Jack Rupert with associates and coaches at the Kentucky Tournament.
On September 13 and 14th I attended the fourth annual United States blind golf Association's
Kentucky regional golf tournament. This is the first time for me to play in a competitive format
golf tournament. It was also the first time I had ever used an official coach and scorekeeper.
The tournament is played by USGA standards of play with a couple minor modifications to the rules
for the blind golfers. Most importantly we are allowed to not only have a coach but we are also allowed to have
a caddy for our clubs. Our coaches allowed to place the ball on the T and line us up for our tee shot,
as well as finding our ball and line in sub for our next shot. We use what is called a stableford scoring
format. Which is a point system rather than a par, bogey, double bogey, etc. we receive a score
of a five for a par and that works its way down, the highest score you can get on a whole is a double bogey.
We played 36 holes of golf for this tournament on a course that I would classify as a fairly hard course,
as it had several bunkers and water features and greens that were odd shaped and it angles so putting
was a challenge.
Golf is not a new sport for me as I have been playing often on since my high school days.
Over the last 10 years I probably average playing at least once a week but would play more
if I had a coach to work with meeting on a regular basis. Currently my wife drives my card for me
and does the best she can on lining up for whole shots and drives. I would like to be able to find more
local blind golfers to establish some kind of a league in our local area. I was declared legally blind
in August 2009. My vision is currently less than 5° perphial and 10/100. My close-up and no side vision or up and down vision makes it hard to physically get around sometimes. Fortunately I can still see
some of the ground when I look downward to allow me to get set up on the tee box in the ball.
By distance before getting very blurry is about 10 feet, otherwise at a distance I maybe can make out
a color or color contrast between green and brown but do not know what the object is.
Thank you for the donation of $400 to help offset the expenses to attend this tournament
is greatly appreciated and without your generous donation I would not of been able to have the great opportunity to play in this Blind Golfers Tournament.
CVS PHARMACY OFFERS SCRIPT TALK FREE TO THE BLIND!
We wanted to share some good news about the availability of prescription information. CVS/pharmacy has announced that it now provides ScripTalk talking prescription labels for prescriptions ordered for home delivery through its online pharmacy, CVS.com. The ScripTalk labels provide a convenient way to access information on prescription labels privately and independently for individuals who cannot read print. The ScripTalk labels are free to CVS.com pharmacy customers who are blind or have low vision. Customers can obtain from Envision America a free ScripTalk reader, which is needed to hear the information on the ScripTalk label. To request that the labels be attached to your prescriptions ordered through CVS.com, call CVS.com at 888-227-3403. To obtain your free ScripTalk reader, call Envision America at 800-890-1180. It is recommended that you call CVS.com first.
Officer Doesn't Let Blindness Stop Him
Posted on Nov 07, 2012 | Category:
<https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_blogs/Blogs?action=blogsummary&blogkey=newsroom&categories=Latest%20News> Latest News
Capt. Scotty Smiley - the Army's first blind active-duty
officer - lives the true meaning of perseverance.
One of the last things Smiley remembers seeing is a
parked vehicle on a roadside in Mosul, Iraq, in April 2005. The rear sagged
toward the ground, perhaps heavy with explosives. The man beside it looked
But in his Stryker armored vehicle, head and arms
exposed, Smiley followed the Army's warfare rules of engagement that encourage
minimum force to achieve the mission. "We don't just shoot people because
they look scary.
Maybe the shocks were out in the back of the car,"
he explains. "The decision I made was to ensure that, if the man was bad,
not to let him harm anyone else. I shot two rounds in front of the vehicle, and
that's when the man blew up the car and himself, and metal entered my
Why He Still Serves
Surviving an explosion that almost killed him was just
the start of Smiley's ordeal. Recovering at Walter Reed National Medical
Center, he struggled with the reality of losing one eye entirely and his sight
in the other. He asked, "Am I truly blind? Will I always be blind?"
The day he received the Purple Heart in his hospital bed
"Receiving a Purple Heart was recognition that my
life was changed. Yes, you were wounded. Yes, you are blind."
With the support of his wife, high school sweetheart
Tiffany, he admits to spending time "under a cloud," wondering why
this had happened to him. He embraced a mourning process for his sight, working
to focus not on the hardship, but on the good that has come from it. "You
have to accept the life you've been given," he says.
And he worked to get to an even more remarkable place in
his heart. "I had to forgive the man who had blown himself up," he
The struggle strengthened not only his personal faith,
but also his desire to serve others and his country. "One of the Army's
values is selfless service. I don't think anyone would ever say Scott Smiley
has not served his country," he says. But he wasn't ready to stop.
Still Fit to Serve
Once an Army medical review board declared Smiley
mentally and physically fit to serve, he was ready to move forward. Despite his
blindness, he earned a Master of Business Administration from Duke University's
Fuqua School of Business. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he went on
to teach military leadership at West Point and to command the Warrior
Transition Unit at West Point's Keller Army Medical Center. He also earned the
Army's prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award, which recognizes junior officers
who demonstrate the ideals espoused by Gen. Douglas MacArthur: duty, honor,
When he wasn't working, he challenged himself in the
great outdoors. "For me, being blind wasn't necessarily a total
transformation of my life. Many of the things I do now, I did before. I just do
them differently," Smiley says. Things like, say, skydiving.
Always physically active, Smiley jumped in tandem with
the U.S. Army's Parachute Team, the Golden Knights. He skied in Vail, Colo.,
surfed in Hawaii and completed triathlons. "I did not want to give up
physical activity," he says. "It's just my personality." His
efforts led to a 2008 ESPY award from ESPN as the Best Outdoor Athlete.
His athleticism and positive attitude garnered Smiley an
invitation to speak to groups nationwide, including the U.S. Men's Olympics
Basketball "Dream Team" before their 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics
gold medal victories. "I wanted to give them a small glimpse of what
wearing the American flag on their uniform means," he says. "It's not
about profitability. It's not for endorsement. It's for the men and women who
live here [in the United States]."
In his talks, he typically shares ideas such as:
§ Serve others.
"Give back more than we receive," he says.
§ Lead by example.
"Understand what you're asking others to do," he says.
"You shouldn't lead an organization unless you
understand the mission."
"Life is worth living," he says. "We all go through trials and
hardship. Working through those trials, we all can improve."
He wrote about these concepts and told his story in a
memoir, Hope Unseen:
The Story Behind the U.S. Army's First Blind Active-Duty
Officer©, co-authored with friend Doug Crandall.
Today, he lives with his wife and their two young sons in
Spokane, Wash. - just two hours from the town where he and Tiffany grew up -
and works in an administrative role at the Gonzaga University R.O.T.C. program.
"I tell many people I wouldn't change a thing,"
he says. "I would still make all of the same decisions. I don't think I
would even change the day I was blinded, just because of the opportunities I've
HISTORY OF THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER
The Quartermaster Review
Since Memorial Day, great interest has been expressed by the many inquiries concerning the history of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. In 1958, the Quartermaster Review published the story of the interesting measures taken in the selection of the Unknown Soldier who died in World War I. That story bears repeating here. In a future issue, The Review will add the history of the Unknowns of World War II and Korea.
IN THE BEAUTIFUL Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on a hillside overlooking the historic Potomac River is a Shrine that has become the mecca for not only all Americans who visit Washington but many prominent dignitaries and persons from foreign lands. It is the Tomb of America's Unknown Soldiers, symbolizing those of America who gave their lives in World War I, World War II and Korea, in defense of the Nation's integrity, honor and tranquility.
Following the custom inaugurated by other allied countries in World War I the Congress on March 4, 1921, approved a Resolution providing for the burial in Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater on Armistice Day 1921 of an unknown and unidentified American soldier of World War I. The Secretary of War delegated to the Quartermaster Corps the duty of selecting the Unknown Soldier and accordingly the Quartermaster General directed the Chief, American Graves Registration Service in Europe to select from among the burials of America's Unknown Dead the bodies of four who fell in the combat area in order that one from among them could be anonymously designated as the one for burial in accordance with the provisions of the Resolution. Four bodies of Unknown Soldiers were selected, one from each of the following cemeteries Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, Somme and St. Mihiel--and brought to Chalons where they were placed in the Hotel de Ville. The fact that the bodies selected were those of Americans was determined by the location of place of death, original burial and uniforms. The utmost care was taken to see that there was no evidence of identification on the bodies selected and no indication that their identity could ever be established.
After the four bodies were arranged in the Hotel de Ville, the next step was the matter of selecting the one from among them to represent all the Unknown American Dead. This ceremony though simple was most impressive. In view of his outstanding service, to Sergeant Edward Younger, on duty with the American Forces in Germany, was given the honor of making the final selection. On Monday morning, October 24, 1921, at 10 :00 A.M. in the presence of The Quartermaster General, the Commanding General of the American Forces in Germany, the Mayor of Chalons-sur-Marne, high officers of the French Army, distinguished French citizens and eminent American and French civilians the selection was made. While a French military band played an appropriate air, Sergeant Younger slowly entered the room where the four caskets were placed. Passing between two lines formed by the officials he silently advanced to the caskets, circled them three times and placed a spray of white roses on the third casket from the left. He then faced the body, stood at attention, and saluted. He was immediately followed by officers of the French Army who saluted in the name of the French people.
The body lay in State for several hours watched over by a guard of honor composed of French and American Soldiers while the people of Chalons reverently paid their respects and left offerings of flowers and other tributes. After brief official ceremonies by the City of Chalons the casket was placed on a flag-draped gun carriage and escorted by American and French troops to the railroad station where is was placed aboard the funeral car in a special train for the journey to Le Harve. Upon arrival at Le Havre the train was met by French officials and troops and citizens of Le Havre who had gathered that they too might pay homage to America's Unknown Soldier. Accompanied by many floral tributes and escorted by French and American troops, the solemn procession moved through the City of Le Havre to the pier where the American Cruiser "Olympia", Admiral Dewey's flagship at the battle of Manila Bay, awaited with her flags at half mast to receive the precious cargo which she was to bring to the Homeland. Here, with ceremonies befitting the solemn occasion, the casket was turned over to the United States Navy and placed on the flower decked stern of the cruiser for the long journey to America. Slowly and silently the "Olympia" moved from the pier and with a salute of seventeen guns from the French destroyer, to which she promptly responded, the journey of the Unknown Soldier to his homeland began.
On November 9, 1921, at 4 :00 P.M., the "Olympia" reached the Navy Yard at Washington, D. C., where the flag-draped casket was solemnly delivered by the Navy to the Army, represented by the Commanding General of the District of Washington, and escorted to the rotunda of the Capitol. Here upon the same catafalque that had similarly held the remains of our Presidents, Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley, the body lay in State under a guard of honor and composed of selected men of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. All during the next day thousands of patriotic individuals, including highest officials of the Government, members of the Diplomatic Corps and private citizens, passed before the casket to pay homage to The Unknown Soldier who symbolized all our Unknown and the purpose for which they died.
On the morning of November 11, 1921, Armistice Day, at 8 :30 A.M., the casket was removed from the rotunda of the Capitol and escorted to the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery under a military escort, with general officers of the Army and Admirals of the Navy for pallbearers, and noncommissioned officers of the Navy and Marine Corps for body bearers. Following the caisson bearing the flag-draped casket walked such a concourse as had never before followed a soldier to his final resting place-The President of the United States, the Vice-President, Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, wearers of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Senators, Members of Congress, the Generals of the Armies of World War I, and former Wars, and other distinguished Army, Navy and Marine Corps officers, Veterans of World War I, and former Wars, State officials and representatives of patriotic organizations. Solemnly through streets lined with thousands gathered to pay homage to those who died on the field of battle the procession moved on to historic Arlington. Upon arrival at the Amphitheater the casket was borne through the south entrance to the apse where it was reverently placed upon the catafalque. During the processional the vast audience both within and without the Amphitheater stood uncovered. A simple but impressive funeral ceremony was conducted which included an address by the President of the United States who conferred upon the Unknown Soldier the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Following this ceremony special representatives of foreign governments associated with the United States in World War I each in turn conferred upon the Unknown the highest military decoration of their Nation.
At the conclusion of these ceremonies the remains, preceded by the clergy, the President and Mrs. Harding and others seated in the apse, were borne to the sarcophagus where a brief committal service was held. With three salvos of artillery, the sounding of taps and the National Salute, the impressive ceremonies were brought to a close.
It was originally intended that the simple white marble Tomb placed over the grave of The Unknown Soldier immediately after the interment should serve as a base for an appropriate superstructure. Accordingly very shortly after the ceremonies on November 11, 1921, the question of selecting a suitable monument to complete the Tomb was given consideration. It was not until July 3, 1926, however, that the Congress finally authorized the completion of the Tomb and the expenditure of $50,000 therefore.
The Act referred to above provided that the Secretary of War secure competitive designs according to such regulations as he may adopt to complete the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. The Act further provided that the accepted designs should be subject to the approval of the Arlington Cemetery Commission, the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Fine Arts Commission. In accordance with the provisions of the Act, the Secretary of War prepared a program for the completion of the Tomb and invited architects of standing reputation who were citizens of the United States to submit designs. Seventy four designs were submitted and, from among them, five were selected for further study.
The selected competitors were required to restudy their designs and prepare models of plaster of paris. When these models were received the Jury of Award studied each one, taking into consideration the surroundings of the Tomb, the Amphitheater in which it is located and which serves as a background for it, and the final effect after the completed monument was in place. After going into the matter most carefully and thoroughly, the Jury finally recommended an anonymous design to be the winning one. When their decision had been reached a sealed envelope accompanying the design was opened and it was found that the winning design was the work of Thomas Hudson Jones, sculptor, and Lorimer Rich, Architect, of New York City.
The design selected was in the form of a sarcophagus, simple but impressive, and most appropriate for the purpose for which desired. The total height is 11 feet, the width is 8 feet at the base and 6 feet 8 inches at the top, and the length is 13 feet 11 inches at the base and 12 feet 7 inches at the top. The severity of the design is relieved by the Doric Pilasters in low relief at the corners and along the sides. The panel of the front, facing the City of Washington and the Potomac, has carved upon the marble a composition of three figures commemorative of the spirit of the Allies in the War. In the center of the panel stands "Victory", with her palm branch to reward the devotion and sacrifice that went with courage to make the cause of righteousness triumphant; on one side a male figure symbolizes "Valor" and on the other stands "Peace." Each of the sides is divided into three panels by Doric Pilasters, in each panel of which is carved an inverted wreath. On the back appears the inscription "Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God". This is the only inscription appearing on the Tomb.
The marble is the finest and whitest of American marble--Yule, Colorado, marble, and same as used in the Lincoln Memorial. The Tomb is made of only four pieces of marble--the die, which is all in one piece and one of the largest ever quarried, weighing over 50 tons; the base; the sub-base, and the capstone.
An appropriation from Congress for the work was secured and on December 21, 1929, a contract for completion of the Tomb itself was entered into.
In order to provide an appropriate setting for the Tomb when completed certain changes were necessary in the grounds, roadways and landscaping in the immediate vicinity of the Tomb. To accomplish this, plans were prepared to provide an elaborate approach from the East and on February 28, 1929, Congress authorized the construction of the necessary approaches to the Tomb.
Here are some other important facts about the
Arlington National Cemetary and :
of the Unknown Soldier
How many steps does the guard take during his
walk across the tomb of the Unknowns
It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which
is the highest honor given any
military or foreign
How long does he hesitate after his about face
to begin his return
walk and why?
21 seconds for the same reason as answer number
Why are his gloves wet?
His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his
grip on the rifle.
Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all
the time and,if not, why not?
He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path,he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.
How often are the guards changed?
Guards are changed every thirty minutes,
twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a
What are the physical traits of the guard
For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he
must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and
his waist size cannot exceed 30 inches.
They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb,
live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot
drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of
their lives. They cannot swear in public for the
rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the
uniform or the tomb in any way.
After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that
is worn on their lapel signifying they
served as guard of the tomb. There are only
400 presently worn. The guard must obey
these rules for the rest of their
lives or give up the wreath pin.
Their shoes are specially made with very thick soles
to keep the heat and cold from their feet.
There are metal heel plates that extend to
the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as
they come to a halt.
There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards
dress for duty in front of a full-length
The first six months of duty a
guard cannot talk to anyone nor
All off duty time is spent studying the 175
notable people laid
to rest in Arlington National Cemetery .
A guard must memorize who they are and where
they are interred. Among the notables are:
President Taft, and Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most
decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.
Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty..
ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.
In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was
approaching Washington , DC , our
US Senate/House took 2 days
off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC
evening news, it was reported that because of
the dangers from the
hurricane, the military
members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier were given permission
to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way,
Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the
pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that
guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment,
it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled
continuously, 24/7, since 1930.
May God Bless and keep them all as they risk their lives everyday
to protect us and defend our freedom.