Each year the citizens of Pilsen in the Czech Republic celebrate Liberation Festival to commemorate and say thank you to America who liberated the city in World War II.  After eight brutal years, the town of Pilsen revolted against the Nazis on May 5, 1945 and cleared the way for General George Patton and his United States Third Army to charge into Pilsen’s Republic Square on May 6, 1945.   

Before the Second World War, the nation of Czechoslovakia had been an independent and economically successful nation in Central Europe.  But in the 1930s, Germany and Russia threatened to take over the nation.  In 1938, Great Britain and France signed the Munich Treaty.  Pilsen and all of northwest Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland was transferred to the Nazis.  British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain and German Chancellor Adolph Hitler were nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.  As the thousands of residents of Pilsen fell under military control, Chamberlain told Europeans, “I believe it is peace for our time ... Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

American Land Forces Institute is reporting that just before America honored our veterans on Memorial Day, the New Jersey State Civil Service Commission, whose members are appointed by Governor Chris Christie, proposed changes that might restrict New Jersey's long standing “absolute veteran’s preference” in hiring of state workers.  Given that statutory veterans’ preferences have been available in all 50 states since the First World War One; any reduction in the New Jersey “earned” preference would be a troubling precedent in a time when substantial numbers of veterans are returning from war.

Steve McQueen, famously known as the “King of Cool”, is more than just the anti-hero persona presented in his movies; he also served honorably the United States Marine Corps from 1947 to 1950.

McQueen lived a rather tumultuous childhood that involved his father’s leaving him and his mother when he was just six months, living with his grandparents until he was eight, being physically abused by his step father, living life on the streets with his mother for a certain period, and being sent to the California Junior Boys Republic where he started to grow into the man he was supposed to be.

After jumping from one job to another, he joined the Marines. He was promoted to private first class quickly and was assigned to an armored unit as a tank driver. But because of repeatedly succumbing to his rebellious nature, he was busted back to private seven times. Shore patrol caught him after two weeks of staying with his girlfriend carrying an expired weekend pass resulting in unauthorized absence. He also resisted arrest which led to his spending time in brig for 41 days.

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