By Loudoun Insider

For God’s sakes, I know what Memorial Day is all about.  I don’t need emails from self promoters like Dick Black and frigging John Whitbeck telling me how much it means to them and trying to prove their all-American-ness.  At least DB served in Vietnam, but of all days this shouldn’t be a day of self-promotion.


  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    I got the Dick Black email and was so disgusted I unsubscribed. It was all about him and his service.

    That kind of self promotion dishonors our soldiers.

  • BlackOut says:

    Memo to Dick Black: IT’S MEMORIAL DAY, as in remember those who gave their lives for our country. If you want to pat yourself on the back wait till Veterans Day. You should have just made a memorial to Lt Carley and left yourself out of it.

    What a ridiculous claim to say he was the first marine to volunteer for combat in Vietnam. Ego!

    Now don’t get me wrong; about the only thing I give Black credit for is serving in the military and for that I am grateful. What I find repulsive is his constant need to embellish it.

  • BlackOut says:

    We’ll need Wolverine to take a reading on the photo and confirm or explain why the identified Dick Black in the photo looks to be wearing a private strip on his right sleeve.

  • Elder Berry says:

    Dick Black give me the creeps. LIke Eugene does.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    Dick who?

  • I’ll admit, it bothers me some that Memorial Day has essentially become another Veteran’s Day. And this is the reason why: although I would never describe myself as coming from a military family, the reality is, if you come from certain parts of the country, your family almost certainly served/serves in the military. I’m from West Virginia, and my husband from Western PA, so we are those people. Nearly all of my uncles and half of my second cousins served, as did both grandfathers. In my family, there is an unbroken line of soldiers going back to King Philips War in New England, long before the US existed. My husband’s father, his uncle, his half-brother, and two first cousins served, one of whom recently returned (safely, thankfully) from Iraq.

    But, none of us ever lost a family member during a war. And it seems to me that what we are honoring on Memorial Day is different from what we honor on Veteran’s Day. Our families made sacrifices, but not the ultimate one, and there isn’t any pretending otherwise without, in my opinion, being rather insensitive. And it is for BOTH sacrifices that we have separate days, and that is a good thing both for our military, and for us as civilians.

  • NateDogg614 says:


    Whereabouts from Western PA, if you don’t mind my asking (I grew up in that part of the country). 🙂

  • Ben Dover says:

    You just go and lay your hand –
    On a Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan –
    And I think you’re gonna finally understand.

    Charlie Daniels – “In America”

  • I grew up in Pittsburgh in the 1970’s (I’m from Beaver Falls, my husband is from North Versailles/McKeesport) and 80’s, so I come by my passion for Steeler football, Penguin hockey and Pirate baseball honestly. And for every bit of bragging I get to do for the first two, I pay for it with the Pirates!

    Oddly, my “second” baseball team was always the Montreal Expos, so when they became the Washington Nationals, it worked out perfectly!

  • Leej says:

    I designed a home for Mean Joe Green in Dallas Texas where he lived back then. I was still in high school when I designed the home. My friends family had a high end clothing store were I met him. He was so big they had to move the buttons out on the shirts he bought which were triple ex and usually when you bought these shirts you wore one size down, but not mean Joe Green . ha ha 🙂

  • Dulles Voter says:

    Hi Gretchen. I grew up on the other side of Pittsburgh (Allison Park) also in the 70’s and 80’s. Always nice to meet someone from “home”

  • Elder Berry says:

    Hey, yunz, that’s Stillers, please. Let’s red up this place. Any of yunz need a gumban’ or a chipped ham sammich?

  • Wolverine says:

    BO — I found the photo. Had to look for it, since, unlike you guys, I am not on Dick’s private mailing list. Tweak!!

    The guy on the far right looks to be wearing a USMC Private First Class chevron on his service shirt sleeve. I would posit that Dick Black is the guy in the back with the aviator glasses — also “to the right” of Lt. Carley.

    I wish you guys would not be so quick to jump on something like this, despite your opposing political views. It looks to me like Dick was offering a personalized Memorial Day tribute to a close friend lost in combat. Maybe it aggravates your highly tuned political antennae, but losing a close friend in combat is not something easily forgotten — often for a lifetime. Cut him a break. Some things are best left alone. Especially a vet remembering the saddest part of war.

    There is a bond that builds,, especially among those with a direct common experience. When the circle is broken, it can hurt for a long time. I had a close cousin-in-law who was also a USMC chopper pilot in Nam. He was landing his craft in the middle of a live fight to evacuate wounded when he saw a rocket headed right for the windscreen. Instead of jumping to safety, he first reached over and pushed his unaware co-pilot out the other side of the chopper. Then he jumped and barely made it himself. Bronze Star. On the day I arrived in Saigon, I picked up Stars and Stripes. There was the story, complete with a photo of cuz’s husband. I’m just sayin’, fellas. There is a strong bond there. Please don’t play around with it. Semper fi!

  • Wolverine says:

    Maybe, since the subject is Memorial Day, you all ought to know how Mike Carley died. It was 1967. He was the co-pilot of an UH34D — the Marines called it a “Hus” – on a mission ferrying about eight marines to a hot landing zone. They hit low cloud cover. Since Mike had been there before, he told his pilot that they would have to go in low. His words were: “tree top tall and balls to the wall.”

    Those were reportedly Mike’s last words. A single shot penetrated the wind screen, hit him in the face, and killed him instantly. The next shot hit the pilot, who had to crash land the Hus with only one leg and a wounded door gunner. Once on the ground, the Marines from the Hus and the other two choppers set up a perimeter until they could all be lifted out. But they couldn’t get Mike’s body out of the cockpit. As they lifted off, they saw a Marine HU-1E — a “Huey” — swoop down toward the stricken chopper. It took three members of the Huey crew to get Mike’s body out of the armored Hus cockpit. That is something about the US Marines. They don’t like to leave their people behind.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Just as with Steve Snow, who I also couldn’t stand, I appreciate Black’s service to our country. That doesn’t mean he gets a free pass forever.

  • NateDogg614 says:

    Good stuff! I grew up in Erie County and went to college outside of Pittsburgh (SVC in Latrobe). I’m still very much the Steelers fan (although I also root for the Redskins) although the Pirates never really grew on me (to be fair the Indians did not either). My wife’s very much the Yankees fan so I count them as my favorite team along with the Nationals.

  • BlackOut says:

    Wolverine, you should have advised Black on how to pay tribute on Memorial Day to a fallen comrade.

    Unfortunately, Black exploited the bond to send out a political email to a political mailing list. I would guess he had dozens of other comrades he personally could have mentioned, but this was one he found a picture of. I would think Lt. Carey’s other comrades would feel the same. There are 58,271 souls from Vietnam that should benefit from an email before Black even thinks of using it for his own political exploitation. We shouldn’t let him off the hook for that.

    If Black didn’t have a character flaw of exaggerating and lying about his history or his achievements, I would cut him the benefit of the doubt. Black doesn’t get that.

  • Wolverine says:

    BO — I would suggest dropping this. Dick Black and Mike Carley were chopper pilots in MAG 26. That Marine air group was and is located in North Carolina with responsibility for amphibious operations in the Atlantic, Med, Caribbean, and Middle East. I cannot say this for certain, but I would wager that, when LBJ gave the order to the USMC to go into Vietnam, the Corps began immediately to ask for volunteer chopper pilots. Looks to me like Dick and Mike were the first to answer that call. As members of MAG 26, they were group mates, maybe squadron mates, maybe even cockpit partners. I don’t know. But they raised their hands and went to war together. One came home, and the other did not. Now the guy who came home, like many another veteran, can stand in front of the Wall and wonder what twist of fate dictated that he was to live and his buddy was to die.

    Perhaps the caption in Dick’s email doesn’t merit a Pultizer. I would have worded it a bit differently. But, having been there, I saw immediately in that first sentence that Dick was trying to memorialize a buddy and explain why that buddy meant so much to him personally. Sometimes you are just compelled by memories to do that. But to suggest, as one poster did, that, by sending this email, Dick somehow “dishonors our soldiers,” is way out there in my opinion. Don’t know how you could even intimate that from this short email.

    I put that account of Mike Carley’s death up there for good reason. Dick flew 269 chopper missions in Vietnam. In every one of those missions he could have met the same fate as Mike Carley. There was a time when I was on river patrol on the Cua Viet. The Marine base at Khe San, not too far away, was under heavy assault. The Marine choppers carrying out the wounded and dead were flying so low over me that I could almost read the part numbers on those craft. No matter how deep your political differences may be, you just do not go on a blog and accuse people who did things like that of dishonoring their comrades. I would say to let this pass, no matter how much you may dislike Dick Black the Politician.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Well, don’t worry, Senator Richard Black is going to save us all from our traffic nightmares:

    Traffic Relief for Commuters on Route 7 and Waxpool Road
    Loudoun County is on the verge of fixing two of its biggest traffic problems: tie-ups on Waxpool Road and Route 7.

    Senator Black has been working with Supervisor Shawn Williams, the Secretary of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, and Manager Mike Smith of Kincora Development to obtain an $80 million bank loan from the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (VTIB).

    If the loan application is approved at the CTB’s June 8th meeting, that loan will fully fund completion of Gloucester Parkway and Pacific Boulevard in Loudoun County.

    This project will shorten the commutes of more motorists in Loudoun County than any other transportation projects under consideration today.

    The two principal east-west corridors in Loudoun County are Route 7 and Waxpool Road. These roads carry approximately 73,000 and 45,000 cars each day respectively. Both roads become congested during peak hours. Gloucester Parkway is a third east-west corridor which, like Route 7 and Waxpool Road, connects to the highly-effective Route 28 corridor which carries traffic north and south.

    Since it runs midway between Route 7 and Waxpool, Gloucester’s completion will relieve enormous congestion on both roads. For example, Waxpool alone carries 45,000 vehicles daily on a four to six lane road with capacity ranging form 40,000 to 60,000 vehicles per day. During peak hours, vehicles experience significant delay on this corridor. By 2030, the road will carry about 80,000 vehicles per day unless Gloucester Parkway and Pacific Boulevard are completed.

    Much of Gloucester Parkway is already complete. However, there is a gap between Gloucester Parkway and Route 28 that must be finished. Once this is done, Gloucester, which runs between Route 7 to the north and Waxpool Road to the south, will draw traffic from both roads, relieving congestion on the entire road network. Once completed, Gloucester Parkway will have ample excess capacity to handle overflow from Route 7 and Waxpool Road.

    Pacific Boulevard runs north and south, parallel to Route 28. Years ago, Senator Black introduced legislation that allowed construction of the Route 28 Freeway. At that time, our CTB member, Hobie Mitchel, along with Senator Black, committed to completing two access roads, Pacific on the west side and Atlantic on the east side. Those roads were to parallel the limited-access Route 28 Freeway to allow local traffic to flow freely without clogging the Greenway. This project will help to complete the original plan for Route 28.

    With the help of VTIB, completion of these projects will be a transportation planner’s dream. We have worked closely with Mr. Michael Scott of Kincora, the developer of this project, with members of the Board of Supervisors, and with other transportation officials, all of whom anticipate a major commercial boon to the state from improving traffic flow in this area.

    Senator Black has strongly urged approval of Kincora’s loan application. It is his hope that this project is completed for the sake of commuters in the 13th Senate District.


    Chris Lore

    Legislative Aide
    13th District of Virginia

    Follow Senator Black on Facebook to keep up with events in Richmond, and please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (703) 468-1342.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    AND he gets a glowing story in the Bill Dean Times just for writing a letter!

  • Wolverine says:

    Well, isn’t that what you want?

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Absolutely – I simply don’t trust the guy to focus on that important day to day stuff, no matter how much lip service he may pay to it. We’ll see.

  • Leej says:

    Well Gloucester alone will not do much for the planned rail stations. If they are built traffic will become a nightmare of biblical proportions. What is needed now is shellhorn to the half used 28 sterling interchange instead of dumping in a round about way to 606. and a second parallel road to the greenway on the south side to 606. Gloucester will do nothing to solve the rail station problems.

    I repeat this over and over because nobody is seeing the rail stations traffic problems. Of course that is if the rail stations generate the passengers as predicted which is doubtful. But even with less rail traffic then predicted the traffic nightmare is still there.

    This will easily be proven if these stations are built. Apparently the transportation people don’t studied the alternatives around the world that are extremely successful.

    Maybe these people are too busy screwing around on the taxpayer dollar like the GSA has and other government agencies are. 😉 All a matter of public record and and much much more.

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