Some Positive, Reassuring Stuff #5

Fourteen-year-old Ms. Zaila Avant-garde (if you’re wondering, that unusual name and the spelling are both correct) from Louisiana won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee.  What makes that extra special is that Zaila is the very first black winner.  In addition to being a long-time spelling wiz, she is also a great young female basketball player and hopes one day to play for Harvard.  Oh, and then she is also a unicyclist, and a medal-winning juggler (yes, she can juggle while riding!). This bright and multi-talented young American has a very promising future in store, and her accomplishments to-date make us all proud.

The Navy has announced that the very first female sailor has just completed the extremely demanding Naval Special Warfare training to become a Special Warfare Combatant Craft crewmember.  She will report now to a Special Boat Team whose mission is to deliver Navy SEALS on missions, as well as undertaking their own separate covert operations.  Said Rear Admiral Hugh Howard: “She and her fellow graduates (male!) have the opportunity to become experts in clandestine special operations, as well as manned and unmanned platforms to deliver distinctive capabilities to our Navy, and the joint force in defense of the nation.” For security reasons, the Navy did not identify by name this special female or any other graduates.

And sticking with our military, a recent Marine Corps basic training graduate, at Parris Island, South Carolina, had a unique family member there with him to witness his formal graduation ceremony.  The young Marine’s great-grandfather, 97-year-old Hershel Woody Williams, is well-known within the Corps in his own right.  You see, Mr. Williams served as a Marine corporal in World War II.  But there’s more beyond that distinction.  As a result of his combat bravery, Corporal Williams earned the Medal of Honor, presented to him in a 1945 ceremony by then-President Harry Truman!  Corporal Williams, facing a series of reinforced concrete Japanese pillboxes, “destroyed seven Japanese machine guns there, one by one, with the help of a flamethrower.”  According to his citation, he was “covered by only four riflemen, fighting for four-hours, under terrific enemy small-arms fire, repeatedly returning to his own lines to prepare demolition charges,” and to get fresh flamethrowers!! And you need to know one more very special fact about Mr. Hershel Woody Williams: He is the only living recipient of the Medal of Honor from World War II.  May he continue to enjoy good health and great happiness, and congratulations to his great-grandson, his proud family’s newest United States Marine.

A Georgia waitress, while heading home at about 9:30 PM after her shift, for a change of routine, decided to take a different route. That decision saved a life.  She came upon a fire off the road.  When she stopped to take a closer look, that fire was actually a car!  As she approached the vehicle, she could see an injured woman inside.  She called 911 then, struggling to get the woman past the inflated air bags, she managed to pull the woman out of that burning car.  “It was just instinct, you know maybe a motherly instinct, or maybe just the human instinct to help,” said that brave young lady.  The woman in the car had sustained several injuries, but she would survive, thanks to the caring, and the “instinct,” of a young woman heading home that night to her 14-month-old baby.

A 10-year-old boy was on vacation and enjoying a hotel pool in Fort Lauderdale when he happened to see a family friend who seemed to be struggling in the water.  That 38-eight-year-old woman was in definite distress, brought on by a health condition and was in danger of drowning.  The young man remembered that “I just saw her stop moving and I started to freak out.”  He jumped into the pool, got a hold of the woman, and managed to pull her down to the shallow end, then called for others around to come help lift her out of the pool.  First responders arrived and the woman was revived.  The young boy’s mom indicated that he had taken a swimming class which most certainly had helped.  Said she: “I couldn’t do that, so I am very proud.  He did a good thing.”  Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue personnel would later honor this fine young man for his life-saving action.

Going against student and faculty resistance, the University of Notre Dame has approved having a Chick-fil-A restaurant on campus!  Resistance, you see, because the restaurant chain’s CEO does not support same-sex marriage.  Despite some resistance, “Our students have overwhelmingly expressed a desire to have a Chick-fil-A restaurant on campus and we look forward to opening one early next year,” said the school.  Congratulations to Notre Dame University for not yielding to ‘woke,’ and standing strong behind its own traditional religious beliefs.

Members of the Israel Defense Force Home Front Command team were on the ground at the recent Surfside, Florida condominium collapse catastrophe.  They provided sophisticated computer imagery programming to hopefully help better determine where residents might be trapped within that shocking 12-story mound of rubble. The community had reserved hotel rooms for the Israeli team, but they turned them down.  “They want to stay in tents on the site. They’re here to work.”  Thanks from that Florida community, and from our nation, for the dedicated recovery experts who travelled here from Israel to assist with this traumatic human tragedy.

Twyanna Williams, a 65-year-old grandmother, recently graduated with her high school diploma from South Philadelphia High School, proudly never having missed a day of school.  To top it all off, she was also named the class valedictorian!  Ms. Williams had to drop out of school when she was 15, in order to work to help with family expenses when her parents divorced.  She spent 40-years working in ‘fast-food restaurants, factories, hotels, and hospitals.’  When she retired, she decided to go back for the diploma that she had always hoped of.  Said she: “I would like for the whole world to know that it’s never too late to go back to school, no matter what age you dropped out.”  Congratulations to this determined, role-model of a grandmother!

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has announced that it intends to remove over 100,000 ‘outdated’ names from the state’s voter rolls.  They are also removing over 18-thousand voter files of dead people!  In both cases, about damn time.  Although to be fair, Secretary Raffensperger contends that this office had also removed 300,000 ‘obsolete’ voter files prior to the 2020 election.  That being the case, then, it seems strange there wouldn’t have been a whole lot of publicity about that critical move back then.  If there was, then most of us apparently missed it. Credit to the Secretary for making these important voter integrity changes, past and present.  Hopefully the GA voter rolls will be screened once again prior to the 2021 election.

And finally, the Gary Sinise Foundation is celebrating ten-years of assisting America’s military men and women, and our treasured veterans.  In addition, Sinise has recently established an additional effort to serve those veterans dealing with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and substance abuse.  Hollywood’s Gary Sinise has been a great friend and fund-raiser for our military members in need, receiving little credit for his service work outside the military & veteran communities.  Said he: “Veterans in my own family, that’s where it starts.  I first got involved with supporting Vietnam veterans back in the ‘80’s.”  Gary Sinise is a true American blessing and hero, a rare bright light among the mostly dim bulbs among the West Coast entertainment community.


(Zaila stats via, Joe Morgan, 7-9-21; Female Special Warfare graduate stats via, Caitlin McFall, 7-16-21; Mr. Williams stats via The Epoch Times, Staff, 7-14-21; Burning car rescue data via, Staff, 6-25-21; Young boy saves a life data via, Staff, 7-3-21; Notre Dame decision data via, Misty Severi, 7-15-21; Israel recovery team data via, Penny Starr, 6-28-21;  Grandmother gets her diploma data via, Alana Mastrangelo, 6-19-21; Georgia voter rolls cleansed data via, Evie Fordham, 6-19-21; Gary Sinise anniversary data via, David Ng, 7-1-21).