Categotry Archives: Military

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Mason Andrews

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Categories: Government, Medicine, Military, Politicians

Dr. Mason Andrews’ life may best be described by the political slogan he used in the 1974 Norfolk (Va.) City Council race: “Mason Andrews delivers.”
The son of a Norfolk obstetrician, Andrews earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1940 and attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After completing a tour of duty in the Navy, he went back to Johns Hopkins to finish his residency.
Andrews returned to Norfolk in 1950 to open his own OB/GYN office and launch the first answering service for doctors in the area. In the 1960s, he helped raise $17 million to finance a community medical school (which would eventually become Eastern Virginia Medical School). From 1974 to 1990, Andrews served as the first chair of the school’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 1992, he was elected president of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society.
Andrews delivered approximately 5,000 babies during the course of his half-century in medicine. But his most famous delivery occurred on Dec. 28, 1981, when he helped bring Elizabeth Jordan Carr into the world. At 5 pounds, 12 ounces, Carr was the first U.S. baby conceived by in-vitro fertilization. Now a newspaper reporter in Augusta, Maine, Elizabeth said Andrews always kept in touch with her, sending cards on her birthday and a gift for her wedding.
In the process of establishing an in-vitro fertilization program at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Andrews persuaded Drs. Georgeanna and Howard Jones to become teachers. The couple had planned to retire from medicine, but at Andrews’ urging, decided to build the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine instead. The program is now a leader in scientific advances of infertility treatment.
Andrews’ dedication to public service extended beyond medicine and education. He spent 26 years on the Norfolk City Council, including a two-year term as mayor, and was known for his dedication to the downtown area’s renaissance. Over the course of his political tenure, Andrews helped transform the waterfront area into a bustling retail and entertainment destination. Port Folio Weekly magazine listed him at #84 in its annual collection of “100 Best People, Places and Things in the 7 Cities” for his work as a doctor, councilman and civic activist.
“He was constantly pushing us as a community to realize and reach our potential. Nothing but the best for Norfolk. He had a high standard of excellence. He was tenacious in everything that he did. I don’t know how you remember him in any other way. His legacy was to instill in all of us reaching for the stars in terms of what’s best for the community,” Cathy Coleman, president of the Downtown Norfolk Council, said.
Andrews died on Oct. 13. Cause of death was not released. He was 87.

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Jim West

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Categories: Law, Military, Politicians

James Elton West, the former mayor of Spokane, Wash., who was ousted from office amidst a sex scandal, died on July 22 of complications from cancer surgery. He was 55.
Born in Salem, Ore., West attended the University of Nevada at Reno prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division for three years, and earned a certificate of completion in law enforcement at Johnston Technical Institute in N.C.
West’s career in law enforcement, however, was short-lived. Between 1975 and 1978, he worked as a patrolman for the Medical Lake (Wash.) Police Department and as a deputy sheriff for Spokane County. West obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Gonzaga University in Spokane and supervised a camping program for juveniles with minor offenses, then entered the political arena.
A former Boy Scout leader, Spokane city councilman and state senate majority leader, West spent the next two decades championing an anti-gay agenda. The lifelong Republican actively sought to have gays and lesbians barred from working in schools, day care centers and some state agencies, voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, allowed a bill that would’ve banned discrimination against gays and lesbians to die in committee without a hearing and opposed giving benefits to domestic partners of City Hall workers. As such, voters in West’s district were quite surprised when the media revealed he was involved in a sex scandal.
After spending several years investigating West for sexual misconduct and misuse of his political position, The Spokesman-Review published an expose that revealed West frequented chat rooms on Gay.com and offered autographed sports memorabilia, seats to Seahawks and Mariners games and a City Hall internship to someone he thought was an 18-year-old high school student. The online pen pal was actually a forensic computer consultant working for the newspaper.
Allegations that West sexually molested two youths at a Boy Scout camp during the 1970s and early 1980s and offered city jobs to other gay partners were published in the newspaper as well. West categorically denied these claims and law enforcement officials could not confirm the accounts. Although the FBI launched a 10-month public corruption probe into his activities, West was never charged with a crime.
West did publicly acknowledge that he had had relations with adult men but claimed he hadn’t done anything illegal. He sent city staffers a remorseful e-mail, and refused to resign as mayor of Spokane. In response, the voters held a special election on Dec. 6, 2005, and recalled West on a single charge that he had used his office for personal benefit. He was the first Spokane city official to be recalled from office.
The sex scandal wasn’t the only time West found himself in hot water. In 1998, he threatened building industry lobbyist Tom McCabe over the publication of a newspaper ad. “You son of a bitch, you better get me ’cause if you don’t, you’re dead,” West said in a message recorded on McCabe’s voice mail. West was later charged with two misdemeanors. The court placed West on probation and ordered him to pay a $250 fine, make a $500 donation to charity and apologize.
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Ken Lay

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Categories: Business, Criminals, Military

klay.jpgKenneth L. Lay, the disgraced former chairman and chief executive of Enron who defrauded his stockholders and employees of billions of dollars, died on July 5 of a heart attack while vacationing in Aspen. He was 64.
Lay was born and raised in Missouri, one of three children of a Baptist minister and a housewife. To help support the family, he mowed lawns and delivered newspapers on three different routes.
Determined to live a life worthy of Horatio Alger, whose namesake award he once won, Lay attended the University of Missouri on scholarship, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics. After graduation, he worked for Humble Oil and Refining, the predecessor to Exxon Mobil Corp., and took night courses at the University of Houston to obtain a doctorate in economics.
Lay enlisted in the Navy as an economist and served his time at the Pentagon, working on cost-and-performance analyses of major weapons systems. Upon returning to the private sector in 1974, Lay became an executive at Florida Gas, then Transco Energy. His efforts in helping Houston Natural Gas fend off an aggressive investment play by Oscar Wyatt in the early 1980s earned Lay a promotion — to CEO of the pipeline operator. In 1985, he merged HNG with InterNorth to create Enron Corp.
Lay spent the next two decades building Enron into the seventh largest company in America. As CEO of the Houston-based natural gas company and energy trader, Lay joined the highest business circles and befriended the political elite, including Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Enron soon developed a reputation for inspiring loyalty in its employees by paying good wages and offering numerous perks, such as on-site fitness centers and after-hours transportation. Enron also matched employee pension contributions with company stock, and encouraged staff to further invest in its future. Lay’s piece of the pie was significant — he made more than $217 million in four years from stock options, and another $19 million in salary and bonuses.
Under the guidance of Lay, and Jeffrey K. Skilling, who succeeded Lay as chief executive in 2001, Enron aggressively invested in new ventures — from municipal water systems to overseas power plants. Many of these investments bled the company of cash, and then failed to pay off. At the same time, the company engaged in unethical and unlawful practices. During California’s energy crisis in 2000, Enron traders manipulated electricity flows to boost profits. The traders even taped conversations boasting about their misdeeds. Knowing the bottom was about to fall out, Lay began selling off his own Enron shares while encouraging staff to hold onto theirs.
Wall Street knew little of these matters because they didn’t appear on Enron

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Desmond T. Doss

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Categories: Military

Desmond T. Doss, Sr., a conscientious objector who won a Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II, died on March 23. Cause of death was not released. He was 87.
As a Seventh-day Adventist, Doss maintained a pacifistic view of the world. He refused to eat meat and abhorred killing of any kind. However, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, Doss didn’t wait to get drafted. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector.
The Lynchburg, Va., native was assigned to the 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division as a company medic. At first, the other soldiers ridiculed Doss for his unwillingness to work on Saturdays or fire arms at the enemy. They mocked his habit of constantly praying and threw shoes at his head for spouting words of faith and peace in the middle of a war. But Doss soon earned his unit’s respect by putting his own life at risk.
While serving a tour of duty in Okinawa, Doss single-handedly rescued 75 injured men over a 12-hour period. Under enemy fire, he carried his fellow countrymen one-by-one to the 400 ft. Maeda Escarpment and lowered them over the edge to safety on a rope-supported litter. For bravery under fire, Doss received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman on Oct. 12, 1945.
After World War II ended, Doss built a home in Rising Fawn, Ga. Much of his post-war years were spent suffering from health issues related to his time in the Pacific. Although he didn’t work, Doss still donated the $100/mo. stipend he received for being a Medal of Honor recipient to the Civilian Defense Rescue Service.
Doss’ life was chronicled in the 1998 biography, “Desmond Doss, In God’s Care,” which was written by his second wife Frances, and in the 2004 documentary, “The Conscientious Objector.” A statue of Doss also resides in the National Museum of Patriotism in Atlanta, alongside statues of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Jimmy Carter and retired Marine Corps General Gray Davis.
Approximately 500 people attended his funeral on April 3 at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. Doss was buried with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and a military helicopter flyover.

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Stanley Biber

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Categories: Medicine, Military

Dr. Stanley H. Biber, a sex-reassignment surgeon who helped turn the small town of Trinidad, Colo., into the sex-change capital of the world, died on Jan. 16 from complications of pneumonia. He was 82.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Biber was the eldest child of a furniture store owner and a social rights advocate. He attended a rabbinical seminary in Chicago, and worked as a civilian in the Alaskan Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, in World War II. Biber graduated from the University of Iowa’s medical school in 1948, and served as the chief surgeon of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit in South Korea during the Korean War.
When his military service ended, Biber moved to Trinidad, Colo., where he worked as a general surgeon at Mt. San Rafael Hospital. His specialty changed in 1969 when a local social worker asked him to perform the gender-altering surgery known as a penectomy. After reading articles about the procedure, Biber transformed his first transsexual patient from a man to a woman. Although he kept the operation a secret from the Catholic nuns who ran the hospital, Biber later received the administration’s approval and support.
Over the next three decades, Biber surgically altered the genders of 5,000 men and 800 women, including actors, athletes, clergymen, judges, models, police officers, politicians and teachers. The world-renowned surgeon also maintained a regular surgical practice and trained hundreds of other surgeons in gender-reversal techniques.
Trinidad’s status as a sex-change hot spot grew as Biber was featured on numerous television shows, such as “Oprah,” “Geraldo” and “Guinness World Records: Primetime.” Some citizens objected to Biber’s work, but most acknowledged his commitment to health care. To honor his medical career, city officials declared Oct. 10 Stanley Biber Day.
Biber frequently wore blue jeans and cowboy boots, a casual outfit that suited his homelife on a large cattle ranch. In 2003, he turned his medical practice over to Dr. Marci Bowers, a gynecological surgeon and the product of a sex-change operation, because he could no longer afford to pay for malpractice insurance.
“I think he put the operation on the world map. He made it safe, reproducible and functional and he brought happiness to an awful lot of people. And when you wanted a voice of reason, he was always there,” Bowers said.
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