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Family of Garrett Walker hires attorney in wake of his death – WVUA23 – wvua23.com11.13.21

The family of Garrett Walker, the University of Alabama student who went missing early Sunday and was found dead Tuesday, has hired a local attorney as representation.

Josh Hayes with Prince, Glover and Hayes Law Firm hosted a news conference on behalf of the Walkers Wednesday, thanking the city of Tuscaloosa, first responders and the UA community for their support in the wake of Garretts disappearance.

The university was amazing from the jump on this, Hayes said on behalf of the Walkers. They were quick to offer help to the family. They were quick to offer help to the fraternity brothers and friends of Garrett that you saw piled up on the hill for a couple days.

UA Student Life brought folding chairs and tarps so students could sit comfortably, and provided food and beverages so those who were concerned could remain at the search.

Im awfully proud to be an alum, Hayes said.

Walker attended the Alabama vs. LSU game Saturday and was with friends at The Gray Lady, a local bar on Greensboro Avenue. He was last seen around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, but everything that happened after is a question his loved ones and investigators are looking to answer.

Anyone who was in the area the night that Garrett went missing, we need to hear from them, Hayes said. If you have information, please reach out. If you saw something or if you think you may have seen something, say something. We need the public to say something.

On Wednesday, Garretts family headed back home to Maryland with Garretts Jeep and his dog, Gunner. Before they left, Hayes said they had one wish to share.

Garrett lived a lot of life in his 20 years, Hayes said. We dont want him remembered for the way he died. We want him remembered for the way he lived. He was an incredible young man. His parents were very proud of him. His mother said it best that shes going to remember Garrett as a young man of faith. They told the of a tattoo on his body that his father wasnt pleased with, but he was pleased with the content of it. It was Joshua 1:9.

That verse reads: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Hayes said no lawsuit has been filed at this time.

A GoFundMe page initially set up to raise money for a reward on information in Walkers disappearance has thus far raised more than $65,000.

That money is going toward funeral expenses, but the remainder will be used to set up a Garrett Walker Memorial Scholarship.

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Long before donating his body to science, WWII vet lived in service to others: ‘a true patriot’ – The Advocate11.13.21

When the call came, David Saunders served. Over and over again, without question.

He turned 19 two days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Nearly eight decades later, he vividly remembered that day, which changed the course of American history and the course of his young life.

"I know exactly where I was,"he said in a 2019 taped interview at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans."I was dove-hunting with a 12-gauge shotgun."

When he learned about the attack after the hunting trip, he was incredulous.

"There goes my membership to the dove-hunting club," he recalled telling his buddies.

Saunders spent years serving his country during World War II and the Korean War, first in the Merchant Marine and later in the Army. He returned with a deep sense of patriotism that never subsided.

When he died from COVID in August, Saunders made one last sacrifice for his country, donating his body to science.

When Elsie Saunders signed a contract affirming her late husband wanted his body donated to science after his August death from COVID-19, she

But Elsie Saunders was horrified to learn last week that her late husband had actually been dissected before a paying audience in Oregon, even after she signed a contract that heavily implied a different outcome. The public spectacle betrayed his dying wishes and dishonored his memory, family members said.

And the discovery came just days before Veterans Day, making it even harder to swallow.

"This man was a true patriot, a true hero," said his great-nephew Hal Adkins. "To honor him and all the others, that's what I want to make sure we all do not just on Nov. 11, but every day."

After the recent gruesome events prompted national headlines about his death, relatives want to focus on how David Saunders lived.

A recent photo of David Saunders and his wife, Elsie Saunders.

He was born Dec. 5, 1922 and spent his early childhood on Magazine Street in New Orleans, then moved to Bogalusa with his family when his father became ill. His dad died years later, and Saunders ultimately dropped out of high school to help support the family.

He was newly married when he joined the Merchant Marine and boarded the SS Mayo Brothers in New Orleans, carrying some clothes and a Bible.

"I wouldn't have missed it," he said in the 2019 interview. "I was young, full of pee and vinegar."

David Saunders poses for a photograph in 1941, not long before he joined the Merchant Marine during World War II.

Though merchant mariners are often overlooked in historical accounts, the force suffered a higher rate of fatalities than other branches of the American military during WWII. Their mission was to deliver personnel, supplies and equipment overseas, but the voyages left them vulnerable to attacks, often from German submarines.

Not long after the SS Mayo Brothers embarked on its voyage, Saunders witnessed an attack on another American ship, which exploded and sank, he recalled in the interview. His captain had been worried about submarines hiding in murky waters where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf, but Saunders never figured out what, exactly, was behind the attack.

After traversing the Gulf, the crew passed through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific Ocean to Australia.

During a stop in India, Saunders unwittingly followed some older mariners to a brothel, but upon realizing the mistake, he turned around and walked back to the ship alone, his family said. Instead of engaging in debauchery that night, he got a tattoo: his wife's name inked across his forearm.

His ship later stopped in Egypt, where Saunders contracted a severe case of dysentery from something he ate.

He got so sick that he needed medical treatment, so the crew arranged for his admittance to a British hospital. Saunders said he would never forget how another mariner carried him down the gangplank to shore because he was too weak to walk.

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For seven weeks in the hospital, he largely subsisted off goat milk. Then he boarded another American ship, but the illness persisted. Ultimately, he was sent back home for more treatment. But before he arrived at a New Orleans hospital, Saunders recalled seeing penguins off the coast of South America and visiting a doctor in Trinidad.

After a decorated Louisiana World War II veteran died from COVID-19 in August, his widow tried to carry out his wishes by donating his body to

Saunders was discharged from the Merchant Marine and drafted into the Army soon thereafter, even though his health was still compromised, Elsie Saunders said.

"He didn't question it; he just went," she said. "It was a different time. What's lost nowadays is that patriotic attitude."

David Saunders was stationed at Army bases in Arkansas and Wyoming, completing training while still suffering from the lingering pain of his illness. He was later sent to the Pacific, where he worked as a railway electrician and helped transport Japanese prisoners of war near Manila.

Saunders saw his first combat in the Philippines, receiving minor injuries while some of his colleagues were killed.

"It wasn't pleasant," he said in 2019. "I thank God every day that I'm still here at 96 years old."

He recalled being stationed near a lake, where the soldiers would trade cigarettes for fish. He said they would coat the fish in clay, bury them underground and light a fire in the trenches. After the fire burned out overnight, the men would wake up to freshly cooked fish.

Saunders and his unit were training for an invasion of Japan when the war ended.

He returned to New Orleans, where he reunited with family and worked various jobs. But his civilian days were numbered: About five years after returning from World War II, he was drafted again, this time to fight in the Korean War.

He arrived in Korea during wintertime, when the weather was so cold that soldiers cut holes in their sleeping bags and wore them as coats because the arrival of their winter gear was delayed, Elsie Saunders said.

After about a year, Army officials realized David Saunders had been drafted in error, his widow recalled. Once again, he returned to New Orleans.

The body of Louisiana World War II veteran David Saunders, which was dissected before a paying audience in Oregon last month, was returned to

He faced some mental health concerns after his final discharge from the military, but "he just took off his uniform, picked up his tools and went to work," his widow said.

He eventually readjusted to civilian life: a devoted husband, hard-working professional and caretaker for his aging mother.

He spent 32 years at the Kaiser Aluminum plant in Chalmette, rising through the ranks to become general foreman.

Decades after returning home, he enjoyed telling lighthearted stories about his service, Elsie Saunders said stories about how the soldiers would steal bacon from the higher-ranking officers, how they drank warm sodas and dreamed of guzzling cold beer instead.

He was married to his first wife until she died in 2011, several years after they moved to Baker following Hurricane Katrina. He later married Elsie, his friend of more than six decades.

In his later years, Saunders almost never left the house without his signature baseball cap, proclaiming his service in World War II and Korea. Whether running errands or attending a family gathering, the cap was part of his look, along with a starched collared shirt and neatly trimmed goatee.

"That infernal hat," his widow said with a chuckle. "He didn't mind anybody knowing he was patriotic."

His decision to donate his body to science came as no surprise, she said. After all, David Saunders was no stranger to sacrifice.

Elsie Saunders laughs while her late husband, David Saunders, poses for a goofy picture.

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New Washington kicker Joey Slye shares story behind tattoo honoring late brother – NBC Sports11.13.21

Washington's newest placekicker Joey Slye already expects to have a lot of ticket requests for his debut against the Buccaneers this Sunday.

Slye, who went to high school in Northern Virginia and played his college football at Virginia Tech, signed with the Washington Football Team earlier this week after Chris Blewitt was released. A heavy contingent of family and friends are expected to be in the stands at FedEx Field in support of the 25-year-old kicker.

Family is a big part of Slye's life, especially his relationship with his late brother, A.J. Slye has a large tattoo on his right shoulder depicting him and his brother joined at the hands on a football field.

"This is the last time me and my brother playing on the same field together, so this is a pretty important picture to me," Slye told reporters Wednesday.

Joey and A.J. spent two seasons as teammates at North Stafford High School in Virginia. During A.J.'s senior year (Joey's sophomore season) in 2012, the team made it all the way to the state semifinal, only to lose on the final play. It's the backdrop to Slye's incredibly detailed tattoo.

Not long after, A.J. was diagnosed with leukemia. He died 14 months later in November of 2014.

"When he passed away, I was holding his hand. I was holding him in my right hand, so right-hand man, he's on my right arm."

Washington will be Slye's third team so far this season. He spent the first three weeks of the year with Houston and then jumped over to San Francisco for three games before getting released once Robbie Gould returned from injury.

Through six games, Slye is 11-for-13 on his field goals and 9-for-12 on extra points. The longest kick he has this season is 56 yards, and he's made both of his attempts beyond 50 yards this season.

Slye will be Washington's third kicker this season after releasing Dustin Hopkins after Week 6 and Chris Blewitt after two games.

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Two California Men Charged In Phony PAC Robocall Scheme That Targeted Both Trump and Clinton Voters In 2016 – SFist11.13.21

Three men, two from California and one from Texas, were indicted by the federal government last week in an alleged $3.5 million fraud scheme in which they collected small donations via robocalls targeting American voters in 2016.

The trio, Matthew Nelson Tunstall, 34, of Los Angeles; Robert Reyes Jr., 38, of Hollister; and Kyle George Davies, 29, of Austin, allegedly solicited contributions to two scam political action committees or PACs, Liberty Action Group PAC and Progressive Priorities PAC. According to an announcement from the DOJ, the three men were indicted on November 2, and the indictment was unsealed on Tuesday.

According to the indictment, the three used the scam PACs to "enrich themselves directly," and comically, there was just a pittance that was donated to a legitimate candidate's committee.

"Of the approximately $3.5 million raised by Liberty Action Group and Progressive Priorities, only approximately $19 were distributed to any candidates authorized campaign committee or to any political cause," the indictment states.

Tunstall and Reyes "are also alleged to have laundered more than $350,000 in illegal proceeds from the scheme through a third-party vendor to conceal the use of those funds for their own benefit," the feds say.

Tunstall is an LA-based, self-styled influencer, as the New York Times reports, whose Instagram handle is Matte Nox he lists himself there as an "executive producer" and "award-winning writer." Hilariously and ironically, one of Tunstall/Nox's handful of photos shows him naked and thirst-trapping, with a tattoo across his chest that says "God Will Give Me Justice." Either God or the DOJ will, my friend!

CNN reported on Tunstall/Nox back in July, noting his lavish lifestyle and how two other scam PACs that he apparently started in 2018 and 2019, Support American Leaders and Campaign to Support the President, together raised $3.4 million it's not clear if that's on top of the $3.5 million mentioned in the indictment relating to the 2016 PACs, or what. The majority of the PACs income, CNN reported via their filings, came from retirees and some of that was reaped from robocalls in which someone impersonated Donald Trump. CNN had been on to Tunstall back in early 2019, which led to the Trump campaign issuing a disavowal notice that was attached to the Support American Leaders official public record.

And the scam wasn't just on small donors Tunstall allegedly scammed the feds too! The Daily Beast reports that Support American Leaders also got itself a Paycheck Protection Program loan last year.

The 2016 PACs, Liberty Action Group PAC and Progressive Priorities PAC, used audio clips of Trump and Clinton, respectively, on robocalls seeking small "emergency" donations, according to the indictment. The calls also promised signed photos of the candidate "suitable for framing" for donations of $1,000 or more.

Tunstall and Reyes now face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to make a false statement to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), as well as multiple counts of wire fraud, and multiple counts of money laundering. Davies is charged with conspiracy commit wire and to make a false statement to the FEC, and multiple counts of wire fraud.

Tunstall made his initial federal court appearance on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Reyes made his first appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California today (possibly at the courthouse at the Philip Burton Federal Building in SF), and Davies appeared in court in the Western District of Texas. If convicted of all counts, the DOJ says, Tunstall and Reyes both face a maximum total penalty of 125 years in prison, and Davies faces a maximum total penalty of 65 years in prison.

Top image: A view of the Phillip Burton Federal Building on August 23, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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For the love of God, stop showing photos of vaccine needles – Los Angeles Times11.13.21

To the editor: Why, oh why, does it seem that nearly every piece written about the urgency of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 features a picture of someone getting jabbed? Particularly now when we want children, who fear needles the most, to get protected, why were there two such pictures in the Nov. 9 paper?

One was in the first section showing a child clearly scared as the needle approaches his arm; the other on the front page of the California section showed someone holding onto the hand of her brother as she was being vaccinated. Even grown-up people like me, an 81-year-old grandma, still cringe at the word shot.

So how about showing a picture of the lollipop or tattoo sticker prize after the needle has been withdrawn? While those bribes didnt quite fool my sons, at least they knew they had something to look forward to when it was over.

It might work for reluctant adults too.

Pat Holmes, San Pedro


To the editor: Ive always questioned the intelligence of the patriots who deny science, refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine and protest about their rights.

Well, I recently got my answer looking at a photo in the Nov. 9 Times showing a protester holding a sign stating that mandates without exemptions are a violation of our 14th Contitutional Amendment.

I wrote that correctly. If this person cannot spell Constitution, the fundamental legal document for our great nation, how can he have any understanding of the rights provided in it?

Kathi Weiner, Dana Point

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Visitors to Joshua Tree are bringing the desert home on their bodies – SFGate11.13.21

A photo grid app shows different angles of this Joshua tree and flowers tattoo, inked by Instagram user @doctah_jones.

When coming or going from Joshua Tree National Park, you may notice a tattoo shop on the side of the road in Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. Then another one. Then several more. As it turns out, Southern Californias high desert is a heavily tattooed area.

The clientele varies, with plenty of locals and people from the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base. Then there are those who come to visit Joshua Tree, fall under the spell of the desert and decide that theyd like to bring some part of it home on their bodies.

Tattoo artists have a lot to say about these customers.


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Hiking fatality adds more tragedy to Death Valley National Park. A missing hiker was found dead not far from a popular scenic area in the park, adding to its unusually high death toll this year. Read more.

Last week's top story:

SF app AllTrails lists dangerous shortcut to Bay Areas best waterfall. SFGATE editor-in-chief Grant Marek set out to write a feature story about Alamere Falls, the Bay Areas most incredible waterfall. But then the AllTrails hiking app suggested that he take a treacherous shortcut. Marek wondered, how responsible is the largest hiking app in the world for the safety of hikers? Read our story here.

California Parklands is curated by California Parks editor Ashley Harrell. Contact her at

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Here Are the Red Flags to Avoid When You Visit a Tattoo Shop – menshealth.com11.13.21

Ben Birchall - PA ImagesGetty Images

THE MAIN reason I dont have any tattoos is simple: I grew up with an understanding that if I ever decided to get one, I couldnt be buried in Jewish graveyard. Never mind that Im not a practicing Jew and I dont have strong opinions about what will happen to my body when I die (maybe a mushroom suit, but why not keep your options open?). Still, this deeply held belief relayed from my Jewish grandmother to my Jewish dad to me was enough to psychologically imprint an intense aversion to...imprint anything on my skin.

So when my editor suggested I go scope out a tattoo parlor for a beginners guide to getting inked, I was more than a little bit skeptical I was being set up. You dont have to get a tattoo, he assured me, but all I could think of was walking into a shop, introducing myself to its proprietor, and being swiftly forced into a chair and walking out with what I believed to be Know Thyself in Sanskrit on my bicep only to later realize it actually says You Got Played, Idiot.

To quell some of my anxieties about the whole scenario, I jumped on Zoom with Dr. Matt Lodder, a tattoo expert and senior lecturer in art history and theory at the University of Essex. There are so many great tattooists now and its so accessible that there's no excuse for a bad one, Lodder says.

All those options mean you shouldnt just walk into the first shop closest to your home. Commissioning a tattoo is like commissioning a painting, Lodder says. Youve got to link up with the right artists to bring your vision to life. He suggests going to Instagramnot Yelpto help connect with your epidermal Michelangelo. Find the artist you like and travel, or see who they follow [on Instagram] if they're coming through your town. There's no point cutting corners and going to someone closer or cheaper.

Ben Birchall - PA ImagesGetty Images

In fact, low prices can be a major red flag. Cheap tattoos aren't good and good tattoos aren't cheap, Lodder says. The same goes for availability. Good tattoo artists will have waiting lists, Lodder says, and despite the stigma of tattoos being a drunken impulse, patience is a virtue for the tattoo-curious.

There are a few other signs a tattoo shop is a good tattoo shop: its got an autoclave (a sterilization tool), its clean and organized, and its clientele are of legal age (never trust a tattoo parlor with a reputation for giving tattoos to minors, Lodder cautions). But most importantly, its giving off Good Vibes. Even if youre a little nervous about getting your first tattoo, a real pro will help you feel comfortable and understand that tattoos are a collaborative process.

With my mind at ease, I decided to go check out some tattoo shops IRL, but much to my dismay (read: delight), most of them werent taking walk-ins due to the Delta variant.

Ah well, what a shame! I guess its just another day to make my Bubbe proud.

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Is San Angelo for the Island Boys? – San Angelo LIVE!11.13.21

Some took it as jokes while other "gangsters" took it to heart.

"Ive never heard of yall bull s--ta--set and Im from San Angelo tx you wanna claim s--tus big dogs can show you whats up," stated one commenter.

Others took to the humor and some even took a jab at the San Angelo bangers. "Reading all the comments I can see a lot people dont know how to take a joke," stated another commenter. "Yall are from Angelo acting like yall from Compton. You know most businesses use a thing called Marketing. Its a joke and I see the humor in it."

As for Dreams Don't Die, they benefitedoff of their viral post that was seen by more than 20,000 Facebook users.

The Island Boys, made up of Flyysoulja andKodiyakredd, got famous after a viral video of the two rapping. Check out the video below.

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Local family reunited with World War II Purple Heart – Addison County Independent11.13.21

MONKTON During the summer of 1945, an Allied victory over Japan seemed imminent enough that Frank Darling, 55, of Caldwell, Idaho, felt the urge to celebrate in advance. After all, his three sons, Dale (27), Elden (25) and Clay (20), had survived the war and would soon be coming home.

Tragically, that celebration never got under way.

On or about July 28, it is believed that Aviation Radioman 3rd Class Clay D. Darling who had enlisted in the Navy upon graduating high school and who had been stationed in the Pacific theater on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Randolph took off in a torpedo bomber piloted by Lt. Claire T. Williams of Wisconsin, and never returned.

The events of that raid are echoing through the years and the miles in Addison County this month.

The airplanes on that mission had been tasked with attacking Japanese submarines moored near the Kure naval port, just south of Hiroshima, as part of a larger assault on the Japanese Imperial Navy and shipping networks.

Japanese naval strength had by then been so crippled that it was deemed a minor threat, but the attack on Kure went forward, in part because a number of Japanese ships anchored there had been deployed in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

MONKTON RESIDENT WAYNE Darling displays these photos of his uncle Clay Darling, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy right out of high school. Clay Darling fought and died in the Pacific Theater of World War II, serving on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Randolph.Independent photo/Steve James

On Aug. 6, nine days after Clay Darlings last known flight, the U.S. detonated an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. On Aug. 9, the U.S. detonated another A-bomb, this one over Nagasaki. And on Aug. 15, less than three weeks after Darling was presumed to have been shot down, Japan surrendered.

Darling, Williams and several other soldiers listed as Missing in Action after the attacks on Kure and the Inland Sea were officially declared dead on July 29, 1946, according to

The Purple Heart awarded to Clay D. Darling, for being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces, would have been presented to Darlings parents, Frank and Mabel Darling.

What happened to the medal after that is a matter of conjecture, but thanks to the detective work of a couple of veterans, along with coordination between two American Legion posts, its about to make its way back to the Darling family in Vermont, more than 75 years after it would have been presented.

RONALD LAROSE, COMMANDER of American Legion Post 19 in Bristol, right, recently receives World War II veteran Clay Darlings Purple Heart, which was separated from Darlings family. Legion Post 133 Commander Bryan Moore presents the medal in the Maricopa, Ariz., tattoo shop that played a key role in the story.

Ronald LaRose, commander of the American Legion Post 19 in Bristol and, until recently, the Department of Vermont Legion Commander, got an unusual phone call this past August.

Bryan Moore, commander of American Legion Post 133 in Maricopa, Ariz., told LaRose he had come into possession of Clay Darlings Purple Heart and had identified a member of Darlings family his nephew, Wayne Darling, of Monkton.

If he got the medal to LaRose could LaRose get it to Wayne Darling?

Coincidentally, it so happened that LaRose and his wife, Connie, were heading to Arizona already, for the National American Legion Convention in Phoenix.

So on Sept. 3, an American Legionnaire picked up the LaRoses in Phoenix and drove them to Maricopa, 41 miles to the south.

There was nothing but desert, cacti and wild horses along the way, Connie LaRose recalled.

But instead of traveling to Post 133, they stopped at a tattoo parlor.

It turns out that sometime during the mid- to late-1990s, an artist named Nick Sanchez had accepted Clay Darlings Purple Heart as payment for his work. Whether or not it was a member of the Darling family who paid with the medal is unclear.

Sanchez placed it in some box or other and forgot about it, LaRose said. Then, several years ago, after the artist had bought a building in Maricopa and started a tattoo shop there, his receptionist U.S. Navy veteran Ruth Strickengloss found it.

You know we need to get this back to the family, she told Sanchez, according to a Sept. 4 story by Fox 10 Phoenix.

Strickengloss wrote a post about the medal on her veterans Facebook page, LaRose said, and a fellow Legionnaire named Jim Bussey responded and ran with it.

Using military, census and various online records, Bussey reconstructed Clay Darlings story, but he couldnt find a living relative, he said in his summary of the story, which LaRose shared with the Independent.

Eventually, Bussey connected with someone building a Darling family tree on, who connected him with Wayne Darling.

AVIATION RADIOMAN 3RD Class Clay Darling was stationed on the U.S.S. Randolph in the Pacific in 1945 when his plane went down during a mission. His nephew Wayne Darling of Monkton happened to visit the ship during the 1960s, where he saw a plaque naming his uncle.

When Wayne Darling was growing up in Idaho, there wasnt a lot of discussion about his Uncle Clay, he recalled.

I knew Id had an uncle who had died at the end of World War II, but my family didnt have much interest in revisiting the topic of a fallen son, he said.

During the mid-1960s, as part of his ROTC training, Wayne Darling had spent three months on the U.S.S. Randolph, the aircraft carrier his uncle had served on 20 years earlier and discovered on its hangar deck a brass plaque dedicated to service members who were lost while serving on that ship. His uncle Clays name was inscribed there.

But Wayne Darling hadnt known about his uncles Purple Heart.

Its recent resurfacing has sparked a little bit of family research and quite a bit of electronic chatter about my uncle, his Purple Heart and which family members might have had the medal, Darling said.

U.S. NAVY SERVICEMAN Clay D. Darling was presumed killed in action when the airplane he was in failed to return from a mission to sink Japanese submarines in a harbor near Hiroshima just nine days before the atomic bomb attack. The Navy issued this Purple Heart medal to his parents, and this week it will find its way to his nephew in Monkton.

But now, the medal is going to come back to the family, he said. Which is good.

It was Wayne Darling who told the Independent about his grandfather Frank and the end-of-war celebration that was over before it started.

On Thursday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, at American Legion Post 19 in Bristol, Cmdr. LaRose will officially return ARM-3C Clay D. Darlings Purple Heart to the Darling family.

Wayne Darling, with his wife, Peggy looking on, and his sister and her family in attendance, will accept it.

The engraving on the back indicates it was the original medal presented to Frank and Mabel Darling more than 75 years ago replacement medals dont carry the name and rank, noted Post 19 Adjutant Alan Smith Sr.

Such medals usually mean more to the families than to the service members, Smith said. As the old saying goes, a medal and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee. But for a family, something like a Purple Heart often represents a tangible, final memory of a fallen soldier.

LaRose feels honored to be a part of returning Clay Darlings medal to a family member.

Our job is to advocate for our veterans, LaRose said. When youve been in the military it doesnt matter which branch, its a fraternity, the medals are the same. When something like this comes up, this is what we do to bring closure.

For more information about the Purple Heart visit

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The Coast Guard is the last armed service to wave the white flag on tattoos – Federal News Network11.13.21

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The Coast Guard regularly takes on smugglers and drug traffickers in roiling seas. But even the nations first line of defense has yielded to a seemingly irresistible force right here in the U.S., namely the desire for would-be recruits to cover themselves with tattoos. So, its revised its policy. Federal Drive with Tom Temin talked about it with the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Recruiting Command, Capt. Richter Tipton.

Tom Temin: Captain Tipton, good to have you on.

Capt. Richter Tipton: Hey, thanks for having me here.

Tom Temin: So the Coast Guard, I guess, is the last of the armed services really to, if youll pardon the expression, fall in line with new revised tattoo policies. Is it basically a recruiting issue for the Coast Guard?

Capt. Richter Tipton: Well, yes, actually. So let me first start by saying that the Coast Guard is hiring. And were offering a ton of pay and benefits, as well as job satisfaction to the top talent of our country. And frankly, the talent of today doesnt really look like the talent of years past. So modifying our policies and bringing in folks that have tattoos that may not formerly had been accepted is one of the ways that we can reach better talent and more talent and get those folks into the Coast Guard so they can serve our nation.

Tom Temin: And describe the new policy for us. What can people have for ink versus what they could have before?

Capt. Richter Tipton: So were now authorizing one tattoo behind one ear, that is an inch by an inch, thats a new location for us. Were also authorizing a one by one inch tattoo on each hand, on the hand itself. And then on one finger from the first knuckle to the end of the finger, which is a new policy, before it was between the first and the second knuckle. So that allows us to bring in a few more folks that we normally would have, without compromising what we believe to be a professional look inside the military.

Tom Temin: Sure, because ordinarily, on the rest of the body, I guess, you wouldnt see them anyway, in normal circumstances when theyre interacting with the public or whatever.

Capt. Richter Tipton: Thats exactly right. So we do authorize tattoos on the other parts of the body that are not visible under the uniform, thats fine for us. Also, this policy is a new policy in that it allows for the finger tattoo to be visible in what we call the position of attention. So with your hands at your sides, fingers in a natural curl, you could actually be able to see the tattoo. So thats new for us. Its a minor change, but we think its going to pay big dividends.

Tom Temin: And what about sleeves that go all the way down, say to the wrist? Are those allowable?

Capt. Richter Tipton: Sure, we authorized that, absolutely. So you can have a sleeve all the way down to the wrist. Its basically if you were to flex your hand back, and youll see creases appear between your wrist and your arm, you can have sleeves down to the first crease.

Tom Temin: And for people that are already in then, they can add to the level allowed by the policy.

Capt. Richter Tipton: Right. So this is not just an assertions policy, its a change to the Coast Guard tattoo policy. Now Im pretty certain that most Coasties arent gonna run out and get brand new tattoos and the locations, but I mean it is authorized.

Tom Temin: Because in the Navy, and to some extent in the Army, at least one tattoo has been the cultural norm for decades since World War II, maybe before you get one on the forearm and anchor or something. And that was pretty much it for life. How about in the Coast Guard, is there a rite of passage in the Coast Guard thats marked by a tattoo?

Capt. Richter Tipton: Well, I think that may have been historically accurate. But I think now tattoos are more of creative self expression. So were seeing a difference in the younger generation. Theyre no longer, its not a rite of passage so much as it is a demonstration of their own expression of self.

Tom Temin: Were speaking with Captain Richter Tipton. Hes commanding officer of the Coast Guard Recruiting Command. And did you consult or look at the other military services policies before establishing this one?

Capt. Richter Tipton: We are familiar with the other services policies. And I think a side by side comparison, youd see that the Navy has a less restrictive policy, and we do, we fall in behind the Navy as far as restrictiveness goes, and then the other services are more restrictive.

Tom Temin: And this has been kind of creeping out from beneath the collar and beneath the short sleeve for some time now. I think theres been a few revisions say in the Army in recent years. But at some point, do you see this ever stopping? Because gangs, MS-13, some horrible people in the world are marked by their faces covered, their heads covered, you see some pretty scary looking situations. So at some point, do you anticipate saying thats it, thats as far as you can go?

Capt. Richter Tipton: I do. And I think this current policy allows for an increased self expression by the individual while still maintaining professional military appearance, and what would you would come to expect from not only an armed service, but also a law enforcement agency. So we go through particular pains to make sure that all of the tattoos that our members have do not violate our core values. That is theres no tattoos that represent racism, discrimination, indecency, extremist or supremist philosophies. We go through a lot of pains to make sure that we dont have tattoos that fall into those categories.

Tom Temin: Yep, theres that gray area, say skulls and snakes and daggers. Where do they fall?

Capt. Richter Tipton: Well, its a case by case basis when you start to get there in the gray area. So what we would ask is that if youre interested in joining the Coast Guard, that you come to a Coast Guard recruiting office, and well look at your tattoos and if we have some questions, and we can take pictures and send them up to myself, and then if I still have concerns, well send them over to the policy shop for final adjudication.

Tom Temin: Sure. And how do you get the word out, say, or do you get the word out to tattoo parlors? Because the ones Ive been in, youre not going to find too much information on military policy. And I admit, Ive got a couple small ones myself, as much as my wife would allow. But can you get the word out so that perhaps some of the places near recruiting stations or in the big cities can advise people, well, if youre thinking of enlisting, dont do this?

Capt. Richter Tipton: Thats a fantastic question. And I think we probably do need to reach out to our friends in those industries and let them know what the left-right limits are for our people so that we dont inadvertently give someone a tattoo that later they either have to remove or would be disqualifying.

Tom Temin: Yeah. What about removal? Is there any benefit from the Coast Guard for the removal costs or thats on your own dime?

Capt. Richter Tipton: Thats usually on your own dime. We have not authorized at this point, any sort of government expenditure for removing tattoos, but we do recommend that if theres a tattoo thats concerning, that you begin the tattoo removal process, and well work with you. Because, I mean, frankly, enlisting in the United States military takes some time. So there is some time on the table. And we can work with the individual to work with the tattoo removal process. And in many cases, youre never going to get the tattoo completely removed. So we can monitor progress and say, yep, thats where we think thats good enough for us and well process you in.

Tom Temin: I guess, in dress situations, or situations that might be publicly viewed, theres always pancake makeup, doesnt always have to go on the face.

Capt. Richter Tipton: True. But that would not be something that were looking at. We hold the line pretty hard on where the tattoos are located and we go very closely to the policy, which is why we think this policy change is actually pretty solid for us. We like where its at. We think this opens up the aperture for some folks that normally would have self disqualified, maybe even presented themselves to a recruiting office, and were disqualified because of violation of policy. Now, we think that well be able to bring those folks into the Coast Guard.

Tom Temin: And how is recruiting going generally for the Coast Guard?

Capt. Richter Tipton: Well, its a tough environment out there. I mean, the pandemic has limited our access to what would normally be recruiting areas, we call them COIs, or communities of interest, centers of interest and centers of influence. And we would probably characterize this as a very tough recruiting environment. My recruiting goal this year is 4,200, which is an increase over years past. So were working hard and diligently with my 56 officers and 334 folks in the field to fill that need.

Tom Temin: And just an off the wall question, how do you distinguish to a recruit between the Navy and the Coast Guard? Because externally, they see boats that you get on.

Capt. Richter Tipton: Sure. Well, the Navy and the Coast Guard share a lot of similarities. I mean, we have a lot of the same rates, job description for folks out there. But the Coast Guard has a mission here domestically, as well as internationally. So we believe that our mission is to sail, that if you saw what the Coast Guard does day to day, every day youre on a boat, every day youre on a ship every day, youre making a difference. I mean, the Navy has a defense mission as well. And they also are hiring so the Coast Guards also hiring. And in addition to those pay and benefits, we offer job satisfaction that is incomparable to the others.

Tom Temin: So grey hall or white hall, its still great work.

Capt. Richter Tipton: It really is. And in either service, youll make a great difference every day.

Tom Temin: Captain Richter Tipton is commanding officer of the Coast Guard Recruiting Command. Thanks so much for joining me.

Capt. Richter Tipton: Yes sir, absolutely. Its been a pleasure being here.

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The Coast Guard is the last armed service to wave the white flag on tattoos - Federal News Network

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