT
While I was attending DLI, I had the opportunity to meet some of the finest heroes of WWII. The last surviving members of the original contingent of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Instead of dropping out of college or passing up a job to defend their country, they were imprisoned because they looked different. Then they still put their lives on the line to defend the country that imprisoned them. These men were "Japanese Americans" Primarily 2nd generation. Commonly known as Nissei. This was the most decorated unit of WWII. I recommend the Movie "Go For Broke" to all of you. Although hollywoodized, it is relatively accurate to how they were treated. The blacks can talk all they want about how bad they had it (nothing against the blacks) but these guys had it worse.

I was also fortunate enough to meet a true gentleman that started out as an E-1 in WWII and fought in every war up to the 80's when I met him. He was at that time commander of US Army Japan. LT Gen Charles W. Dyke. He was a true soldiers commander.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:31:27 PM EDT
I agree about the unappreciated heroes, some damn heroic men walking around that have done and seen stuff that would make the people around them turn into quivering piles of jelly if they knew what that old guy over there saw....
A lot of the NCO's when I first joined were like x11B stated-old Nam vets. They were my heros, as were my neighbors growing up, who were almost all WWII vets-old guy down the street was an infantry battalion commander in WWII, but I only knew cause I talked to him respectfully. Guy across the street was knocked out when he stepped onto Normandy Beach in the first wave and was left for dead by his platoon. Next door neighbor repaired Corsairs all over the Pacific......they were all my heroes. All decent, kind, rugged men who didn't think twice about how to behave towards women and kids, and how to treat those who didn't meet those expectations.

In basic we got a motivational visit from an SOG MOH winner, Fred Zabitowsky. His foot was in cast, he had broken it on the barracks stair. He was self depricating about it, and treated a platoon of dopey trainees like his 40 long lost little brothers.

Link Posted: 11/28/2003 5:12:38 PM EDT
I knew a hero for for the better part of my life. My Grampaw. On June 6th, 1944 he landed on Omaha Beach at Normandy with the 4th Infantry. He fought all the way to the Rhineland and was wounded in action on November 29th, 1944. He died ten years ago. He was my hero.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 5:30:14 PM EDT
I meet Gregory Pappy Boyington at an airshow here in Arizona.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 5:35:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jimmybcool: I know a real hero well. Don't know if he ever saw the enemy. Don't know if he ever heard a shot fired in anger. What I do know is, he was in his second year at Yale (on scholarship - no one in his family had any silver spoons growing up) and walked out to enlist to fight Hitler and Tojo. Spent the next 4 years away from home. Went where they said. Risked everything cause his nation called. Once we won, he went back home and never served in the military again. Yeah, I think my Dad and thousands like him are real heroes. A real hero simply offers himself when the call comes. No questions.
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WOW. I couldn't have said it better myself!!!![USA]
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 5:47:33 AM EDT
A hero, well I meet some fine men that wore a uniform and did what they had to do when they had to do it, Including my Dad that Island hopped in WWII and didn't ever talk about it. Once I found him looking in his old foot locker at some of his stuff, he held two photo's one was taken on a ship, as he looked at it he said the names of the men that was in his unit, the other was taken on a beach after his fifth Island. There was my Dad and one other person that was left from the starting unit. This was Veterans Day 1963. Later that day we went to visit a National Cemetery and Dad would stop at a few graves, all had little flags on them some had metals laying next to the stones and family members standing around. As we left Dad said to me "It's not the metals that make a Hero" For me I guess the real Hero's were the men I've seen laying at rest covered with poncho's or stacks of caskets being loaded on planes to take them home, they are the men that I will not soon foreget even if I have never meet them. A little long I know
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 11:08:17 PM EDT
[b]Ever Meet A Hero?[/b] Yes, SF man in 'Nam-1968. [:D] [devil]
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:04:51 PM EDT
Hello again all..........am back after a very long absence....little thing called Iraq... where I have been since April of this year. I just got home today. A hero? Yep, that would be one Sgt. Roger D. Rowe from my National Guard unit in TN. Sgt. Rowe was our first KIA in Iraq and he was my good friend. Sgt. Rowe, to me, defines the word hero. He was a medic in Nam where he did two tours. Afterwards, he joined the TNARNG as a truck driver in our transportation co. [bulk fuel]. Sgt. Rowe stopped to help a fellow driver with a maintenance problem and was struck by small and intermediate arms fire from 4 different directions. A perfectly placed sniper round ended his life that day just south of Baghdad. For a man to already have done so much in fighting for his country and for that man to have chosen to continue serving his country and in so doing leave his family, his wife of 40 years and his life behind to once again take up arms, that certainly qualifies him as a hero in my book. It was a honor to have known him...
Link Posted: 12/12/2003 4:15:36 AM EDT
I'll be having dinner tonight with a bunch of them. I was graciously invited to dinner for an annual Special Forces Association dinner at my VFW post.
Link Posted: 12/12/2003 9:37:46 AM EDT
I hope that nobody thought that the original post belittles those who have served and didn't get the recognition. If so, well, you don't know me. The military is full of unsung heroes. I would not slight any one of them.
Link Posted: 12/12/2003 4:20:25 PM EDT
CSM Franklin Doug Miller "Blackdog" MOH, one of legends in SF. I met him at his book signing at Schofield Barracks, he shot the shit with all who came for a while. A natural story teller too, when he spoke, you were all ears!!! I was sad to hear he passed away from Cancer a few years ago. Here is a link to info on him, read the MOH citation, hairraising!! [url]http://www.sfahq.com/miller/[/url] If you want a excellent read, the book "Reflections of a Warrior" is about him in Vietnam. Once you start the book, it is HARD to put down! [url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0743464990/qid=1071278105/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-0274012-6024146?v=glance&s=books[/url]
Link Posted: 12/12/2003 4:30:21 PM EDT
My dad.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 6:45:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 6:45:26 AM EDT by Striker]
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 4:41:50 AM EDT
My former neighbor was a 20 year old 2LT in WWII, served on Eisenhower's staff, and told me that he 'once went up a hill with 20 men, and came down with four'. I also attended a convention where I met MAJ John Plaster, had a photo taken with him, and bought an autographed copy of his book.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 4:50:05 AM EDT
Foss, Boyington, Gunther Rall, Yeager & Galland.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 11:50:29 AM EDT
General Robin Olds [url]http://www.af.mil/bios/bio_6651.shtml[/url]
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 6:03:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jimmybcool: I know a real hero well. Don't know if he ever saw the enemy. Don't know if he ever heard a shot fired in anger. What I do know is, he was in his second year at Yale (on scholarship - no one in his family had any silver spoons growing up) and walked out to enlist to fight Hitler and Tojo. Spent the next 4 years away from home. Went where they said. Risked everything cause his nation called. Once we won, he went back home and never served in the military again. Yeah, I think my Dad and thousands like him are real heroes. A real hero simply offers himself when the call comes. No questions.
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I was SIRED by such a hero. He was a happy-go-lucky jazz musician that parked his horns under his bed, traded his Zoot Suit for a uniform, climbed into a B-17 and helped light up the skies over Europe. HE was sired by a guy that went over the top with Black Jack Pershing. My Scoutmaster was a company commander in Europe, and was later retreaded for Korea. Another scout leader was shot down and ended the war as a POW. One more scout leader was taken POW and ESCAPED! Yet ANOTHER scout leader was a QM1 on an attack transport at Okinawa, his battle station was on the helm during the kamikaze attacks. His nickname was 'Mother Swan'. A neighbor was a SGT,USMC and made more than one amphibious assault in the Pacific. Those are the more colorful of the heroes I grew up with. Some of these guys were colorful, some were quiet. All were human. Another of my heroes spent the war on a supply ship much like the one depected in "Mister Roberts". Later he was blinded in an auto accident. About a month or two later, he was back to work. Blind. Supported himself and raised 1 son and 2 daughters blind. I think he felt sorry for himself for a while. Like 15 minutes or so. He's a hero in my book. His perverse sense of humor 3-1/2 decades later was the basis of my forays with the SEC. Met another hero a few weeks ago, an old guy with a 6th Mar Div baseball hat on. The old guy was shopping next to the USMC recruiting station, where I was visiting. He popped his head in, and I said "Okinawa Marine on deck!" 1 Gunny, 1 Staff Sergeant and 2 PFCs popped to. Almost a year ago, I accidentally scared the shit out of a hero. I clicked an animal training clicker in a pet shop while getting the SEC some food. A panic stricken, preoccupied old man shouted:"Thunder, dammit! Don't shoot!" Realizing what I had done, I answered "Pass, Mac." I felt awful. I had embarrassed a hero. He was a D-Day paratrooper. And the hero that worked in a WX station in Australia. And the hero that was 4-F and joined the Merchant fleet, an outfit that had a higher casualty percentage than the military. Another Hero was the woman that made rubber, and another that worked at Quincy Shipyard. And a couple other women that worked at Hingham shipyard. And another 4-F guy that worked making rubber. As a 52 YO man, I can say that while growing up, I walked among Giants. For a long time I wondered what was wrong with the younger generation. As I post this, I realize they did not have the heroes I had to look up to. OTOH, the way the world is heading, maybe there's going to be a pretty sharp influx of heroes coming along. I sorta hope not, but I think so. Shit, there are going to be a lot more civvie heroes coming along, NYPD, FDNY,to name a few. I might add, that there are one hell of a lot of young heroes out there. I just saw a kid head off to boot camp the other day. When he graduates, he'll be yet another one of my hereos. Yeah, I guess I've met a hero or two in my day.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 4:09:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 4:10:36 AM EDT by Lion_Dog]
[b]AUDIE MURPHY - when I was 13-14 he was visiting with friends around the corner from my father's supermarket in Brooklyn. These friend's brought AUDIE over for a visit and there before my very eyes was he. Much taller than I expected, on analysis, he was in cowboy boots and likely "elevator" inserts - but DAMN, thoroughly fit and trim, he JUST looked LARGER than life. I shook his hand upon introduction and just went silent. He pleasantly smiled and spoke with some others before my father took him to the rear of the store to introduce to others of my family. I have a few poorly kept photos of him, him and my father - that I am having restored. To this day I still marvel at that occasion, meeting this great American HERO in the FLESH, after seeing his movies so many many times. RIP - Audie, we will always remember your contributions, and that "baby-face" smile![/b] Edited: sp
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 4:35:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By piccolo: Almost a year ago, I accidentally scared the shit out of a hero. I clicked an animal training clicker in a pet shop while getting the SEC some food. A panic stricken, preoccupied old man shouted:"Thunder, dammit! Don't shoot!" Realizing what I had done, I answered "Pass, Mac." I felt awful. I had embarrassed a hero. He was a D-Day paratrooper.
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Pic, I know you were embarrassed, but that is still one of the most profound things I have ever read on this board. To think, 55+ years later and that one night is still in the forefront of his mind.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 4:40:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 4:46:03 PM EDT by piccolo]
Originally Posted By AvengeR15:
Originally Posted By piccolo: Almost a year ago, I accidentally scared the shit out of a hero. I clicked an animal training clicker in a pet shop while getting the SEC some food. A panic stricken, preoccupied old man shouted:"Thunder, dammit! Don't shoot!" Realizing what I had done, I answered "Pass, Mac." I felt awful. I had embarrassed a hero. He was a D-Day paratrooper.
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Pic, I know you were embarrassed, but that is still one of the most profound things I have ever read on this board. To think, 55+ years later and that one night is still in the forefront of his mind.
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Not really. FWIW, two or three times in the past 10 years or so, usually at aiports, I've been startled when I look up to see an Officer of the US military. Twice I've saluted out of Pavlovian instinct, and another time I've caught myself halfway through it. I did 3 years in the early 70s. A colonel (Army) returned my salute one time and just kept moving. Another LTC (USMC) returned it and turned his head only to find that I was looking at him red faced. "How long have you been out," he asked. "Almost thirty years," I replied. "You were and apparently still are, well trained," he grinned. I blushed. What a compliment! My guess is that the clicks simply startled him and that it was a knee jerk reaction from the depths of his mind. It's probably the last sound you'd expect to hear if you were shopping for pet food. He simply went back to being that scared kid in a hedgerow. Perhaps he almost got shot by a fellow paratrooper. I don't know. IMHO, we are the sum of all of our experiences. I think the man was no fool. He simply followed his instincts and training. Here's something to think about: You've read my posts for about a year. I'm a middle aged (52 YO)smart-ass. I don't have scar tissue on my face. I'm about 5'5", 180 lbs. Not a big man. I've told guys much bigger than I am to fuck off. I've told a couple LEOs the same thing. I'm a surly, disgruntled guy with a kiss my ass attitude. For almost 40 years I've been told I'm dancing on the razor's edge. Why have I not gotten my ass kicked? For that matter, as a former commercial fisherman and sailboat delivery guy, why am I still alive? I'll attribute it to instinct. I know when to quit and when to back off. Or when NOT to start. My instincts tell me that in some ways the old paratrooper and I were kindred spirits. Neither of us forget our lessons. I'll ask you this: In you life how many times have you gone from half asleep to full alert in under a second? Probably quite a few.
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