John Glenn, the 1st American to orbit Earth, has died at 95

| December 8, 2016

Godspeed, John Glenn. Astronauts were heroes to kids like me in the 60s. I remember it well when he visited our flooded Ohio home on Lake Erie in 1973. He was on a PR stop and making a run for the U.S. Senate … yet took time to talk and inspire impressionable 14 year old me […]

A date that will live in infamy — December 7, 1941

| December 7, 2016

It has been a few years since our family visited the historic sites at Pearl Harbor …  it was very sobering. Why do human beings continue killing each other — it is as senseless today as it was 75 years ago. I would like to think that we are wiser and could agree to inhabit […]

Testing a new computer and Open Live Writer set-up

| November 19, 2016

This is only a test post … but of a painting I like. It depicts Oliver Hazard Perry, of "Don’t give up the ship" fame, and the September 10, 1813 Battle Of Lake Erie.

New Ukrainian Rocket Launcher Appears to Use Raspberry Pi

| November 10, 2016

A mockup weapon seen at a Ukrainian trade show appears to use a Raspberry Pi micro PC as the basis of a guidance system—probably not at all what the inventors of the hobby computer had in mind when they introduced their affordable wonder to the world. The weapon was reportedly sighted at last month’s Bezpeka […]

R is for Robert, or is it Roger … or maybe Romeo?

| November 7, 2016

A learning game we played while traveling by car was to spell things out using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Both Katelyn and Taylor did a great job learning it … and I think to this day they remember it. Give it a try if you need a way to pass the time AND practice for […]

A WW2 map that illustrates the ugliness of war

| November 1, 2016

For those who study history and in particular World War II, this map illustrates the human toll on each country around the world. Likely the information is well know, but seeing the losses as a percentage of population suffered outside the United States visually leaves an impression.

D-Day: Debunking the myths of the Normandy landings

| June 6, 2016

Anniversaries are useful moments to pause and reflect. For the anniversary of D-Day — June 6, 1944 — and subsequent campaign in northern France, it is also an opportunity to look at the past in detail and ask how much of what we think we know is true and how much is well-entrenched myth. Not […]

Honoring those who gave everything for our country

| May 30, 2016

Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of warm weather, longer days and for some, in this sluggish Obama economy, maybe even a summer vacation? “Enjoying summer” is privilege we Americans have because so many before us gave their lives for the protection, prosperity and freedom we all enjoy. Looking at our short history, we’ve fought way too many wars and lost far too […]

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Ed "Too Tall" Freeman

| May 13, 2016

Sharing a post as it was written back in August of 2008 then edited with shaming political commentary many times after. It is still as poignant as ever. For me it is worth sharing again not only to remember Captain Ed  Freeman, but as a reminder to Americans of those who served our country heroically […]

A lot of great blog posts on War History Online

| May 1, 2016

I recall thinking a bit more about the barbarism of the Empire of Japan during (and prior) to World War II when I read the book Flyboys by James Bradley a few years back. When it came out in 2003, I remembered thinking about just how tainted public secondary and higher had become in regards […]

Russian jets make provocative passes over Navy ship

| April 14, 2016

This isn’t the first close call incident according to the news coming from the Pentagon, but a very close and dangerous pass over the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic. They halted exercises with a Polish helicopter landing on the flight deck and shared the video below.

Neither is a good option if you are the enemy

| April 5, 2016

Kee Bird B-29 Superfortress story

| March 16, 2016

Watched an older aviation documentary this past weekend on YouTube (remembered reading about it years ago). The attempted rescue of the Kee Bird was a 1996 video story and heroic attempt ending in disaster — NOVA: B-20 Frozen in Time.

A different or additional approach in combatting ISIS

| January 31, 2016

Without American boots on the ground, defeating ISIS is not going to happen quickly if at all. After watching the movie “13 Hours” this week (and leaving me angry at our leaders), I pondered the covert activity by the CIA and other nations in the fight. In Libya, it seems that a “mystery sniper” is […]

Remembering our veterans on Veterans Day 2015

| November 11, 2015

At exactly 11:11 a.m. every Veterans Day (Nov. 11), the sun aligns perfectly with the Anthem Veterans Memorial north of Phoenix, Arizona to shine through the ellipses of five marble pillars representing each branch of the Armed Forces. The desert sun illuminates The Great Seal of the United States in the shadow of the memorial. […]

It might be time to get some blue paint–#ThinBlueLine

| September 30, 2015

Although government is too big, there is a place and a need for it … especially outside of Washington DC.  I’m thinking particularly those elected and hired to keep us safe in the military, law enforcement, as rescue workers and the fire department. When they are under attack, as some in law enforcement have been […]

This farmer had a great way to commemorate Patriot Day

| September 11, 2015

Fourteen years after Islamic extremists affiliated with Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization attacked the United States with commercial airliners on 9/11/2001, we solemnly remember the 2977 who were killed with a national day of prayer and remembrance. A bill to make September 11th a national day of mourning was passed into law […]

A few thoughts on the movie American Sniper

| May 27, 2015

Brenda and I finally watched the Clint Eastwood directed movie about Navy Seal Chris Kyle titled American Sniper this Memorial Day weekend. It was worth the price of a DVD purchase, although I’m not sure emotionally I’ll want to see it again. The movie left me with gut wrenching sorrow and little solace that the […]

Book: The Rape of NanKing–The Forgotten Holocaust of WWII

| January 25, 2015

I picked up a book, The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II, published in 1997 and written by the late Iris Chang. I decided to read it after a bit of Twitter sparring with CBJapan1 and his/her “allegation of lying” about the book and movie Unbroken, as well as how America […]

Remembering: A date which will live in infamy – FDR

| December 7, 2014

And the war with Japan began … To the Congress of the United States: Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that […]

Thank a Veteran for their service today (and everyday!)

| November 11, 2014

Landing a Harrier jet aircraft on a stool

| July 1, 2014

The U.S. Marine Corps has some talented pilots, including Capt  William Mahoney landing his AV-8B Harrier aircraft, along with equally skilled U.S. Navy 6th Fleet support crews. What a landing. Thanks for protecting our country and keeping us safe!

Books: Reading “Duty” by Robert M. Gates

| June 15, 2014

As civil society’s long drawn out war on terror or GWOT continues dealing with Islamic terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, the U.S. struggles in an effort to wind down military involvement and to leave political stability in Iraq and Afghanistan. After reading many of the biographies, political and history oriented books being published, I’ve gained better […]

Remembering D-Day, June 6, 1944 … 70 years ago

| June 6, 2014

When I posted about the growing worldwide trend we describe as Nationalism, I reflected on the sacrifice required to stop Germany and the Nazis the last time a country went down the Nationalism path. United States involvement began in earnest on June 6th, 1944 … 70 years ago. Americans along with allied troops stormed the […]

Reflecting on those we remember on Memorial Day

| May 26, 2014

A few years ago I was a volunteer taking a group of “surviving” veterans on an Honor trip to Washington DC. It was indeed a privilege to be in their company. One thing that was noticed by those of us who were there to serve as volunteers for these WWII and Korean War veterans was […]

Americans are split regarding military action in Syria

| August 31, 2013

Now that about everyone is convinced that Syria and the Assad government has used chemical weapons in their civil war and the “red line” has been crossed, the decision about what to do about it is up to President Obama. Personally I’m aligned with at least a strategic military response when it comes to Syria […]

A lesson to would be leakers of classified material

| July 30, 2013

FORT MEADE, Md.—A military judge acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of the most serious accusation against him—that he aided U.S. enemies—but found him guilty Tuesday on most other charges related to his disclosure of documents to the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks. (WSJ) No matter which side of the argument you come down on in dealing with soldiers […]

Book: General Stanley McChrystal and My Share of the Task

| January 15, 2013

If you enjoy reading history and military biographies, the new General Stanley McChrystal autobiography My Share of the Task will be your “cup of tea Joe.” I ordered an ebook version last week after reading a couple short reviews and found it difficult to put down. In fact, I found myself rewinding the Tivo buffer […]

An Honor Flight for my father-in-law

| August 24, 2012

Brenda’s sister, Chris Skinner, escorted her father, Fred Howard, on an Honor Flight this week and visited “his” WWII memorial in Washington DC. Having had a chance to take my dad with a group of veterans in 2010 gives me insight as to what a special trip this was for them. We are getting together […]

Looks more and more like “flying” pilots are becoming obsolete

| July 31, 2012

Unmanned, but then who’s looking out the “faux” window? Remember the ‘UFO’ that motorists spotted along D.C. highways back in June? The saucer-shaped object caused a stir in the area prompting many to call 911 and to post photos on Twitter. We later learned the mysterious object was an experimental, unmanned aircraft called an X-47B.

Memorial Day hits some deeper than others

| May 29, 2012

  I didn’t want to let this story get away from me so I will post it after Memorial Day. Taylor had a few friends over this weekend and they enjoyed the sunshine, played football in the rain, cooled off in the pool and watched a couple movies. Brenda and I are thankful our kids […]

From Predator Drones to Swarms of Nano Quadrotors

| February 1, 2012

Hmm … and Dylan thought that the “times were changing” back in the 1960s. Can you imagine where this technology is going when it comes to “nano” or “not so nano” quadrotors and their military or CIA use? Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin (mp3)

Remembering the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor

| December 7, 2011

Today is the day Americans remember those who served and were killed during the Empire of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 – a somber day for 2403 lives cut short.  In a statement, President Obama proclaimed Wednesday "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day" and reflected on those who rose to the occasion. He […]

WVU marching band salutes the U.S. Armed Forces

| December 2, 2011

I may not be a fan of West Virginia University football … but I have no problem applauding their marching band. As a Cincinnati Bearcats and an Ohio State fan … I say “nicely done, WVU.” (thanks for the link Suzanne)

Recognizing two special veterans today–a wonderful son

| November 11, 2011

My son made his father proud today by recognizing Veteran’s Day 11/11/11 in this way  … he posted a nice note to his Facebook page.

Our military, energy efficiency and alternative fuels

| August 15, 2011

I’m archiving a bit from Jackalyne Pfannenstiel’s letter to the WSJ editor that was in the paper this past weekend which reflects my point of view when it comes to alternatives and efficiency in the U.S. military. Most of us know that all branches of the armed forces are making strides to lessen their dependency on […]

The U.S. Navy’s Carrier F-14s have been retired for 5 years

| August 13, 2011

Every once in a while I look at the right hand column of my blog to see what interested me in previous years. I noticed The Navy catapults the last F-14 Tomcat post from back in the summer of 2006. Has it been 5 years?

Sea trials to begin for China’s first aircraft carrier

| August 10, 2011

Perhaps China adding their first aircraft carrier is just a sign of the times, but I see the modernization of China’s military as an unsettling long term move; call me distrustful considering their original statements and China’s questionable authoritarian government’s history.  A Chinese company purchased the empty hull of a carrier called the Varyag from […]

Vintage flying WWII B-17 goes down in northern Illinois

| June 13, 2011

It was a good day for pilot and passengers aboard the flying historic WWII bomber Liberty Belle (LibertyBelleFoundation.org), but not so good for those who have devoted their lives to the restoration and preservation of flying history. From the crash video above, all were lucky to be out with their lives, but the damage to […]

Book: We Were Pirates by Robert Schultz and James Shell

| June 12, 2011

Enjoying a World War II audio narrative and reading about the book We Were Pirates.  It is a book that help us understand the life of WWII American submariners, particularly Torpedoman Robert Hunt and his point of view. He shared his memories and his collection of photos and documents from his service aboard the USS […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.