Sunday, October 18, 2009

To Delco and Back

First, let me apologize for not posting recently.

Many of you reading this are already aware that my family suffered a big loss in the passing of my Grandfather, Nick Miccarelli Sr., two weeks ago. It’s been a tough time for us, but the sadness we feel is nothing in comparison to the thanks we have to God for allowing this man to remain in our lives for so long. Some close friends of mine were not lucky enough to meet their Grandparents, let alone to have 27 great years with them.

A special thanks has to my unit, especially Major Glen McElroy, Lieutenant Tom Kivlen, Lieutenant Mark Martella, and Sergeant First Class Buzz Houck. These guys had me on a plane bound for PHL in a matter of hours and probably would have carried me to Delco if I had asked them. Their actions were incredible enough, but my family and I were truly blown away when two bouquets of flowers were delivered to our home from the company in Iraq. We truly did not expect soldiers in combat who are already doing so much, to chip in their hard earned money to send flowers back to the United States. I found out later that our First Sergeant Jeff Huttle and Chief Warrant Officer Steve Harper organized the flowers and I truly cannot thank them enough.

Of all the flowers that were sent to the funeral, my Mom and Dad saved two, and I bet you can guess what bouquets they were from.

I could go on for days about what kind of man my Grandfather was, but if you read the blog post below about my Grandfather and Councilman Cohen, you will understand where a lot of the pride our family has comes from.

He taught me to swing a golf club, he taught me how to play poker, and he played G.I. Joe with me.

More than that he taught me that when times get tough, your family is all you need.

He was my role model and a shining example of what a man ought to be. Fair, honest, caring, and brave until the end.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Support a Great Cause!

Pennsylvania Veteran's Museum - BIKE/RUN
Date: October 18th, 2009 (Rain date October 25th, 2009)
Location: Harley Davidson shop, Rte 1, Chadds Ford
Registration- 8 am until 10am
Ride- 10am until 12:00pm
Lunch/activities- 12:00pm until 2 0r 3???

The Ride will run from Hannum’s shop in Chadds Ford to Coatesville and back to Chadds Ford.

The Registration will be $20.

Contact for details!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." ~Leonardo Da Vinci

Today the U.S. Army felt it appropriate that the door gunners of B Co 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion be granted their Air Crew Wings.

SFC McCreary, SGT Briesch, and SPC Davensizer were awarded their wings alongside me but Commander Jeff Milchanowski and 1SG Jeff Huttle.

Sergeants Lerch, Smith, Habecker, Rocourt, and others were awarded Army Achievement Medals for their hard work in making sure our aircraft were in appropriate flying condition after their transport here. CW3 Tom Luckenbach was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his exceptional service in getting the unit ready for mobilization.

Atta boy guys!

Monday, August 31, 2009

55 Years Ago in Prison

55 years ago in Broad Meadows prison Nick Miccarelli Sr. (my Grandfather) sat in a cell with the leadership of United Electric Union Local 107 out of Tinicum Twp. The lawyer for the leadership was a man named David Cohen from Philadelphia. He later became Councilman David Cohen ( His son Mark Cohen is now my colleague in the PA General Assembly. We have corresponded about other issues but it wasn't until I brought up the U.E. strike that we really understood a shared family history.

I remember sitting as a teenager in my Grandfather's home on MacDade Boulevard listening to him tell me about how David Cohen came to see him and the guys in jail. He would constantly tell me that if I wanted to get involved in politics, that I should "go see Cohen. He's a big wheel in City Hall." He and Cohen were staunch Democrats and were seen by many as radicals of their day. My Grandfather, who is now 99 has since forgiven me for running for office as a Republican.

The imprisonment is alleged to have been ordered by John McClure, then a political heavyweight.

Via facebook Mark Cohen related his father's memories of the stand they took over 50 years ago.

"The UE strike was one of the highlights of my father's long (1952-1982) career as a UE lawyer, and he talked about it often.

The UE was given a choice of paying a humungous fine or the jail sentences. My father thought the jail sentences were the lesser evil because the fine they wanted them to pay would have forced the union out of business. The union leaders agreed, and my father visited them regularly in jail.

The visits were more than about keeping their spirits up. The visits enabled them to translate their insights on what should be done be next to the membership. One union leader--I wish I could remember his name--was supposed to go to jail, but didn't. (Perhaps he somehow escaped from jail). My father had him dress up in a suit and tie, and carry a brief case with lawbooks and notepads. "This is my clerk," he told the jailkeepers. So the fugitive union leader went in and out of the jail dressed as a law clerk on a regular basis, and passed on to the membership the collective decisions of the union leadership.

The courage of the vast majority of the union leadership in going to jail helped rally the spirits of the rank and file. It is also drove John McClure nuts because of the high cost of jailing the union leaders and the negative political feedback. I believe McClure wanted to get some concessions from the union leaders before releasing them from jail, but they declined. Finally, he was willing to release from jail without any concessions. That still wasn't good enough: the union leaders came up with demands to be met before they would agree to leave the jail.

'Your Grandfather' is one of the last living links to my father's days at the UE and it would be a real pleasure to talk to him while his memory about long ago is still sharp."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Three Guys Get a Bump

Joe Habecker (left) Ryan Smith (far left)

Our First Sergeant Jeff Huttle gave me the honor of reading the promotion orders for Chief Warrant Officer 3 Steve Harper and Sergeants Joe Habecker and Ryan Smith.

Steve is a former Air Force guy who saw the light and is now one of our crack pilots in B Company.

Joe and Ryan are former Long Range Surveillance types. They were co-conspirators with Kerwin in the Martella/Miccarelli pinkbelly incident. They were sufficiently rewarded for their transgressions following their promotions.

The First Sergeant put them in the front leaning rest (push up) position. Just when they thought they were about to get a nice workout, two giant gatorade cans were dumped on them by their fellow LRS-D alumni. This is a shocking experience in normal temperatures, but in heat approaching 120 degrees, I'm sure it's much worse. What's worse is as they tried to get up they were pelted with water balloons.

It was a firing squad and it couldn't have happened to two better guys.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Courthouse Does Right by Vets

When you first walk into the Government Center at the Delaware County Courthouse you don't see pictures of long dead judges or former elected officials. The lobby of that area is adorned with pictures of currently serving members of our nation's military. The Ridley Township building has a similar set up in their lobby. It's nothing fancy, but it gets the point across.

Recently, my Mom and Dad were invited by members of County Council (Linda Cartisano, Jack Whelan, Christine Fizzano-Cannon, Tom McGarrigle, and Andy Lewis) to hang my photo amongst the others from Delco serving.

Due to the unique nature of a sitting State Rep serving in the military, I am often recognized for my service more so than others. Many troops have fought harder and longer than I have with little or no recognition. These are the unsung heroes who get the job done on a day to day basis. My hat is off to those people at the courthouse who decided to recognize all of us for what we do. In a time when Michael Jackson's estate gets 5000 hours of coverage TV for every hour spent on the wars, it's nice to know that people remember us. Sadly many people could tell you the latest gossip on MJ but could not tell you who Jason Dunham, Ross McGinnis, Michael Monsoor, Michael Murphy, and Paul Smith are.

Other news from Delco:
WWII heroes and personal friends of mine Bud Hendrick and Ed Buffman in the news. If you should ever have the fortune of meeting these two men you'll be in for the time of your life. While Bud is 90 and Ed in his eighties you'd think you were hanging out with two teenage sailors on leave. These two men, along with Media Mayor Bob McMahon (a Viet Nam Combat Infantryman) and others are amongst the founding members of the Pennsylvania Veteran's Museum and should be commended for their patriotism

Veteran's Museum Gets a New Entrance:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Minnesota Three Laid to Rest

The three guys killed on our base, Drevnick, Wertish, and Wilcox were laid to rest recently.

Special recognition should go to our own Major Glen McElroy, Lieutenant Mark Martella, Chief Warrant Officer Dave Gool, and First Sergeant Jeff Huttle for aiding the dead and wounded. They ran in when others ran away and that's not an easy thing to do.

From the Pioneer Press in the Twin Cities:
By Saturday afternoon, the Associated Press said Iraqi police had arrested a member of an Iranian-backed militia suspected in the attack. The chief of the Basra provincial police said the militiaman confessed to the attack.

During a search of the house where the suspect and an aide were arrested, Iraqi officials said they seized four Iranian-made rockets and documents listing names of officials to be targeted.

U.S. military commanders believe some Shiite militias have received money and training from Iran, which denies the charge.

Wertish :

Drevnick :

Wilcox :