Episode 57: “But Who’s Counting?”

Episode 57: “But Who’s Counting?”


Oh, hey guys, how are you? Got a story for you. Want to hear it? Fantastic, I will read it momentarily, but not until, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I remind you that we’re still accepting applications for our Work Ethic Scholarship Program. It’s true. I got seven hundred thousand dollars burning a hole in my pocket that I’m trying to give away to people who want a job that doesn’t require a four-year degree – but requires instead training. Work Ethic Scholarships, that’s what we’re offering right now over at mikeroweWORKS, along with a host of materials to get you interested and titillated regarding the skilled trades. I also am very pleased to announce the addition of a Jobs Board. This has been a long time coming, and thanks to my buddies over at ZipRecruiter, who sponsors this podcast,by the way, we now have thousands of jobs in the skilled trades assembled in one place. When you go over to the site, you can just scroll through them one after the next, proof positive that many good jobs actually exist that don’t require a four-year degree. We have the money we’d like to give you to get trained for those jobs. We have the jobs all in one place. All you need to do is apply and make a persuasive case for yourself. I’m also getting a lot of calls from business owners mechanical contracting firms for the most part. Construction companies, they want to know if they can post open positions for welders and plumbers, and heavy equipment operators, on my site and answer’s no. I don’t have that facility yet. But ZipRecruiter will let you post for free at ZipRecruiter.com/ROWE and in any of those skilled categories the the jobs will automatically migrate over to mikeroweWORKS, which is which is really great. So, if you’re trying to fill one of those positions go to ZipRecruiter.com/ROWE and if the position you’re trying to fill is not necessarily in the skilled trades do it anyway. 80% of the people who post a job over at ZipRecruiter.com/ROWE find a quality candidate within 24 hours. They’ve been a great friend of this podcast and a great friend of my website. Do me a favor and check them out. ZipRecruiter.com/ROWE post a job for free. They really are the smartest way to hire and this really is The Way I Heard It. The story is called, “But Who’s counting?” It’s a rhetorical question. I’m counting. I’m counting on you. Bill Carney was a mailman in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He had worn the uniform for 31 years, and took his job seriously,. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night could keep William Carney from the swift completion of his appointed rounds. One day in May, just before lunch Bill walked out to his own mailbox and found something from The War Department. Bill stared at the envelope for a minute or so, the way you do sometimes when you’re enjoying a mystery, or perhaps dreading a revelation. What in the world did The War Department want with a 60 year old mailman? Was he being drafted? Probably not. He’d already done his time 37 years ago. Actually, 36 years, 10 months, and 2 days… but who’s counting? When he finally opened the envelope and peered inside? Bill found a certificate of some kind, which he slowly removed. His name was at the top in large block letters, with a number of official looking signatures scribbled across the bottom. There was something else as well – a coin, it slipped out of the envelope and clattered onto his kitchen table. It wasn’t a coin, though. It was a trinket of some kind. He didn’t know what it was. Bill turned his attention to the certificate and read the two sentences that appeared underneath his name quote: “When the color sergeant was shot down, this soldier grasped the flag, led the way to the parapet and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back he brought off the flag, a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded.” And just like, that Bill Carney was no longer in his kitchen he was back on that godforsaken beach, charging headlong into a meat grinder. He could still smell the salt in the air. He could still hear the screams of his friends as they collapsed in the blood-soaked sand. But mostly, he could still see the color sergeant shot dead in his tracks, not two feet in front of him, and the flag – their precious flag as it fell toward the earth. Bill blinked away a tear as he thought of his lost companions, and lingered for a moment on the defining day of his life, summed up here in just two sentences. Funny, how a few words on a piece of parchment can take you back 37 years. Actually, 36 years, 10 months, and two days…but who’s counting? Bill reread those sentences, and as he did he watched himself throw his rifle aside and catch the flag before it hit the ground. He watched his Colonel take three bullets in the chest seconds after urging his men to follow him up the rampart. He flinched as he recalled the impact of the first bullet, slamming into his side. The one he still carried to this day. He flinched again, as the next one tore through his shoulder. But on he went, charging up that endless embankment, stepping over his dead colonel, and his mangled friends, as the enemy continued to shred their ranks with volley after volley of withering fire, until there was no one left standing, no one but him. And then, there he was – Sergeant William Carney, alone on the rampart armed with nothing, but the American Flag and staring into the stunned faces of a hundred enemy soldiers who were no doubt wondering how many times they needed to shoot this stubborn son-of-a-gun before he too, fell down and died. Well, the enemy never found out. Bill quickly considered the inherent risks of lingering 20 yards in front of an outraged foe, waving a flag they despised. So Bill turned and ran back down the rampart clutching the flag to his chest Leaping over the bodies of his fallen comrades, zigzagging through the surf, Bill ran for his life as the bullets buzzed around him like a swarm of angry mosquitoes. One bit him in the leg. Another in the back. One in the head. But Bill, Bill wouldn’t fall. Neither snow nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night, nor five bullets shot straight into his stubborn body – could keep the future Postman from the swift completion of his appointed rounds. He made it all the way back to regimental headquarters and told the dumbstruck survivors before collapsing, “I only did my duty boys. The old flag never touched the ground.” It’s important to recognize valor – especially when it’s uncommon. And Bill appreciated the citation delivered to his home that afternoon in May. In fact he wrote a thank-you letter to The War Department, and mailed it off later that same week. You can see it online if you’re interested. Or if you prefer, you can see the film that paid tribute to the men of Bill’s unit. “Glory” won six Oscars back in 1989 and told the true story about the men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment – one of the first black units in the US Armed Forces. “Glory” really was a hell of a movie. Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman Andre Braugher, and of course Denziel Washington – whose character bravely picks up the flag when the color sergeant is shot dead not two feet in front of him, and carries it up the rampart of Fort Wagner, just as William Carney did in real life. There’s just one minor problem – Denziel Washington played a character called Private Trip, who winds up dying in the movie. And a careful examination of the movie’s credits reveals that the character of Sergeant William Carney, was portrayed by no one. Would Bill have been surprised to learn that Hollywood had cut him out of an Oscar-winning film? Would he have been offended? Probably not. Truth is Bill was used to being overlooked. And besides, back on July 11th, 1863, he wasn’t fighting for fame, he was fighting for freedom. That was the only recognition he craved and that’s why the 60-year old mail man from New Bedford was somewhat bemused by the contents of that envelope that arrived at his home back on May 9th, 1900. An envelope containing a certificate, and a shiny trinket that looked like a coin, but wasn’t. Today that “trinket” would have been placed around Bill Carney’s neck by the President of the United States, in a solemn ceremony at The White House. But back in May of 1900, the first black man to earn The Congressional Medal of Honor received his in the mail – 89 years before Hollywood denied him “Glory,” and 37 years after he earned it. Actually, 36 years, 10 months, and 2 days,. But really, Who’s counting? Anyway that’s the way I heard it…

100 thoughts on “Episode 57: “But Who’s Counting?”

  1. Mike, you inspired my son, Michael, to start welding school. He's left handed and never showed any skill with a tool, a pen, or whatever but he literally said that dude made his own job through the dirty job show, so I'm going to try. He's so happy and loves the satisfaction of making something useful. Thanks so much for the good advice. We all love you.

  2. crawls out from under my rock

    Mike Rowe has a you tube channel?

    subbs then crawls back under to watch what will certainly be a awesome video

  3. It is upsetting that some movie producer choose to base his movie on this man's valor yet leave him out of this same movie. Just as it is upsetting that we have a president who denied the valor of John McCain and even called for a return to torture and the killing of families whose relatives are suspected of terrorism.

    Most upsetting of all is to witness a Republican Party afraid to call out a president who literally calls for 'retribution' against news organizations that report unfavorably on him, who has made clear he intends to use the pardon power to protect himself and his friends from prosecution and claims the power to overrule the Congress' authority to appropriate funds, having failed to convince the Congress that any emergency exists.

  4. Wow, really interested in it, as a 21-year-old that only has college credit from High School but have worked being a concert runner, gold miner, salesman, jeweler with my grandmother since 11-years-old, concierge, receptionist, bartender, line cook, cashier, pushing carts, speak Spanish, bagging groceries, prospective farmer, caterer, and call center, with everything those jobs encompasses. Sometimes even with all this, its hard to find jobs. Why? Because they want you to be apart of an institution, or a fraternity, university, and etc. Now this program is a program about not being stuck in a program, working with only your hands and head it seems, which is what I have done most of my life, will have to luck into it more. God Save, America!

  5. What if I was a high school or college dropout in Canada? Can I apply for this? Don't need to, I made it good my own way.

  6. Not surprising "Hollyweird" twisted the story to meet their agenda. Why do so many hang on every word spoken by someone that makes their living pretending to be someone else.

  7. Dear Mr. Rowe, thanks for your service. I do believe Mr. Paul Harvey is enjoying someone picking up the flag and carrying the Rest of the Story. I enjoy your work very much and hope to see much more in the future. Kindest regards.

  8. Thank you Mike. These are the story's that need to be shared and honored for a young generation that takes so much for granted. Honor, Valor and Dedication are quality's that are all to rare these days.

  9. Thank you the promotion of work and workers! Having two Master's degrees, I have to agree that degrees and advanced degrees are not worth it. In fact, I was replaced by people who only had (at best) associate degrees. They later got their BS degrees by working at the university i worked at and getting the courses for free. Please keep up these great stories, but above all, keep letting people know that jobs are available for people without degrees and without advanced degrees!

  10. Why is it so rare to hear true stories of valor, courage, honor? Why, in particular, are actual American heroes not venerated in public schools? I thank you for once again bringing to life a story I may never have heard of otherwise.

  11. Just a little tip:
    MOH. The name of that medal is the Medal of Honor. Just 3 words.

    Authorized by Congress but not named for them.

    MOH. Three words only.

    Thanks for this story.

  12. Thank you Mike for being an advocate. I'm 24 so I've been a Nissan mechanic for only 6 years now. But even when I was in high school there was LITERALLY a "vocational" school 100ft away, but while in high school that option was never mentioned. Only college preached. I personally found out from a family friend who had done it almost 10 years before me. Its a very rewarding job and has taught me life skills I never would of imagined. And you can never forget about the colorful cornucopia of people you meet, customers and co-workers alike.
    #MikeRowe #Mike #Rowe #Works
    -Bradenton FL

  13. Huh. History is amazing… and instructive… when it is factual. Wonderful narrative Mike. I think you should also be a national treasure, but I'm pretty sure you would demure.

  14. Glory has been one of my most favorite movies. I never knew this…this great nation has so many heroes of every race and religion from most every country, this is what we are made of! Why after so many amazing examples of what the United States of America really is and of all the changes over time that has righted the wrongs are we still using race and religion as a weapon for monetary and vote driven agendas? I pray for the sadness that is our government and that all Americans will realize that we can think for ourselves and stop giving any attention to the media and government and make the right things happen…..God bless America

  15. What an amazing story GOD BLESS this Man's Soul. The stories he could tell, how much we could have learned from someone like this. Just love what Mike is doing with these videos. I am amazed after every episode. Keep up the Good Work!!!!

  16. Thank you to all who paved the way to make this country and life possible. I am so thankful every day to all that has been contributed and sacrificed. Thank you Mike keep up the good work.

  17. You Rock!!!!πŸ™ŒπŸ™Œβ˜ƒπŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™πŸ•ŠπŸ‘£πŸ‘£πŸ•ŠπŸ™πŸ™βœŒβœŒ

  18. Not since Mr. Paul Harvey, have I been so moved by a storyteller. I've enjoyed each facet of your career, but this I deem extraordinary.

  19. ive got a million orphans in afrikka that can use scholarships..
    ahaha.. im just teasing..we fund them ourselves..
    be blessed

  20. Too bad this isn't for small business start up as well. On year 3 of my tree service and have to subcontract to be able to use equipment because it is pricey.

  21. 2.2K likes and 19 commie bastards didn't like it, the story of a true American hero, told be a true American, Eagle Scout, Distinguished Scouter of the BSA and spokesman for the American worker. If Mike was on the ballot for President, I'd be the first in line the polls. This man is the one most intelligent, level headed and able men I know.

  22. To All Construction workers Don't get hurt. The social security admin. will deny you disability even if you are over 50 and limited to less than sedintary work. How? They will say you can sell the things you work with over the phone. Your Construction knowlage is the ONLY job reguirement for telephone solicitor. It is also the only job requirement for Employment clerk. Or, as the Vocational expert at my hearing put it "And, we MAY BE looking at someone that, you know, a plumber IF he has a helper. A plumper's around other construction sites and they see what people, they see other workers and what THEY do. They KNOW how to REFER someone that would be a good worker that would have experience". I have 20 days to appeal my case because, I lost in District court. I can't find a lawyer in Orlando Fl.. Can anybody help?

  23. Mike,
    This was the first episode I have seen of this series. I am now subscribed and "got the bell on". As you spoke of this great man I did not hear that baritone voice from Baltimore MD. I heard an all too familiar tenor from Tulsa OK. I am sure you are getting "The Rest of the Story" by now. My goal is to now binge watch the earlier episodes. Keep up the good work.
    Joe McKeel……. "Good Day"

  24. I'm shocked at how many Ultra right-wingers would support a man that does something so liberal as to offer people help. Gosh isn't that against your political religion.

    But seriously great program Mike. Keep it up.

  25. Mike Rowe is possibly the best human on the planet. He avoids political divisiveness, has humility, is a great speaker, and is always looking to help people out. Somehow fame and money didn't corrupt him, but instead made him better. This is the role model America needs.

  26. show me the money ive built houses cars motorcycles everything did automatic transmisions for 11 years advanced electronics.. got over 20 broken bones 43 years young… give me a chalange?

  27. Though I get the concept, I am very tempted to start forming a "school" of my own for software development. The concept of it needing a degree is a control myth, and is even only recently established. A person can learn what is needed to perform well at the beginning level very quickly. Some in 3-4 months, on par with welders and similar.

  28. Do you include those that buy gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, understand diamonds, VVS quality as compared to I3 diamonds, know a fake rolex from a real Rolex, in your scholarship program?

    It takes a lot to be good at these things, and we train the people that come to us, it's hard, it's heavy, and its dirty sometimes.

  29. Great story. Great storytelling. Thank you for your presentation. And thank you for promoting the trades.

  30. And to think people these days burn, stomp, and do other things I as a lady will not mention, to that same flag. With out one thought of the price that has truly been paid for it. We live in a world that has granted us the luxury of freedom without sacrafice. So we are ignorant to what that freedom has really cost us. So now we have young people who believe that this country is a terrible place full of hate and more hate, they believe that they can go any where in the world and live like they live here in America or actually live better. Maybe we can blame the schools maybe we can blame ourselves who knows? I can tell you that sooner or later in your life if you are willing to educate yourself you will figure out that America truly is the greatest place on earth I just hope it's not to late. God Bless America πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ land of the free because of the Brave πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

  31. If Mike Rowe guaranties the job and wage you will work for I would take him up on his offer of the $700000 to get trained. No guaranties don't train for these jobs. There are to many companies that will pay you like shit after you train for them. Companies will also do a bate and switch on you and only give you a job nobody wants. But let me warn you they are dirty filthy jobs and you will most likely not have a future other then what you are trained for. A dirt and filth that doesn't wash off when you take a shower, because it's so deep in your pours. Companies will hire college graduates to be supervisors that know nothing about your job. They will be on your ass everyday to go faster and faster and faster until you make a mistake then your on the carpet. So Mike Rowe where's the guarantee? Remember Mike Rowe is an actor, not a blue collier worker and knows nothing about working hard everyday for shit wages. The only advantage you may have by taking these classes is if America goes to a major war. The Government will need you then. Now I'm retired and worked in these fields so I know what I'm talking about.

  32. Mike rowe may dam well be the most level-headed, sense making dude alive! Great spirit and demeanor..epic role model for young men. I know i look up to Mike Rowe! !!

  33. I fought in Nicaragua. The unknown war. I knew men like this.
    God Bless them. I honor them everyday. Thank you boyz.

  34. What a great accounting of Bill Carney's bravery. Just one mistake he received tha Medal Of Honor. Congress has nothing to do with the award…..thank God.

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